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Preview: Portrait of a Writer... Interrupted

Portrait of a Writer...Interrupted has Moved!

Join me at my new home Defying Gravity by clicking one of the links below!

Updated: 2016-10-25T08:49:18.513-05:00




I'm over at now! Encouraging others to take that leap of faith toward their dreams!

Life Redefined
New beginnings. That’s where I’m at in my life and career. I’m rethinking the old and realizing the past does not define who I am. All my past failures, mistakes, mishaps don’t matter. They’re in the past. All I have is now, and what I do NOW will determine my future. So I choose to disappear my past, start over from nothing, and embrace the possibilities in my life and career. I invite you to do the same and see the difference starting NOW can make in your life.
You have a dream to write. Maybe it’s lost or broken. Maybe your heart is weary or you feel inadequate. Maybe the spark has gone out. I’m here to tell you none of that matters. Your dream is not in the past. It is now. And within the pages of this website and through my blogs and classes I commit to providing you with a safe place to learn and grow and create… and find your voice. I commit to inspiring you to move closer to your dream and to ignite the passion inside of you so you can tell your story. I commit to walk alongside you on this journey as you create the life you want and stories of your dreams.
Dreams become realities when we commit to moving forward, not looking back!
If I can encourage you in your writing and life, please contact me at gina (at) ginaconroy (dot) com. And if you’d like to know when I have a new class available or want information on what I have to offer, sign up for my newsletter. 
I’m not allowing my past or the detours in life to deter me from my final destination. Will you?



Please Voice Your Opinion HERE!


I'm taking a pole. Currently I'm blogging at using Wordpress, but I've been toying with coming back here for the following reasons:

Blogger seems to be this tight knit community with lots of writers who can link and find each other easily.

I'd like your opinions if you found your way here:

1. Are you on Blogger (blogspot...)?
2. If so, are most of the blogs you read on Blogger?
3. If so, why?
4. If you find a blog that you like that's not on Blogger, how do you subscribe?

That's all, and if you'd like to visit again, please drop by my current blog.



I've Moved and I love my new home.

My Web Page

Are You Still Lurking?


Just curious if everyone who visits here is linking over to then new site. PLEASE leave me a comment THERE so I know you're still with me... The comment process is SOOO much easier, once you sign in!

New Site Under Construction


My blog is in the process of moving to

Please excuse the mess while we are constructing the new site! But you will find my new posts over there, so please bookmark, blogline, or do whatever you have to do to follow me to my new home!

Interview: Margaret Daley


Margaret Daley has been writing for twenty-five years and loves to tell stories. When she's not writing, or teaching, she loves to read, travel and go to lunch and a movie with a friend.Magaret is a gifted teacher and mentor, and I'm proud to call her my friend. Welcome!Tell us a little about your family and your call to write.I have a husband and one son who now has his own family. He has two adorable stepdaughters and is expecting his first child this summer. It is great being a grandmother.I didn’t start out planning to be a writer. I went to school to be a teacher. I teach high school students with learning disabilities English. Writing just sort of happened. I’ve always loved to weave stories. I used to as a child playing with my dolls. Then one day I thought I would try writing one of those stories down on paper. Ever since that day I’ve been writing. When I think about where my books come from, I can’t really say. They just happen. I think it’s a God thing. The whole process amazes me at times.Tell me a about your recent contracts and up coming releases.I signed a three-book contract at the end of August, and then in November I was offered the third book in a Love Inspired Suspense continuity series. I will be busy for the next six months completing those contracts. I have finished the first book on the three-book contract. It will be out in October 2007 and is called Buried Secrets. It is a Love Inspired Suspense. Right now I’m working on my second book called Heart of a Family, the second one in my Fostering by Love series for Love Inspired. The first one will be out this April called Once Upon a Family.When and how did you get your first “writing break.”I went to a conference where an editor wanted to see my work. I sent it to her. She didn’t buy the book, but she recommended me to my first agent. Not long after that I sold my first book to Silhouette Romance in 1981.What do you write and why this genre?I write inspirational romances and romantic suspense books. I think love is what makes the world go around. At the heart of all great stories is usually a love story. I write romantic suspense because my favorite books to read are adventures and suspense books. They are exhausting to plot and difficult to write, but they are my favorite stories to write. What do you hope to accomplish through your novels?To entertain and share my faithDo you think it’s possible to give yourself fully to raising children, writing, working full time, and keeping in shape?No, something usually has to give. While raising my son, I worked full time as a teacher and a writer. Not easy to do. And in the middle of all that trying to keep in shape is very difficult to do. There isn’t enough time in the day to do all I need and want to do. I try not to be too hard on myself when I can’t get something done the way I want, but I’m not always successful in accomplishing that.How do you balance being a mom, wife, and writer?Sometimes not well. There are times I feel pulled in too many directions because I want to do everything and do it well.How do you position yourself to HEAR God’s voice when all the noises of life are swirling around you?I try to have some quiet time with God. I often prayer when I first wake up while I’m still lying in bed. What I am afraid of is that I will miss something important that He is saying to me. But then if it is important, He’ll repeat it until I hear.If you do feel your priorities slipping, what do you do to get back on track?I try to slow down (take a day off) and take a deep breath.Has there ever been a time God told you to set aside your writing to focus on other areas of your life? If so, how did you handle that?I had a long dry spell and during that time I went back to school and got my masters. I didn’t sell and I didn’t write as much as I did before. I didn’t give up on writing. I just put it on the bac[...]

