Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

This is the last day of 2010. At midnight we enter a new year and new hopes. My wish is for all of you to have the best year ever in 2011. It's going to be hard to write those numbers.

There are several things I am looking forward to in 2011. I'll be able to walk without too much pain. At times my left knee hurts, but the doctor tells me it will take six months to heal. I can do that. The pain isn't nearly as bad as before surgery.

2011 will start with a new right knee. I look forward to going to the beach this summer and playing in the sand with the grandkids. I am also looking forward to having flowers in my yard.

My writing is going well and I am excited about finding an agent this year. This has been a long journey for me, but I think it is coming about.

My family is well and healthy. So far no broken bones. We had a good Christmas with everyone. I'm looking forward to connecting more with my cousins that I don't know, some I have never met. I guess we are a dysfunctional family. I am now connected with most of them and I'm having fun getting to know them.

I wish  the best for all of you this coming year.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

We have had a very busy year this year. It started in January when my husband had cataract surgery and then three weeks later, I had cataract surgery. The best part is that I only have to wear glasses for reading. I had worn them for years and it is so good not to have to now, but I still try to push them up on my face and take them off when I dress. That part is getting better.

In May through July, we moved completely from Tennessee. Part of the farm was sold and that has taken some stress off us. We still have the house and about sixteen acres to sell. We are praying that it will come about this year.

My husband usually has a big garden. He planted, but we didn't get much rain. Everyone has told us this has been an exceptionally dry year. I hope so. We didn't want to move to the desert. The corn came in and my daughter-in-law and I froze plenty of corn.

In August, we received a call from our daughter at church camp. She had broken her leg. She was swinging across a creek on a rope, jumped too soon, and broke her leg just above her ankle. There were several trips back and forth to Nashville and I stayed about two weeks for her, shuttling her daughter back and forth to Goodpasture Christian School. It was good to be with her, but not for that reason. She is doing well now and has a slight limp.

As the summer progressed, the pain in my knees did also. Finally I found a highly recommended doctor. He turned out to be wonderful, but he was so booked that I had to wait until the last of September to have my left knee replaced. It has been wonderful and the right knee is scheduled for January. My writing did take a hit during the recovery. I could not sit. My normal writing place, in my office, was not comfortable.

While I was in the hospital, my daughter called to tell me we had lost a great friend. Sharon Prichard was not only a good friend, but a wonderful Christian. She was a lady in every way. She fought a brave battle with Multiple Myeloma for almost ten ten years. Heaven is brighter today. We pray for her husband Bob and her children, Melissa, Jennifer, and Nathan during this season without her.

It's taken a while to recover from the knee replacement, but the surgery was worth it. Our son lives six miles from us and we see the grandchildren often. I couldn't get them to spend the night with us tonight. I tried, but they wouldn't do it. After the next surgery, I will be able to have a full and busy summer.

My husband has taken up fishing. A few days after my surgery, he asked if he could have a "leave of absence." He had been so good to take care of me and my house is easy to negotiate. He and his fishing buddy fish two or three times a week when it's warm. Neither of them are cold weather fishermen.

My writing is coming along nicely. I have started my second book and I've just gotten the edit on the first one back. Monday I start in earnest correcting it. I am still excited about it.

Several people who have helped me along my journey are: Sandi Rog, who is battling T-Cell Lymphoma right now; Susan Page Davis and Sandra Robbins, we try to spend one day a month together and they have turned into my good buddies; my encourager, Brooke Cox; and my wonderful friend Lyn Williams. You guys rock and I love all of you so much. Most of all, my husband, Jerry. He asks me each day how much I have written.

So from my family, Jerry, Diane, Ron, Savannah, Larry, Oma, Chet, Josie, Graysoon, and myself, may this be the best Christmas ever!!! Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

No Post Friday

Friday came and went with a flurry of excitement. Christmas is always exciting for me. Don't remember what I did much on Friday, but clean the bathroom. Now that's about as exciting as you can get!

