Monday, October 27, 2008

I'm really excited about the book, The Love Dare. My husband and I have been married for twenty years and honestly, we have a pretty solid marriage. God intervened on our behalf to get us together (it's a pretty amazing story and someday I'm sure I will write about it) but we've had our difficulit times over the years too. When I came back from the BAM (Books A Million) convention I had two copies of this book with me. We started doing the devotionals/dares last week and wow! It's been eye-opening for both of us. It's like looking into a truth mirror and seeing all the selfishness and pride and fear looking back.

Some of the dares have been encouraging, like last night's on jealousy. We have been each others greatest cheerleader and have encouraged each other in our goals and dreams. Other day's dares have been challenging, like the appreciation room vs. the deappreciation room. I have to admit to writing past failures on the walls and bringing those up (out of my fear) when we are headed into a decision or direction that didn't turn out so well in the past. For me, it always goes back to the same thing: Am I going to trust God to take care of me and my emotions in the face of sin (mine or his) or am I going to try to control a situation so that I don't risk getting hurt?
How liberating to trust God completely in the good and bad! And how difficult! Lately, the Lord has been showing me how His joy can be my strength. Nehemiah 8:10 "This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." I pray that the Lord will fill us with His joy and that we all might live from that strengthened place in Him.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wow! Am I a Lame Blogger or What?

The last two weeks have been a blur of travel and activity which has me waaay behind on things like blogging! I attended the BAM (Books a Million) Sales Conference in Birmingham, Alabama two weeks ago and the B&H Sales Conference last week in Nashville.

The BAM conference was wonderful. I heard Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea speak on his mission to "build schools in some of the most remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan." It is an amazing story of the impact of education, especially girls. One of his slides told of an old African proverb which says, "if you educate a boy, you educate an individual-if you educate a girl you educate a community." There were hundreds of photos of the schools he has built. I can't think of a better anti-terrorism strategy than giving these children a better future, more choices than falling in with terrorists groups out of fear and ignorance.

The next day we had a GREAT booksigning. Boy, I sure do love signings where the books are free. I must have signed a couple of hundred copies and got to talk to all kinds of great BAM managers from all over the country. Oh! And it looks like I might get to do a little book signing tour in North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi and Texas! If you live in those areas I would love to meet you! I'll keep you posted on the dates.

Here are some photos of my recent travels:

Chelsea, me, Julie and Matt at BAM

Julie (my wonderful publicist!) and Karen Ball - Editor Extraordinaire!

The Art Team! Greg does the book trailers and Diana does the covers!!

Karen and I at the hotel

Karen and I at the hotel

The wonderful team at LifeWay. I got to learn all about what they do to keep the LifeWay retail side running! They were incredibly kind!

The wonderful B&H Sales Guys

The gang with my agent, Wes Yoder (the most amazing guy on the planet aside from my hubbie:)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

101 Best Websites for Writers by Writer's Digest

Here's a list of the best websites of 2008 for writers. Some great stuff here for anyone wanting to know more about writing and the writing life.