Wednesday, August 31, 2016

ACFW!

Erica Here:

Peter and I returned home last night from our ACFW/Vacation adventure, and I thought I would share a few pictures with you from the trip.

The Czech/Slovak museum of Cedar Rapids, IA.

Looking up into the glass chandelier.

A Czech immigrant house typical of the 1880's
Two rooms, 8 kids...yikes!

U.S. Grant's home at White Haven. 

Grant's carriage!

Ulysses and Julia Grant. Quite a love story!

The more I learn about U.S. Grant, the more
I admire him.

I white-knuckled it across this narrow
metal-decked bridge across the Ohio.

So so so scared! Check out the grip I have on the steering wheel!

A fascinating and wonderful museum in Paducah, KY.

I got to play with Civil War era firearms!
And...the tour guide was from Kansas! Bonus Points!

This bed and quilt were rescued from a dilapidated KY cabin
that had once belonged to a CSA soldier.

The many flags of the confederacy.

Fort Donaldson monument to the dead who
are buried on the battlefield in unmarked graves.

The battlements of Fort Donaldson.

The Dover Hotel, where US Grant received the surrender
of his longtime friend and West Point classmate
Simon Bolivar Buckner.

Fancy woodwork in the Tennessee State Museum

The oldest Civil War monument...at Stones River in Murfreesboro, TN

Andrew Jackson statue at the Tenn. State Capitol

House Chamber in the Tenn. State Capitol

Seal of the State of Tennessee

The Capitol from the outside. Peter's verdict...Minnesota's
is still the best. :D

So, there's an exact replica of the Parthenon in Nashville.

With a super-ugly statue of Athena..gilded in real gold.

Replicas of the Elgin Marbles.

The Coffee Cups girls on Gala Night!

So this happened...A Bride for Bear was a finalist in the Carol Awards.

And A Palace on the Plains finaled, too.

And The Archaeologist's Find was a finalist.

And Bear Won! 

And I got this pretty thing!
Messing about with luggage carts and tiny purses.

Diet Cherry Limeade. I wish Rochester had Sonic!
So, that was my trip in a nutshell. There are several more photos from the Civil War sites we saw in Franklin, but I'll post those next week.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Writer's Paradise

What's a writer's paradise? More writers! :) As Anne's post mentioned yesterday, we just returned from the American Christian Fiction Writer's conference in Nashville, TN!

But there was a major highlight for me....

Celebrating my 40th birthday with my writing sisters!

Myself and my love, Laurie Tomlinson - my bebe! <3

Kara Isaac, my New Zealand sister, whose wit and love keep me normal (or try to)

Three of my amazing "writing" sisters, but why qualify them as such?
They ARE my sisters! Laurie, Anne, and Kara
(missing: Halee and Sarah who weren't able to attend)

I had my first taste of fried green tomatoes. I will never be the same again. YUM!

My birthday blueberry "pie" with lemon curd and hand-churned ice cream.

 
Seven years ago, God brought Anne and Kara into my life through ACFW. I've never had a sister, and always prayed for one. I've had close friends, even best friends, but they all seem to fade with time and distance and never really stick. That feeling that I heard of where a sister just "gets you", that you can "be yourself" with them, that you can "say anything, do anything, be anything" and they still love you? That fast became Kara and Anne to me. Sisters of my heart, swiftly followed by a "chance" introduction to Laurie from Kara who may not have intended us all to bond so naturally, but we did. Halee and Sarah were soon to follow and finally, we were together. My sisters. Who fit every qualification and definition I've ever read about sisters. 

When I was little and prayed for a sister, I didn't know I'd have to wait soooo very long. But everything is worth the wait, and who knew that the Lord would bless me with FIVE.

Do you have sisters?

_________________________________________________________



Jaime Jo WrightProfessional coffee drinker Jaime Jo Wright resides in the hills of Wisconsin writing spirited turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Coffee fuels her snarky personality. She lives in Neverland with her Cap’n Hook who stole her heart and will not give it back, their little fairy TinkerBell, and a very mischievous Peter Pan. The foursome embark on scores of adventure that only make her fall more wildly in love with romance and intrigue.

