Wednesday, December 27, 2006


After the new year starts, I'm going to dive into the next book in my USAF PJ series. Over the next week I will brainstorm my plot for that book, a term I refer to as Plotstorming. I'll post this process in case it helps other writers. Each of us have our own methods, and you have to find what works for you, but in the meantime, maybe you'll find something in my method that you can use.
Up to this point, I've researched the novel. I always start there. Research is ongoing.
Then I get to know my characters. I usually have to know my characters completely before I can fully engage the plot.
Then I begin to think of the major plot points in the story. I do what is called a scene index. I usually average 15-20 chapters per book, and each chapter usually has 1-4 scenes, three on average. I'll use the story I just turned in to my editor. My scene index looked something like this:
C1S1: Manny crashes his parachute. Taken to hospital via helicoptor. Remorse hits him for not telling his buddies he'd given his life to Christ a week prior. He fears for his life.
C1S2: Manny wakes up to find Celia at his side. Surprised she's there because he propositioned her at their best friends' wedding. They talk. She's aloof.
C1S3:Celia leaves the hospital room when Joel returns. Remorseful over being cold to Manny. Amber told her of his conversion but she doubts since her father was a hypocrite.
C1S4: Manny taken to surgery. Celia worries since her husband died in the line of duty as cop. She cares for Manny and doesn't want to because she doesn't want a guy with a dangerous job again, but the draw between them this past year has been strong.
C2S1: Manny released to rehab. Gets to know Javier, Celia's son.
C2S2: Celia gets angry because she doesn't want Manny influencing Javier to a dangrous career.
C3S1: Bla-bla-bla
C3S2: Bla-bla-bla
C3S3: Bla-bla bla
C4S1: Bla-bla bla
all the way to C20S3 (or last chapter and scene # when the guy gets the girl and all live happily ever after)
Okay so just with that, "C" stands for "Chapter" and "S" stands for "Scene."
Sometimes I number is this way, so I can refer to the particular scene:
Chapter 1
S1: Manny crashes his parachute. Taken to hospital via helicoptor. Remorse hits him for not telling his buddies he'd given his life to Christ a week prior. He fears for his life.
S2: Manny wakes up to find Celia at his side. Surprised she's there because he propositioned her at their best friends' wedding. They talk. She's aloof.
S3:Celia leaves the hospital room when Joel returns. Remorseful over being cold to Manny. Amber told her of his conversion but she doubts since her father was a hypocrite.
S4: Manny taken to surgery. Celia worries since her husband died in the line of duty as cop. She cares for Manny and doesn't want to because she doesn't want a guy with a dangerous job again, but the draw between them this past year has been strong.
Chapter 2
S5: Manny released to rehab. Gets to know Javier, Celia's son.
S6: Celia gets angry because she doesn't want Manny influencing Javier to a dangrous career.
Chapter 3
S7: Bla-bla bla
S8: bla-bla bla
So there you have it. The way I organize my scenes.
Once I have my scenes I decide whose POV it would best be written from, and then I highlight the scenes I plan to put in the hero's POV in blue and the heroine's in pink or some other feminine color.
When I'm writing, I also change the color of the font to pink or blue, so I can be sure I'm not headhopping. My publisher likes authors to stick with one POV perscene is possible. With the colors, I know whose head I'm in so to speak. LOL!
Okay, I hope this helps someone.
As I plotstorm my upcoming novel this next week, I'll post that process. I can't post it right now because I actually have never, ever thought about how I plot since I'm usually a panster. Plotstorming scenes does keep my story from stalling in the middle though.
You'll find your way. Until then, maybe my way will kickstart something for you.
Happy wriitng!

~Cheryl Wyatt~ Gal. 2:20 ~Pouring my vial of words over Him.

A SOLDIER'S PROMISE~Steeple Hill Love Inspired~ Jan. 2008


The holidays are a time when families get together, so for deployed soldiers and their families, the holidays are sometimes the lonliest days.
Here's a way you can help bring some joy to our deployed soldiers during what can be some of their most difficult days. If you'd like more info on how to serve those serving us, click the following links.

~Cheryl Wyatt~ Gal. 2:20 ~Pouring my vial of words over Him.

A SOLDIER'S PROMISE~Steeple Hill Love Inspired~ Jan. 2008

Monday, December 25, 2006

SIX DAYS LEFT! And Tribute

Only six days left to enter December's Prompt contest!
Scroll back a few posts to read the prompt, and send me your scene.
Hope you had a very Merry Christmas as we remembered the birth of our Savior.
King Jesus, I love you. Thank you for coming to be like us so we could be with You. Thank You, Father, for sending your precious Son.
I love you more than anything, and for the new year in front of everyone, I commit my works to You. It's all for You, Lord. I write as worship.

~Cheryl Wyatt~ Gal. 2:20 ~Pouring my vial of words over Him.

A SOLDIER'S PROMISE~Steeple Hill Love Inspired~ Jan. 2008

Thursday, December 21, 2006


My mother's helper confessed something to me this week that cracked me up. When she first came to interview for the job of our babysitter, she said she pulled up and became concerned. It seemed there was a hippie guy standing in our driveway. She thought it was terrible that a hippie guy was loitering with a baby in his arms in our driveway.

Turns out, she comes in to meet my family...and Hippie guy was my hubby. ROFL!

Here's my Hippie.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Neighborhood Fiasco

We had some excitement in the neighborhood last night. About thirty police cars from several counties surrounded our block 2/3 of the way. Apparently there was a high-speed pursuit for many, many miles which ended in front of our neighbor's house. You can't tell by the picture but there is a black car surrounded by police cars. The local police officer put his car sideways in the road, stopping the car. The two guys jumped out and fled on foot. They caught one right near the alley beside our home and dragged him across our yard in handcuffs. The other was apprehended less than a mile away. I've never seen so many police cars in one place. Our house was literally strobing blue from all the lights and it's not often that you have cops running through your yard with shotguns. LOL!


Sunday, December 17, 2006


Well, my nerves are up in arms again because my agent and I subbed the second book in my USAF PJ series (Wind Warriors) to my editor yesterday. EEEEEK! Biting my fingernails over here.

This was my option book. (In Harlequin contracts, they like a first time author to give them first dibs on the next book you write.) I really hope they like it and want to buy it. My faithful Robin, who does my pre-submission edits likes this book better than the first, and believe me, if Robin thought it sucked, she'd be the first to let me know. LOLO!

I'm hoping the editorial team at Steeple Hill will love it too. I didn't send it to Caminator for a structural edit because she's under deadline for her second Asian Chick Lit book with Zondervan but normally I wouldn't sub a book without these two girl's hawk eyes going over it, as well as my other faithful critters.

These women are a contant source of encouragement to me, and I'm praying SO hard they sell soon. Pammer writes Inspirational romantic suspense, Syn writes chick lit-women's fiction with a hint of romance, and Michelle writes historicals and women's fiction. I think I will be as excited for them as I was for me as soon as I hear they've sold.

Leigh Bale, also a new author with Steeple Hill and I traded critiques on my second book too. I critted her upcoming suspense submission, and I LOVE THAT BOOK! I'll let you know when it sells, because I'm sure it will. She's a phenominal writer.

Robin just sold to Steeple Hill Suspense and I'm so excited for the three of us!!!! Our books will come out pretty close together. Tiff Miller, my webdesigner just this week sold to Barbour! YEEEE TIFF!!!

Speaking of my agent, she sent me the most beautiful congratulatory basket, to celebrate my first book contract. I put a picture of it up there.

Friday, December 15, 2006


My children often come up to me with bright eyes and grinning faces and say, "Close your eyes and open your mouth, Mom! We have a surprise for you!"

So I do as told because they usually set a cheese and peanut butter cracker or a candy kiss, or something really yummy in my mouth. Often I do this little game with them, too, where I'm the one putting the treat in their mouth.

Sometimes the game turns silly.

For example, as I sit awaiting my "treat" with closed eyes and open mouth, I'll often pop my eyes open when I sense them getting near with my treat and say, "Wait, you're not getting ready to feed me a bug, are ya?"

Boisterous giggles follow. This goes on and on as their hands get close to my mouth, until finally I let them stick whatever they have in my open mouth. Of course I bide by the rules and keep my eyes shut.

