From Susie's Desk--
We had our first frost today. I woke up to cold feet against my legs. My ten year old had slipped into our bed in the wee-hours of the night, awakened by a dream. I slapped the alarm clock one more time before groaning to roll out of bed. He popped his blonde little head up. "Mom, I was awake long before you. I just didn't want to go out into the cold, cold, world."
Yeah, get it line, kid.
But isn't that sometimes the truth? We just want to hit the buzzer again, keep from going out into the cold, cold world. I can't believe that summer is already over, that the kids are back in school, that I have to go downstairs into the dark hole of our storage closet and drag out the winter coats. Stop! Time is running away from me!
And I'm not helping matters, because as soon as the kids toddled out the door for school, I decided surely that must give me about 12 more hours in my day than the actual 6 they were gone, so what did I do--yeah, took on more projects. Lengthened my work day.
And that's when I realized something. I'm a stress junkie. I thrive on "too much to do." You all know I have No-itis, but it's bad when I leap at ways to fill my time. I actually go a little crazy when I don't have a to-do list before me.
How do I know this?
I attempted to go on vacation this summer. Andrew and I had a week with NO KIDS and we thought, hey, let's run away from home! So, we went to lastminutetravel.com and found cheapie tickets to an island off Cancun and hit Book it, Dano! An entire week of just laying on the beach. Lounging about. Eating seafood.
Oh no, not me. I have to bring a billion writing books along. Do RESEARCH.
It took me about two days to realize, why? Here's a revolutionary thought--the work will be there when I get back! Put the book down, Susie. Enjoy the waves.
So, for the first time in what felt like, well, I can't remember the last time. I just relaxed.
We rented scooters and zoomed all over the island. I went to a Discovery Dolphins place and rode a dolphin (seriously!) I sat on the beach and listened to the waves. (Okay, I did take a little journal and write down what they sounded, smelled and tasted like, but I'm weird - that's fun for me).
I laughed at Andrew's stupid jokes because they were funny!
I ate squid and other unnamed strange seafood.
I went snorkeling in the ocean and was surrounded by Nimos.
Yep, I got a TAN.
And, I didn't want to come back.
To the cold, cold world.
But then we heard the news...a hurricane was headed our way. We left the day before the hurricane arrived and I realized...even paradise has its trouble. I returned home, reawakened to the pleasures of my life. Like this shot of the maple tree in our yard. Amazing, huh? I am so blessed by my career and I love what I do, even if I have way too many irons in the fire. I love being able to dive into the Word of God, find those nuggets of truth and put them into my stories. I love writing about characters like you and me, who struggle, and yet believe in a God of Hope.
And escaping my world for a week made me realize that.
I have fun things happening this month - I'm teaching in Dallas at the ACFW Conference (see information below), and Tying the Knot, a repackage of one of my early books just hit the shelves. Check out this month's Tying Contest. Also, I'm still posting the Answers to this summer's Ask and Author Anything contest (and contest winners are posted below - thank you for playing!).
If you're a writer, check out www.mybooktherapy.com - a daily blog I've set up to talk about writing craft, and publishing. I run a fiction editing service that takes a deep look at a novel, and this blog is just one way I hope to help new writers.
On the horizon - Chill Out, Josey! The hilarious sequel to Everything's Coming up Josey, (a 2007 Christy Award finalist!). Check out the first chapter! Wanna know what it's like to be pregnant in Russia? 'Nuf said!
I hope you had a great summer, were able to go on vacation, get away from your cold, cold world. And I hope that it gave a refreshed perspective the richness in your busy life, new things to thank God for.
Thank you for reading my books, and being such great supporters. God bless!
In His Grace,