Bringing Up Boys


My mom is in town so I don't have time for a thoughtful post on this Sunday. But check out this link, especially if you have boys!

Playing House


Grace got a new Belle and baby Belle doll today and while playing I heard this:

Grace as the Prince: Okay, Ariel and Belle. I will choose who I will marry, and then I'll get to see you butt naked. I choose you, Belle.

Grace as Belle: Oh, I knew you would choose me. And now you can see me butt naked!

I guess Grace has been getting the messages about it being okay to be naked when you're married. I guess that will make having The Talk easier on all of us. In fact, that reminds me about the first TALK I ever had with my oldest. I'll be posting on that tomorrow.

What I've Learned While NOT Writing


Portrait of Writing, FaithTen months ago I placed my writing on the altar, realizing that publication had consumed my life and my writing had become an idol. Giving up writing was one of the most painful things I've had to do, but I embarked on this not writing journey, without knowing the path God would lead me down.It's only been about two months since I dusted off my WIP, but looking back on it now it was the best thing for me and my writing. No longer am I obsessed to work on my WIPs. I used to spend most of my evening and well into the night, plus many weekends writing. But the draw to write, the addiction so to speak has been lifted. I still love my writing time, but it's been put in it's place, mostly on the weekends. Now when I do get to write, I am truly thankful for the time. It's a feeling of "Yeah, I get to write" Instead of "" withdrawal feeling.Leaving my critique group had its benefits as well, though at the time it was heart wrentching. It was so hard for me to keep up with critiquing and writing. During the week critiquing had taken the place of my family responsibilities like putting the kids to bed. When I gave up writing, I had to give up critiquing as well and that freed me up to be with family.I also realized that not having critique partners for these many months has really helped my writing. Many of my numerous, well meaning partners often edited my voice out and in my own desperation to learn, and be published, I listened to everyone's advice, changing everything they suggested until I didn't recognize my own writing. I'm happy to say I'm finding my voice again, and I like the way I sound.Not writing has given me a peace about publication. My anxiety to publish is gone. No more worries about everything being perfect. I now have a peace about God's timing in my writing career, and I look forward to the times I get to write, instead of obsessioning over having to write all the time! The true test of this came when a writing friend of mine recently received a contract. I waited for the green-eyed monster to rear its ugly head, but it didn't. I was genuinely happy!Even though I gave up writing, I've probaby written just as many words as I did while working on my WIPs. Not writing opened the door for a new obsession. Blogging. After many months of pounding the keys and posting, trying to keep up with the Jones' of bloggville, I've gotten back to the heart of blogging. Writer...Interrupted was started out of my own need to connect with other writing moms who don't have the time to write. It has grown into something bigger than myself. It's exciting to see where God will take all this, and to know I am not equipped to do it on my own.Not writing has made me a better mom and homeschooler. I no longer look at my kids as interruptions to my writing life, but blessings that should be enjoyed to the fullest, now! I used to push my children away when I wrote, annoyed that they interrupted me. Now I push the key board away (after I've finished a thought, of course) and invite my four-year-old up on my lap to watch me type.So I guess giving up writing helped me become a better writer, mother, and follower of Christ. I still have my challenges, and always will, but whether or not I ever get published, one thing I do know is that writing is something I will always do. Yet, if it ever becomes an obsession again, I know what I'll have to do! For the rest of the Carnival of Christian Writers be sure to visit to Writer...Interrupted.[...]