Jaime lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures at jaimejowright.com.


Periscope: @jaimejowright


Monday, August 29, 2016

My Top 3 ACFW Highlights

Winners of e-copies for last week's "Lady and the Lionheart": Stefanie Harten, Kristine Klein, & Brenda Murphree! Congrats!

Anne here. Of course you all know that the four of us "coffee cups girls" have just arrived home from our annual fiction writing conference and dumped our suitcases in a heap in order to hug and snuggle with our families.

As usual, it's been an amazing fun time with highlights that are unique for each of us.

It's with bleary eyes, a weary body, and a full heart that I give you my top three highlights:

1. Community. Writing is solitary and secluded. It's a profession that requires quiet muse, coffee shop hubbub, earbuds and your favorite writing playlist that shuts out the real world so you can get to that sweet spot where your real life finds you working out your faith on the page of story. That solitary place needs to be well-connected with real life and community. Knowing I'll get to connect with dear friends who've become my sisters, and meet new faces that need that boost of encouragement--it's the bomb! And coming home, to sit around my mom's kitchen table with my family to share my conference stories and listen to the life that happens there--it's priceless. Arriving home to hear my daughter read aloud a poem she'd written about the kitchen table where our stories sink into the wood grain to be kept forever there--filled my cup to a perfect overflowing!





2. Divine Appointments. Every year at ACFW I ask God to set me up with some divine appointments. And I don't mean with editors or agents, or business industry top hobnobs. I mean the average Jenny or Joe. God never disappoints. Of course sometimes it might turn out to be a top industry expert--who is a REAL person too! Being able to speak into a quiet moment of someone's self-doubt, overwhelmed heart, thoughts of chaos and confusion--is a perfect privilege in a world where most people never look down or into the eyes of the person beside them.

3. The God-Whisper. Somehow at conference, it never fails. I'm away from home and daily commitments that keep me busy--and I hear that God-whisper into my spirit in profound way. There, I'm often stripped of my usual self-confidence in a way that awakens the knowing in me for how much I am in need of the Father's voice. Ted Dekker's talk reminded me to let my eyes be opened, to see life's storms from Jesus's perspective, to "walk on the water" by finding a new way of looking at my world through His eyes.

The view from our room: do you see storm or sunshine?

Father God--give me your perspective!

There are many many more special moments and reasons I love ACFW, but I have to leave room for my other coffee cup girls (AKA--amazing women!)--to share theirs too this week!

-------------
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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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Away at ACFW

Gabrielle Here:

As you read this, I'll be attending the 2016 ACFW Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. It will be my first trip to Nashville, but my fifth time attending the conference. There will be much laughter, hugs, and some tears of joy (especially when we cheer Erica onto the stage for her Carol Award!).

It's a highlight of my year and a time of refreshment, perspective, and growth. I always walk away from ACFW with something to ponder for the rest of the year. There are planned meetings, unexpected encounters, and moments of silence to soak it all in. The worship time is phenomenal, the food is always delicious, and the conversation fills me up for weeks to come.

My very first pitch appointment was captured in a candid
shot by a photographer at the 2012 ACFW Conference.
Here I am pitching to Becky Monds of Thomas Nelson.
When I return from Nashville, I will have one day at home and then I'll turn around and go back to the airport to pick up two of my dearest writer friends, Lindsay Harrel and Alena Tauriainen. They are coming to my house for five days to attend the release party for my first novel on Thursday, September 1st. Melissa Tagg will join us and then we'll spend the weekend brainstorming stories, visiting, relaxing, and seeing the local sights.

It's going to be a whirlwind two weeks, but I couldn't imagine it any other way!

