Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Coffee, Maggie Brendan, and Some Gumption #overcoming


After last week, I needed a good book to settle in with. With my coffee, my red office, and a cuddly sweater. So I picked up Maggie Brendan's latest The Trouble With Patience.

She's always been a good standby when I just want to read a traditional historical romance with the flavor of Ann Shorey or Tracie Peterson and a little bit of Karen Witemeyer's humor snuck in from time to time.

You all ... man, you blessed me last week!! I sat and read this weekend, and I even wrote a full synopsis for my next book as well as logged 1K in word count for my current WIP. (Synopsis: book summary, WIP: Work In Progress). Sometimes, I do believe God works through turmoil to bring joy. And when it comes, it's lasting. I had that warm, curled up in front of a fireplace feeling. All because of you all!! SO THANK YOU!!!

And can I just add, that you all need to read Maggie Brendan's latest? It's super cute. I like how she yearns for a dead man. (Of course I would like that). And Patience is good. Not particularly spunky, but she plugs away and has the nature of a strong woman. Which was a nice read for me. Spunky is good, spunky is probably me, but that steadfast, plug away, never-give-up attitude was refreshing to read this week. And confirming.

So where am I now?

Well, I plotted out my next book and can't wait to begin!! Because, like the heroine in Maggie's book, when you get knocked down, you get up again. You stop yearning after what's behind and look to what's ahead.

Yep Yep. So, I promise I won't keep waxing prolific about MY life. I want to hear about yours now. What have YOU overcome recently? And have you read Maggie Brendan? Because I have to plug her hero here ... he's known as the "hanging lawman". I mean what's better medicine to get the gumption to get up and get moving, than a sheriff who likes to hang his criminals. WHOOOO EEE!!!!!

But seriously, what HAVE YOU OVERCOME recently, and how has that inspired you to keep going?


_________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday's Devo: Fight or Turn Back?

Nope. Not very Mennonite title for a pacifist. I get that. But even pacifists can be mighty, fierce, meek, and tenacious...

For what would you fight? 
Would you fight for promised land? A metaphorical land of milk and honey?

God promised the Israelites after He delivered them out of bondage in Egypt, that He would bring them to freedom in the promised land. Yet we all know for forty years in the dessert most of them believed it would never happen. "You can't get there from here," might have been their mantra as they grumbled about manna and made a golden calf.

Most of them might have believed their heaven didn't really exist.
All their tests and trials pointed to one main question: did they truly believe the great I AM?

In Numbers 13, when they'd walked across the Red Sea on dry land, God told Moses to send out twelve spies. They were spying out the land to see if it was good, and if they were up to taking it by force.

Though we don't live like people of conquest today, we still ask ourselves the same questions. 
Do I believe I'll get there from here? 
Will God provide what it will take in the face of my strong giants?

So the twelve spies came back and gave good report about the land, but a bad report about the people there. Basically--they are too tall and strong for us. Though Caleb and Joshua were also on the spy team and contradicted the other spies. They told the people that the Lord's favor was upon them and He would bring them into possession of the promised land. The Israelites wanted to stone them. They wanted to appoint a new leader and return to bondage rather than hope for promised freedom if defeat was obvious.

They were like, are you nuts? You two dreamers are going to get us all killed. Just smite us now before we become splatter on a battle field, why don't you?


Freedom required fighting, facing their fears, all for a risk to face a new unknown. It required faith in God for an unforeseen outcome that looked impossible.

But here's the thing. Joshua was an unproven leader under Moses at that time. Yet, fast forward to when he was leading the people across the Jordan, still asking if they could get there from here.

Just as Moses had sent out spies, Joshua also sent spies to scout out the land as they were ready to  cross over the Jordan.

I picture the whole camp sitting there at the edge of the Jordan, wondering if its too late to turn back. Wondering how foolish they might be to move forward, and imagining how strong their opponents might be when they get there. It reminds me of a scene in the movie, Troy, where Achilles is ready to ride into battle and a young boy comments to him:
     Boy: "...they say he can't be killed..."    "that Tessalonina you're fighting, he's the biggest man I've ever seen..."
     Achilles:  "...that's why I have a shield..."
     Boy:  "...I wouldn't want to fight him..."
     Achilles:  "...that's why you won't be remembered...."
 

We remember the believers. We remember who Joshua is. We remember Jericho fell. We remember because they made a memorial and told their children how God had been with them and gone before them.