Carnival of Christian Writer Submissions



The Carnival is just around the corner and we need YOUR WRITING Submissions. Go here for the guidelines and submission forms. The submission deadline is Saturday the 27th.

Author Interview: Christy Barritt


Christy Barrit is a speaker and freelance writer. The author of many books and articles, she is also worship leader at her chruch. Christy lives in Virginia with her husband and son. Welcome Christy!Tell us a little about your family and your call to write.I’ve been married to my wonderful husband for six years. This past June, our first baby was born—Eli Samuel. He’s been a real blessing, and by far my best “creation” yet. I started writing seriously about the time my husband and I got married. Though I love writing books, I realized that I also needed some stability in my income, so I began freelancing for various publications. Today, I have over 300 articles published, four books already out and two books slated for future publication.I really enjoyed your recent release, Hazardous Duty. Tell us about it and the next books in the series.Hazardous Duty a cozy chick-lit about a crime scene cleaner who likes to stick her nose into police business. The heroine, Gabby St. Claire, is sassy and determined. She wants to be a forensic pathologist, but was sidelined by family issues while in college. That’s what led her to crime scene cleaning. She finds a clue that the police missed while cleaning a senatorial candidate’s house after his wife has died. It then becomes a race to find the bad guy before the bad guy silences her forever. She has the help of two handsome men along the way.The second book, The Grim Sweeper, continues following Gabby St. Claire’s journey. This time she’s taken on a mold remediation job since crime has been slow in the city. While under a house, she finds Elvis—dead. The rest of the story goes from there.I just loved the first book and can't wait until the second!How did you get your first “writing break?”After college I worked at a Christian publishing house. This has really helped me in my freelancing career. After I left the company, I continued to write for them, mostly doing interviews with Christian music artists. An editor at the publishing house wanted to do a book project centering on Christian music. Several people recommended me for the project. He sent me a book proposal (a dream come true!) and I accepted. That was my first big book contract.What do you write and why this genre?I love writing chick-lit mystery/suspense. I love to style of chick-lit—the confessional, first-person tone. I really feel like I found my voice when I started writing in first-person. But I also love mystery and suspense. So I combined the two genres. I like to call it “genre fusion.”What do you hope to accomplish through your novels?I always feel a little shallow when I say this, but really I want to entertain my readers. That’s why I read—I want to be sucked into another world, into another person’s life. So, first and foremost, I want to tell a good story. I hope that readers might take away a thing or two from the book besides being entertained, of course. But that’s my primary goal.Life with a new baby has to be hectic. How has your writing life changed since you became a mom?Wow, has it ever changed! Someone asked me what my schedule is like now and I told them it was something like this: settle to the computer, pull up my document, glance at my son, think about how cute he is, tickle his feet until he giggles, turn back to the computer, write one sentence, hear my son cooing, turn back to him, think about how cute he is, decide to take a picture, take the picture, remind myself that I have deadlines to meet, etc., etc. LOL! Not the most effective method for writing.Are you finding it harder to manage your time with a baby who doesn’t understand the meaning of deadlines?Very much so. At first, I tried to write during the day when Eli was with me. That was okay for awhile w[...]

Martin Luther King, Jr.


Portriat of Faith
"I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."²"

For the full tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr go here.