I remember what it was now. School plays. We had two to go to. One at 9 a.m. that our youngest grandson was in and then one at 2 p.m. that his two older siblings were in. They were so cute. The programs were excellent and the director always does a good job.

When we returned home, after going to the grocery store, we were worn out. I had not sat on bleachers since last year and they make your back hurt. We did get to visit with friends at the school. It was a good day.

Not much decorating has been done this year. I won't have much to put away after Christmas. The presents are wrapped, except one. I need to finish with it today and wrap it up before a grandchild comes over.

The past year has brought about several changes. My husband and I both had cataract surgery the first of 2010. I've adjusted to not wearing glasses. I had worn them since I was ten years old and that has been a big adjustment. I'm still working on it. Then my knee surgery in September has been another adjustment.

We have made wonderful friends both in the community and at church. Even with the hot summer weather, it was a good year. I look forward to more interesting things happening in 2011.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wounded Spirit by April Gardner

A new book was released this month and it is a very good read. There is a lot of history, which I love, and a lot of information about the Creek Indians. Here is an interview with April.

AG: Hi Katt! I’m waving at you from Nashville!
KA: Since you are a new author, tell us a little about yourself.
AG:I’m a musician (very mediocre!), a home school mom, and a lover of all things “travel.” So far, my favorite destination has been Ireland.
KA: April, I enjoyed the history in your book. How did you learn about the McGirth family?
AG: Research into my family history led me to their story. I remember I was on a trans-Atlantic flight, going home (from Germany) to my sister’s wedding when I came across the McGirth’s story in Griffith’s McIntosh and Weatherford. From the moment I read of their struggles, I knew it had to be put into a novel. I’d never written before, but thought I may as well try!

KA: Having been born and raised in Tennessee, I knew of Andrew Jackson’s hate of the Indians. Was it difficult to show the gradual turn of events to Adela’s love of Totka?
AG: Yes, it was! One of the most difficult parts was creating balance in the story. There was so much hate toward the Muscogee during that time. The massacre was a horrible event, but the Creek really did believe in their cause and they also had good reason to be angry. Adela is simply a character who understands that. She somehow manages to see the Creek side of things.
KA: I was fascinated by the battle scene at the fort. Was it hard for you to reconstruct that battle?
AG: Actually, no. There were enough survivors to pen down the day’s events with accuracy, so history books are chock full of details. Minus the terror, I feel like I was actually there.
KA: Do you plan to write other books about Indians?
AG: I’m working on the sequel, Warring Spirits. Although it won’t be as historically driven, it still deals with the Creek and their attempt to regain their footing after the war.
KA: Where do you write, an office, a bedroom, a dining room?
AG: I love to write in bed with my netbook. This time of year—under my electric blanket!
KA: What brought you to writing?
AG: This story actually. I wanted to see it in a story, so I figured I’d better write it.
KA: What are you wearing now?
AG: My sock monkey flannel pajamas. J
KA: What is the best moment you have experienced during your writing career?
AG: Last week’s Amazon Launch of Wounded Spirits!! What an amazing turn-out. By mid-day, the book hit #1 in Christian fiction. It’s now a best-seller!
KA: What do you find the most difficult thing in writing?
AG: Finding the time. There just isn’t enough in a day.
KA: Is your next book finished? If so, when will it be published?
AG: Answered above.
KA: Thank you so much April for taking time out of your schedule to answer these questions. I look forward to reading more of your books in the future and I know my reader’s will enjoy this book.

AG: Thank you for having me!! I love to hear from my readers at Can I put in a plug for Clash of the Titles? Readers, you’ll love this new literary site. Authors compete with excerpts from their books, and you judge! Voting takes place every Monday and Tuesday and there’s always a chance to win a book, so make sure you check it out!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thanks for Your Input

The response from the questions I asked was encouraging. I enjoyed reading all of them. If you haven't seen them, you should. They tell us something about several authors.

