Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday? Really?

Time is passing pretty fast these days.

I told you about "A Stone Creek Christmas", and how into it I am. Well, yesterday, I wrote 2 chapters--a double shift! And I didn't even get tired. Once I'd finished, I went downstairs and signed two hundred and fifty book plates to be sent ahead to the rodeo people in Las Vegas. My fabulous publisher, Harlequin, has ponied up (pun intended) copies of my books to put in the giveaway bags, and since I couldn't autograph them, due to distance logistics, my super PR person, Nancy Berland, had the book plates made. (I sure do wish I really looked like that picture of me!)

I'm leaving REAL early on Monday morning, headed to New York, so the blog probably won't be up until that evening.

I most likely won't put in a double shift today, as I have some other things to do to get ready for the trip, but this story is so much fun, there's no way to tell if I'll be able to stop at the usual 20 page mark or not. :)

Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The McKettrick Way

The book is doing great, right out of the chute, as they say in rodeo! I'm so pleased.

I'm already getting letters asking if I'll be telling the story of the intriguing cowboy who appears at the very end. The answer is: YES! Since I don't want to give away too much, as some of you are still reading, that's all I want to say for now.

I'm nearly finished with "A Stone Creek Christmas", next year's Silhouette Special Edition, scheduled for December, and this book is a real kick. I'm having SO much fun with Olivia O'Ballivan, Tanner Quinn (be still my beating heart, what a hunk!) and Tanner's engaging young daughter, Sophie. There are some very special animal characters, too, of course--a lonely pony, a talking dog, and a lost reindeer.

We've made the selections for the 2007 scholarship winners, and they'll be announced soon. If you won, my congratulations. You had some very tough competition! If you didn't, don't despair. We'll be starting a whole new round soon.

And now back to Stone Creek....

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Can't Help It....

I've GOT to brag! I just learned that "The McKettrick Way" is the #1 series romance at Borders and Waldenbooks! Pardon me while I jump up in the air and kick my heels together, shouting a rousing, "Whoopee!"

The snow lingers, and is it ever beautiful. We're expecting more tonight--hopefully not before my emergency hair appointment. :) (Like Dolly Parton, I don't worry about being a dumb blonde, because I'm not dumb and I'm not blonde, either.) Why does my appointment qualify as an emergency? Well, I'm heading out for New York early the morning of the 3rd, and hair looks--well--like I've been too busy writing books and messing with horses to get it done. :)

I'm so looking forward to this trip, even though it means a long absence--almost two weeks--from home. I'm meeting up with the Harlequin folks, having lunch with the movers and shakers from Barnes and Noble, and spending time with my beloved editor, Joan, and my agent's agent, Irene Goodman. I plan to hit the MacKenzie-Childs store on 57th Street, and Kate's Paperie, too. These are two of my very favorite places. After a few days in the City, this cowgirl heads for Las Vegas, where I'll be a guest at the National Finals Rodeo, courtesy of Steve Miller and the bunch at Montana Silversmiths. You HAVE checked out their website, haven't you?

This trip, I'm taking my laptop. Barring technical snafus, I'll be blogging regularly--my way of bringing all of you along. So pack up your saddle bags, wranglers, we're going to ride!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Power of Questions

The snow I've been waiting for came in the night, blanketing the draw like a heavenly benediction, trimming the trees in flawless lace. I think it's still coming down, in tiny flakes, but it's still too dark to see.

I guess because we're getting close to the end of another year, I'm starting to think about the shape of 2008. Usually, I set goals--last year, very simple ones. Get to the doctor and the dentist more regularly, for example. And I met that goal.

I've used affirmations quite successfully in my life, but the truth is, and you and I both know this already--they don't always work. You can say, "I wear a size ten", for instance, until you're blue in the face. And your deeper mind will say, "Yeah, right." Lately, I've been focusing more on questions than statements. "How can I wear a size ten?" There's a lot of power in that; instead of coming up with reasons why you DON'T wear a ten, so forget about it, the mind starts looking around for answers. The mental ways and means committee meets. NLP people call this faculty of the human brain the 'reticular activation system'--meaning that the brain notices things related to the question you've put to it. You SEE things because you're looking for them.

You've had the experience. When you're pregnant, practically everybody else seems to be pregnant, too. Buy a red Chevrolet in a specific model, and every time you turn around, you see one just like yours. The cars and the pregnant women were always there, but because you're interested, your brain brings them into clear focus.