Especially today, when my toddler tells me, "Close your eyes and open your mouth, Mama! Gotta special treat for ya!"

I proceed to do as asked, and lo and behold I feel something really gross and prickly touch my tongue. My eyes fly open, my hand flies up to my mouth where I've spat.....

something that I think must have been a cricket.


The joys of motherhood....and I wouldn't trade these moments for anything.

The cricket on the other hand...I'd definitely trade for a cracker.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006




MHC Christmas Party Pics

When you're used to seeing your coworkers in nursing and surgical scrubs, it's really neat to see them all gussied up.

I actually tried froglegs at the party and ya know what? They were GOOD!

Hope you enjoy the pics.


Monday, December 11, 2006


With Christmas drawing near, nostalgia sets in, at least for me. A dear friend (waving to Debby) invited me to attend an annual Christmas party for the hospital I worked at for many years.

Hope you enjoy your holiday season, and remember the little baby whose birth offered the free gifts of hope, peace, and salvation to all who believe in Him.

Have a blessed Holiday season!

My favorite Christmas memory is when my aunt and cousins came to visit from out of state unexpectedly. I'll never, ever forget opening the door and seeing them on the landing. That memory is etched forever in my heart and mind, and echoes of our precious (and uncexpected) time together still make me smile to this day.

I'd love to know what your favorite Christmas memory is. I will draw names of all who post a comment, then one person will receive an ornament from me.


Thursday, December 07, 2006


Well here it is....the moment you've all (fourteen) been waiting for: (LOL!)


To reiterate the rules, write a 500 word scene beginning with one of the following hook lines, and try to use at least five of the ten prompt words.

As always, you retain rights to everything you send and it will not be posted anywhere.

Deadline for entry of December's prompt is December 31 since I'm late getting this month's prompt out.

Winner will be notified the first week in January, and will receive their choice of a new release Steeple Hill book.

It's not too late to jump on the Story Starter bandwagon for the overall contest...where the overall annual Story Starter winner will receive a six month subscription to any Steeple Hill line of their choice paid for by me to the book club. This mother contest in only a few months in and there's room in the race for you. Remember, you don't have to have won to be included in the mother contest, you just have to consistantly enter. The person who's entered the most number of times in a twelve month span will win. So come on guys, that's only twelve total times. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

Now, let's move on to the good stuff.


Write a 500 word scene beginning with one of these lines:

Of all days, why did this have to happen today?

"I got your message and came as fast as I could. Sit down, tell me what's wrong?"

"You'll never believe who I ran into at the doctor's office."


Happy Writing!

Oh, and as always, send submissions or questions to Cheryl @ (remove spaces before and after the @ sign)


Tuesday, December 05, 2006



you may have noticed I've been MIA much the month of November. That's because I participated in National Novel Writing Month where I dove into a writing cave completing a 65, 000 word manuscript.

I'm back with another completed manuscript in my USAF PJ (Pararescue Jumper) series and GREAT NEWS!!!!

Houston! We have a title!!!

My sold manuscript, A SOLDIER'S PROMISE will release from Steeple Hill Publishers in January of 2008.

A SOLDIER'S PROMISE is book one in the PJ series. (Wind Warriors.)


Don't you just LOVE the title? I do! I can't take credit for thinking it up though. Someone on my book's vision team did. It's perfect though to the story, both metaphorically and literally.

Pass the word along to your friends!

I'm going to change the name of the second and third books in this Wind Warrior series to match the first.

I'd like it to be

A Soldier's (something).

So any and all ideas for that are welcome. If the book sells and we use your title idea, you WILL receive a free autographed copy from me as well as your name acknowledged in the front of the book.

Ones I've thought of so far are:


Come on! Send me your title ideas! There are five other books in this series.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Interview with LOST IN NASHVEGAS author, Rachel Hauck

Welcome to the Treehouse branch of author Rachel Hauck's 's blog tour.

Today we're going to be blessed with some insights from Rachel on writing as well as her newly released book, LOST IN NASHVEGAS by Westbow Press Publishers.

About the book:

Cheryl Wyatt: 1. What a totally awesome title. Who came up with it?

Rachel Hauck: I can take no credit for the title. WestBowdecided during one of their meetings. But I love it.

CW: 2. What gave you the idea for this book? Can you talk about what sparked it?

RH: My agent deserves credit for starting this book.She called me with an idea and ta-da, here it is.

CW: 3. What do you hope readers will take away from the book?

RH: I hope people feel encouraged to go for theirdreams. God loves dreamers.

CW: 4. What was your favorite scene to write? The most> challenging? The funnest?

RH: My favorite scene is when she finally decides tomove to Nashville. The funnest were the scenes withLee. The most challenging? Getting all the Music Rowlingo and details correct.

CW: 5. Did you know your plot or your characters first? Can you expound a bit?

RH: I have to know my characters. I also have to knowt he story points and where this character is going.They have to go hand in hand for me.

CW: 6. Ahh. Interesting. Will there be a sequel?

RH: There is not a sequel to Robin's story, but there is a second NashVegas book, Diva NashVegas that comesout in the spring. This is a story about a country superstar.

CW: 7. I'll be looking forward to Diva NashVegas as I'm sure many readers will too. Who was your favorite character to write in Lost in NashVegas and why?

RH: Robin was my favorite character. I suppose she's alittle like me... :)

About the Author:

CW: 1. Did this story or the writing of it change or challenge you in any way? If so, how so?

RH: This story challenged me to go deeper as a writer. And, I had more research to do that I have in the pastand a tight deadline. But it was fun and God enabled me to do it.

CW: 2. I love how you give Him the credit, and how you depend on Him as a writer as evidenced by this interview, and how great your writing is. What are you working on now?

RH: I'm working on a book set in South Carolina's lowcountry.

CW: 3. Oooh Cool! When can we look for another book from you? Next release date? What\'s that book about...can you> give us a teaser?

RH: Spring 2007 and Fall 2007. No teasers. Have to buythe book.

4. LOL! Well then, can you share what your most favorite reader letter has been?

RH: For Georgia On Her Mind, I had several emails frompeople who started out with, "I don\'t normally like to read, but..." I loved the idea that something I wrote encouraged someone to read.

CW: 5. That's awesome. Can you talk about the process of making a memorable character?

RH: Get inside the character's head and heart. Spend time with them. Let them become real people. Don'tlimit characters to your own understanding, habits or beliefs. Don't create characters to carry your"message" forward. Create people with good hearts as well as flaws.

CW: 6. I'm sure many writers will find that helpful. What about a plot? Do you do it?

RH: I'm not a plotter-outliner, but I do have to know where the story is going - the conflicts, the darkmoments. this inciting incident.

CW: 7. Wow. And a whole book comes from that springlboard. Very cool. What\'s a typical day like for the life of> Author Rachel Hauck starting from the moment you> wake up to the time your head hits the pillow?

RH: It varies. Some mornings I go to Spinning, thenprayer at church. Others, I work right away. But, I'mabout to change my schedule so I'm more focused andtime is used more wisely.

Rachel, thank you for your time and a really fun interview!!!

To my blog readers, I hope each of you will pick up a copy of Lost in Nashvegas. ISBN: 9781595541901

Thanks for having me, Cheryl!!


For web site, blog and book news go

For information on blog tours, check out

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Squirrel's Story Starter for November is here!

Remember...your retain all rights to your work and I do not print it anywhere.

Contest will end November 25, 2006.

Winner will be notified by December 1, 2006

New prompt will be posted by Dec 5, 2006. Previous month's winner will receive their prize by this date as well. (Prize consists of a new Steeple Hill release as well as another notch added in the chance to win a 6 month subscription to the Steeple Hill line of their choice.)

Submit a 500 word scene to Cheryl @ Cheryl (close spaces on either side of @) using the following prompt:

Begin your scene with one of the following sentences, and use 5 of the ten prompt words in the body of your scene. Give it any tone you wish, but I'm going to be looking for strong beats (action gestures the character performs) to ramp the tension in this scene as well as compliment each of your dialogue lines. I want to be able to picture this scene as if I'm in the audience and your characters are on stage.

Scene Starters:

"They found it by the river."