Writing can be lonely. My husband thinks when I go to my office, I automatically get in writer's mode. It's not that easy sometimes. I spend the first part of my morning checking emails. Then on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday's, I write this blog. After that I am pretty much in writing mode.

My afternoons are spent in house work. I do put laundry in while I write. It more or less does itself until it dries, then I have to stop and fold. Our modern appliances are good for writers. We can cook a meal, do the dishes, do laundry, and never leave the desk.

Since I am here in my office and my husband is sure I am writing, I'd better get started. Wednesday I will be interviewing April Gardner about her book, Wounded Spirits. Please stop by then.

Friday, December 10, 2010

More Questions

Wednesday's questions opened my inquisitive mind to more questions. Thank you so much all of you who answered. It was fun to read what everyone said. If you haven't read them yet, please do so.

During the five years I have been writing, I have had to stop for a while. Life gets in the way a lot of time. My mother had several falls and I spent time in the hospital and nursing home with her. Then she passed away and I was so tired after staying up with her and looking after her. I was exhausted. Then we moved. I never realized how hard it would be for me to move. My husband had cataract surgery on both eyes. After that I had cataract surgery on both eyes. Now I have had one knee replaced and the other will be replaced next month. All of this has made me get in a slump. I am happy to say I am out of that slump. I made up my mind I was going to write and get down to it. My whole attitude on life has changed since then.

1. What do you do when you get in a slump or a writer's block? Do you go back to your notes, walk away for a few minutes, or sit at the computer and fume?
2. Do you write a synopsis or are you a seat of the pants writer?
3. Do you write for multiple publishers or do you write for one?
4. Can you picture yourself doing anything but writing?

1. You read about my slump above. I think it was more depression than anything. When I have a block, I walk away from the computer for a while. I can always do laundry, straighten up the house, or something and then go back to it and I'm refreshed and my thoughts are clearer. Reading my research notes helps also.
2. I do an outline and I'm also a seat of the pants. Right now I am doing both. I have an outline and then I find I don't go by it, so I seat of the pants a while.
3. I'm not published, but I have thought of it. I know several authors who have multiple publishers and some who only publish for one name. Right now, I want to get published. I'll cross the other bridge when I get to it.
4. I cannot picture myself not writing, but I can picture myself doing other things and writing. I love to quilt and I need to scrapbook. I love to read also. Writing come first.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Writer's Questions

Each of us is a unique person. I wouldn't want it any other way. We are also inquisitive, so here goes a few questions I would like to ask writers.

1. When is your best time to write?
2. Do you have a designated place or just plop down anywhere?
3. Do you dress or wear pj's?
4. Do you try to write a set number of words, chapters, or hours?
5. How long have you been writing?
6, How many books do you have published?

I will give you my answers to these questions.
1. The best time for me to write is in the mornings. I'm dead after 12 noon.
2. I do have a designated place to write. I have an office of sorts in a spare bedroom. When I had surgery I wrote, what little I wrote, in a recliner with my laptop on my right knee. Next month, my right knee will be operated on, so I don't know what I'm going to do.
3. I fully dress. I have jeans and a knit top on right now. I can't work in pj's.
4. I try to write a set number of words. I used to write 2,000 per day, but since I've been out of the habit, I'm down to 1,500 a day. I am gradually writing more.
5. I have been writing for about five years. Not all the time. I took a few breathers when my mother was sick and died, when we had surgery, and when we moved.
6. My answer to this is 0. I've not given up. I'm still trying and writing. I am a determined person and I am going to be published.

Monday, December 6, 2010

More Than Words

This is the second book in Judith Miller's Daughters of Amana series. The first book was very good and I enjoyed this one also.

In More Than Words, I saw more of the sheltered lives these people live. How a young girl is influenced by a worldly man and how her head can be turned. The protectiveness of the Amana Colony is heart warming, but do they take it a little too far?