I've thought and journaled about my big question for 2008, and here it is.

How can I make every book a profound gift to my readers?

What's YOUR question?

Monday, November 26, 2007

One Thing Led to Another

As many of you know, I usually blog early in the morning, right after I've finished my journaling, and before I start the day's writing quota. Today, I had some documents to sign, which required a trip to the other end of town, and once that was finished...well, it just made sense to go to Target, Hallmark and Michael's, since I was already in the neighborhood!

(Actually, I've been working very hard on "A Stone Creek Christmas", and a day off probably did me good.)

The weather folks are predicting snow for tonight, and it sure looks as though it might happen--the sky has that heavy-bellied, gray look. I love that first real snow--especially if I wake up to a wonderland of white.

Traveler arrived on Saturday, and is he ever a wonderful horse. A paint, just like I always wanted, small of stature so I can mount him without a ladder. I rode him almost as soon as he came out of the trailer, and he's smooth and gentle.

Folks around here got a chuckle when I insisted on naming him for Robert E. Lee's horse, Traveller. Lee's Traveller was BIG, and gray, and my Traveler is little and pinto. Maybe I should call him Little Traveler.


I don't think the General would mind--do you?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Traveler and Other Blessings

Traveler's ETA is sometime this weekend. I'm sure looking forward to his arrival, though there will be the usual jockeying for position in the herd. Coco, the head mare, likes to make it known that she's in charge! You'd think, watching those old movies and TV shows, that the resident stallion runs the show--or at least a gelding. Not so in the horse world. It's the oldest mare, for sure.

The staff house has walls! It's wonderful to see a dream coming true. At the beginning of 2007, the barn and staff house were both visions, dreams. Now, they're real. It's amazing, really.

I plan to write today--I'm really into my new story, as I told you yesterday.

Thanksgiving was wonderful--low key. Regular dishes, easy clean up, good company. I roasted a turkey and mashed potatoes, but I confess the stuffing was Stove Top. And it was delicious!

Today's journal theme was learning to say no to myself. I've gotten awfully permissive lately. No, I'm not going to turn negative, but I figure it's about time I grew up.

A little.

Have a wonderful weekend, and enjoy those leftovers. If you're like me, you like them better than the actual meal.

You'll notice I'm not out braving the stores on what is purported to be the biggest sale day of the year. There, you see? I've got a NO under my belt already, and I haven't even had breakfast yet!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving on the Triple L

I have so much to be grateful for this year. Yes, it was the year my beloved dad went over the river to rest among the trees, to paraphrase Stonewall Jackson's dying words. But I am still grateful--because his passing was graceful and relatively pain free, because he was such a wonderful father, because his smile and his mischievous blue eyes will live in my memory until I cross that river myself.

My wonderful, funny mother, Hazel, is in good health and happy in her snug apartment.

The critters are all snug and safe, well-fed and well-loved.

The ground is frosty, and it's nippy outside. I'm so in love with this new book--"A Stone Creek Christmas"--starring Olivia O'Ballivan, Brad's sister ("The McKettrick Way"), and Tanner Quinn--that I will probably write this morning. Yesterday, I got so involved that I was actually inside the story. I was exhausted when I finished, but full of joy. I went out to the barn afterward and hob-nobbed with the horses. After that, I walked over to see the staff house. The foundation is laid and now the walls are going up. It's beginning to look like a house!

So many things to be grateful for. May you be blessed, on this Thanksgiving Day and every day.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

We admitted we were powerless over horses....

Step one for the horse-addicted. A new member of the family, Traveler, will be arriving this weekend, God willin' and the creek don't rise. (Yes, I'm naming him for Robert E Lee's intrepid steed, Traveller. Just decided to go with one L. Those Civil War books I'm planning pop up in every area of my life!)

Today, after my writing, I'll be out in the barn, mucking stalls. With this sore foot, I haven't been able to get my barn boots on. :) Because the work I do--writing--is so mental and so sedentary, I need more horse-time, and more barn-time, and more fresh-air time. (Mostly fresh, anyway. It IS a barn, after all.)

Tomorrow when we all sit down to our turkey dinner, and I'll be giving thanks for a great many blessings. And all my faithful readers are right up there at the top of the list, along with family, freedom, critters, a career I love, good health, and too many other things to list here.