"I'm afraid I have to pass."

"I thought she was with you?"

Prompt words: (You may use any variation of each word, ie plural, etc.)


Happy Writing!!!!


Friday, October 27, 2006


I'm always curious when I read a book about where the book was written. If the setting of the book is Winterish, with characters frolicking through snow, I often imagine the author sitting by the fireplace. Maybe there is a steaming cup of hot chocolate on the small table beside her. A notebook rests on her knee as her stockinged foot rests on a victorian chair. Her hand cradles her favorite pen as sleep cradles the rest of her family and the house and neighborhood sleeps. For her inspiration maybe she watches flecks of white dust the windows, mesmerizing her as she creates a fictional world which will touch and entertain readers. Maybe she smiles at the snowflakes who've danced their way down to glimpse through the window into the warm house as a novel whose characters will outlive their creator come to life on the page.

Same thing if the setting of a book is in the city. Makes me want to go visit that place and eat the food mentioned in the book.

Just in case you happen by one of my books in the store in the future and wonder where the stories happened, here is a glimpse into the life of one author. Ingore my messy desk now because there is chaos in every corner of my house. I usually like things to be more orderly but hey....sometimes life happens. My house may not be clean but my family knows they're loved.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Please leave a comment letting me know what your favorite setting in a book and why. Or if you'd love to see a particular setting in a book and haven't or haven't lately.

Don't be shy! Talk away!


Tuesday, October 24, 2006


One more day to get your monthly entry in guys!

Remember....those of you who enter consistantly over the next twelve months will be eligible to win a six month subscription to the Steeple Hill line of your choice.

Hurry! Get those entries in!


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Surprise Party-Friends and Family attending

Two tables of people and we took up one entire room at Changing Seasons

Renee's SCRUMPTIOUS cake! It amazes me how someone can make a glop of icing turn into a sage rose. Incredible.

The CUTE tea cups and LOOK at the little dainty spoon!

Those of you who subscribe to my blog, I hope you don't hate me for all the influx of pics in your blog. LOL! It just occurred to me. Blogger wouldn't let me upload more than one pic at a time for some reason. Something about my cookies being disabled. Hmm. Disabled cookies? Don't know about that but I'll tell you, that CAKE was DE--E--E-LICOUS!


Spring Room at Changing Seasons

Book Deal Surprise Party Pics

The Spring Room at Changing Seasons


Walking into a wonderful trap! For a second I wanted to flee since I don't like being the center of attention. LOL! I pray each of you have friends and family who love you this much.


Marcie (right) and myself at Changing Seasons October 21, 2006



This response came from my friend Marci after one of the most wonderful days yesterday. She had organized a surprise party for me, invited many of my friends and family and then lured me there for lunch. I walked into this tea room sort of place and there they all sat. Renee had baked a beautiful and delicious cake. Then they had me going through tissues like mad as they each shared a special memory of a time with me, or the first time they met me. Guys, I was bawling. It was so awesome and I will not forget that day, ever. I felt SO loved. On the way home in the car, I said to Marcie, "I'd forgotten most of the things they mentioned until they started describing it." Then I said, "I just had no idea all these people see me this way." They talked about what they described as my strong faith, my adventurous spirit, my perseverence through hardship, my love for Jesus, my faithfulness as a friend, my generosity. It would take like ten pages to write everything they said down. Marcie said, "That's how we see you, and so unless we're all suffering under some mass group delusion, sister, believe it!"

So I pray God gets this in my heart. I also pray for each of you a church family of people who really are doing the stuff that Jesus did and who really are living out their faith 24/7 in a relevant way. I will never, ever take my church family for granted again. Marcie even had an invitation made with roses (my favorite flower), one of my favorite bible verses around the edge, as well as my author tagline (Pouring my vial of words over Him). She says the guy is also making a poster size of it. Then the tea room owners asked me to come back and do a booksigning!!!!!!!! How cool is that? And another really awesome thing is the place was named Changing Seasons and they had put us in the spring room. Okay now you have no idea how prophetic and significant this is. Let me see if I can explain.

Right before the ACFW conference in Dallas in September, I felt like God was impressing upon me that I was about to enter a new season. His words felt like He knows I've been in a really hard Winter season where I had to endure excruciating physical pain, immobility, physical therapy which made things worse because they'd misdiagnosed me. Then when the correct diagnoses came, I faced major surgery which terrified me. I knew God could go, "Pling." and I'd be healed but no. He made me face my worst fear...that I would bleed to death on the table or succomb to a bone infection and leave my daughters without a mother. Being a nurse has made me paranoid I guess. Who knows.

Obviously God brought me through with no complications because I'm sitting here typing this and I must say, I'm getting pretty fast on my walker. LOL! I felt like God gave me the verse, "Behold I do a new thing, I'm making rivers in the desert and a way in the wilderness. Now watch it spring forth." I'm paraphrasing but that verse is also one of my favorites. I felt like God had given me that promise. Then I go to the conference and the theme? New Beginnings. The key verse? The one I just typed. I even got a writing magazing that I felt God sort of snickering at...if He does that, I feel like He did. It had a picture of a Squirrel on it. Here's the deal..that's my nickname. I don't go around looking for signs.I really don't. But I do know when God perks me up BEFORE I SEE OR HEAR SOMETHING and says, "Hey, listen up. This is for you." So He does have a sense of humor. I feel like I'm coming out of a really hard season and spring in on the horizon. God is so awesome. If you're going through a hard season, it will pass. I promise. He will make a way for you. He will go through it with you. He will never leave or forsake you. He loves you and wants to be in your life.

I hope you enjoy my surprise party pictures today.


Friday, October 20, 2006


I forgot to mention in my last post that my editor has graciously agreed to do this "What Happens After The Call" blogposts with me. I will post her replies so you guys can see what happens on the editorial end of things. I will probably have her let us in on what steps happen leading up to the call.

I feel this will help you understand why there are the necessary turn around times in publishing. Not only do editors read the mansucripts and proposals that come in to be considered, they edit and work with the authors already in their care. I'm sure there are a gazzilion things they do which we don't realize too. Like answer emails and phone calls, judge writing contests, attend writers conferences, etc.

So stay tuned for more on "What Happens After The Call."



For those of you wondering what The Call is. . .it is what aspiring writers refer to as The phone call where they are offered a contract by an editor. Usually their first contract. If the writer has an agent, then the agent may make The Call.

Over the next year or so until the release of my book, I will be blogging about the process from here for those of you wondering. Remember that each house might be different. I'm just going by what my house does. (Steeple Hill)

So you all know my call story because I blogged about it before. My call came from my agent. During that call, she went over the terms of the contract and asked me if I agreed to them. A lot of people at this point will say, "Give me 72 hours to think this over." But for me to do this would have been goofy I think because the editors knew how badly I'd been wanting to write for this house. Heck, the entire WORLD probably knew it. Plus I was aware from researching this house that they mostly use what is called a boiler plate contract, meaning it's pretty standard for first time/newbie authors. I also know the house is reputable so I wasn't concerned legally about agreeing to stuff over the phone.

Anyway, so I agreed verbally to the terms. At that point, my agent called the editor back who called her with The Call and informed her I agreed to the terms. The editor and I then exchanged emails and kudo sort of convo. We agreed on a time we could speak over the phone to talk about some details.

The next day she phoned me and we discussed some of the details. In that phone call, we discussed things like whether I wanted to write under my real name or use a pseudonym (also known as a pen name). She also asked me to be thinking about a revision deadline. That there were going to be some more revisions they'd requested on the manuscript. She emailed me those revisions. I looked them over and we talked about a do-able deadline. They gave me up to 90 days, which is a really wonderful deadline. No pressure as I had feared. I can coast leisurely and make sure I'm turning in my absolute best work. So after we discussed things like that, they were going to draw up the contract and mail it to me. In the meantime, I got cracking on the revisions she'd emailed to me.

I went over the revisions and we discussed any questions I had and any areas I needed clarification. Can I just say that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE working with an editor? Some people may balk at another person suggesting changes in their work. I, on the other hand, really think these changes will make the book better. So I'm learning that a book is a team effort. A collaboration of my creativity, and my editors' experience as someone who knows what sells, and who knows the readership of the house she represents. This trust is crucial at this stage and I love that I feel the editors "get" my story and are open to my suggestions too.