If you think about it, would you say a prayer for all of us here at Coffee Cups & Camisoles while we're at ACFW? It can be a stressful time and hard to be away from our families back home. We'd love to pray for you, as well. If you have any prayer requests that you're willing to share publically, please do so in the comments.

Greetings from Nashville!

Gabrielle Meyer
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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

When Life Changes Quickly


Erica Here


Some of you might have noticed that I have been absent from the blog for the past couple of weeks. Many thanks to the CC&C girls for picking up my slack.

Here's the thing:

Life changes so quickly sometimes. Three weeks ago, my husband had abdominal pain. We headed to the doctor, and he sent us to the ER.

And everything changed.

What we thought was appendicitis was actually a tumor.

Sarcoma. Cancer. Tumor. Oncologist. Surgery. Chemotherapy.

Trust me. In that few moments, everything changed.

Two weeks later, Peter was having surgery at the Mayo Clinic.

And he began his journey as a cancer survivor.

We have asked for prayer for peace and comfort, and that we will be salt and light for those we meet on this journey. And we are praising God that the surgeons were able to remove the entire tumor. We are thankful to live where we do, and to have The Mayo Clinic as our local medical center. We are so thankful for our friends and family for all their support.

I ask for your prayers as we take this new path. And I ask that you treasure your loved ones, remember that we are not promised tomorrow, and thank God for something every day.

Because that's what I'm doing!


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

#ACFW2016 Bound and 40 Years

This will be me tomorrow! Kissing my coffee mug and chasing down the drivethru (which doesn't take much chasing cause it's stationary :P ) to get my celebratory birthday drink.

You see, tomorrow two AMAZING things happen!

1. I depart for Nashville, Tennessee for the ACFW conference! Anne posted on this yesterday, but it's the entire conglomeration of everyone writerly in the Inspirational fiction market.

I love this conference. It's filled with people who are extensions of my immediate family. Filled with writer-sisters. And pressure--lots of pressure! :)

We'll be pitching to editors and hoping our books sound interesting. I'll be teaching a workshop to 100+ guests (so excited!). And networking, lots of networking! (which is the fun part).

2. Tomorrow I turn FORTY! I'm so excited. Partially because Peter Pan is 4 and he has been quite thrilled to realize that I'll be 4-ty too! Also because I love birthdays. I'm such a kid at birthdays it's not even funny. Confetti and balloons are never too much for me, and really, I'm not all stuck on myself, it's just the fun I'm stuck on. I think forty is going to be an amazing decade. I don't have any of the proverbial angst, and while I will be wearing a black cardigan tomorrow, it's because I hate the A/C blowing on me in the car, not because I'm embracing my inevitable death. Not to mention, who cares if I'm over the hill? It's just a downward slope toward Jesus now, and what's so awful about that?!

So tomorrow holds much of my heart. I will appreciate prayers for the one pang in the day: leaving my family. Cap'n Hook will manage, but I already have an emotional little Tinkerbell whose fairy dust has run out and been replaced by welling tears in her big baby blues. Peter Pan is oblivious--for now. He will not be a fan tomorrow night when Mommy isn't there to sing him Mary Poppins "Feed the Birds" in the dark at bedtime while stroking back his hair and lulling him to sleep. Sigh.

Regardless: TOMORROW TOMORROW, I LOVE YA TOMORROW!

And DON'T MISS OUT ON THIS TRIP!!! I'll be posting an insane amount of Live videos and pictures at my Facebook page, and I'd love love love for you to join me there!

What trips and year activities do you look forward to?

_________________________________________________________



Jaime Jo WrightProfessional coffee drinker Jaime Jo Wright resides in the hills of Wisconsin writing spirited turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Coffee fuels her snarky personality. She lives in Neverland with her Cap’n Hook who stole her heart and will not give it back, their little fairy TinkerBell, and a very mischievous Peter Pan. The foursome embark on scores of adventure that only make her fall more wildly in love with romance and intrigue.

Jaime lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures at jaimejowright.com.


Periscope: @jaimejowright