You see, Joshua not only believed and was remembered. The reason he fought, was because he knew from the days of Moses when the people almost turned back, that "the Lord is with us." Unlike Achilles, Joshua believed in God's strength, not the strength of his own shield. He believed in the great I AM.

We remember Jericho because God was in the camp.
~~~
So, let your faith be greater than your fear.
The Armor of God, Ephesians 6
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
-------------
Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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Represented by Sarah Freese, WordServe Literary

Friday, February 27, 2015

13 Year Old Me's Writer Kit

I was trying to find a picture of 13 year old me. HAHA!!! I lucked out and couldn't find one. ;) Besides. I had poodle hair. You don't need to see that. Ever.

Well, dear ones, this was a really strange week. Not at all what I pictured. An announcement that fell flatter than a frisbee, sick kiddos, a work trip to Chicago, and a trip down memory lane to my first book, and you know what was the coolest part? YOU! One of my writing sisters reminded me of how blessed I am, to be surrounded by readers who really care about me, and pray for me. Do you know how special that is? It's CRAZY special. Really. So thank you, for all the encouragement this week. I'm going out of this week with JOY.

But before I go, I want to give away a writer's kit that 13 year old me would've put together if you'd told me you needed something to get YOUR writing career started.



  • Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly. This is a must in any 13 yr old's repertoire of read material. It was the first inspirational fiction novel I ever read. Every library should have one. You need one too. (your choice paperback or e-book)
  • Coffee. Because even at 13 it was a standard in my life.
  • Popcorn. Every kid needs popcorn to write with.
  • Peppermints, because it was the only candy my health conscious parents had in the house (you do what you have to, I guess)
  • A notepad was my go-to. I wrote my first novel on a vintage typewriter from 1930, so it wasn't exactly portable, you know?
  • And colored pens, because life just isn't life with out them!
Okey dokey, everyone!! Have a stupendous weekend and Choose Joy because Jesus Chose YOU!

RANDOM RAFFLECOPTER WINNER of Dani Pettrey's book: LAURIE TOMLINSON


a Rafflecopter giveaway



_________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Novel by a 13 yr. Old

Well, as I continue this little weeklong trip down writing memory lane, I dug up my first manuscript that I started at the age of thirteen and finished at fifteen. I know I told you I was going to post never-before-seen snippets but oh my gosh!! THIS IS AWFUL!! LOL

Really. It's awful. 

After an already roller-coaster week of writing emotions, do you really want to fall into the recesses of a thirteen year old's mind?

Ok.

Here it goes... this is the paragraph "Hook" I wrote. (A "hook" is what a writer composes to tell someone in usually 25 words or less what their book is about).


Set in the late years of the nineteenth century, Ellen struggles to survive in the historical setting of Milwaukee, Wisconsin with its strong German ancestry.  Responsible not only for herself, but her orphaned, mute brother, Ellen searches to uncover the history of her mother’s past.  Her heart, broken and embittered by the tragic accident that took the lives of her family, must embark on a journey of healing and faith – learning that the Lord’s grace is sufficient.

Eeesh.

Here's some excerpts ... because I know you're dying to see them:

"What I wouldn't give for a full mirror!  Ellen moaned inwardly, turning the small hand mirror she held at different angles to survey her hair.  She set it with a disgruntled thud on the small wash stand and set to work buttoning her new white blouse with the small lace collar.  She had made it special for this evening when they attended the long awaited church social.  As Ellen grasped the buttonhook and buttoned her brown shoes, she yearned for the gray ones she had seen in the mercantile window.  She wanted to look her best, not quite understanding the urgency behind her thoughts.  Still, she had to content herself with the old shoes she had worn every day for the last two years.  Even though her toes were pinched, Ellen tried not to complain, for Mama and her older brother Kurt, did their very best to provide for the small family.  If Papa had not died three years before of pneumonia, things may have been easier, but . . ."


Don't judge ... here's more:

