Breathe

For the past four years, instead of making New Year resolutions, I’ve been choosing a word of focus. Previous year words have included INSPIRE, BELIEVE, and TRUST.

My 2019 word is BREATHE. I chose this word because I have a tendency to stress about things that I don’t have control over. When in reality, what I should do is stop, breathe, and pray.

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Photo by Nine Köpfer on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

 

Renewed

I’ve spent the last few days trying to come up with a title for this post. Something that could convey my feelings after attending the 2018 ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference in Nashville, TN, this past weekend. This morning, as I was driving to work, the perfect word came to mind…Renewed. 

After four days with my writing peeps, I have a renewed sense of purpose. I am energized and motivated, and I am ready to continue climbing the mountains that litter the path on my journey to publication.

 

Keynote Speaker Debbie Macomber
My sweet friend, author Dana R Lynn
My dear friend, author Tina Radcliffe – ACFW Mentor of the Year

I have no way of knowing how much longer it will be before I reach my goal of a first sale. The journey won’t be easy. I’m sure I’ll continue to make mistakes along the way, and sometimes, I’ll fall short of my goals. That’s okay, as long as I keep going and don’t give up.

I just need to remember to take time to relax and enjoy new adventures. 

We stayed at the beautiful Gaylord Opryland Resort.
We ate delicious food.
This was really good but it had an unexpected ‘kick’ of cayenne pepper.

I also need to remember I’m not alone in this journey. I’m surrounded by writing friends who encourage me and help me continue when the going gets tough. 

I am blessed with a wonderful group of writing sisters and friends. (L-R Sharee Stover, Tina Radcliffe, Patti Jo Moore, Cindy Regnier, me)

I am blessed! I am Renewed! 

Life’s Not About “Finding” the Time…It’s About “Making” the Time…

Have you ever planned to do something only to get busy with life and before you know it months (maybe even years) have passed and you still hadn’t done that important thing you meant to “find time” for?

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Photo by Jiyeon Park on Unsplash

Prioritize the things that are important and make the time for them. Make time to play catch with your son. Make time to have a tea party with your daughter. Make time to visit aging parents and grandparents. Make time to travel. Make time to chase your dream (whether it be writing a novel or hiking the Appalachian Trail from end to end). Right now. Before time gets away from you.

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Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

 

Detours and Delays Along the Road to Publication

Five years ago this month, I made the decision to write a book and pursue my thirty plus year dream of becoming a published author. The decision was made after I stumbled upon a writing contest being hosted by my dream publisher. After telling my Mountain Man about the contest, he encouraged me to finally stop talking about writing a book “one day” and just do it. So, I did.

I wish I could say the road has been smooth and that I’ve reached my end goal of a writing contract, but I can’t. You see, the road has been full of detours and delays with some rocky trails along the way. In addition to being an aspiring author, I’m also a full-time middle school teacher, daughter, wife, mom, and grandmother.

You might be wondering what I’ve accomplished in five years. Well, I’ve written three complete manuscripts. Two of which went through multiple rounds of revisions with the editor before being rejected. The last rejection was received just last month.

Where do I go from here? Well, if I still hope to see my name on the cover of a book on a bookstore shelf, I only have one option. And that is to keep trying until I receive “the call” from an editor offering me a publishing contract. And even then it won’t be the end of my journey. It will simply be a new road.

Memories of Momma

I dreamed of Momma last night. She passed away in 2010 after a hard fought battle with cancer. Even after seven years, there’s hardly a day that goes by without me thinking of her, but it’s been a while since I dreamed of her.

Most Saturday mornings you can find me and my Mountain Man at the local restaurant having breakfast. I generally eat a western omelet or pork tenderloin and eggs. Not this morning though. This morning, I was craving my sweet momma’s cooking. My momma could cook some of the best meals and desserts around…fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, biscuits, cornbread, banana pudding, German Chocolate cake…the list could go on and on of the things I miss that my momma could cook better than anyone else.

So, what did I have this morning that transported me back to Momma’s kitchen?

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I was craving my momma’s bologna gravy. Since it’s not on the menu at the restaurant, I ordered the bologna breakfast plate (two eggs, bologna, gravy, and biscuit) and assembled the gravy myself.

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Bologna Gravy

Momma was born in the 1940s not many years after the Great Depression. She was one of nine kids (one died in infancy), so my Memaw had a lot of mouths to feed on very little money. One way of doing this was to fry up some bologna, cut it into small pieces, mix it into some white gravy, and serve it over biscuits.

The bologna gravy this morning wasn’t quite the same as hers, but it was good enough to bring me sweet memories of Momma. Oh, how I miss her!!