Prodigal Love


Portrait of Experiencing Christ Within Series, FaithDangerous-And Worth the RiskWeek Six Part OneThe suddenly there dawns upon us the vast, entire endowment of God's free love and forgiveness...It is this which bowls us over...frees us...transforms us.Paul Tournier Saved by Grace. Christians throw that phrase around to express their faith, but do they really know what Grace is? I've come to a deeper appreciation and revelation about God's Grace. It's so amazing, even my six-year-old is still too young to understand it's power and meaning.I've come to understand through my own Christian walk the difference between Grace and Mercy in these simple terms:Grace is getting some reward I don't deserve. Mercy is being forgiven or pardoned from a wrong I did and a punishment I deserve.The most remarkable thing about the God I serve is that He offers these to us generously, every day. Other religions of the world can't boast this about their gods. They promote religions where man gets exactly what he deserves or that he'll have to pay, or make atonement for their sins in another life or another time. They also promote works, and striving to gain the approval of their God and to enter into their idea of heaven everlasting life.I'm so glad I'm not a slave to their religions, but found the power of Grace through the gift God gave the world in his Son Jesus Christ.Dwight Edwaerds uses the example of the story of the Prodigal Son to illustrate God's grace and mercy. When I had read the story in the past, my focus was always on the two sons, the wayward one and the one who stayed by the father's side. But let's take a look at the father.Edwards pointed out that most of us think of prodigal as meaning wayward. I have to confess that's what I thought. But prodigal means "excessive or overflowing" as in the word prodigy, a person who is overflowing or gifted with exceptional abilities. In light of this revelation, let's look at the story a new. The story about the Prodigal Father. You may want to take a moment to read the story for yourself found in Luke 15. Grace is the theme of the Prodigal Son, and it's demonstrated in the father's response to his son. In the story we read that "while the son was still a great way off, his father saw him." This can imply that though the son had done a terrible thing by taking his inheritance and running away, the father was still looking for him. Amidst his daily chores, the father was watching the road, hoping to see his son. And when the father finally saw his son returning home, instead of saying "I told you so" or "I knew you'd be back", he had "compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him." Edwards points out that in that culture, an older man running toward someone was considered undignified and wouldn't normally happen. Now consider how this culture felt about pigs. They were unclean, defiled animals and his son smelled like a pig, covered in sweat and grime as he traveled in the hot son down dusty roads. Now imagine the scene again. An old man running toward this filthy, defiled broken vessel of a man. How great the father's joy had to be to do this in front of all his servants and family. What a prodigal love the father had for his son! Then the father restored his son to his rightful position as a son. What better picture of Grace is that? Being accepted back in the family though he didn't deserve it. Do you think the son was surprised? Of course, the best he had expected was to be a servant in his father's house. And the Grace didn't end there. "Bring out the best robe...a ring...sandals...kill the fatted calf..." The older brother say by and witness his father's grace and didn't get it. That's becasue "Grace is unimaginable in gener[...]

10 Things I Wish I'd Known About Parenting


Portrait of Fun, Parenting

1. Don't believe you'll exercise and drop the weight when your six weeks recovery time is up. You'll be too exhausted to get up off the couch and your crying baby will want to be held all the time. Though if you put on a infant carrier, he makes a great weight for squats!

2. Infants don't know the difference between 1 am and 1 pm and just when you think you're about to lose your mind, they'll start sleeping through the night!

3. No matter how many times you discipline (spank) your two year old, he'll keep getting out of his bed at nap time and when his nap time is over, YOU'LL NEED A NAP! Connection BEFORE correction!

4. An 18-month-old won't remember the expensive Disneyland Trip when he grows up, no matter how many life-size characters you meet, but the photos you take will make him think he remembers and will be priceless!!!

5. What's a cute habit at two (like "shaking your booty") isn't necessarily cute to your child's teacher at preschool!

6. When you're eight months pregnant, television and the computer are great babysitters, and won't turn your kids into vegetables even if they watch and play for three hours while you take a nap. And yes, two and a half year olds know how to change computer CDs.