See you tomorrow. If you don't stop in for the blog, have a happy and bountiful Thanksgiving. In fact, have one even if you do. :)

My sincere love and gratitude to each and every one of you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bird in the Fridge

It's Thanksgiving week already--I can't believe it! We have a great deal to be thankful for around here, as you might imagine. A new barn for the horses and the staff house under construction, just to name a few. All the critters are thriving, as are the people. Since we're all pretty much pooped, we're spending a low-key holiday, roasting a small turkey and making as little fuss as we can.

The new book is out today, too. "The McKettrick Way" is on store shelves all across the country. It boggles my country-girl mind, trying to picture it. I remember way back in 1992, when "Daniel's Bride" came out. It was my first book to make the New York Times bestseller list, and it had the most beautiful cover. I stood in a mall, staring at the display, and almost had to take my driver's license out and check my own ID--that couldn't be MY name splashed across the front of that book in gold foil, could it???

Plans for today include a conference call and some work on "A Stone Creek Christmas", the Silhouette Special Edition that will come out this time next year. There's always the possibility of glimpsing a moose, some deer, or the wild turkeys--that always makes my day. And I'm going out to see the horses, too. They worry about me if I don't go out often, and with my foot surgery, I haven't been able to ride April much. I need to tell them about the new horse, too. He doesn't have a name, so I'm going to call him Traveler.

In the meantime, that turkey waits in the fridge. The leftovers are better than the main meal, don't you think?

Monday, November 19, 2007

First Snow of the Season

It snowed during the night--just a skiff--but as I write this, I'm looking out over the snowy draw and looking forward to more of the white stuff. We put salt licks out for the deer and moose, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of them jumped the pasture fence to snarf up some hay. On the other hand, the wild turkeys chased a moose off the other day, so I don't know how brave they are. I DO know I wouldn't get between a cow and her calf for any reason!

I judged the last of the scholarship applications this weekend, and what a hard and fascinating job it was! I am both heartened and touched to realize how many of you are out there, trying to do great things, often against staggering odds, and I surely wish I could give all of you a leg-up. If you're a finalist, you'll hear about it soon. If you didn't win, I hope you'll enter again when we start the 2008 competition. All the information will be on the website, as usual.

Sadie-beagle is downstairs, barking her agreement! More likely, she's just lonely and wonders where everybody is. :) Or she wants an elevator ride! I'd better go check.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Another Horse????

Yep. I've got my eye on a little paint, located for me by my excellent brother, Jerry, who knows his horses. I don't even know the critter's name yet, but one look at his picture and I said to myself, "He's the one for me." Four of my horses, Buck, Banjo, Skye and Coco, are too green for me to ride. April is a cowgirl's dream. Now, when I go riding, somebody will be able to ride with me--twice the fun.

The new doors I ordered MONTHS ago arrived this morning, and wouldn't you know, when the crates came off--wrong doors. I have two choices here: immense frustration, or calm acceptance. I chose the latter, but I'm gritting my teeth a little! I guess this stuff just comes with construction and renovation.

Big things on the horizon, though. I'm going to New York in early December, to meet with the Harlequin crew and have lunch with some of the Barnes and Noble people. New York in December! I'm sure looking forward to seeing the City in its Christmas garb. On the way back from New York, I'll be stopping in Las Vegas to attend the National Finals Rodeo. The people at Montana Silversmiths are treating me like an honored guest, and who knows? I might have a little luck on the slot machines, too.

In the meantime, I'm going to polish "A McKettrick Christmas" and send it off to my beloved editor. As always, Joan's input made the story infinitely richer and better--I'll be able to present it to you with pride.

My mom spotted "The McKettrick Way" at Fred Meyer a day or so ago. I didn't think it was going to be out until next week sometime. If you're chompin' at the bit to read about Meg McKettrick and Brad O'Ballivan, you might want to check out your local Freddy's.

Back to work.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I THINK I'm Awake!

I'm a sleepyhead today--woke up late.

Almost done with the current writing project, and boy am I loving the story. This is my book, "A McKettrick Christmas", and next year at this time, you'll be reading it. (I hope.) The story features a grown-up Lizzie, Holt's daughter. I'm often asked if I'll be telling Katie's story--she's the late-in-life baby born to Angus and Concepcion. The answer is, yes. The next Christmas book will be Katie's.

Next on the writing docket is "A Stone Creek Christmas", the story of Olivia O'Ballivan, a descendent of Sam and Maddie and sister to Brad, the hero of "The McKettrick Way", which will hit stores next week. One year from now, this book will be offered as a Silhouette Special Edition.