My deadline is December 15th. For the next couple of days, I will be polishing and proofreading the revisions. Then I will mail them in early in case I didn't go deep enough on some of the revision points.

All in all there were less than twenty five points. These were broad strokes. Thankfully no major plot or character issues like the book had before. For example, my editor wanted to see more of the sick boy. She felt like he was recovering most of the time and not really sick. So this could probably be fixed easily by adding a sentence here and there, and then maybe a scene or two where he has a crisis.

The way I revised my ms was I lettered every revision point. Thankfully I only got to "V" otherwise I would have then lettered them "AA" "BB" etc. Then I printed out a paper copy of the ms just as I sent it to the editor. Then I went through the ms and coincided the letter with the part of the ms she mentioned. This was easy and took less than an hour because she put the page number or chapter there. I went through the paper copy and put a red x over everything that needed to be cut. Then I went to the computer document, copied and renamed it. That way I have a hard copy of the ms as originally subbed, and a paper copy to write on. I also proofread better by paper than I do by computer so I catch more mistakes on paper. The copied document is the one I went about applying the changes to. This way, I always have the original as a reference because when you go to cut scenes, the pages after that won't line up with the editor's revision notes.

After I cut everything that I could possibly cut, including areas where I tended to overdescribe (another revision point), I had cut about five or six thousand words. This is good because next came the building back up of scenes where she wanted more of this or that. For example, my hero disliked the town but I only hinted about it in chapter one. The reader didn't find out his internal conflict until about page 132 or so. My editor asked me to bring it in sooner, so I did and that took maybe a paragraph of word space to accomplish that. I didn't dump the info all at once though. I put a sentence here and there, or added a few words to an existing sentence to hint at/let the reader know why he dislikes this town so much.

For the last couple weeks I have set the ms aside and not looked at it AT ALL. This is so when I come back to it, I will hopefully see it with a fresh set of eyes. Sometimes you know your story so well, it gets confusing as to what happened when. An example of this is I typed in, "Since you'll be my best buddy today and all." It was a statement that the soldier made to the little boy in reference to a pact they'd made which happened in (what I thought was) an earlier conversation. In proofreading today though, I realized I'd put it in BEFORE that conversation happened which would have confused the reader most likely. See, I knew they'd had that conversation, but because the story is so much in my mind, I thought I'd read it when I apparentl had just recalled it from writing it before. So this is why a fresh set of eyes is crucial before you turn your work in.

After I proofread it and polish it and get it in as close to submittable form as possible, I will send it to my crit group or a woman I use to line edit to go over it for me. It would be best if it were a person who has never read the story so they can pick out mistakes. I remember one of my critters (Critique partners) finding an error that got past four people, including myself. I had my heroine driving around an impouded car for eight chapters. LOL! Eight! I guess I forgot it got impounded. I'm really glad they caught that one. I've read books where the hero starts out having brown eyes and ended up with blue by the end. This is the sort of mistake that outside readers can pick out. By outside readers I mean people you trust to be honest who are unfamiliar with the story.

Okay, enough for today. My hands hurt and I imagine your eyes do too.



Monday, October 16, 2006


Hey all you faithful blog people who faithfully read my blog,

Janet and Stephen Bly are mentors of a wonderful writing organization called Christian Writers Guild.

I'm posting an interview...hope you will consider ordering a book! This is a really awesome concept, I must admit. Enjoy!



Stephen Bly of Winchester, Idaho, award winning author of 100 books, has so gotten into his newest character’s life, that he’s caught up in the search to find Juanita, the girl of rodeo cowboy Hap Bowman’s dreams. “An idiot obsession,” Hap’s roping partner, Laramie, chides. But Hap and Steve keep looking anyway. And so does Bly’s family, friends and fans. He’s listed her description on the home page of raven dark hair, dark eyes, has a petite birthmark the shape of a horse’s head under her right ear. She lived in sight of the Rio Grande and spent time with 12-year-old Hap Bowman in Central Wyoming, summer of 1988 and is 31 years old now.

Bly’s hoping to see “Have you seen my Juanita?” signs pop up everywhere—on websites and message boards, in waiting rooms and bulletin boards, on car bumpers and t-shirts, at rest stops and stuck to magnetic surfaces. “Maybe we really will find her,” Bly says, “If so, she’ll be featured on our website for sure.”

One Step Over the Border is a romp, a road adventure. It's CowboyLit that has inspired a blog by Hap Bowman, a Juanita Sightings page, and an audio poetry reading. Bly’s three sons are working on a video for the site and they’ve gotten the whole family involved in the production. There’s even a free “Have You Seen My Juanita?” Search Kit ready to send to those who e-mail cowboy Hap at with their snail mail address.

Bly’s no stranger to getting heavily involved into his characters. In Paperback Writer a distracted detective rides along with his author, serving as alter ego and companion in troubles on the road. “Life imitates art, they say,” Bly muses. “I care so much for my characters I find it hard to let them go. But also my desire is for the reader to find their own real life discoveries, to be encouraged in their own struggles, by the vicarious ‘entering into’ the quests of my fictional characters.”

The story of Hap’s search to find his Juanita, in the book One Step Over the Border, releases June 2007, by Center Street/Hachette Book Group, USA. Pre-orders are now available through and soon will be via or your favorite online bookstore.

Stephen or Janet Bly, P.O. Box 157, Winchester, ID, 83555

e-mail: or

Monday, October 09, 2006


Just a few places I hide my stash. I'm really thankful for a husband who enables my book addiction. Tee hee.



Okay, there's a discussion going on at the Steeple Hill message boards about writers and readers who have book addictions. We're lamenting over there about how there are SOO many books and not enough shelf space.

So I'd like to know, when you run out of shelf space, what place or space do you create for you books? I'm thinking a hardback coffee table is in order here. LOL!

And here's the sad thing..I've loaned away/given away probably a thousand books in the past two years. Here are my keeper shelves which are creaking and groaning in protest because the shelves are three books deep...meaning the books you see in front? Um, yeah, there are one or two rows behind them. And I have sterilite containers of books like you see pictured below under my pool table.

Just for fun! Enjoy!


Friday, October 06, 2006


Okay blogger and bloggerettes,

Before I post another prompt for October's contest, let's go over Da Rulz so you guys don't have to scroooooll back.

Squirrel's Story Starter Rules:

--- Submit the scene on or before October 25th to my email address: Cheryl at (replace "at" with "@" and lose the spaces).
----The winner will receive their choice of one of five new Inspirational Fiction releases from Steeple Hill publishers.
----Write a 500 word scene using one of these three opening hooks:

1. "Get down from there immediately!"
2. "That's the dumbest thing I've ever seen."
3. "A little to the left."

----Incorporate five of the ten words into the story, and this month, I'm looking for active verbs...meaning try your best to use verbs that end in "ed" rather than using a "was" with an "ing"...for instance: He was running sounds passive. He ran sounds more punchy and active. Got it? Okay.

Here are your prompt words. Use as many as you like, but use at least five.


Winners will be notified by October 31st and prizes will be mailed the first week of November.

You retain ALL rights to your work. I will not post or print it anywhere, and in fact will delete entries once I've logged entrants names for that month and chosen a winner.

If you'd like to enter my contest, leave a comment letting me know. Don't forget to leave me your name and email address so I can contact you if your entry wins. At that point I would email and ask you for your mailing address. I do NOT share your personal information with ANYONE.

If you send three friends to stop by my blog, then you score a bonus point! Just make sure you tell them to say you sent them.

Remember: The person(s) who enter the most prompt contests in a twelve month period will receive a chance to win a paid-for by me six month subscription to the Steeple Hill line of their choice.

Happy Writing!


Wednesday, October 04, 2006



I had just sent an email and was staring at my tagline that says, "Pouring my vial of words over Him" when I felt Him ask me, "Will you promise to always write as worship?"

"Yes, Lord." I said and THAT moment The Call came!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Pray that I keep my end of the bargain up. Kinda feels like I just signed two contracts. LOL! HE IS AWESOME!

This is the first book in my USAF PJ (Pararescue Jumper) series. Not sure of a release date yet but tentative title is House on Haven Street.

