Monthly Archives: March 2010

Mel and Karen and writing, oh my!

Had dinner with friends Mel Schroeder and Karen Kelley last night. Both are multi-published, award-winning authors who write full-time. Their excitement about the craft was so contagious.
It’s been forever since I’ve been to a writer’s group meeting, so I’d forgotten the intensity of being around other writers.
I NEED that community with others actively seeking publication.
I get a little of it from SubCare, but online isn’t the same as in person.

A Letter to Me

Dear MBL,

yes, once again you’re struggling with the beginning of a new book, and once again you’re writing and rewriting and rewriting until you get the right emotions and tone and chacter voices. And once again you’ll do this until you know it’s right. And when it’s right, the lightbulb awesomeness will hit and then you can plot to your heart’s content to make sure RbM works as both a romance and a mystery.

Notice how many once again’s are up there. It feels totally foreign. Like your muse has stranded you for an extended vacation to Paris or Siberia or that non-planet Pluto. But you do this with every book. So suck it up, keep writing and you’ll get there. Like you always do. To that place where characters whisper to you at 2 a.m. about what happens next instead of scream no way, huh-uh, I didn’t do or say that because I am not plain vanilla or milk toast or a wall flower.

Remember the key: write. You read like nobody’s business, so you don’t have to worry about that. You just have to close the door, get into the story and write. And write. And write. And it will click.

What you can’t do is play Facebook games. Not even Farm Town. Or call your mom. (Or decide the laundry room needs redecorating or volunteer to teach toddler choir–not that you would ever do that since redecorating, teaching 3-yr-old church choir and hell are pretty close to the same place on your richtor scale of bad ideas.)

Chil-ax, Hon. This is new book-itis. It too shall pass. It always does. This is NOT the first time you’ve felt like this, no matter how many times you tell yourself it is. Don’t believe me? Go look at your blog. It’s there. Again and again and again. But don’t do that now because it’ll just suck up writing time.

Have a great night. Think of Megan and John and the awesome wonderfullness that is their soon to be book. You’re going to put them through the wringer before all is said and done. They’re going to hate you as much as you hate trying to find them right now. Until the good parts, you know what I mean? And even then they’re not going to like what you do after that until you get to the happily ever after.

And you will get there. Because that’s what you do.

See you in the morning. Go dream a little.

Mary Beth

this was copied from my eHarlequin blog. I wrote it to myself last night. If you don’t know eHarlequin, check it out. I love the blogs and foruums there, especially the Write Stuff forums.

Grandma Vanderburg

Things I discovered about my amazing grandma at her funeral:
She grew up on the oil fields of Texas and Oklahoma.
She was naive as a young woman. Grandpa told her to beat the gas out of the beans before cooking them, and she thought he was serious.
She did the books for the churches she and Grandpa pastored and helped save multiple small churches across Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Arkansas, Kansas, Tennessee, Washington and North Dakota.
She graduated from school in Oklahoma.
She made the highest score of anyone on her practical nursing test, and she held that record score until they changed the format of the test.

The funeral was sad because I hated to say goodbye. It was beautiful because it didn’t feel like an end. They played two of her songs and it was like she was there with us.
After the funeral one of my cousins brought up how lucky we were that she’d taught us so much. She was never judgmental, she loved unconditionally. She taught me that if you laugh at inappropriate behavior, it’s the same as if you’re committing the act. She taught me how to control my temper. She taught me to clean a kitchen and make a bed and make white gravy. She explained that the holy spirit isn’t loud, but people are when they get excited about Him, so it wasn’t a bad thing that I didn’t want to be loud. She reminded me that Jesus worked outside the church.
She and Grandpa were a true love story.
Back before they even knew each other, the OKC paper ran a story on Grandpa because his wife died leaving him with four sons. Grandma cut that story out of the paper and prayed for the young minister. Two years later she married him. She didn’t allow people to call her new children step children. The three boys (one baby died before she met Grandpa) were HERS.
Grandpa says she won the race. She got to heaven first. I’m going to try to remember that.

A Vegan Lent by DD

DD decided to be vegan for Lent. It’s not exactly easy, but she’s making due. She needs something more than beans and rice to give her energy.
It’s interesting that she chose this path for Lent.Back when she was a toddler, she was a natural vegetarian. She’d cry every time we had hamburgers and pull the meat from the food we ate. It didn’t bother me, I just figured it was something she’d grow out of. And she did, but she’s always enjoyed meatless dishes as much as the ones with meat. Vegan is a whole different story. It’s hard to be vegan. At least it’s hard to be vegan in Wichita Falls where Whole Foods is far, far away.

PS: updated to add that since Lent started and DD started her vegan lifestyle she’s lost a clothes size without even trying. Interesting.


SPent yesterday trying to get my characters more concrete in my mind. They are now as you can see by reading yesterday’s post and checking out the cover I made. I printed it off and put it on my fridge. It’s going to be a great week.


I’m reading The Secret. Loving it. Highly recommend it. It says live like you already have what you want.
I’m a size 10.
I have my new house (it’s gorgeous! I fell in love last Sunday!)
here’s the cover for the book I’m working on….(cover artist mbl)

Be the Change…

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
Look in the mirror and say I am awesome. Wonderful.
Having a bad day? Say Thank You God for the day You’ve given me.
Your brain in infinitely powerful. You control your attitude. You can be the change you wish to see in the world.

Dear Lauren Graham

I hope I like you in Parenthood as much as I loved you in Gilmore Girls! Don’t know if I’m going to like Amber. I always thought Rory was an awesome character but a totally unrealistic person. Then I had a Rory in class and discovered she was just as real as Lorelai.
I loved the movie the TV show is supposed to be a continuation of.
I’ll give you three weeks.