Once I finish that book, I'll be writing a new western contemporary trilogy about the Creeds, Logan, Dylan and Tyler. Hunky cowboys, all, and distant relations to the McKettricks. They live in Montana, the Big Sky country, and I'm really looking forward to writing their stories.

I'll be choosing the finalists in the scholarship program this weekend. Talk about a tough job! I wish I could award one to everybody.

Well, with all this to do, I'd better get with it, hadn't I? As Dad and Angus McKettrick always said, "We're burnin' daylight!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

That Train Keeps A-Rollin'

Have I ever mentioned that I live close to the railroad tracks? Well, not THAT close. But I hear the train going by at all hours of the day and night, and now that I'm used to it, I find it a comforting sound. When that lonesome whistle blows, distant and plaintive in the dark, I always think of a certain old friend, gone now. It's like a "Hello".

I've reached that place in my life where the "good-byes" are happening more frequently--and I sure miss my dad. If he were here, he'd say, "Don't be a sad-sack, Lindy." He was a great one for celebrating the present moment--friends, family and flowers, that was his motto. He truly celebrated every day of his life.

The air is bright, sunny, and COLD. The horses are already wearing their winter coat, shaggy and thick. Me, I wear a jacket I bought at Wal-mart. :) It's warm, and it works in the barn. :)

The art room is slowly--SLOWLY--coming together. I'm doing collage and polymer clay again, and loving it. My stuff is never going to hang in a gallery or be featured in a coffee-table book, but it feeds my soul, just as the animals do.

It's a good life. There are some good-byes, but there are plenty of howdies, too.

Put my name down in the column headed "Grateful".

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sunshine and Collage

We're enjoying beautiful, sunny weather in Spokane today. It's cold, but so clear and crisp outside! This is why I love eastern Washington state--we get our share of overcast weather, to be sure, but mostly, the sun shines. As I always say, here you can be up to your butt in snow and be dazzled by the glare. :)

I'm writing, of course, and organizing my new art room down at the end of the hall. It's off to Wal-mart for storage drawers, a trash bin, the usual stuff. Collage is messy work, and right now, that room literally looks as though a bomb went off in there.

Oh, but I am having fun trying out new techniques. I bought one of those Melt-Art pots at Michael's, along with an instruction video, and wow, the stuff you can make is amazing. I'm learning Photoshop,too--slowly but surely. Fortunately, there are some very good tutorial CD Roms out there. Most fascinating to me: I can take a photo and, using Photoshop, turn it into a sketch! Since my drawing skills aren't exactly whiz-bang, I plan to use my fancy art projector to flash the sketch onto canvas or art paper and trace it.

What an age we live in, Maynard G. Krebbs. (You have to be of a certain age to recognize that reference. Remember Dobie Gillis?)

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Vigil Keepers

It's almost trite, because it's been true so long. Freedom isn't free. People have paid for it, for over two centuries now, with life and limb, heart and blood, hopes and dreams. The things we enjoy every day of our lives, folks, have been bought for us, by the brave ones.

The soldiers. While we're going about our normal, day to day lives, they're out there making sure we're safe.

During the Viet Nam conflict, there were factions in this country who blamed the GIs. They called them names, spit on them, burned flags in 'protest'. The incredible cowardice and ingratitude of this made me ashamed--never of my country, or of the soldiers--but to live within the same borders as people who had so little compassion and sensitivity, let alone gratitude.

Now, you see 'Support Our Troops' bumperstickers and magnets on so many vehicles. That heartens me. Whatever our feelings about the war itself, the soldiers are serving, giving up years out of their lives, often far away from their loved ones and the place they hope to come back to. Some of them won't make it back at all, others will bear the mark of conflict for the rest of their lives.

Count your blessings. You'll probably find you're pretty well off, all in all. You can protest. You can dis the President. You can even burn a flag. (But you'd better not let me see you doing it. :) ) You can go where you want to, vote as you please. You don't have to wait hours in a long line for a chance--no guarantee, just a chance--to buy bread. We have so many blessings, in fact, that we take them for granted.

When you see a soldier, thank him or her.

And while you're at it, thank the soldiers of other generations, too. If it hadn't been for the World War II vets, God only knows what Planet Earth would be like now. Hello? They saved the world!

