Please excuse Dawn's absence from this blog for the past week. She was being attacked by her own life.
So, I had big plans of putting out a great blog on DFWConcomplete with pictures and a grand synopsis of the event. It was a fantastic weekend. I met all sorts of terrific people, learned more than my brain could hold, came home utterly inspired. Then, reality got its revenge.
It all started with tennis shoes.
My oldest daughter left her only pair of school-approved shoes at her grandparents' house...over 30 miles away.
Of course, we did not realize this until Monday morning exactly 3 minutes before she is supposed to be walking out the door for school. Insert full-blown hysterical meltdown (on her part, not mine) here. A frantic trip to Target, another meltdown over the idea of being tardy and, finally, Dad let her just stay home for the day. Even as a teacher, I fully support that decision because sometimes you just need a "mental health day". Evidently, she did.
The week pretty much went down hill from there.
No big, catastrophic event that devastates your soul. Just the little stresses and irritations that eat at it slowly and wear away your resolve.
Basically wearing this, without the weapon.
A killer migraine that put me in bed at 6:15
Got the younger daughter's field trip day wrong. She had to buy her sack lunch from the school and went to the park wearing all black (long sleeve shirt, short sleeve shirt over it and long black pants. At least they let her take off the long sleeve shirt.) Did I mention we live in Texas? It is already hitting 90 here. Yes, I am "Mother of the Year", why do you ask?
Another whirlwind trip to buy shoes for the other daughter's dance recital.
There's more. Much, much more. But, you get the idea.
So, how was your week?
If you do want to check out my pictures from DFWCon, you can click on the Facebook link on the right. I managed to get them up on my page.
It's been a CRAZY week. Not the normal," I-am-running-in-sixty-different-directions-and-can't-remember-if-kids-had-shoes-on-when-they-left-for-school" kind of week, but a, "I-am-making-major-life-decisions-and-really-freaked- out" type of crazy.
So, in an odd way, these potential characters made me feel better about my own sanity. No matter how out of hand life gets, I will never offer to bite the head off a lizard.
Bethany Quinn was happy to leave her small town ten years ago to create a
new, successful life. But when tragedies strike at home, she is forced
to return and face the pain of her childhood. Out of options, Bethany
tries to find a place where love and faith make sense again.
Last Tuesday, I had the pleasure of interviewing author Katie Ganshert. You can check that out here. Today, I get to review her debut release! I call that a good week.
For me, Wildflowers from Winter was an emotional read. I started tearing up on page 19, by page 62 I had abandoned getting up to get tissues and just brought a roll of toilet paper to bed with me.
That said, it was a good cry.
Katie makes these characters so real you can almost touch them. I could see my reflection in their flaws. Each of their failures ripped at my heart. But, the greatest part is the interwoven message of hope.
As the main character, Bethany, grapples with the distorted religious views that shaped her past, Katie unobtrusively guides the reader through a journey of losing and finding faith. Though the praise and hope of God is clear throughout, the message is never heavy-handed or preachy.
The authentic reactions of the characters to grief and tragedy of the situations is refreshing. If you have experienced any level of loss, you can identify with the different coping strategies exhibited by each character. Everyone grieves differently and Katie captures the heart of that beautifully.
I would definitely recommend this book to a friend. I am looking forward to Katie's next release. Wishing on Willows which is a continuation of Robin's story from Wildflowers.
A man with $180,000 in a bag, a history of bank robberies and mafia connections stepped off a train in NYC and died. How many different ways could that go? There is even a quote from his straight-laced, embarrassed son. Hello, wounded hero with shadowy heritage!
DUH! The man was found in a duffle bag with a padlock on it! Think he was playing Houdini? Of course, the added information that several thousand dollars of women's clothing was also in his apartment adds a nice little twist.
So, swap with me! What could you do with these? What's been floating around in your imaginary world lately?
I love the story of
how you met your husband. Can you give us a quick version of that?
Ha! I love it too. He was the extremely good-looking
delivery guy and I was the enamored receptionist. He’d come in once and day and
we’d pretty much say hi and how are you? Then one day, as I’m
walking out for lunch, he’s walking into our office. I expected him to go on
in, but he did an about-face, walked with me to the elevator, and asked me out.
My suave response was, “Do you even know my name?” Of course, I’d been signing
for the packages every single day. Only my signature is perpetually messy. So
he thought my name was Kate, even though I’d always been Katie. I didn’t
correct him. I wrote “Kate” and my number on a gum wrapper and the rest is
history. (Ten years later and he still has the gum wrapper.)
You left your
teaching career to write full time. How scary was that? Do you miss the
Super scary. Especially since most industry professionals
would advise against it. But I felt pulled in way too many directions. I was
trying to be a wife and a mother and a teacher and a writer, and all the while,
I felt like our son was growing up way too fast. I felt like God was asking me
to step out in faith. Ryan did too.After a whole bunch of prayer, we took the step, knowing we would lose
half our salary and the great benefits that come with being a teacher. On
paper, it didn’t seem like it could work. But God is faithful. He never leads
where He won’t provide. It’s been the best decision for our family. One of the
reasons I know is because as much as I loved teaching, I don’t miss it.
What has been the
best part of this journey for you?
Oh boy, lots and lots of things! Getting to know so many
amazing writing friends (like you!:)). Working with my agent. Working with my
editor. Working with my marketing director. The people at Waterbrook/Multnomah
are a dream team. Seeing a lifelong goal come to life.
And getting to connect
with readers! But, since you asked for the
best, which implies only one thing, I’d have to say how keenly I’ve felt
God’s presence throughout. This journey has drawn me so incredibly close to
Him. It’s shown me that as wonderful as dreams are, ultimately, my hope and my
joy and my worth are found in Him.
What has been the
most surprising (good or bad) part of the journey?
The insecurity! I totally thought getting a book contract
would take care of that for me. But I promise, it doesn’t. I feel like the
further along I get in this journey, the more severely insecurity attacks.
Which is why the further along I get in this journey, the more and more I have
to put my hope in God. I’m such a people-pleaser. I want everyone to be happy
with my work and happy with me. God is teaching me some (tough) lessons about
letting that go.
How is the adoption process
going? Can you talk little bit about your decision to adopt and what the
response has been?
Good! We’re getting super close to sending our home study
over to the Congo. Once it’s over there, we’ll be put on a referral list and
the waiting begins.
We decided to adopt because God says to take care of
orphans. He’s so clear about that command. It’s non-negotiable. That doesn’t
mean everyone has to adopt to do so, but for us, that’s what it meant. We
wanted more kids. It wasn’t happening the natural way. We didn’t feel pulled to
go the infertility treatment route, and our lives kept intersecting with people
who were either in the process of adopting or had already adopted.
day, the whisper in my heart was undeniable. It was as if God were saying, “I
have a blessing out there for you, Katie. Don’t miss it because you’re too
scared or too lazy.” God was working on my husband’s heart too. When he came
home from work, I said, “I think we should adopt.”And he said, “Me too.”
So here we are.
What's next for you
as a writer?
Book 2, Wishing onWillows, which releases March 19, 2013. It’s the continuation of Robin’s
story from Wildflower. Readers don’t
have to read the first book to follow the second, but I do think it’ll be a lot
more meaningful if they do. I’m hoping readers will enjoy seeing familiar faces
Where can we connect
with you? Website, Blog, Facebook, Twitter