I don’t know about you, but it’s been a super-busy couple of weeks for me. I’m ready for a book and a hammock. Who else feels that way? Instead, I’m going to do a little organizing and let you know what’s happened this month and what is coming up this fall. Ready?
First off, I need to announce the winner of my Beyond the Ashes hardcover giveaway contest. The winner is . . .
Congratulations, Dana! I’ll be in touch via e-mail so I can get your hardcover in the mail right away!
Next, I thought I’d catch you up on what I’ve been doing during the past few weeks.
I took my daughter (together with my dear friend and her daughter) to see Taylor Swift perform in Seattle, Washington. We had a fun girls’ weekend, complete with sightseeing, ice cream for breakfast, and a fantastic concert. The girls used temporary hair dye to change their hair into fun colors to celebrate. Doesn’t that make you wish you were thirteen again?
After driving back to Oregon, I repacked my bags and headed out for the Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference. OCW is one of my all-time favorite conferences, and this year was no exception. The keynote speaker was Ed Underwood from California’s Church of the Open Door, and he succeeded in reducing me to tears the very first night. Sometimes you need that sort of experience to open yourself to what God has in mind for the conference. I attended a coaching class with the wonderful best-selling author, Jane Kirkpatrick, and was stunned when she read from Out of the Ruins as an example. I texted my husband right after it happened. His response? “I hope it was a good example. ;)” Lol! And yes, it was.
The summer is wrapping up, and I’m looking forward to the fall. As the kids are setting up their new classes and school supplies, I’m usually setting writing goals for the year. Here are a few I’ve been thinking about lately.
- Finish writing the first book of my national parks series. I don’t have a contract for this book (yet…), but the story and its characters have been simmering in my heart for a couple of years. I started it before I contracted the Golden Gate Chronicles, so it’s been on the back burner awhile. I’m excited to jump back in with both feet.
- I’d like to write a novella to be given away free on my blog and newsletter! I have a story idea that would fit between Beyond the Ashes and next year’s Through the Shadows that I think readers would love. You’ve all been so wonderful in helping me launch Beyond the Ashes, this would be my thank-you gift to you! Would you like to read a little more about Gerald and Ruby–and maybe Patrick, too? Let me know! I still have to clear this with my agent and publisher, but I’m excited about the possibilities.
- Put together the next edition of my e-newsletter. It’s going to be filled with some fun treats, like a big COVER REVEAL for Through the Shadows. Are you subscribed to my newsletter list? You can find it on the right-sidebar of this blog. Don’t miss out!
- Plan more speaking events. I love talking to groups about stories, writing, and faith. I hope to do more of that in this upcoming year. I’m putting together a speaking portfolio that I hope to distribute to writing conferences, libraries, and church groups. I’ve already got one book club set up for 2016.
Well, that’s what I have so far, and September hasn’t even arrived yet! What are your plans for the fall? Eating pumpkin muffins and reading books by the fireplace? That sounds great, too!