So, to all those who serve, and those who have served:

THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart and the core of my soul, thank you.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Moose Visit

Yesterday, while I was writing away, word reached me that there was a moose in the front yard. I've seen several, since moving here, but it's a sight I never get tired of. I dashed down to look, and there was Bullwinkle, just across the driveway, nibbling at my red willow tree. Mooses, it seems, love red willow.

The horses were on high alert, heads high, ears forward. Only Banjo, the young colt, was fearless enough to venture forward to get a better look, and he soon changed his mind about making friends with the new kid on the block. Bernice, Yorkie extraordinaire, barked up a storm--"Mom! There's something in the yard and it's BIG!"--but wasn't eager to make its acquaintance either.

When I was a child, there wasn't a moose within 500 miles of Spokane. Now I understand there is a herd of about forty in the area. It is heartening to me to know their numbers are multiplying. Not that long ago, bald eagles, too, were almost gone. I see them often now, especially at the lake house. Magnificent.

I'll be in Ellensburg tomorrow, at Jerrol's Book Store, from 2-4. My brother, Jerry, his wife, Anna, and their three beautiful children, Jerome, Chyanne and Sydney, live nearby, so I'll get to see them. Definitely a perk! If you're in the neighborhood, stop by.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Our New Walmart

I admit it. I LOVE Walmart. For one thing, they sell a lot of my books. And I do mean A LOT. For another, they carry the chicken jerky strips my dogs love--a one-stop shop, with very few exceptions. Who cares? you may be asking. Is this a blog or a commercial for Walmart?

It's a blog, definitely. Up until yesterday, a Walmart run involved driving to the other end of Spokane, or out to the valley. Now, we have a brand new store right in Airway Heights, some ten minutes from here, and I'm jazzed! Last night, I bought 10 sets of Noma Christmas lights--the old-fashioned bubble lights we always had on our Christmas tree when I was a little girl. Noma packaged them in the old design--the nostalgia version--and I was sold.

You can tell Christmas is getting close. Every day, my mail box is stuffed with catalogs. I throw most of them away, but a few of them always grab me, which is why I'm on the She'll-Buy-Anything list. I've already got a few gifts stashed away, and I'm looking forward to decorating a tree. Since I will be in New York and Las Vegas during most of the first half of December, I need to get cracking.

Is Veteran's Day too early to put up a tree? :)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Foggy Draw

Fog has settled in the draw this morning, and it's a beautiful sight. (Susan: the draw is behind the main house, the one on thirty acres, with the barn. :) )

Who is Susan, the rest of you ask, as you well might? Well, she's better known as Lisa Jackson, #1 New York Times best-selling author and one of my most cherished friends. I'm honored to say that she reads my blog, and last weekend in San Diego, she was teasing me about never knowing exactly which house I'm blogging from. Is it the lake? Or is it the horse place?

In case I haven't bragged, my good friend Debbie Macomber ALSO hit the #1 slot recently. Both these women are generous, hard-working professionals and EXCELLENT writers, and it's so good to see them getting the recognition they deserve.

I'm writing today, and when the page quota is fulfilled, I'll be in my new craft room, just down the hall. My wonderful staff converted a guest room for me--heaven on earth.

For now, though, there's a fire crackling on the hearth downstairs, and fresh coffee brewing. Sadie is barking for an elevator ride. So I'd better get on with it, though I might take some air freshener with me. :) Last night, I was taking Sadie down to the yard on a potty run, and she farted. No escape.

Oh, the glamorous life of a writer with two houses. :)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

On a Break


Working hard on the current project. No real excuse there, since I ALWAYS work hard.

For those of you who live in the Ellensburg, Washington area, I'll be at Jerrol's Book Store this Saturday, November 10, from 2-4. I hope you'll stop by if you can. I'd love to say howdy and sign a book or two for you, and we're offering a really nice door prize.

The other day I was watching one of the craft shows I TIVO--"Crafters Coast to Coast" is my favorite--and a woman was doing something, I forget what, but she was an expert at it. She said, "I learned to do this right by doing it wrong about a million times." I'm having a heck of a time with some of my projects, but I was heartened by her words.

Only 999,995 attempts to go, and I'll get the necklace I'm making (it has a picture of Dad and me inside it, riding on his horse, Peanuts, circa 1951) to turn out the way I envision it. :) I think this is the 5th effort--I used resin this time, and it won't be cured for 72 hours! I'm an impatient soul, and it's all I can do not to fiddle.

