My dad loves buffalo. He loves the Kansas plains where he grew up, and he has a sacred respect for the flatlands. And boy, does he love those bison.
His office is covered in buffalo paraphernalia. Some that's pretty cool stuff, actually.
Dad went so far as to register the license plate "BUFFALO" with the Kansas State Department of Motor Vehicles and drove around in his pickup truck for at least a decade with the license plate "BUFFALO" proudly displayed.
So, the other day, I found a buffalo sweater:
It's geeky. And warm. And I bought it in tribute of my dad. It's officially become my "writing" sweater. Meaning, it hangs on the back of my writing chair, and when I get cold while typing, I wear it.
And somehow, I feel more "at home" in the buffalo sweater, because, well, I think that's just what heritage does.
My dad loves Kansas, and I love Kansas because he taught me how.
The Kansas plains—and buffalo—will always have a special place in my heart.
Do you have a "buffalo sweater"? Something that makes you warm and cozy and think of good people that came to this earth before you?
Hope you're having a Happy Thursday everybody!
p.s. Mod Code Book #3 COMING SOON (Feb. 2018)!!
My husband sent me a text on Saturday while I was at a conference:
A tragedy struck our family friends this week.
This morning, I woke up with these words in my head:
"Sometimes, the bravest thing that we can do is get up, and face another day, with love in our hearts."
When I’m done with my writing day (which is every day), I do other things.
Like help my daughter study multiplication tables.
Or drive my son to football practice.
Or run to the post office for my husband.
Or take walks.
Or make delicious concoctions for dinner—last night we had sautéed onion and broccoli, mixed with deer meat and chunks of avocado. It sounds … strange. And tastes … really good.
I also read lots of books.
Because when I study the way authors write their fiction books, or read books on the craft of writing, or dive into non-fiction books on personal growth and development, or pour over scripture that will feed my soul, I become a better person, and a better writer.
So, that’s pretty much my life in seven short paragraphs.
And I don’t have time to write much more write now, because I’m WRITING A BOOK FOR YOU, for pete’s sake.
Book 3 in The Mod Code Series will come out February 2018 … so it’s back to my manuscript.
Sending you big virtual hugs on the coldest day of our Arkansas autumn so far … 51 degrees Fahrenheit. (I pulled out my space heater today and set it up by my computer. The ushering in of the cold has officially begun. Excessively hot showers will be part of my life for a handful of months.)
Hope you are well, and happy, and enjoying this beautiful life.
About the picture.
I think this is what I look like when I'm deep in thought. But I wouldn't really know, because when I'm deep in thought, I'm not really thinking about what I look like. I'm thinking about deeper things. Like "Why did God really put us here on this planet?" And "Where do we actually go when we die?" Don't worry. I'll add these in my books somewhere. And if you think about these things too, then we should hang out more. Seriously.
Here's a list of some of the books I've read this summer. It's been a good time. Lots of good non-fiction in these recent months. Which always does my heart good. And a few fiction books.
Hope your own reading lately has been refreshing, fulfilling, and fun!
Here they are:
Twelve Tests of Character by Harry Emerson Fosdick (Yes. Preach it Mr. Fosdick)
Mission: Success! by Og Mandino (awww! Just, awww!)
Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark (Thank you, Roy.)
Positive Imaging by Norman Vincent Peale (changed the way I pray for my kids and spouse and friends and well ... everyone.)
The Greatest Salesman In The World Part II: The End of the Story by Og Mandino (great little tip for reviewing your day in here)
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (a surprisingly highly satisfying read)
The One Thing by Gary Keller (changed the entire structure of my writing day. amazing.)
The Road Back to You by Ian Cron (LOVE the Enneagram)
What We Talk About When We Talk About God by Rob Bell (This guy, and his insights, and the way he writes books. Brilliant.)
Experiencing God Through Prayer by Madame Guyon (from the 1600's people!!!)
Preparing for Adolescence by Dr. James Dobson (b/c I have a kiddo starting MIDDLE SCHOOL you guys! unbelievable)
Acres of Diamond by Russell H. Conwell (succinct and to the point: hone your talents)
The Tough-Minded Optimist by Norman Vincent Peale (nobody's writing brings me up like N.V.P. Love this guy.)
Crafting Dynamic Dialog by The Editors of Writer's Digest (good stuff. I LOVE writing dialog, btw.)
Words Fail Me by Patricia T. O'Conner (basic grammer and writing advice, delivered with humor)
Perfect by Cecelia Ahern (My only fiction book on the list! It's the second in a series... So far, so good...)
Hugs to all of you,
p.s. For a deeper look at a lot of the books I've read up to this point, you can visit the "Bookfest Friday" category on my blog.
Hi reader friends!
I'm geting questions surrounding the order that I've written the Mod Code series of books.
So, for those of you wondering, below they are listed in the order that I wrote them.
I happen to love this order as the suggested reading order. BUT! Everyone's different on their preferences for reading prequels.
I usually like to dig into the meat of the story before I go back and read any prequels and find out the "before" story. However, I had one reader saying she was glad the prequels were both out so she could read them before she ever started the first book.
Bottom line? I appreciate whatever your reader tango style might be, and I say ... "Read on, my reader friend!"
Here's the written order of the books:
The Lost Lineage (Currently working on! Releasing Feb. 2018!)
The Crossed Kingdom (Currently working on! Releasing 2018!)
To be notified on book release dates, click here.
Lots of love coming to each and every one of you this August 2nd! School is about to start again! Raise your hand if you can hardly believe that! (My hand is raised.) It's just a good reminder to me that we have to EMBRACE every day fully and LIVE it as if it were our last.
Tell someone you love them today and have a great week!
This is the story of Sage & Beckett's three years on the farm before The Mod Code Book #1. This story is told in alternating perspectives: Letters from Beckett, written to Sage and Sage's Journal/Diary Entries.
I had a reader email in asking me some questions about my writing life, and I thought I would answer them here on my blog.
So here we go:
What drew you to write YA fiction? In particular, science fiction?
I’ve always loved the young adult genre of books. YA conquers big topics in a digestible way for readers of all ages.
In regards to science fiction, specifically, my answer is two-fold:
First, I have a tendency to think deeply and regularly about God and the big questions in life. When I'm in that space, the world is vast.
Secondly, I had a vivid dream that actually turned into chapter 22 in The Mod Code (book #1 in the series). That dream set the stage for the “science-fictiony” side of the book.
What kind of language do you use and how do you handle sensitive subjects?
Do you mean inappropriate kinds of language? If so, then the answer is, I’m a pretty conservative parent—especially when it comes to what books my children read. I usually think about what words I would want my son or daughter reading when they turn thirteen, and I make sure my books would be on my own “mom allowed” list.
How did you market your books when you first started out?
A bit of social media. A few failed attempts at contests/book competitions. Book club talks. Mainly, I knew I just needed to keep writing books so my available offerings would expand, and then, my readership could expand with it
I see your ratings are very good. How do you manage that outside of being an excellent writer? How did you get your books noticed?
In general, I don’t think anyone will get good ratings with a bad book.
My most important advice in this entire blog post would be this: KEEP WRITING. And, in addition, you must keep IMPROVING your writing. It’s imperative to learn what makes a good book a good book. I learned this through a ton of reading about how to do that, and then implementing that advice into my own writing. Because ultimately, word isn’t going to spread about a book if people don’t feel it’s worthwhile enough to share with other people.
Hope this helps, Marilyn!
Have a great day everybody. : )
The Bookbub sale is officially over. You can go here to visit The Mod Code Series official site.