“Where have you been?!”
The last few weeks have been crazy in more ways than one. It's been a stressful, demanding time at the day job (law practice), involving an all-nighter and all-weekend push to get a settlement finalized, a quick trip to Alabama for a hearing, and hours on the phone to pull a deal together. All this was happening at the same time as I had the fun and privilege to travel to Florida to participate in the My Book Therapy Deep Thinkers retreat with 20 other amazing writers. We spent five days together in a big house near the beach, learning and practicing writing craft as taught by the amazing and generous Susie May Warren, Rachel Hauck, and Beth Vogt, and developing new friendships that I hope will grow as time passes.
From the retreat I flew directly to San Diego to share a very special day with my middle son, Benjamin, as he married his best friend, Jennifer. They plan to have a big family wedding in Texas in a few months, but for various scheduling reasons (she's enlisted in the US Army Reserves and will be flying away for basic training soon), they decided they didn't want to wait until the “big” event could be pulled together, so I joined them and a friend of theirs at their very fun JP wedding on February 27. Got to spend a day with them before I had to hurry home to take care of business at my law office. I'm so happy I got to be part of that day with our “Bennifer.”
In the midst of all this excitement I learned, very unexpectedly, that my novel-in-progress, Do No Harm, won the 2013 Olympia fiction contest, sponsored by Clash of the Titles. What a thrill and an honor. This one is especially exciting because of how the finalists and winners are chosen. The first round of judging is done by readers, just folks who love fiction but are not involved in the publishing industry. The three highest-scoring submissions from that round are named the finalists, and those submissions are handed off to an amazing panel of judges comprised of a multi-published, award-winning author and two agents. I was truly astounded to get the notice that those judges had selected Do No Harm as the winning story, and even more thrilled to receive the judges' score sheets with their thoughtful, careful feedback. I'm in the midst of applying their suggestions to make my story even better. In the meantime, yesterday I enjoyed the surreal experience of being interviewed by author and Christian Authors Guild board member Cynthia Simmons for a podcast about Do No Harm, the Olympia, and my writing journey. I understand that the podcast interview will go “live” in a couple of weeks!
All in all, the last few weeks have been a whirlwind, so I hope you will forgive my absence from the blog world. I look forward to resuming a more regular posting schedule and connecting with more and more friends and readers!
Your turn: What have you been up to during the last few weeks? What are your plans and dreams for the rest of 2013? Share in the comments, or drop me an email.