Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Tommow my blog will be dedicated to encouraging people to help with disaster relief. Ten dollars might not seem like a lot, but if 100, 1000, or even 10,000 people gavce 10 dollars, think what that could do. So please, I urge you to give. I'm going to give through World Vision.

Even if you can't help monetarily, prayer is invaluable. Please pray for people who've lost loved ones, houses, possessions, etc.

Pray for the authorities to be able to stop the looters.

Here are some links if you want to be involved with promoting "Blog for Relief"


Monday, August 29, 2005


Everyone in her path, prayers are flooding Heaven for you.

If you're in the path of this monster storm and think you can ride it out, don't be prideful...get your patootie to a safe place, especially if you have charge over small children unable to get themselves to safety. No business, or boat, or house, or car is worth more than your life. You are precious to God. Listen to authorities. Please do not try to leave the shelters until it's all clear. May you get the help and support you need.

Father, protect these people. Bring your divine intervention to any trapped or missing. Please get help to those in need. Speak to this storm, "Be still." You can. Please do. In Jesus' name.

I found a wonderful website. I'd like to share it with you all.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Big congrats going out to J.T.M. for winning August prompt contest. Also big congrats to the runner's up (tied) for Honorable Mention: G.R. and A.D.

Ann has won before and Gretchen is a first time entrant. Fabulous, huh!

Here's the prompt for September:

1. Begin a (approx 500 word) scene with one of the following sentences:

"Did you hear who's back in town?"
"I hate to tell you this, but someone just crashed into your________with a ______." (Fill in the blanks and go from there.)

2. Incorporate each of these words into your scene: (Note: Each can be nouns or verbs, and past tense can be used.)


3. Setting must begin in an office setting. I'm looking for strong description with this prompt. Use all five senses. Let me hear, see, smell, feel, taste what your character does.

Happy Writing! Contest will end September 20, 2005 and winner will be announced by September 25, 2005.

Winner will receive their choice of one writing craft book and one work of fiction. Choices will be listed some time this week.

Honorable mention will receive their choice of one book, either on the craft of writing or a work of fiction.



Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Okay. Okay. So I fell off the proverbial blog wagon. I've been enjoying my company. But now it's back to blogging faithfully.

Did an interview today for a Canadian reporter about Steeple Hill Suspense. It wasn't painful or life threatening and was actually kind of fun. I didn't get hives or even chicken pox from it.

He asked me how I was. Asked me my age. Asked if I was a housewife. I resisted the urge to say, "No sir, I'm a human wife." **Snicker** I told him and he said, "Yeah. You're just the age of those who typically read romantic suspense." Okay. So the interview was uneventful up to that point.

He asked me which books I've read in the romantic suspense line. I told him. He then commented he was reading one of the ones I'd read. He asked me what I particularly liked about them. I said the ones I'd read so far had grabbed my attention from page one and held my attention all the way through. I said I thought they were character-driven which I liked. I like the category length because I could get through the books faster. Small enough to take them in my purse to appointments, etc. I said the characters so far seemed real to me, and that I found myself thinking about them long after the story was over. He didn't veer into theological questions really. He did ask whether I enjoyed the fact that the characters were Christians. I said I enjoyed that since I am a Christian but that I also enjoy books where the characters aren't Christian. I told him I read a wide variety of suspense and find the quality of the Steeple Hill books the same as secular ones.

Tangeant: I have family members and friends who, for some reason, are under the impression that Christian fiction isn't the same calibur as secular fiction. So I ask them, "When's the last time you actually read Christian fiction?" Most say over ten years. Sheesh. Well no wonder. So I say, "You need to read some. I think it would change your mind." Anyway, back to the interview, I told him I found the quality of the writing to be the same calibur as secular suspense and I read the books because they are suspense and not because they are Christian. Although I do like the fact that I can recommend SH books to my teen and preteen nieces who enjoy romance without having to be concerned with the content or covers. I told him I read for escape and entertainment and SHS does that for me.

