Web version Banner art 8 21 2019

Back From the Dead-Sort Of

It's been a while, I know. No, I didn't really die.

The past six months have been unavoidably busy in my personal life with selling my home, buying another home in a whirly-gig kind of real estate market, and actually moving. Those same months have been truly discouraging regarding my "career" as an author, also.

As soon as I moved my daughter needed to have several surgeries. So, I spent four weeks at her home in another state helping her, her four children, and her three dogs during the first surgery. It was tiring, but such a huge blessing to have an extended visit with them. Her kids aren't babies anymore. But they still need meals, laundry, help with COVID-19 Zoom School, and lots of other things. Stir four dogs (I have one also) into the mix and it's a noisy, busy lifestyle.

Four months later she had two more surgeries. I traveled back to her home and enjoyed four more weeks with the family. It was tiring, but such a blessing.

During that time and throughout the Christmas holidays I did very little writing.

Between the two visits the Write2Ignite website self-destructed. I'm the Director of Write2Ignite so... Yes, I spent three weeks getting help with building a whole new website. Ah, the joys of technology. We appreciate tremendously the folks who came to our aid. Could not have survived without them. Thank you, God, for your good people.

During those six months we've seen many changes in the children's publishing industry. A lot of it discouraging to me. Recently I found myself in huge emotional hole I had dug out for myself. I didn't want to write. I didn't want to submit--saw no reason to do so. Didn't want to even discuss writing with my friends and associates. I pretty much decided it was time to quit, bow out, find other things to do with my time. I was discouraged beyond words.

I prayed, of course. This week I spent extra prayer time asking God to show me what He wants me to do. I can't quit unless I know it is God's plan. But I can't keep going with writing for publication either, unless I know it is God's plan. My wisdom is so frail. So fragile. I am grateful that God's wisdom never fails.

Yesterday I woke up with a sense of calm. I knew God wants me to try to continue to write words that will encourage children and their parents. They may never be on the shelf of a book store or in an online book store, but God wants me to keep writing my stories. So, I am doing what He told me to do. I'm starting by cleaning up my website and restarting my E-Newsletter.

I am going to KEEP ON KEEPING ON.

I hope this issue encourages you to do the same.


From God's Word

Ephesians 2:10 says, " For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (NIV) Christians often discuss the first half of that verse. But, did you notice the second half? good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.

My life, your life, is not a result of biological happenstance. God has prepared good things for me and you to do with our lives. And He wants to prepare us to do those good things, too. Whether those good things involve writing and publishing, speaking, teaching, illustrating or whatever--God has already prepared them, and He has already prepared me for that particular assignment.

Let Him direct our ways. To live with peace and joy you and I need to surrender to and accept God good plans for us.

Thanks for reading.



News from Jean's Writing Life

I found out recently that my first picture book God's Blessings of Fall has sold well. In 2020 we sold more than 600 copies. That's encouraging to me. However, I also found out that the next book in the series won't come out in 2021. So, I'm looking forward into 2022 with hope that the second book will come to life. Please pray with us that we can find the right illustrator to bring my words to life on the page.

I'm learning about two new forms (new to me) so I can try them out. I'm learning about writing for the educational market. My first step is to create my resume to highlight my education and skills. It's not nearly as much fun as writing stories.

I'm also learning about and trying my h and at writing nonfiction picture book biographies. Research is such fun for me! I love digging through archives and historical resources. I know it sounds like as much fun as cleaning out closets--which happens to be something else I LOVE to do!

I have completed one biography and am preparing to send it to a publisher. I've also written a historical fiction based on my grandmother's journey to America from Syria in 1910. I'm praying (selfishly, I know) that they find publishing homes this year.

Will you pray with me?

The Library is Back!

I am excited that the public library in my little town of LaGrange, KY, is open for visitors. YAY! Of course, they are following social distancing guidelines. But I can go in, browse, research, check books out for myself. I LOVE it!

So, last week I checked out a few recently published picture book biographies to study. Looking at the forms they use, the language, the back matter, the length, the word counts and more. Hopefully I'll also pick up some inspiration!

Check with your public library. If they are open for in-person business get out of the house and pay them a visit. Breathe in all the paper and glue and ink. Ah! Refreshing.

A Little Something for Writers

If you Indy Publish check out this online space for selling your books.