7.Lock up all your toddler's crayons and markers. It's okay to stifle their creativity, especially if it'll save you hours of work and hundreds of dollars.

8. It's okay to let your child crawl in bed with you in the middle of the night, even if there's no thunderstorm.

9. Start that scrapbook NOW!!!! When the kids muliply and photos pile up, and you decide to scrapbook you WILL totally have forgetten which kid is which.

10. Never leave home without a change of clothes for your kids, antibacterial soap and a walmart sack!

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus


Portrait of Jesus Series, FaithAs I mentioned before, I spent the weekend locked away in a hotel suite equipped with a living area, kitchen and huge table where I set up my computer. I worked from Friday evening to Saturday night, when I reached my goal of 10,000 and a finished novella. Each night I had gotten to bed after 2am, so I decided to sleep in on Sunday morning.I went back and forth about missing my church's new series on Jesus, but figured I could catch it on the web. When I woke up Sunday morning, I flipped though the channels, stopping on a choir singing. Not my typical church service. I like my music more contemporary, but thought I'd give it a try. Then a suited man stepped to the podium. Again, not my tpical service. My pastor is usually dressed casual and in the summer often wears sandals.Still I watched and listened to the man's words, and not his presentation. And I'm so glad I didn't switch channels.Adrian Rogers of Bellvue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee and Love Worth Finding Ministries started off By saying, "I'm going to give you a formula for how to arrive at your destination without a map. "The first thing I thought was Oh, great another seven steps on how to succeed in this Christian walk or three easy steps to heaven. I didn't want to hear another formula on how to be a good Christian. Nothing I've heard in seven easy steps ever worked. At my old church I can't tell you how many times I went down to the altar, crying my heart out, hoping for God to zap me, only to realize I hadn't changed by the next week.But I kept listening and was glued to the television for the next 30 minutes. Rogers didn't offer seven steps to get to where we want to go this new year, he offered one in three parts using the scripture found in Joshua 3:1-6Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. 2 After three days the officers went throughout the camp, 3 giving orders to the people: "When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. 4 Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about a thousand yards between you and the ark; do not go near it." 5 Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you." 6 Joshua said to the priests, "Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people." So they took it up and went ahead of them.Then the preacher said, "The important thing is not to know what the future holds, but to keep your eyes on Jesus." And I was hooked.Let Jesus Guide you with His PresenceYou don’t have to know when, you just have to move when the arc move. Are you waitng on things to happen in your life? Well, get your eyes off "things" and onto Jesus.Timing is more important to God than time.When Moses killed an Egyptian, he was taking it upon himself to stop the injustice instead of the Israelites instead of waiting on God.When Abraham took Hagar as his wife and had Isaac, he was trying make God's promise happen on his time.And look what a mess these two men of faith made when they got their eyes off of God.Jesus was never in a hurry and was never late. Even when his mother wanted to push him into the ministry, he was patient and replied,“My hour has not yet come.”You don’t have to know where you're goingGod knows you haven't passed this way before. He knows you're worried and afraid, and he wants to take that fear from you . Give it to him. Give up control of having to know everyth[...]

A Child's Faith


Portrait of Faith, Kids

While doing a Bible study on the Helmet of Salvation this morning, I said something that got a reaction out of my 6 year old that surprised me.

I said, "When I became a Christian at 15..."

Timmy, "What? You're a Christian?"

My mouth gaps open in unbelief. "You mean you don't think I'm a Christian?"

Timmy: "No."

Trying not to sound too offended and shocked. "Why do you say that?"

Here's where my ultra sensitive child starts to lose it. He hangs his head, hides his eyes and avoids my question. I push a little and he says, "Christians are nice and good and don't yell." At least that's what I thought he said. I was still getting over my surprise and probably did a little reading between the lines.

Something else happened that sent him into a mini fit, throwing a pencil at me. (I think when he gets embarrassed or thinks someone is upset with him, his anger takes over. But he's learning to take a time out on his own and then is back to normal.)