"The ladies brought forth bolts of material from a side room and unrolled them enough to drape them across Ellen’s shoulder and beneath her chin.  They nodded at the various colors.  Pink seemed to be a popular one that they all, including Frau Bhaer, approved of.  Pink!  It’s so impractical!  I’ve never worn pink.  But, it’s so pretty!  Ellen argued with herself, feeling as if she should be protesting instead of getting wrapped in the excitement of the moment.  A bolt of gray silk was held to her face.  Each lady clicked her tongue and Frau Shultz motioned the bolt to be taken away from Ellen.  She, instead, reached for a green plaid bolt, and draped it across Ellen’s shoulder, then laid a delicate strip of handmade lace with it.  She cocked Ellen’s head to the side with her hand, then back the other way.  Finally, Frau Shultz nodded and whipped the material and lace from Ellen’s shoulder.“Perfect!” She surprised Ellen by exclaiming in English."


And one more:

Disbelief overcame Ellen and she sagged against the wall. 
“You’re serious, aren’t you?” she asked in a whisper.  Aunt Suzanne looked at her, her face the picture of defeat.  “Yes, I am serious.  I am not a good environment for you or especially, for Peter Frederick.  Gretchen may have ripped this family apart, but she always had something I didn’t.  You need to continue in the way of that something.  That’s what your mother intended.”
“Mama had God, Aunt Suzanne.  She had God.”
“It’s something I will never have.”
“But - you can.  I - “
“Ellen, go.  Tell Peter Frederick your good news and leave me be.  I have wired my lawyer.  You can be home within the month if you would like.”


Ellen could not help the smile that entered her eyes and brought her mouth into a wide grin.  “I can go home?” she grew excited as the reality of what her aunt had said began to dawn.

“Yes.”

Well, there you have it. Complete in all its horrific glory. No editing. Not even the formatting (with the exception of italics). It's scary to revisit your first book. But it's fun too. Like visiting an old friend.

SO tomorrow?? Tomorrow I'll introduce you to a 13 yr. old's writers kit ... one you can win. :) And guess what, I have joy today!! Do you??

_________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

13 Yr Old Me, Meet, 38 Yr Old Me

25 years. It's a long time. I remember thinking my mom was sooooo old at 40. Crud. I'm on my way to being ... old.

But it all started back when I was 13. Creative writing class came, along with pictures I was given around which to compose a story. And then ... the red pen.

I was so frustrated. Who would dare to squelch a child's creativity with a red pen? How rude and tactless and outright horrifying that they didn't understand the meaning behind every word I'd poured onto the paper. Yep. Even at 13 I was a tad feisty. Still am at 38.

So my Dad pulled me aside to try to teach me how to write. I was to write a story about an old white oak tree and the mice who lived beneath it.

Jane was born. And Sally. The mice.

William the Oak Tree.

All was right in my world.

And then ... Dad's red pen.

WHAT?!?!?!

They're NAMES! Just NAMES! But no, my very first serious lesson in taking criticism was to learn, sometimes someone will show you something you didn't know existed. In this case, it was matching names with words that would resemble the personality of each mouse and of the wise old oak.

Tenacity was born. Felicity was born.

Whitey the White Oak. (well, I tried)

And a story evolved with a feisty little mouse full of felicity and her brothers as they dared to venture into the big wide world beneath the branches of the ever-seeing Whitey the White Oak, whose all-knowing nature was oddly allegorical to God's.

And that was when I knew ... when it all clicked ... I was born to be a writer. I was born to love the red pen and the things it would teach me. I was born to learn to Tenacity in my journey, and Felicity as I maneuvered the pitfalls, disappointments, and frustrations in the writing volume of my life.

It would be two years before I set my pen to paper to write my first novel ... and ... oh wait ... that comes tomorrow ;)

AND I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU!!! All of you blessed me so much yesterday! I felt so awful not sharing news with you, but you know what, that was a part of the Lord's plan. It really was. Because so many of you jumped up to cheer me up and I was blessed on a day where so much more than the pause button went wrong ... I'm in Chicago, my Peter Pan was shipped to Gramma's with a fever and doctor visit, my Coco called me at 5 yrs old crying because she was at Nanny's the other gramma's house and "couldn't take care of Buddy and Daddy", Nate was home sicker than a dog, I got locked out of my hotel room, didn't get coffee until 10:30 am and .... we've all had days like his. COMMUNITY is such a blessing, because in the chaos, I was held up. Love you all!

And remember, it's just "Pause", so hopefully, in the near future, I can go all crazy on you again ;)

Meanwhile, what was your first story or first favorite read??


_________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

When Dreams ... Hit Pause????