Writing is that way, too, and just about everything else worth doing. I guess we have to be willing to do something badly for a long time before we earn the right to do it well.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The LaJolla Writers Conference Report

Okay, I didn't take my laptop, and I'm glad I didn't, because as usual, I had way too much luggage in the first place. :)

So many great things happened that I wrote a prompt list in my journal, so I wouldn't forget to tell all.

#1 My daughter, Wendy, attended, and her fiance, Jeremy, was there part of the time too. Wendy and I had lots of talk-time, and attended classes together. We also hit the resort's gift shop at least half a dozen times. More than toothpaste and key chains at Paradise Point, San Diego, to be sure!

#2 I received an award, and it was totally unexpected. This year's Person of Letters is yours truly! I got a lovely little desk clock with an inscription, and felt so honored. Thanks to Antoinnette and everybody at the conference.

#3 I almost fell into the duck pond my first day there. Marauding ducks and gulls attacked my room service tray, and a styrofoam bowl ended up floating on the water. I couldn't have that--littering! So I tried to fish the bowl out with a long stick and came THIS close to going in! I count this as a 'great thing' because I stayed dry!

#4 We saw a skunk, up close and personal, and he DIDN'T spray! With the wild fire still burning around San Diego, they're seeing a lot of small animals in places they wouldn't normally be seen.

#5 The room key stopped working. I called Security on my cell phone, and they came and put new batteries in the lock. Did you know those things had batteries? I sure didn't. Blessing here: the staff at this hotel is one of the most competent and cheerful I've ever seen. They rode promptly to the rescue and we all had a good laugh and swapped some stories.

#6 I got to hear and meet David Morrell, creator of Rambo, and Stephen J. Cannell, who is a very successful adventure novelist, in addition to being the writer/creator of a lot of my old favorite TV shows, like "Adam-12" and "The Rockford Files". Mr. Cannell is dyslexic, and his story of perserverance was truly uplifting. I also ran into Lisa Jackson and sister NANCY Bush--I think I called her 'Natalie' in a previous blog. (She used to write as Natalie Bishop, which is what confused me, but honestly, it was a senior moment and there's no way around it. I've known these two for YEARS.) As usual, Susan (Lisa) and Nancy were delightful, and gave several excellent presentations.

#7 The quality of the attendee's writing simply blew me away. It was so much fun to hear them read parts of their stories aloud, and then all of us jump in for a discussion afterwards.

#8 No way I could close this blog without mentioning the hard work of Antoinnette Kuritz, her husband, Rich, and son Jared. Despite the fires, and some endangered property of their own, they were on the job 24/7 to make the conference even better than last years'. They are such pros, all three of them, and the gathering was a virtual paradise for writers. Nobody, but nobody, treats their faculty better than the Kurtizes. Thanks, guys!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Bumper Cars

Do you ever get the feeling you're standing in the center of one of those bumper-car rides at a carnival, periodically blind-sided by a racing car? Maybe knocked down--or even run over??
Of course I'm referring to problems--the kinds of things that seem to come out of nowhere and upset whatever apple cart we've been filling up with dreams and blessings.

I know I've felt like that. But here's a little insight I've learned along the way. We are NOT at the mercy of runaway bumper cars, no matter how it may seem. There's a control room--our innermost thoughts and beliefs--and although we're not always awake at the switch, Someone Else is. It's called Grace.

When I get a lot of bumper cars crashing into me, it's always a sure sign that I need to 1) Stop, 2) Pray, 3) Expect an answer and proceed as though I've already gotten it. One of the best pieces of advice I've EVER heard is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail.

Of course, some bumper cars are unavoidable. They're the ones that are a vital part of your journey--into each life some rain must fall. (Or that life would dry up and die.) In this case, I ask for insight, for strength, for stronger faith, for the ability to keep going and keep believing.

I've never seen this fail. Give it a try.

As you know from yesterday's blog, I'm headed for Fire Central today--San Diego. I'll blog if I can. If I don't, you can expect a full description on Monday.

Or Tuesday. :) (One of my own bumper cars, you see, is a tendency to procrastinate.)

Over the coming weekend, I expect to: have a wonderful time with my beautiful and talented daughter, reconnect with old friends and make some new ones, encourage discouraged writers, and learn A LOT in the process. There are some big names attending the LaJolla Writers Conference--Steven J. Cannell, David Morrell, and my friends Lisa Jackson and Natalie Bush. When I get home, I'll be a better person and a better writer.


This is going to be FUN!