I got him to calm down a minute, but he wouldn't look at me. I tried to dig deeper, and I learned he didn't think he was a Christian and didn't know if he would go to Heaven or Hell. Apparently he has this "works" mentality of Salvation. He thinks if he's good then he'll go to Heaven. I explained to him all about God's Grace, and if you've given your life to Jesus, and He is in your heart, then you're a Christian and going to Heaven.

Then came the million dollar question, I'm sure the theologians are still debating.

"If a Christian kills everybody, is he still going to heaven?"

My honest thought was I don't know. But my response, "If he kills everyone than he's not a Christian."

So what would you have answered?

Blog Tour: Reclaiming Nick by Susan May Warren


Portrait of Books, Writing MomWelcome to the blog tour for Reclaiming Nick by Susan May Warren. I really wanted to have a photo of Susan's smiling face, but blogger wasn't cooperating. So if you really must see Susan, and the hunk on the cover of Reclaiming Nick, go here! But please come back and check out the great interview and short review!Susan May Warren is the award-winning author of seventeen novels and novellas with Tyndale, Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing. Her first book, Happily Ever After won the American Fiction Christian Writers Book of the Year in 2003, and was a 2003 Christy Award finalist. In Sheep’s Clothing, a thriller set in Russia , was a 2006 Christy Award finalist and won the 2006 Inspirational Reader’s Choice award. A former missionary to Russia , Susan May Warren now writes Suspense/Romance and Chick Lit full time from her home in northern Minnesota.Reclaiming NickBack Cover CopyNick Noble hadn’t planned on being the prodigal son.But when his father dies and leaves half of Silver Buckle—the Noble family ranch—to Nick’s former best friend, he must return home to face those he left behind. And to make sure that the Silver Buckle stays in the Noble family.Award-winning journalist Piper Sullivan believes Nick framed her brother for murder, and she’s determined to find justice. But following Nick to the Silver Buckle and posing as a ranch cook proves more challenging than she first anticipated. So does resisting his charming smile.As Nick seeks to overturn his father’s will—and Piper digs for answers—family secrets surface that send Nick’s life into a tailspin. But there’s someone who wants to see the Silver Buckle leave Noble hands, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen, even if it means taking a life.ReviewI guess I should start off by saying I'm not a very good reviewer and don't really read romance, or cowboy novels for that matter, but stay with me because Reclaiming Nick definitely kept my interest until the end. Susan's modern tale of the Prodigal son took me back to cowboy country, and I didn't mind a bit. Nick is every cowboy lovers dream, though he carries guilt from his jaded past. The characters were engaging and the plot moved along at a good pace. I thoroughly enjoyed the subplot, I think even more than the main plot (translation: too much romance for this suspense lover).The icing on the cake of this sweet tale of mistakes, regret, forgiveness and love hit the spot, was the message that God offers love and forgiveness to all people.So bottom line, if you love cowboys and romance, go out and grab yourself a copy of Reclaiming Nick! And even if you're not a cowboy lover, after Reclaiming Nick, you just might become one!Interview with SusanTell me a little about your family and what a typical day at the Warren house looks like.A typical day! These days, the only thing typical is that I’ll open the fridge about 6:00 pm every night and say, Hmm, food…wonder what I should serve for supper.*grin* But, if I were put it all together and shake it all about, the “average” would look something like:Get up at 6am, have my QT while I intermittently harass my daughter to get out of bed and into the shower. She’s out the door with my husband by 7:30, and then I throw in some laundry and hop on the treadmill, reading a good book while I walk 1-3 miles depending on how much I have to get done. (Or how good the book is.) Then I wake my boys (ages 10-12-15) and roust them out of bed while I hit the showers. We spend the rest of the morning working on home-school assignments (in-between me [...]

Book MeMe


Portrait of Books, Meme

Found this one in my draft a while back...

Beck tagged me with this on.

One book that changed your life: It's impossible to pick one. The Bible, of course, because when I started reading if for myself I could't help but change under the power of God's word.

Other books I remember having a HUGE impact on me when I was a teen. The Catcher in the Rye. I remember wanting to be a real novelist after I read that book. (Don't know if that impact was for better or worse and I probably should go back and read that book again!!) Greatest Salesman in the World inspired me to write my first real novel.