So.....this was not how this morning was supposed to be. All my hoopla, all my narcissistic, pump up the excitement, Facebook posters, my pre-written newsletter scheduled to go out at 6 AM this morning, and blog post scheduled to post at 6:30 am...

Nope. This was NOT expected.

At 4:00 PM, yesterday afternoon I received an email. A "hit pause" sort of email. A BIG PAUSE button. Things may change. "Don't say anything yet. It wouldn't be prudent." I don't want to be prudent. This news, this amazing dream I've always had and you can probably guess, just got deflated like the biggest hot air balloon. And in accordance with all things in the publishing world, I can't say much about it.

Most of you who visit here are readers. So I'm inviting you into the sneak peek of the world of a writer's disappointment. Plainly put, my big "announcement" is on hold because of some major shifts in the industry. We're waiting to see if the "Play" button is pushed or if it's just a big, red "The End" before it begins button.

To be honest, it hurts. It's disappointing. Sort of like that lead ball that hits the pit of your stomach and you just go ... well, crud.

Sorry to disappoint you all today. :( I feel like I've let you all down.

But two things, I definitely know:

1. Nothing happens as a surprise to the Lord. I've had my dream in the palm of my hand since I was 13, and my hand has always been open for Him to move it. I don't clench my fist. I leave it open.

2. The party MUST go on! Why? Because I love parties and gosh darn I'm going to have one!!

So what am I celebrating? The UNKNOWN! And you! Because without all of you, I'd be lonely. You all make my life so much fun and filled with blessing. So...tomorrow I'm going to tell you the story of how I started writing when I was 13, just as I'd planned. And the next day, I am going to show you never-before-seen-snippets of the first novel I ever wrote ... at 13. And then Friday, I'm still going to give away the fun little package I'd planned to give away.

A 13 yr. old's writerly beginners kit:

1. Coffee (no duh)
2. A journal (because typewriters weren't portable when I was 13)
3. Colored pens, 'cause who doesn't want those?
4. Popcorn which is my go-to snack
5. Peppermints because they just demand to be the follow up to some good popcorn

These are the items that kept me writing at 13. These are the items that will keep me writing ... until "Play" is hit.


Prayers appreciated, my friends.


_________________________________

Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Romancing the Cowboy, Why Not?

I was raised on Johnny Cash, John Wayne, and Louis L'Amour.
Coon hunters. Deer hunters. Trappers. Elk, moose, and bear hunters.
Little House on the Prairie and Christy. Anne of Green Gables and Janette Oke.


So what if my heroes have the air of the heroes of my past?
My husband knows I wax romantic over the icon of a cowboy.
Logical? Nope. Realistic? Nope. (and believe it or not I'm a realist, INTJ).
[don't mistake the following for a quick-pass over real pain, I'm not talking about nonfiction]
So why the romance?

My epiphany?

Because romance lets us tell the stories.
Stories of pain.
Romance overlooks the reality that some stories are too painful to tell.
Romance is victory over that pain and the truth of ugliness and sin.
Without romance, the pain wins and the story is so often lost and not retold.
To that I say, oh death where is thy sting?
Maybe the definition of romance for some is too false to hold the truth.
But for me, romance triumphs.
It tells the truth with hope.
It finds the beauty beyond the pain.
It finds love.
Love victorious.
And I believe in that.
Else what could I ground my reality on other than Love?
Oh death, oh pain, where is thy sting? Ha!
I tell my story.
I tell my hope.
I tell my victory.

And if my story has a cowboy hat,
a horse,
a strong man who knows pain,
a woman who faces her life,
ready to find love?

Well.....
"Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."~~Alfred Lord Tennyson

So, whatever tale you have lived, how ever much pain you have wrestled, tell it.
Tell it, if the truth you still believe is that God is in His heaven, Jesus was more than a man,
and His glory somehow breathed into your story....by His romance with you.

So, girl, put your records on.
Man, cowboy up.
Don't be afraid to romance it.
But never stop telling it.
Never stop believing.

Because the truth is, romance, believing our dreams and hopes, takes courage.
And there's something in that that breeds admiration.
And there's just enough "Anne with an e" in me
that refuses to give up on believing in the beauty of romance.
Because in the words of The Duke:

Readers: 
What's your all-time favorite cowboy movie?
Who is your favorite hero?
Heroine?

-------------
Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
Find me on:Facebook
Find me on: Pinterest
Find me on: Goodreads
Find me on: Twitter
Represented by Sarah Freese, WordServe Literary