Let me correct myself. I do enjoy reading the cultures of different religious sects. These are very sincere people and I think mostly because they are not influenced by the outside world. Maybe we could take a lesson from them.

The blurb reads:

Gretchen Kohler can't help but dream of a life beyond tending her father's general store and keeping an eye on her younger brother and senile grandmother. She enjoys creative writing and believes she has a talent for it, but her traditional Amana village frowns upon artistic pursuits of that sort. So Gretchen confines her stories and poems to her journals, letting only close friends read them.

When a young reporter comes into her store and strikes up a conversation, she believes she's found a kindred spirit. Soon, she shares some of her stories with him--only to have her trust betrayed in the worst of ways. Will Gretchen lose her job, her reputation, and the love of her childhood beau all because of one unfortunate decision?

Judith tells a wonderful story of someone being taken advantage of and the heartbreaking results of what she did. I enjoyed the book very much and look forward to reading more of her stories.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Writing Again

Since my knee replacement, I've had a hard time getting back to writing. I've edited and joined several groups to write so much in a month. I missed all my goals to write a certain amount in a month. I have to get out of this vicious circle.

December 1, I decided I was going to write 1,500 words a day. So far, I have exceeded that amount and I'm happy. I want to get most of this book finished this month. With surgery coming next month, I know I won't be able to write for a while.

It will be difficult to write in the recliner this time. I usually lay my computer on my right leg and I'm close to a table that holds my mouse and other junk. I'm right handed and my table is on the right side of the chair. With this being my right knee, I don't think I can do that. The incision will be above my knee cap and right where my computer hits it.

If I sit any other way, I'll have to move all the furniture in the family room. I don't want to do that. So, I will have to work something else out.

The new book, that I call Susannah's Hope, is coming along nicely. The words seem to come to me better than they ever have and I'm pleased to be able to write my goal each day.

I need to get my goal accomplished today and get ready for my granddaughter to come spend the night. I think we'll bake cookies tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New Winner of The Master's Wall

The original winner of The Master's Wall never contacted me, so we have a new winner. The new winner of the Master's Wall is...Kathleen Maher. Kathleen, send me your address and I will contact DeWard Publishing to send your book. Congratulations, I know you will be encouraged to read this book.

Sandi is in the hospital now and receiving chemo. Please pray for her during this time.

This blog is going to be a lot of this and that. Not much is happening except getting ready for the Holidays. I usually don't decorate before the tenth of December. That's what my mother did, and I guess I'm following in her footsteps. It seemed it was a tradition growing up to decorate on December 10.

Our Thanksgiving was wonderful. Our son-in-law is overseeing the building of a Boy Scout Camp in Middle Tennessee. Some of the cabins are finished. We left Wednesday afternoon for our five hour trip to the camp. It is very secluded and beautiful. We went to church in Sparta, Tennessee on Wednesday night and visited with the preacher for a few minutes. He grew up where we attend church now. It was a good visit.

Never try to find a secluded area at night! We tried and got lost. Finally we arrived at the road leading to the camp and my wonderful son-in-law was there to guide us in. It was several miles off the road to the camp and most of the land was camp owned.

We arrived at our cabin. Before I could get out of the car, granddaughter #2 came running out and exclaimed, "This is not a cabin." It was more like a luxury hotel. Not the cabin she was used to at church camp. We had private bedrooms and private baths. There was a complete kitchen, television, laundry, and anything else you might want. It was quiet, so quiet.

Thursday, the rest of our extended family arrived. Our son and family and come with us and our daughter and granddaughter #1 was already there. That left the extended family of my son-in-law. They drifted in through the day. We had seen some of them when there had been a death in the family, but we had not seen most of them in some time. Little girls had turned into beautiful young women. It was wonderful. We visited, caught up on each other, laughed, and had a great time. I almost forgot, we ate! I'm looking forward to doing this again.