I love new beginnings! He's true to His promise....He makes a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert and I love watching it spring forth!


YEEEEEEEEEEEE my new editor, Melissa!!!

YEEEEEEEEEEEE my agent who's beside herself with excitement for me!!!

YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE everyone in the world....okay so that's a bit dramatic but I CAN'T HELP IT!

I've had this dream since I was a little girl to author a book!!!!!

YEEEEE for God putting a sense of destiny in me before I even actually knew Him very well. But He sure did know me.

Whisper, shout, hum, or however you want to speak...a sincere "Thank You" to Him on my behalf today, okay?

If you get a chance...bop over to

Take a moment to sign in (free of charge) and join the party they'll be throwing for me over there!!!! Just click on Talk and go to the thread that says something about SQUIRL SOLD, or Cheryl Wyatt Sold.

THANX to my faithful blog readers for all of your support!!!


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

DIVING IN to revisions

See Squirrel's brain.
See Squirrel's brain on revisions.
See Squirrel's brain fry with revisions.

I have a BIG, BIG secret....that I can't wait to tell you all just as soon as I get clearance.......


PS: Did I happen to tell you I'm TERRIBLE at keeping secrets?


I feel somewhat better....maybe I won't explode now.


ACFW Conference Pictures

Here are some pictures of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference in Dallas.Enjoy!


Here are some pictures of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference in Dallas.



Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Just got back from the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference in Dallas, Texas. God did SO many neat things there. I met some wonderful people (waving to Kjersten! and the gals from South Africa and Bermuda!!!) What a blessing we now have an international group!!!

STEALTH SURRENDER WON FIRST PLACE in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller category of the Genesis contest!!! That's book two of the book sitting on an editor's desk as we speak. I met with the other editor that I subbed the revisions of that story to and she's really hoping the Senior editor will like it. ME TOO! But I'm not obsessing over it, nor will I be devastated if they decide to pass on it. If I learned one thing this week...I learned that GOD IS IN CONTROL. And well, I WANT God in control. More than I want to be published, I want His will and His timing. I want to "get it right." I want no regrets in my life...whether that be with the time I spend with my children or my writing. I want to write the words He puts on my heart and tell the stories He gives me to tell. I know He will get them to the readers they belong to.

The editor plugged my book in a workshop for me which will be good if it sells!!!! How very cool that was. Embarrassed me to death but in a good way. I'm thankful for her belief in me and I think she will be as sorry as me if it doesn't go through. But I trust in God's goodness and timing, and I also trust the editors' judgement. I don't want the embarrassment of a book on the shelves before it's ready any more than they do. So I'm resting in Him and trusting that WHATEVER happens with it is His perfect will.

It was great to see old friends again, and I tell you, it was hard to have to need help at the conference. My good friend Pammer pushed me all over the hotel. I am so thankful for her because it is extremely hard for me to ask for help. I HATE it. I hate having to depend on other people. I have NO problem depending totally and utterly on God, but for some reason I have issues God needs to work out there with self-sufficiency. I hate pride. I really do and I don't want it. Maybe it's more independance than pride, who knows but man was God trying to strip that away from me. It was HARD. I hated feeling indebted to people and dependant on people. Why am I so darn stubborn? My stomach clenched and I was screaming inside about how much I hate this immobility and inability to get myself places. I'm pitiful. And you'd think after FIVE times of God knocking me on my you-know-what for an extended period of time I'd LEARN. Some times I just wanted to go to my room and eat fifteen pieces of Slim Jim Jerky and sqwall my eyes out over not being able to move myself around.

I'm harvesting those feelings for a future book with a disabled character or something. LOL! Can't let book fodder go to waste. Or in the case of the Jerky overdose...waist. LOL!

But apparently I'm a slow learner.

I'm so, so, so glad for Pammer sticking to me like glue and that those uncomfortable moments where she had another committment were few and far between. I owe her big time. The time I spent with her was precious. Oh man...I'm thinking of something that needs to go in a Blush and Cringe. I should ask her permission first though. But it's too funny not so share. It has to do with the pretty "necklaces" we saw in the book store. LOLOL! We thought they were necklaces anyway and stood there for ten minutes wondering how to get them on our necks. We looked and looked and looked for the clasp or hook and asked many people who walked by how to open them and get them on. Well, they weren't necklaces. They were rosaries. Sigh. Me and Pammer decided we're twins separated at birth.

And she paid me the nicest tribute after pushing me around!

It was great to see Syn too. She has such a heart of compassion and of intercession and God really drew us together.

Camy Tang and Robin Miller looked absolutely gorgeous giving out awards at the BOTY and Genesis. I hope to have pics up as soon as I find my cable.....

There just isn't enough room here to tell everything He did. But just tell Him thank you for everything for me next time you settle into time with Him...Okay?

Signing off til next time,


Sunday, September 17, 2006

This came across one of the writing loops I'm on. Just so you know, I didn't write it, but the content resonated with me. I hope it speaks to someone out there today and brings encouragement.



Work is tough, full of disappointments-and that is true even of work that manypeople envy, such as my own.I have never understood why people consider writing to be a glamorous career.To succeed as a writer, you need the constitution to stare at a computer screen fordays on end, trying to craft a few pages that someone will read in five minutes on anairplane. You need a skin thick enough to not flinch when editors take your best effortsand casually clean them, cutting off the head and pulling out the guts. You need thedoggedness to take blunt rejection and try again . and again, and again.Other kinds of work are tough too, I know. Farmers play poker with the weatherand the bugs. Salesmen treat customers like friends and in return get treated like slime.And should I mention the restaurant business?

Earlier this year, I went through a time of great frustration in my job. It was partlydue to fatigue, I think. We'd had some deaths in my family, which left me worn down.And then I went through a patch where nothing I did seemed right. I proposed projectswhich got shot down, and when I wrote on assignment, editors scraped away at my proseuntil only scraps were left. That's normal, part of the process, but I felt frustratedand unappreciated.I had to go back and relearn the right attitudes.I need the right attitude to work hour to hour and long term.Hour by hour, it's simple: do the work. I had to stick my rear in my chair and not getup until I had finished a major chunk of work. That meant resisting distractions fromphone calls and emails and news reports.If you don't stick to it hour to hour, your discouragement will build. But if you workhard in the short term, you'll accomplish something. You'll find the work itself meaningful-and there's a good possibility your failures will turn around. That happened to me.

Long term, I had to remember why I was working in the first place. I had to believein my vocation all over again. In the deepest sense, I needed to know that I do the workbecause God wants me to do it.Why are you in your job? Maybe you're there to fulfill a special gift. Maybe you'rethere to make a living for your family. Maybe you're there because the work needs to bedone for the good of society.

To overcome discouragement, you need an attitude thattakes the focus off your sense of frustration. You need to remember why your work is valid.You need to remember that God is behind it.Both these attitudes, long term and short term, reflect what Paul wrote to thePhilippians: "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." He goes on todescribe how Jesus became a humble servant, obedient even to the point ofdeath (Phil. 2:5-8).Hour by hour, a servant's focus is very limited. Servants listen for directions, andthey do exactly what their boss expects. In the longer term, servants know why theyare working: because they have a master who has called them to service.We are meant to be servants of God.Listen to your Boss, he'll tell you what to do. Believe in your vocation because youknow who called you to it. And do your work because God is behind it.

By Tim Stafford Copyright ? 2001 - 2006 H. E. Butt Foundation. All rights reserved.Received from: Faith in the Workplace

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I was a mite grumpy yesterday so dh (dear husband on most days) took me shoe shopping this evening. So here we are zooming all over the store in a scooter and I have two of my three kids on my lap. I do not weight 200 pounds. The guy SAID it was fully charged and new and raring and ready to go.


My kids all three together don't weigh over 75 pounds. I'm well under 200, but well over 100...let's just leave it at that.

THE THING BROKE AT THE FARTHEST POINT AWAY FROM THE SCOOTER DOCK. So here I am stuck. Dh rode another to me and we switched. So he takes two kids to let them pick out a sticker book and the oldest stays with me to help. So she's on my lap and we're racing around a corner and I'm enjoying this exhilerating ride and so is she because she's yelling, "Faster Mommy! Faster!"