I said I like the plots of the books I've read so far because they had interesting twists and were unpredictable. I don't like predictable suspense(personal pet peeve) and I haven't personally found that in the SHS. It kept me guessing and reading. He asked me what I thought about the endings. I said, they were satisfying. I tend to like action/adventure suspense more than murder/mystery/mayhem type suspense, but the mystery elements in the SHS so far have impressed me and I'd highly recommend books.

I said the books haven't disappointed me so far and I was really glad they decided to launch a suspense line because I'd really enjoyed Love Inspired's Faith on the Line series. I think that was about it. I'll blog more if I remember any more. It was relatively painless. He said he's a wire reporter and that several publications would probably pick up the article. I'm assuming that means newspapers and maybe even magazines. Cool, eh?

Oh and the coolest part...I think one of the editors recommended me to the publicist. I go by Squirl (mispelling intentional) on the SH message boards. I think it's awesome that the editors are aware of the frequent posters. Okay, well I stalk people around the boards, but's fun.

I love the eharlequin community. So if you're ever down and need a great laugh, or a lump of sincere encouragement, visit Go to the bottom of the main page and click "Talk" Then find the Steeple Hill thread and you'll find me and my friends skittering around there. I've met some of my closest friends through those boards, including my very special author mentor. (Hi Margaret!)

A lot of authors hang out there regularly and I've grown so much in craft because of them. It's a great place to hang out, learn, laugh, make friends, and great connections if you're an aspiring writer. Even if you're a reader or published author, you'll fit right in. Even the editors pop in and post once in awhile. You can also purchase books online from the link I gave you up there. There are also writing helps and articles, and submission guidelines for every Harlequin/sillhouette/etc/ line. It's a well spring of opportunity, information, with potential to make life-long friends and do valuable networking.

Do check it out. Drop by, say "Hey" at least.



Monday, August 15, 2005


To hear my agent's (that feels awesome rolling off my tongue!!!) thoughts on the proposal I sent her. When she's satisfied with it, she'll mail it on the the acquisitions editor who requested it.

Didn't final in the Maggie and desperately wanted to for personal reasons. Didn't final in Lone Star and wanted to because that was one of the contests I came in last when I began entering. It will interest me to see if I moved up in the que though. One thing's for sure...I have no possibility of moving down since I came in dead last! ROFL!

However, I am one of three Noble Theme finalists in teh Contemporary Romance category (did I tell you this already?) for ACFW's contest. Winner will be announced at the conference in September. I'm very sad for my friends who didn't make the cut. It convinces me all the more that contests are SO subjective. But one thing not finaling is good for is preparing writers for editor and agent rejection. Persistance is key in this industry. I can't think of a single author I know who didn't go through a season of rejection either before selling or afterwards. It's just something we all have to go through. I don't know why I was so naieve as to think I would be an exception to that. I know it wasn't because of pride because I didn't know any better. So ignorance of the system was probably why I assumed that. Plus the fact that a lot of writers don't talk about or share their rejections until you get to know them.

I'm praying about who to meet with at that conference as far as editors. I can't really pitch to a SH editor since I already have a story with them. So I'm thinking about getting an appt with an editor who only takes proposals/submissions from agented or previously published person, or from folks who've attended conferences. Don't need an agent appt. unless mine plans on attending and wants to meet with me. She's awesome, and did I mention I love her books? You can obtain them at Walmart, K-mart, and Target in the inspirational section under the Heartson Presents. Or get them from Amazon. To see her new or upcoming releases, go to and you'll see the titles and covers of her books there.

Nothing else new in the way of announcements except I am now agented. YEEEE!

Also, I clicked the blogger button that said, "Next blog" and read one girl. She was from St. Louis County, and her blog was chemical something. Now I can't find that blog. She posted that she might close the blog bc she thinks no one's reading it. I wanted to tell her I'm reading it. Hopefully I can find it again in this huge blogosphere.