One book I read more than once: Hum! I have lots of books I'm saving 'cause I'm planning on reading again. Does that count? If so they are, Redeeming Love
by Fancine Rivers, The Midwife's Song, Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird, oh, really too many to spend the time listing them all.

One book that made me cry: That's easy. The Midwife's Song. It's the fictional story of Moses' midwife and how she saved him from pharaoh! And Lisa Samson's Club sandwich.

One Book I wish I'd Written: How about my own!

One Book I wish had never been written: Do boring college text books count? First thing that popped into my mind were the books I read when I was little by Judy Blume. Are You There God it's Me, Margaret? and Then Again Maybe I Won't top my list of never to allow my kids to read. Somethings are just best heard from parents who attach the right set of morals with what their kids are hearing.

I'd also choose the teenage romance genre to be annihilated. It just fills young girls heads with the wrong message of love. Can I get an Amen, anyone?

One Book I'm Reading Right Now: The Wedding Caper by Janice A. Thompson

One Book I have been meaning to read: Just one? Check out my Fall Into Reading Challenge.

Blogging Question


Has anyone had an old blog they wished to incorporate into a newer blog? I have this old anonymous neglected blog that holds some precious memories. I think I've copied most of them to my computer, but it's about ready to die a blogging death, and disappear into the blogging abiss.

Anyone have ideas what I should do about those precious memories?

Lisa Samson


Portrait of Books, Writing MomThe first Lisa Samson book I ever read was Club Sandwich, the story of an ordinary mom with real emotions struggling to care for her young children and aging parents. I was deeply moved by the richness and realness of the characters and story.I first met Lisa Samson at ACFW Dallas 2006. I sat at her table, and she ended up sitting right next to me. She was as real and personable as her characters. Though a very busy mom and writer, she has taken time to answer my questions here at Portrait of a Writer...Interrupted. I know you will be blessed by what she has to say!Lisa Samson is the author of sixteen published novels including "The Church Ladies" and "Straight Up". She lives in Kentucky with her husband, writer Will Samson, and their three children aged 17, 12 and 9. She homeschools her youngest and loves having friends over for coffee. Visit her at us a little about your family and how you balance being a mom, wife, and writer?We don't have what you'd call a typical family structure any more. Although I did write under those circumstances for years. My husband is a full-time PhD student so the household duties have been divided very differently. He cooks and cleans and I still do a lot of the running around, which thankfully isn't like it used to be pre-school days. I write catch as catch can because we homeschool our youngest, but also, when I'm feeling the pressure, I buckle down and schedule writing time.Do/did you ever feel like you're neglecting your children when you write?Sometimes. But I think we have this view of "Perfect Mom" who is always on the floor playing with the kids and does absolutely nothing but serve them, get them to just the right lessons, makes their favorite meals and on and on. Problem is, if that was being a perfect mom, we'd have children with no ability to entertain themselves or care for themselves. When I was a kid, I found my own activities and because of that, I'm a creative person today. It's all about balance and figuring out what to feel guilty about and what not to feel guilty about. It's the guilt that can kill you!If you do feel your priorities slipping, what do you do to get back on track?I schedule my day. Write down what I need to do and try and stick to it.Has there ever been a time God told you to set aside your writing to focus on other areas of your life? If so, how did you handle that?Yep. I took a year sabbatical from May of 2004 to May of 2005. God was very clear in telling me to do this. It was a GREAT year! I homeschooled, hung out with the kids and friends, made jewelry. I loved it. If God told me not to write anymore, I don't think I'd mind so much if it meant I could work more with my hands. I really miss drawing.How do you handle interruptions in your writing life?They happen so much I don't even think about it. I'm always being interrupted whether it's for a minute or a month. It's the way the writing life is for me. I just roll with the punches.What advice would you give to writing moms?Your kids come first. If you need more time to write, find the real time-suckers in your life and pare down. TV, internet surfing, overcommitted at church, whatever. One thing my mother told me always rings true: People usually have enough time and money for the things they really want to do. It's so true.Thank you, Lisa. Your words are true and convicting! God bless you and your family as your write, raise your family and follow Him!Want more from Lisa Samson, check out this intervi[...]