I'm pushing it to the max at this point, and then it happened.

I spotted the perfect pair of shoes.

I veered right...down that aisle. The scootermagig apparently doesn't turn on a dime. It apparently doesn't turn on a spot the size of a compact car because we careened into the shoes. The scooter kept going because the handlebar got stuck beneath the shelving...then I hear this monstrous creaking and the sound of metal and then a series of rapid fire thudding and clanking and clinking. We finally come to a stop beneath a thundershower of shoes. My daughter runs for cover and I turn around to survey the aftermath.

Shoes....everywhere. Shelving....everywhere. Those little metal prongs that were holding the fifty or so pair of house slippers.....everywhere.

So my daughter runs to her dad because she's mortified with embarrassment because now there are people....everywhere. And I'm stuck in the mess only I can't escape the mortification because my dh(in this instance Dratted Husband) has my walker in his cart across the store where my daughter fled as he passed by waiting for her. Of course he couldn't come help me because all three kids suddenly had to use the restroom. Stickers must have a diuretic capability to them or something.

Here I am picking up the shoes with the reacher thingy which took a solid 20 minutes. At least I didn't race another scooter shopper down the aisle like the other day when I discovered my mother and father in fact DID know I used to drag race my Iroc z and my Firebird behind the high school. But hey, when someone pulls up beside you in the suppository aisle..and says in a low voice, "Wanna race?" and revvs their scooter....battery. Do those things even have engines? I mean, WHO could resist?

Oh Lord God in Heaven, PLEASE give my children more sense than I had as a teen. Now I know what I put my parents through. Lord help me, and grant them blessings beyond measure for letting me live past my teen years.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Want to know a wonderful way to support our troops and their families?

Check out

Maybe you'd like to be involved?

I'm posting from the site here...Volunteers Needed:

Resource Coordinator Needed: Do you have some free time you could spend helping add resources to AGF's Resource page? If the answer's yes, please contact Sara at

AGF Street Team - Do you live near a military installation? Help her get the word out to people who need to know about the site! Email her at and let her know you'd like to be part of their very first group of promotional volunteers. They'll send you resources to pass out and spread the word about

I plan to pick up some packets myself.









UM...THAT'S Prehistoric Monster Syndrome for those of you wondering.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Prayer is powerful. Prayer is conversing with God as you would a friend. Prayer is digging in and pressing in and persevering in it no matter how long, how hard, or what the circumstances say.

God has called me to pray. I've known this since first giving my life to Him in mid-twenties. A very good friend taught me that God hears my prayers. I don't know why, but He does. I've never doubted that.

Enter the earthquake.

I didn't doubt that God heard me, but I did lay my weapon down. I walked away for a time. I didn't turn my back on God but I did my calling.

I've lived enough days of regret in my life and I don't want to look back on my life from this day forward and have one single regret. So I'll have you know I'm armed and dangerous again. LOL! One thing about this hip junk, it caused me to press in and keep my face at his feet. Pain will do that do you. Drive you to beg for mercy.

He is.

He did.

He chased after me and put that proverbial M-16 right back in my arms. I felt the weight of it tonight when two gals were praying for me....praying for me about...prayer. My role in praying for the church. Just ten minutes a day God asked of me in regards to this. Gee whiz. I converse with him on a continual basis in my heart and mind ninety percent of the time but ten minutes a day? That's VERY doable. I'm sure as time goes by He'll ask for more. It baffles me that he only asks for ten percent of my tithe too. So I always slip Him a little extra because, well it's absurd NOT to because every single thing I have comes from Him anyway.

Even the desire to pray.

Even the fortitude to keep asking.

Even the iron will to press in until He does what I want if that thing I want is His will.

What happens on the font lines if a soldier would set his weapon down and walk away? Right. He'd likely get a stream of bullets in his back, or worse, the fellow soldiers that his CO (Commanding Officer) put him in charge of providing cover fire for may get a stream of bullets in them. So let me ask you, what is your assignment? Think of God as your CO, and your weapon as prayer. The enemy is not flesh and blood. It is principalities and powers of darkness and evil which would dearly love to kill, steal and destroy everything in and around you.

Let's be brave soldiers and fight the good fight of faith in good conscience. Let's keep those weapons poised and our prayer bullets pinging.

God hears. Try Him.



Friday, September 08, 2006


Did I get your attention? Tee hee. Actually it may not have measured on the National Richter scale but for the past three years an earthquake has cast tremors all over my life, shaking everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. . .except my faith.

I realized that the other day.

The earthquake? Chronic pain. I don't mean the kind of pain that's akin to a fly dive bombing your plate at a picnic either. I'm talking EXCRUCIATING pain. 9.5 on a scale of 1-10 kind of pain, with ten being the worst pain you could imagine. Childbirth was a cinch compared to this pain.

Feel sorry for me yet?

Okay then let me go on. . .see if I can evoke some more sympathy. LOL! Since January of 2004 there has not been ONE SINGLE SOLITARY NANOSECOND where I have not been in physical pain. Debilitating pain that has affected my sleep and altered my usually bubbly personality.

I turned into a whiney, moaney, witch with a capital B right before my husband's eyes. And though there were times I saw him eyeing the shovel and the basement and I knew he was thinking how long it would take authorities to find my body while he zipped off to Jaimaca with my life insurance money, he's been so faithful and kind. Most days. But yet, even my marriage has been shaken. We were a couple who laughed ourselves silly every day. Now scowling and strife defined our marriage up until recently when they realized the cause of my pain wasn't the nerve damage they'd originally thought but a hip dysplasia with an injury that occurred during delivery where my hip was dislocated and my labrum tore. Read: : Labrum. NOT labia. LOL. I do get some amusement seeing peoples faces twitch with the word because most have never heard it and probably think I'm mispeaking. Anyway, I digress, when they realized what the actual unjury was and started giving me REAL pain meds....ahh...for a few months my husband got his wife back and my daughters actually got to know me as I really am.

I'm not sure what my point is to this blog except to say that sometimes it's okay to be shaken. I thank God that He's grounded my faith so that was never affected by the tremors. So now I've had surgery to correct this problem and thank God that it was something they could fix.

So a few weeks post op I show up at church with my walker. I was astounded at the people who swarmed me, mouths agape. "What happened to you?" or "I didn't realize it was THAT bad!"

Yeah. Well, I did. And so did God. I'm pretty private with my pain, and I have an incredibly high pain tolerance. If I say I'm hurting, I'm near death. Seriously. It's the stubborn streak that runs through our family that teaches us to be tough.

But that's not God's way. And I've learned through this that it is much easier to give than to receive. It's HARD to admit we need help. Harder even to admit this has taken a toll on our family.. .our relationship as a couple. BUT, once people know they can pray for you and defeat any place where the enemy would seek to kill, steal and destroy your life or marriage or whatever his target of the time is.

Don't hang tough. Don't hide your pain. Tell SOMEONE you trust. Ask God to send you someone to talk to who will listen more than talk. Who will press in and pray for you and not stop until it's over. Someone who will praise God ahead of time for the victory. Someone who will love you as Jesus loves you and always point you to Him.

Maybe someone out there is struggling with chronic pain. It may not even be physical. Maybe you're struggling with depression. God acknowledges there is such a thing in psalms. Did you know that? He says, "I comfort the depressed." He doesn't send a priest. He doesn't send a pastor. He comes Himself to comfort you. He doesn't condemn you for your pain. His heart is full of mercy and compassion beyone what you are capable of comprehending and He loves you more than you or I could imagine. And believe me, I have a grand imagination.

Just know today that maybe no one knows how deep the pain runs or how far, or how long or how bad it hurts. It's okay. God knows. And He cares.

Blessed be the name of the Lord for His lovingkindness endures forever.

I hate crying in front of people but last night at Discipleship Community God busted me. Someone came up to ask me how I was feeling and you know how bad I wanted to say, "I'm feeling great!"

God whispered, "Why would you lie when they truly want to know?" Gulp. Okay, God.

So I said, "Actually, I'm feeling horrible."

So what happened? I cried my eyes out and a bunch of people prayed for me and though the pain wasn't less than it was when I came there, I knew even more that those people love me.

Something good will always come out of something bad when you trust God with it.