That Man & Dream Posted by Picasa

Squirrel and Mr. Squirrel Posted by Picasa

Deb Giusti TBL winner and Mae Nunn Posted by Picasa

Cathy Marie Hake & Squirrel Posted by Picasa

Squirrel and Cathy Mann Posted by Picasa

Suzanne Brockmann and Squirrel Posted by Picasa

Just ONE load of books I got from the booksigning!!!  Posted by Picasa

Jaen and Kacie Posted by Picasa

Marta Posted by Picasa

Margaret and Squirrel Posted by Picasa

Squirrel and Rita Winner Shelley Bates Posted by Picasa

Bottom left to top right: Dana, Cynthia, Dream, Squirrel Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 14, 2005

LIFE WITH GOD--writing related.

Yesterday at church we were talking about what it means to be a true disciple and having the right foundation. The thing that stuck out in my mind the most about Sondor's message was John 16 when Jesus said, "In this life we will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world."

Here's the deal: I don't like to hear things like this. I automaticly go into fret-mode. (The worst scenarios possible come to my mind.) Then I start picking and choosing in my mind the bad things that I'd like it to be instead of the worst bad things that it could be. Children abducted, husband gets brain injury and loses the capability of his mind, that sort of terrible aweful thing. So I think, well, a house fire would be aweful but not as aweful as the above. Like Natalie's mom not knowing where she is. Stuff like that. A parent's worst nightmare. So then I go into secondary bad thing thoughts. House fire, loss of income, death of child or other family member, lawsuit, etc, etc.

I'm trying to surrender this to God, so just hold on to your horses. I admit to God that I'm scared to death of what will come. And trouble will come. Bleck. I almost mistyped that verse up there as, "In this trouble, life will come..." I'm thinking that also has an element of truth in it.

Why do I torture myself when the underlying issue is trust? Don't I trust Him enough to know that even if something worse that the worst possible thing my mind can think up (I'm a writer, guys, my mind can think up some pretty aweful stuff) that He would not abandon me in the midst of it? Don't I remember the other things I've gone through in my life? The things He got me through that I never thought I'd get through? So why would I fear what's to come? It could be stuff as simple as difficulty with relationships. Why do I always imagine the worst anyway? Ugh. I hate that about me. I really do and pray God would heal my mind and heart of all this fear.

So if you struggle with stuff like this...just matter what comes...He will never leave you. He hasn't promised that trouble won't come. He's warned that it will. It rains on the Just. It rains on the Unjust. And just rains. He'll be there with you. I learned last night that my best days with God are not behind me but ahead of me. Lord Jesus, help me to saturate myself with you, so that when trouble does come, I'm not tossed overboard...into the depths without hope or help. I will ride the storm out because you love me and refuse to leave your post beside me in this rocky boat called life. You are faithful. I'm sorry for forgetting that. Perfect Love casts out all fear. Deal with it, Lord. Get rid of the junk in my heart. The things in my mind that reflect a lack of love for you and for others.

Another thing: why do I feel like I'm the only person in my life who knows how to apologize first and really mean it? I've apparently deeply hurt some people very close to me. (Surprise! Thought I was perfect, didn't you?) Well guess what? I'm not. The difference between me and some other people (no one I know) is that I know this about me. I freely admit that I have faults. I'm severely flawed. I think awful things in my mind and I say awful things and do awful things. But God knows my heart. I'm not saying that in a vindicative way. I'm saying it in this way: Yes. God knows my heart. He knows the evil that I'm capable of. The evil that I think and do. And He loves me anyway.

He also knows that I know it and that I'm sorry for it. He knows that I know that I can't change myself. He also knows how I beg Him in secret to change me because I don't want to be this way. I don't want to hurt those around me. But you know what? As long as there's life in me...I probably will. Not because I want to, or intend to, but because I am not perfect yet. He loves me the way I am but loves me too much to leave me that way. I don't want an obstinant heart.

