Thursday, October 8, 2009


I'm so happy! My son came home last night from college for a quick fall break. He'll only be home for something like seventy-two hours, but that's okay. It's been ten weeks since I've seen him, and getting a hug from him last night at midnight just made me giddy.

The funniest part of last night's little homecoming was his reunion with Suzy, our little miniature dachshund. She's really a barky little thing--except when she sees her 'boy'. She ran right up to him, licked his ankle, and then just stared at him. He bent right down and snatched her up. So cute.

I think all boys need pets. And all moms need hugs from their grown up boys.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sugarcreek on Saturday

Tom and I drove up to Sugarcreek on Saturday. I'm currently writing Autumn's Promise, and I wanted to get a feel for the area in September.

We had hoped to go up on Friday night and spend the day on Saturday, but there wasn't a single hotel room to be had! It's tourist season in Sugarcreek-the Swiss festival is coming up. It was absolutely beautiful. A little rainy, but the leaves were starting to turn and all the surrounding areas were green and pretty.

We started out the day at my Amish friend Clara's, then picked up her daughter and granddaughter. How fun to have three generations in our back seat for the day! The five of us had a great time. We went to a store that caters to the Amish, not tourists. I saw rows of hats and bonnets, and other items for use in the kitchen. Next, we all went out to lunch. (my favorite part of any visit! I love pie!)

We visited the local bookstore, a few other stores, and then finally went back to Clara's daughter's farm, where she very kindly showed me around her home and let me walk out to see all her animals.

Tom and I arrived home on Saturday night tired but loaded with all kinds of goodies...fresh bread, cute baskets...and a bag full of handmade pot holders and book bags and even a handmade apron.

I can't wait to give those away!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back Home

I arrived back in Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon, tired but so excited about my trip to Denver. At ACFW, I had some great meetings with my agent, and finally got to meet Beth Wiseman!

Beth writes Amish Romances, too. I loved her first book Plain Perfect so much, I mailed it to my Amish friend in Holmes County!

Beth and I were excited to realize that we're both from Houston, Texas. In fact, we graduated high school right near each other! Talk about a small world.

I also met lots of other authors and got to visit with a wonderful girl friend of mine, Karen. Karen lives in Fort Collins, and drove all the way down to Denver to have dinner and shop with me on Saturday night! Years ago, Karen and I used to live on the same street in Dallas. In fact, she threw even threw a baby shower for me! And, she just happens to be from Houston, too. Even though I haven't lived in Houston for almost thirty years, I guess it-and Houstonians-have always stayed in my heart.

This week brings lots of writing. I'm hoping to finish Autumn's Promise by mid-November. And, of course, there's an Amish historical idea I've been fussing with...

I better go get busy and write!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Hi From Denver

I flew to Denver on Thursday to attend the annual American Christian Fiction Writers conference. It's my third ACFW conference, and so far, it's been great.

Though I'm shy by nature, I really enjoy going to conferences. I love meeting with editors, talking with my agent, and taking a workshop or two. By far my favorite part of conferences is always the booksigning. Some of you know that I absolutely love to read. I love books. I love the authors who write them. I don't think that I've ever not bought an armful of books at conference. (much to my husband's dismay!)

And now that I'm an author, I love to talk to readers of my books.

Last year at the Mall of America, I got the chance to meet quite a few readers, which was just wonderful. I also signed quite a few books for people who just happened to stop be at the mall and were interested in Amish novels. This year, the booksigning will be at the hotel.

This morning, I went to a three hour workshop. I also got to hear the incredible Debbie Macomber speak. I'm a big fan of Debbie's, and even bought her new cookbook to give to a girlfriend of mine who couldn't be here.

On Sunday, I'll fly home. I'm sure I'll be anxious to get back to my usual routine. But for now, I'm going to enjoy another 24 hours in Denver. I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Computer, Part 2

I should have known my computer problems ended too easily! Just hours after I typed the last blog, my computer started acting up again. By Friday, Paul was back out and we discovered that my USB port was damaged. So, my computer was officially broken. I then spent a good few hours doing my best to transfer everything to disks, and now have to install them on my new computer.

This whole little episode taught me quite a few things about myself. First...I'm not nearly as easy going as I like to think I am! I like my routine, and I like the things in my life to work. When they don't, I get grumpy. That's not a very good quality!

I'm hoping, perhaps, that I've learned some patience this week. We'll see.

Other than my computer problems, we had a nice weekend. I took my husband to the symphony on Saturday night. He didn't go all that willingly, but we both really enjoyed the night out.

Now it's time to get organized and to get ready for the ACFW conference! I leave on Thursday.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My new friend Paul

For the last two weeks, I've been having Internet problems with my computer. Sometimes it would work, sometimes not so well at all. This morning, every time I tried to get online, my whole computer locked up. I had enough!

I whined to my husband who told me to get on the phone and get a service guy to come out. At first, that seemed funny to me. I'm used to being frustrated, sitting on the phone with anonymous customer service reps. Usually by the time I get off the phone, I'm even more confused than I was in the first place.

But I have no problem arranging a service call for my dishwasher.

So, with that in mind, I called a computer repair service at 9 this morning. Paul came out at 10:30. Unfortunately for Paul, he had to stay for two hours, leave to help someone else, then come back. I had some real computer issues.

Suzy, my Doxi, barked at him the whole time. She was really annoying! Luckily, he happened to like dogs, and so, as we sat in my office together, waiting for my computer to do all kinds of Vista updates, we talked dogs.

At five o'clock today, Paul left. And my computer is doing great. I'm so happy to be back on to the Internet. And, I feel a little bit smarter, too.

Oh, I'd much rather type out stories than try to 'trouble shoot'...but now I can promise that I will never ignore a Windows Vista Update again.

Anyone else have computer problems lately?


Monday, August 24, 2009

My visit to Waynesville

On Saturday, my husband and I drove to Waynesville. There's a Der Dutchman restaurant there. Because I haven't had time to drive to Holmes County lately, I wanted to get some Amish food and walk around a little bit and get inspired. My husband, being the nice guy that he is-decided to come along. The food was terrific. The restarant is lovely and everyone was super nice.

But it wasn't in Amish country.

The whole time we wandered through the shops in Waynesville, I was disappointed. The stores were cute, but filled with gifts that I could get any number of places. Nothing Amish for sale.

I kept telling my husband that I wish we would have at least driven to Adams County, which is only about an hour in the other direction. That's the area where my Sisters of the Heart series is set. In Adams County, there's several Amish shops and beautiful countryside.

We came home from the Der Dutchman with rolls and a pie and plans to go to Adams County very soon. I need to see some buggies and horses and beautiful quilts. I want to wander through my favorite Amish market and listen to everyone shopping. I want to pick up some homemade baskets and look through Amish cookbooks. Being in Amish country relaxes me. It inspires me. It makes me happy.

Perhaps I won't make it until next Saturday!