Praying for anyone out there today who's hurting.

He sees. He knows. He cares. Ask Him to show you how much in a tangible way. TELL SOMEONE! Let someone help you. Get prayer! Don't make the mistake I did. My marriage is stronger than it has been in a couple of years, but I know that's because I finally admitted our struggles to a close friends. Well. I Guess I just admitted it to the world but I really think if we as CHristians don't share our struggles we'll scare others away because we become unnapproachable.

I never want to be that.

I want to be there for my friends as they've been there for me.

Go get alone with God and let Him love on you. Just wait for Him. Be still. Be quiet. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you in an eternally lifechanging way.

Have a blessed day.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Confessions of a Potty Mouth Momma

Okay, so I'm just gonna say right off the bat that I acknowledge that I may be the only Christian mom out there who slipped up and said a cuss word in front of her kid. Snicker. A blog is a place where we can be real, right?

Kid number two took number three in the bathroom and locked the door. Prior to doing this, the heatherrrrrr I mean the munchkins took the tiny screwdriver out of the crack I keep it in up near the left hand side of the door frame. That screwdriver is how I unlocked the bathroom when it advertantly got locked for some reason.

So anyway, moving onward.....

I hear them in there rattling around in the medicine cabinet. I have a childproof mechanism on it but I can tell they're trying to push it in and get the door open. Panic sets in as I think of all the meds I have in there so I start knocking on the door. "Unlock the door now. Right now. RIGHT NOW! One. Two. . .if I have to say threee. . . ."

Nothing. I rattle the knob violently. "Let me in right now! No TV time. Do you hear me?" I flat hand my palm on the wood.

Profuse snickering.

Two minutes later I'm still counting to three and have counted to three enough times to hit 300. My heart is in my throat and I'm ready to splinter wood with my foot in about thirty seconds. From inside comes giggling and the ominous sound of the medicine cabinet creaking ALL the way open, AND then the sound of pills rattling around those plastic medicine containers.

You know the ones. The ones that my kids can open faster than I can though they're supposed to be childproof. Yeah.

So now I'm FUMING and scared. Being a nurse I'm terrified of them ODing on my stool softeners or something worse.

So I fist my hand and BANG-BANG! BANG. BANG. BANG! on the door in perfect time with this:



More silence. Then, "Uh. Oh. I tink mom's mad."

Yah think?


Four wide eyes are staring at me then my fist then my chest at which point I realize I'm heaving. I loosen my mouth because it hurts from clenching the teeth together. Think I probably lost a layer of enamel on that one.

So after explaining for the UMPTEENTH time why the med cabinet is OFF LIMITS and whoever gets in it may lose a hand...(Just kidding all you Child and Family Service people...honest) I think maybe they didn't think anything about the "D" word. . .even though my dh is staring me down with The Look. You know...the one where I know he's thinking, "Aw. Huh. And now they have one more word added to their vocabulary," kind of look.

"They'll forget about it by sunset," I told him. "Don't sweat it."

No matter that I kept them out of school the next day AND church two days after JUST to make sure.

So Tuesday of two weeks later rolls around and I'm going down the hall to get the toddler so we can go pick up her siblings from Christian school. Note: CHRISTIAN school.

Traitor baby is standing at her door. . .banging away. . .saying some such gibberish that sounds strikingly like, "Opie! Duh! Dam! Dam! Dam!"

Okay first off I never said it three times. So now guess what her favorite word is? Yah. At the grocery store. Sliding glass doors. "Opie dam door daddy." In front of the entire Wal-Mart. And he's giving me The Look again.

So back to Tuesday. . .blush. Cringe. BOTH of my daughters got a note. Well one got a note in her folder and the other lost a kangaroo out of her pocket because . . .yeah you guessed it. . .

They taught the class the NEW word. Only one of them actually demonstrated it though so it could have been worse right?
Yeah at church. . .now all of the jungle room kids know the "D" word thanks to me.


Baaaa-aaaad Mommy. The ONE time. . .okay okay, the *Maybe* fifth time I've said that word since I've been a Christian. . .and the ONE time I say it in front of my kids and it comes back to bite me in the da** butt.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Squirrel's Story Starters!!!

Here's the prompt for this month. Submit the story to my email address:

The winner will receive their choice of one of five new Inspirational Fiction releases from Steeple Hill publishers.

Note: This site is in no way related to Harlequin, or Eharlequin. This is just an aspiring author promoting fellow writers and their work.

Write a 500 word scene using one of these three opening hooks:

1. "You'll never guess who I just saw at the cop shop."

2. "This is not your car."

3. "Excuse me?"

Incorporate five of the ten words into the story, and use NO "ly" adverbs.


You will have until Sept. 15th to email me your story. Winners will be notified by Sept. 20th and prizes will be mailed by the end of September. You retain ALL rights to your work. I will not post or print it anywhere, and in fact will delete entries once I've logged entrants names for that month and chosen a winner.

If you'd like to enter my contest, leave a comment letting me know.

If you send three friends to stop by my blog, then you score a bonus point!

Happy Writing!


Friday, August 18, 2006

My Meltdown

Just so you know, I had another meltdown. . .only this time it made national news.

Check it out here:,2933,208026,00.html


Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Regardless of your stance on the war in Iraq, our deployed soldiers deserve our thankfulness. If is for our freedom they are defending, after all. So won't you please join me in extending gratitude? Here's a really easy (and free!) way to bring a smile to a soldier in the midst of dust and chaos.

"Let's Say Thanks!" is a web site that sends free post cards to U.S. servicemen & women.

Please take a few minutes to check it out here: Let's Say Thanks.

It costs nothing and takes only a few minutes.

Please spread the word!


Sunday, August 13, 2006


I've been thinking (dangerous I know) about my characters' spiritual struggle for this next book I'm plotting. I often use things I've gone through with God, or things folks close to me have gone through in their relationship with Him as ideas for my character's spiritual struggle.

Since I write Inspirational Romance, there needs to be a challenge to the characters' faith which they work out with God by the end of the story. So not only is there the development of the romance, and often a suspense thread to tie loose ends up with, the spiritual (faith) struggle needs to be present.

In my current story, the hero is a backslidden Christian. He grew up a missionary in India, lived there as an American citizen most summers. His father is of Indian descent, his mother American. The heroine believes there's a God, but the idea of having a personal relationship with the living God is a foreign concept to her at the beginning. When the rug of her existance is pulled out from under her before the hero's eyes, he knows it's going to take the love and power of God intervening to make things right, and to set her back on her proverbial feet. He also knows he has to get his issues worked out with God before he can be of help to her, so her tragedy becomes his catalyst. The last thing he wants to be to her is a hypocrite since hypocracy is a tool the enemy used to pull him away from the church. He always loved God, but knows how difficult it is to fight the good fight of faith without the support of Christian brothers and sisters. . .and a church family. . .upholding him. A couple soldiers in his circle have recently converted to Christianity, and this also helps him want to come back to his strong faith. He fights the good fight of an american soldier against terror and evil in the world in a tangible sense. Now he knows God is pulling him into warring another realm, where the battle is not with flesh and blood, but against powers and prinicipalities and dark rulers who are demonic, and trying to kill, steal and destroy the heroine's life and purpose on earth.

So this brings me to an idea.

I'd love to know what spiritual struggles you've had which you've truimphed over in your life with God. Only email me if you're giving me permission to use that struggle in a future book between a hero and heroine. If I choose your struggle, I may also need to consult.interview you during the book in order to make things realistic for my characters. I will never use real names or situations in my books. This is just to get ideas for spiritual struggles, because though my stories are fiction, I want the struggle to be real and something readers can identify with. I also want God's response to be real, meaning, how He responds to my characters should reflect His heart and how He'd respond if these people were made of flesh and blood instead of imagined.

In other words, I write modern day parables which I hope encourage and entertain people.

If you don't want to post your struggle here, feel free to email me. All emails are confidential.

Come on....share your struggles!!! You never know whose life you'll touch if you get transparent with what you've been through. Maybe someone else will be in the throes of something you're standing on the other side of, having come through the fire of it as gold.

Ready, set, SHARE! :-)

My email is Cheryl at (replace "at" with "@") if you'd like to respond privately. If I choose to use your struggle in an upcoming book, I will contact you asap so leave your contact info.