Guess what? You're not perfect either. You do awful things and say awful things and think awful things. But guess what else? He still loves you anyway. This unconditional love is not exclusive to me no matter how spiritual you think I am. Like my stories, I am a Work In Progress. The thing I want you to get from this is His sustaining love doesn't just apply to those of us who know Him and love Him. In fact, He loved every one of us first. When we had no thoughts of Him. When we outright ignored Him. When we were in willful disobedience...He died for us. Not after He knew we'd choose to love and serve Him. He went to that cross without any guarantee that it would make a difference. But it did. So I hope this love arrests and captures you. I hope He becomes real to you. The person of Jesus. Not religion. Not what the church said or did that hurt you. Pure Jesus.

So if He's drawing, don't harden yourself to Him over and over. Please. That is a very, very dangerous place to be. Disobedience will petrify your heart, people. In case you haven't figured this out yet: people will always disappoint you. Especially me. So don't put your hope in people. Put your hope in God. He will never disappoint you. Never. And He'll help you deal with difficult people in your life who intentionally or unintentionally hurt you. One of those people would be me. But God and I...well, we're working on it. So instead of fearing what will come in this life, maybe I should be more concerned with the response of my heart to the trouble that will come. To the trouble that's here. I don't want my heart to be hardened. I want to see my faults. All thousand ugly of them. I don't want an adultrous heart against God. I want to stay soft, moldable, teachable.

To make this writing related: Like my story wips, God is still editing me. Editing is hard. You have to take things out, and put new things in. You have to let go of things you love. You have to hear hard things about your writing (and yourself). But in the end it will all be worth it because it will make the story (and your heart) better for it. Something beautiful. Like gold. But gold only shines after it's gone through fire. Submit. Obey. Root and center yourself in Him so that when He edits you through trouble or discipline, the foundation of your faith will not be shaken.

May my heart stary tender to His discipline and my faith stay strong and authentic in the storms. I pray that for every person reading this right now, too. Let us know yo better through it so the suffering becomes a treasure on the other side of the pain. Sometimes the other side of the pain doesn't come until Heaven. But we are safe in suffering if we remain in You. So help us God to remain in you. Help us to learn everything we're supposed to learn through the hard things we go through. Because it's occurred to me through something someone said once that you can't really fail the tests of God. He's one of those teachers who lets you take the test over and over and over until you pass it. Death is the only thing that will halt your chances. So I pray for you and for me, that we can learn the first time. So we don't have to take that test again.


Saturday, August 13, 2005


Okay, so I admit I pirated that term from my dear friend Danica. When her husband does something not to her liking, his name is not "dear" or "Randy" or "Hubby," it's "That Man."

Since I find great humor in that, I'm glad my snickering husband got to hear me refer to him that way. Just now. Three seconds ago.

As I was posting that last blog entry, he walks past the puter, stops, reads the caption to my blog, "Squirrel's Treehouse," and proceedes to snicker and say, "Shouldn't that be called Squirrel's Nuthouse?"

"THAT MAN!" Thanx Dream, I feel better.

OH....Oh!!! And do you know my man has a mistress? Dream has a mistress. It's her computer. When her husband tries to touch it, she says, "are you fondling my mistress again?"

Since my husband was present when that was said, the next time I pick up the phone, I can probably expect to hear, "Are you feeling my mistress up again?" Yes. My husband's mistress is the phone. Oh..and something else....he has more than one. Yes, at the same time. I'm serious. He'll be talking on the home phone (mistress #1) then when his cell phone rings, he talks to that person with his other mistress...cell phone (AKA Mistress # 2)

I might be a nut, but at least I'm screwed onto the right bolt. Plus, I rest my case that living with him would send anyone teetering over the edge of sanity.

Squirl---who really does love her man.