Website Woes


Why, oh why did I ever want to tackle a website. Learning the code for blogger was hard enough. Now I got this website, with a host and a control panel that looks Greek to me. Guess I know now why the smart ones get a website designer. But alas, I'm a poor starving (well, from not quite) writer, with no book contracts to justify paying someone to do this.

So instead of going to sleep like I should, I try and understand such things as:

MySQL: I know it's a database of some kind and someone told me you need it to set up a blog on a website, but other than that I'm clueless.

Addon and Subdomains: I think I know what they are, but how in the world do you get then where you want them.

And how do you get stuff on your website. My name isn't functioning yet, but I installed Wordpress and this fairly blank Wordpress page comes up, but I don't know what to do with it!

Can I be any more ignorant than I already am? I would have thought it had to be easier than this. So if anyone can offer any bit of information, I'll all ears.

Otherwise I just might have to get some recommendations for a website designer!

I'm Back...


from my weekend of writing and exceeded my goal of 10,000. Plus I FINISHED my mystery novella. Of course it still needs a lot of work, but the hard part is over. Or is it? This is really only the second WIP I've completed, and I never even edited the first one.

Writing a mystery was an insane thing to do. I should really stick to women's fiction or momlit. I'd think the plot would be easier than trying to figure out if I left all the clues, dropped all the hints, shored up all the details, and left no questions unanswered. I still have a lot of work to do but IT IS FINISHED!

Contest Alert


I don't know how I missed posting about this contest. But Asian Chick Lit Writer, Camy Tang is giving away some great stuff.

I am giving away a huge basket of books AND an 8 GB iPod Nano!

This contest is exclusively for my newsletter YahooGroup subscribers. If you're not a subscriber, join today!

1st place winner will receive a copy of my book when it comes out (September 2007), a basket of books by other Christian authors, and one of the brand new 8 GB iPod Nanos. (The winner can also elect to receive a 4 GB colored Nano instead of the 8 GB Nano, which is only available in black.)

2nd place winner will receive a copy of my book when it comes out, books by other Christian authors, and one of the new, extra-small 1 GB iPod Shuffles

3rd place winner will receive a copy of my book when it comes out and one of the new, extra-small 1GB iPod Shuffles

20 Honorable Mentions will receive a copy of my book when it comes out.

You read that right! 23 winners in all!
Camy's definitely legit. I've won a couple of her books before so check out the official rules for more detail.

And if you sign up for her newsletter tell her sent you, and I get 3 extra entries. Have I ever mentioned I love a good contest?

Mystery Novella


Portrait of Writing

I've been working on a mystery novella for a couple of months with a great group of gals from my critique group. When this opportunity came about I dropped my current WIPs and jumped at the chance. In fact, it was something I'd been praying specifically for (among other things.)

I'm not a huge fan of reading novellas mainly because they seem to be all romance and the stories don't go deep enough for me, but a mystery novella was something I was interested in. A part of me felt like maybe I'd be selling out to write this smaller novel, but the other part of me was open to the fact that maybe this was God's plan for my crazy life right now. Maybe He knew I could only handle 20,000 words at this time in my life. Maybe it's the perfect way to help me grow as a writer and "cut my teeth" so to speak.

The word that kept coming to me was "don't despise the little things."

So I'm at 10,000 words and plan to write the other 10,000 this weekend when I lock myself away in a hotel. If you want a sneak peek as to what I'll be working on, keep reading.
Soul Provider

Recently widowed, Samantha Steele insists on providing for her children without help from anyone. Then Samantha's son destroys a priceless artifact, and she’s forced to trust the aloof security guard.

Ex-cop Nick Porter is haunted by his past and can’t walk away from a woman in need. Then a smuggling plot is discovered, and Samantha’s life is threatened.

Will Samantha relinquish control of her life, and will Nick trust God to save the woman he loves? And will they both realize in time that God is their soul provider?