My good friend and author mentor, Margaret Daley, spoke on weaving in characters' spiritual threads at RWA's FHL banquet this year, so if you're a writer, be sure to drop by her blog and check out her posts on this. Click on her blog link then scroll to the message where she talks about interweaving spiritial and faith elements in. Margaret has published nearly 50 books, and her characters' struggles always seem realistic and touching, especially how she wraps up the relolution. Check it out and sign her guestbook.

Have a great day!

Off to plot,



Hello y'all!

Back from surgery. Major hip reconstruction. Everything went well. I'm getting all buff and stuff from carrying myself around on a walker. Going up stairs is rather interesting though. You have to hop backwards...which doesn't sound too dangerous except for the fact that the walker is two feet wide and the steps are only one foot wide. Hopefully I won't fall and break my non-surgical hip.

Mailed off revisions the Sunday before Monday surgery. . .which would have been July 31st. I emailed it to my agent and she snail mailed it to the editor who did email to say she got it, and was looking forward to reading it. So I could hear any day.

I haven't been entering contests as of late. I'm plotting my next novel and enjoying that. I LOVE the title. For now I'll call it TGTN. I'll tell you what it is when I send it to an editor. I'm getting to know the characters and their issues. I'm having a couple plot issues with it, but for now, I'm trying to sort out scenes so I can dive in and get the rough draft done. So that's what I'm working on now.

I plan to attend the ACFW conference, and I think I may even have a sequined skirt in the mix for my walker. LOLOL!

Thanks for all your prayers and support prior to my surgery, and during this time of recovery.

God is faithful. He brought me through, and I'm really awed by the peace He gave during the entire process. Day by day He's getting me through the pain and frustration of immobility.



Sunday, July 09, 2006

Story Sensei Summer Sale!!!!! CHECK IT OUT

The Story Sensei Summer Sale - A writers' summer event!From now until July 15th, I will be holding a fabulous contest for myStory Sensei critique service.I will draw the names of TWO lucky winners! They will each receive:A free synopsis critique – up to 10 pages single-spaced, a $40 value!ANDA coupon for 25% OFF any manuscript critique – whether full or partialmanuscript, any number of words. For a 100,000 word manuscript, that'sa savings of $250!In addition, EVERYONE WHO ENTERS will receive a 10% OFF coupon for anyservice, whether synopsis, query letter, or manuscript critique (fullor partial). For a 100,000 word manuscript, that's a savings of $100,just for entering.Go to my Story Sensei blog and post a comment to enter the contest!!Camy-- Romance with a kick of wasabi out the Story Sensei critique service Summer Sale!

Guys, Camy has edited my stuff. Bar none...she's THE BEST structural editor out there!


Friday, June 23, 2006


Hey guys,

I wanted to make you aware of a TOTALLY awesome faith-based military website that I feel honored to be involved in. I love Sara to pieces, and I love the vision God's given her for A Greater Freedom.

Please pass this on to all your friends! Especially tell military readers and their families.

This is a GREAT thing for our servicemen and women, and a great way for YOU to show support for them.

Any questions, post them on my blog, or contact Sara.


Squirrel (Cheryl Wyatt)


For Immediate Release



Sara Horn, Publisher

615-302-1932 Announces 21-Day Salute to Honor America subscribers and readers are invited to participate in our first 21-Day Salute to Honor America!

In 1975, Congress declared that the period between June 14 (Flag Day) and July 4 (Independence Day) would be recognized as Honor America Days, a time for Americans to publicly celebrate America and the great ideals our country stands for.

We want to do our part in honoring America by inviting you to tell us, in 350 words or less, who you think is a Great American – someone you know who is going beyond the norm to make a difference in the life of their country and their fellow Americans.

Email us your letters between June 14 and July 4 to be included in the contest. We’ll choose the three best letters out of the ones we receive to receive a special gift, courtesy of

Send your letters to today!

We Can’t Forget New Subscribers!

Sign up for our free monthly newsletter and we’ll enter your name into a drawing each week to receive a special gift. It’s our way of thanking you for showing your support of by becoming a subscriber.

Where Faith and Service Come Together

The mission of is to equip, inform and encourage members of the military and their families through the use of news, feature stories and commentary that will lead people to a more passionate faith in Jesus Christ.

Monday, June 12, 2006



JUST KIDDING! HA HA HA. Okay, well it was funny to me. This image came from this website:
page 5 Image 91 (Photo by Pfc. Brandon Aird, 173rd Public Affairs)

Lots of cool photos there that you can peruse to see what our servicemen and women do while away. I use most of these pictures to remind myself to pray for them, their safety, their missions, and for their loved ones back home.

Revisions for OMINOUS CODE (which I've tentatively renamed TANDEM HEARTS or HOME ON HAVEN STREET for my working title) are coming along nicely. The story is going to be much more romance focused than action-adventure focused. So I don't get to have them chasing down computer hackers with very cool high powered machine guns...but that subplot was cheezy anyway. Maybe I will toss in a paintball game between Amber and Joel and Bradley. That would be cool I think, and fun. Plus it would get the shooting out of my system. LOL! Yeah! I think I will add that now that I think about it. Hey! Maybe that could be one of their dates.

Have any of you been shot at close range with one of those things? OUCH! I mean they HURT! Not as bad as when my sister shot me in the caboose with my Daisey Pellet gun when we were little and living in the desert of New Mexico. It's not like there are many trees to hide behind. It's wide open desert, and sorry, but cactus doesn't provide much cover when pellets and BB's hail.

Living in the Midwest provides more places to hide. Tons of trees. Our back fence looks white because of all the paintgun splotches my husband and daughters have shot there. What a fun way to paint though, huh? Although my neighbors may think I've gone over the edge if I stand out there shooting the porch rail hundreds of times.....

Okay, I'm off to write that scene....



Saturday, June 10, 2006

MOUSE! IN! THE!!!.....DUG OUT???

Went to my niece's softball game tonight and around the 5th inning, all the girls from her team ran shrieking out of the dug out, except a few brave ones who were pounding the earth with their aluminum bats. We figured out they ran out because there was a mouse in the dug out...And he wouldn't come out. Okay, well all the shrieking and flinging of bats probably petrified him, so I doubt he could move if he wanted to.

Anyway, a little while later, my sister (who had moved her chair farrrrrrr-farrrrr away from the dugout) had her attention entrenched in the game. Now you have to understand she and my mother are terrified of mice. In fact, growing up, guess who got nominated to clean out under the sink every time? Yep. Me. And I was proud of that job because I wasn't scared of lil' critters.

So back to the game, I snuck up behind my sister and tickled her on the back of the neck with a large weed thing...Don't ask me what it was...coulda' been poison IVY or a Japanese Maple branch, or heck, even a twig of marijuana for all I know. Anyway, I ran this fuzzy thing up the side of her neck and she started slapping herself like she was playing drums for a speed metal band.

In the process of laughing my head off, she spun as she figured out it wasn't a mouse but her prankster sis, she then turned the slapping brigade at I stepped back out of reach of her smacking and didn't realize one of my children was crouched on the ground behind me.

From the momentum of moving backwards, the backs of my calves hit said child, and I flipped over her, and landed right on my rear in a very ungraceful manner. My dad and I think maybe Chad (Brother in law) or George (family visiting from out of town) came to my aid. I was still laughing so hard but the last laugh was on me.

Thank you Lord for laughter.
Thank you Lord for a close-knit family.
Thank you Lord for a funny memory we will treasure for years to come.
Thank you Lord for the thick carpet of plush green grass which provided a very soft landing.
Thank you Lord for giving me a sense of humor, even if it does often come back to bite me.

I'm working through the revisions. Got a new synopsis written several days ago, and am waiting to get the green light on it so I can finish the new version of the story. I'll keep ya posted!

CONGRATS to Aimee and Chris today. My babysitter got married, and it was THE most touching wedding I've been to. The groom couldn't look at her without tears streaming down his face. Really precious. And they serenaded one another musical theatre-style. She'd sing a verse to him, and he'd sing the next to her, then they'd harmonize. Really neet. People were sniffling all around.

Blessings, Squirrel