The fact that I thought today was Sunday instead of Saturday down there. So oh well, it's my post and I can cry if I want to, cry if I want to, cry if I want to.........

So tomorrow, the REAL Sunday, I'll do LIFE WITH GOD....which, according to my obsessive compulsive schedule....was supposed to happen today.

I'll do a verse tomorrow, too. In fact, I'm chewing on one right now that I heard in church tonight.

Got to see some dear, dear friends who left to go on a church plant elsewhere in the US. I can really understand in the Bible when Paul and the others said things such as, "my heart longs to be with you again, but I must go where God tells me, and you must go where God sends you...." type scriptures. Man, the heartache. I miss them so badly. That's all part of the alluring hope of Heaven though. There will be no more separation or painful losses there. No such thing as missing because (hopefully...if you've asked Jesus to be your God and meant it for life) there will be no more goodbyes and we'll all be together forever. I think the worst part of Hell is going to be the eternal separation from God. No way back once that bridge is burned. It rips my heart and guts out to think of my friends and family not being there with me. Or my children. Biggest prayer of my life, biggest desire of my heart...if I could ask you to do anything, it would be to BE THERE. Please be there. Jesus is the only way. He loves us and have himself up to give us the chance. And like we want to be with our loved ones, we are his loved ones, you, me, the person next to you, and he longs for us to be with Him.

Thank you, Jesus.

Whatever comes, don't let us run....away. Hold us forever. I love you.

Cheryl "Squirrel" Wyatt


Most of you know I write Inspirational Military Romance. If you didn't, you do now. So I have a special place in my heart for those willing to sacrifice for freedom.

I listened to a few of the newly released World Trade Center tapes yesterday. I also read some of the first hand paramedic, EMT, and firefighter accounts of that day. I can tell you it really helped me get over my niggling frustration with our troops still being in Iraq.

I'm not ashamed to say I love our President and think he's a great man of God. Still I had questions in the back of my mind like, "will this war really make a difference in the face of history? Or when we pull our troops out of there, will things just go back the way they were?"

This is my blog, and I'll always be honest. You may agree with me, you may not. But one thing I think we've lost sight of in all of the anti-war media: evil men chose to infiltrate our country for the sole purpose of planning and exacting those attacks. They came on our turf and started this fight. They killed thousands upon thousands in a matter of minutes then rejoiced over it. Children lost fathers and mothers. Wives and husbands, girlfriends & boyfriends lost the loves of their lives. Fathers and mothers lost children. Not to mention cousins, aunts, uncles, coworkers, friends.

It affected every single person in our country emotionally. So as you sit in your easy chair annoyed because one more American soldier died today, I ask you to do three things. Pray for our troops and allied forces. Pray against the evil that delights in terror.

And remember.



Remember the lives lost when those planes blew through those towers. Remember the horror of that black, gaping hole right before the buildings collapsed, taking all life with them. Remember the people who had to choose whether to burn to death or jump. Remember people running for their lives from the wall of toxic ash. Remember the broken Pentagon. Remember the passengers who died while thwarting the plane that didn't make it's mark.

Remember why our soldiers are over there. For freedom. For those who died. For those who have to live life missing their loved ones.


Since today is Sunday, here's my prayer. Borrow as you wish.


Lord, help us to stay the course of our purpose on this earth. First and foremost that is to love you with all of our hearts, souls, minds, and strength. Show us what this means exactly. Give us unquenchable desire for you. Be with our soldiers and the allied soldiers. Please help them catch the terrorist leaders like Osama Bin Laden and the others still at large. Take down in other realms the instigators of terror, Lord. Show them who's God. Protect our troops. Give grace to the loved ones. Bless their sacrifice. Bless the little children. Draw those people to yourself. You are Truth, and bless the warriors who've left their homeland to chase this terror because they know freedom is worth fighting for. When they get discouraged or homesick, be with them. Draw near to them. Grant strength emotionally, physically, spiritually. Help them remember why they're there. Help them remember. In Jesus' name. Let it be.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Okay. Any one of my close friends can tell you I'm an organizational freak. Sooooooo I'm organizing my blog. Here's the deal.

Thursdays: BLUSH & CRINGE
Saturdays: LIFE WITH GOD

Under announcements I'll put things like Market updates, contest notices, finals or wins, and once I get published, upcoming releases for books.

Practical help for writers will include craft tips, editing tips, organizational strategies, etc.

Encouragement for writers will be something I pray about from week to week, as I ask God to tell me what to say here. I'm trusting Him to reach through this blog to minister to your needs. This won't only apply to writers but anyone chasing after a dream or waiting for God's promises.
I'll also add words of advice from pros here.

Blush and Cringe: If you're not familiar with this, I admit something embarrassing about myself. This is one of the most popular things that brings folks to my blog. So if you're in need of a chuckle, stay-tuned.

Rants and Random thoughts: Well, just what it says.

Life with God: Stuff God's dealing with me on, or answered prayers. I call it life with God, but actually God is my life so of course I can't leave Him out. He simply is.

Borrowed Prayers and Verse: Where I pray something and encourage you to use the prayer in your time of need. Verse, a random verse

Now, after a month or so I may rearrange things if I find I'm missing things or need another slot for something else I think up to do. My prompt contests will fall under announcements.




I'm going to post some things I heard editors say at the recent conference I went to. I find it strange that I heard this same thing from five different editors, nearly word for word. It deals with persistance through rejection and scathing contest scores.

They said, "It's not the most talented that end up making it (becoming published) but the most persistant."

Friday, August 05, 2005

BORROWED PRAYERS and Pouring my vial of words over Him

Father God: thank you that you are a giver of dreams. Help us to commit our gifts and talents to you, to be used by You for whatever purpose. Whether that's to entertain, to provide a temporary reprieve from the reality of life, or as a means for you to reach through the works of our hands to take the hand of someone hurting and draw them unto yourself. Just as you lavish us with good gifts, help us lavish you back. You are worthy, Lord God of praise and honor and thanksgiving. You are worthy of worship. You are worthy of everything that is in us. You are worthy of first place in our hearts. Come now, take up your rightful place in our lives and in our hearts. In our gifts, talents, abilities. As the three kinds brought you gifts, baby Jesus, so let us bring our talents and callings to you as an offering of love.

I speak before the world that I believe you've called me to write. It's not a career, but a calling. I beleive you cause these characters to speak to me. Even when I don't want to hear because of a hard critique or scathing contest remark. Even still, the voices whisper. Because someone out there needs to hear, needs to know that your heart is to them as it was to that character in my book.

I release the guilt of sitting me butt in this chair when I'd rather be playing with my children. For you spoke directly to my heart this weekend. (Thank you, Debbie Macomber. You have no idea how God used you. Your heart for God is evident and beautiful and inspiring. I'm sorry I missed your knitting session, but actually, your words stringed my heart back together where harsh words and doubt had ripped holes in the fabric of my spirit. God used you to heal that in me.) I now know that I am not neglecting my children. I'm teaching them that it is okay to chase a dream.

And mostly, the Giver of those dreams. Praise you, Daddy God. Praise you. Please lift those up who've been wounded in battle on this bloody road to publication. A road that I'm finding is paved with disapointment, rejection, but also, friends who will stick it out until the end, pick you back up and tug you along. Sometimes it feels like I'm crawling over broken glass on my hands and knees for miles. And why? Because God asked me to write as worship to Him. Don't write to get published. Don't write to minister. Don't write to win contests or to gain an editor's attention. Write for me. Published authors who in the only industry I've found where the mothers and fathers don't eat their young. The spirit of mentorship is awe-inspiring. I long to get to the point where I can help the little ones along the road. But I have much to learn and suspect I always will. The learning never stops, or your writing grows stale.

So for this reason, I say to the world, I pour my vial of words over you, Lord Jesus. As Mary broke the vial, and that gift meant so much to you. May my writing minister to your heart. May I always be faithful with this gift that you've entrusted me with. May I never compromise.

Receive, Lord. For you are worthy. Worthy. Worthy.



Well I made it to the second round of Noble Theme Contest. I think I'm all contested out for the year though. One thing contests have taught me is that judging is highly subjective. You might final three times in a row, then bomb in the very next contest. It takes a while to figure this out though and can be very confusing and disheartening. My advice? Don't pay attention to scores, or even placement. Pay attention to consistancy. What I mean by this is look for comments that are repeated about paricular parts of your story. If three judges say they have a problem believing your hero would say a certain thing...then you may want to consider reworking that part. If one judge says they love your heroine's name but the other four say they can't stand all means, you should probably consider changing it. Now if you get two comments that totally contradict one another, then don't mess with it unless you have another person (either a contest judge or critique partner) point it out as an area of concern. Above all, it's your story, not theirs and if you don't have peace about what they're saying, it's probably best to leave it alone. But stay teachable. I think that's the main thing. Hope this helps. Oh, and by the way? The first five contests I entered? I came in DEAD LAST. Now I'm finaling consistantly just one year later.

Why? Because I looked for the diamonds in the rough with contests and critiques. My diamonds were things that got consistantly pointed out by two or more judges. I paid attention to those things and pretty much ignored the rest. . .until another score sheet arrived or another critique bobbed in my inbox citing the same concern. Those are the diamonds in the rough. The things you can use. I've been a contest judge...for published authors no less and let me tell you guys, it's HARD! Not something I take lightly. The thing I try to remember is for the most part, judges are out to help you and not discourage you. If it seems they're being tough, it's probably because they see something promising in your work. Don't let it make you want to curl up in a ball and quit. Put the entry away for a few weeks. Pray a lot. Cry over it. Stomp around the house. But don't quit. Don't ever quit.

The only reason the Isrealites didn't get to see the promise land was bc they stopped believing too soon. Don't give up. Good news might be just around the corner.

I also have a feeling someone's reading this who has had a secret desire to write but you doubt yourself. Many of the desires God gives us are for things we're destined to be or do. So come out of your cave and chase that Dream if you feel a nudge in your heart by God to do so. Don't worry about what others think. The only person's opinion who matters is God's. And we have a God who is also a giver of dreams. He delights in these things, guys. So whoever you are, stop hiding. No reason to be ashamed of who He's made you. This may not only apply to the calling of writing.



One more thing....

My pitch resulted in a request for OC--the first story in my PJ series. YAAA! ME from Steeple Hill was SOOO nice. I forgot I was talking to an editor. I had the privelage of meeting DD, too who has a lovely shade of hair and a great sense of humor. Also got to see KS again...who burst out laughing as I tripped over a piece of cheese in front of her at the FHL banquet. Sigh. Leave it to me. (Yes. A piece of cheese. Don't ask. I don't know how it happened either.) I didn't realize it was a piece of cheese until I tried to pick it up because it looked like a dinner napkin. (Gross!) Same size, shape, color.



I came back from Reno with some great news. The agent I've been under consideration with for has agreed to represent me! YEEEEEEEE!



I'm back from Nationals. WOW. I'll post other highlights but I'll tell you, the best piece of advice I received was from Diane Love Snell in the registration line, and from my roommate, Danica. They said, "Only pick one thing you want to learn then focus on that." (Diane) chose tow or three workshops a day that I wanted to go to and blew off the rest and bought the CD of the entire conference. One of my regrets was that I didn't attend the PRO retreat but I was torn between that and another workshop that I didn't think was being taped. Sicne many of you who read this may be attending your very first conference, I'll post some tips and highlights at a later time. I'll also post some pictures.