Christmas, decor, personal, Uncategorized

2018 Christmas Home Tour

The Alley Cats were challenged by Pepper Basham to give a tour of our Christmas Decor. I decided to share the little decor I have. I only decorate two rooms for Christmas, my living/dining area and my kitchen. I don’t do a lot, but I think it makes my small home cozy and inviting.

I made a video if you would like to check it out here: 2018 Christmas Home Tour

Here is a picture of my mantle. I made the canvas a long time ago. (No, I can’t sell it, as I copied it from someone online.) I also made the stockings, which will NOT face the right direction. Any tips on that are appreciated!

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Here is my nativity. I share it because it is very old and worn. As you see, the poor donkey looks more like a dinosaur here without its ears.

We went small on a tree this year, but I love the old ornaments on it from when my kids were little. We have collected so many over the years, I cannot even put them all on the tree anymore.

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Because I got a puppy for Christmas and I think he is adorable, here is a picture of Phineas napping in front of the tree.

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Okay, one more of little Phin…he has started lifting one ear all the time. Cracks me up.

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I hope you have a very merry Christmas filled with family, love and lots of laughter.

Sherrinda Signature

personal, writing

The Value of Writerly Friends

Ladies_StockSnap_pixabayWriting is a solitary adventure. Writers spin tales inside their heads, then spend hours pouring their stories onto the page … alone. But there comes a time in every writer’s life when they need people. They need a hug. They need encouragement. They need a friend who truly understands.

Writers need writerly friends. 

I’m writing my second book. I have a good foundation for this story, but at the end of chapter three, I froze. I had just finished a massive edit of my first book and I was paralyzed by the fear of writing a book that needed so much rewriting. I would start and stop, start and stop, thinking everything I wrote would have to be deleted and rewritten.

I don’t want to have to do that! But I need to write, especially when I’m supposed to take ten pages to my critique group.

I belong to a fabulous critique group that meets every other week. We share chapters/scenes and discuss them … the good and the bad. This week I had nothing to bring because I choked while trying to write. I was embarrassed. Writers write and I hadn’t written anything in two whole weeks! I didn’t go because I was so embarrassed.

I forced myself to go. I forced myself to be honest with the group and share my frustrations and my fears. And you know what? These ladies hugged me. They shared their own stories of fear, of writer’s block, of frustration. They prayed over me and then we brainstormed possibilities for where the story could go.

These writerly friends lifted me out of the pit of writer despair, and I left with a sense of peace and hope.

Friends, hope is such a powerful thing and gives life to the soul. 

Writerly friends – those people who think like you, daydream like you, talk to imaginary friends like you – these are the people you need to surround yourself with on this writing journey. They are the ones who will encourage you on the road that God leads you on. They will pick you up when you fall, and they will speak hope into your dark days.

There’s nothing more valuable (besides the good Lord) than writerly friends. I know I’m thankful for mine!

Do you have a writerly friend(s)? Do you have support on your writing journey?

Sherrinda Signature

**Photo by StockSnap at pixabay.com
editing, personal, Uncategorized

Finishing Edits, Being a Slug

slug.Micel_van_der-Vegt.pixabayI turned in my second round of edits last week and, as I did after the first round, slipped into a bit of a funk. I tend to hyper-focus when I have a deadline (or must get something turned in ASAP). It’s great to be that focused, but when the job is completed, I crash.

I won’t say I’ve been a complete slug. I have cleaned my poor, neglected house. I’ve pulled weeds and feed my flower beds. I got out and scouted for used books to send to Amazon. I’ve been a little productive, but …

I’ve also binged on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Have you all been missing romantic movies like I have? While I like superhero movies, I’ve been ready for some good romance. Netflix released The New Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society. Oh my, it is perfect. Definitely my kind of show.

I’m loathe to admit this, but I’ve been binging on America’s Next Top Model. My daughter enjoys it and so I thought I’d give it a try. I’m captivated by the makeovers and the creativity of photo shoots. I tend to fast forward through the bickering in the house, but the shoots and catwalks are fun to watch.

So now that I’ve rested up after edits, I’m sinking in to my new story. I’ve struggled getting it plotted, so I’m digging in and brainstorming some ideas, praying the creativity with flow. I’m several chapters in and really want to take this story deeper.

How do you rest/recuperate/rejuvenate after finishing a major job or project?

Sherrinda Signature

 

personal, Social Media, Uncategorized, writing

Fearing Authenticity

mask
Yep, that’s me.

I have a confession to make. I’ve been in a slump this year, afraid to post on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I’ve even been afraid to blog. Why is that, you ask?

I’m afraid to be me.

Since I’ve signed a publishing contract in April, I’ve choked at being just me. It’s silly, I know. But being an author and having to promote yourself as an author has me all twisted up in trying to be a “real author” — you know, someone who is serious about the business side of writing.

Don’t get me wrong. I am serious about writing and all it entails, but I miss being free to be just me. I love to laugh, not take myself seriously, and have fun with life. That includes all aspects of my life.

People talk about finding your “voice” in writing. If I can’t find my voice in real life and express that life (even on social media), then how can I ever find and free my voice in my writing? Indeed!

So this month I am focusing on authenticity. I want to be real. I want to be me — the real me. This should be fun, right?

When has your authenticity been stifled? Is it hard to be real, either in life or on social media?

Sherrinda Signature

 

personal, the call, writing

My Call Story – A Writer’s Dream Come True

In the writing world, getting “the call” is one of the highlights of the writing journey. Whether it is the call from an agent offering representation, or the call from a contest coordinator telling you that you are a finalist, or the call from an editor offering you a contract, the call is something to be celebrated.

Many of you saw on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram the pictures of me signing my new contract with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas for my medieval romance. I look excited, don’t I?

I thought I’d share the story of how “the call” came to be and the funny story of where I was when I received that call.

It all began when I was reminded about #FaithPitch on Twitter. (Note: There are several Pitch Days on Twitter where you pitch your story in 180 characters or less. If an editor or agent wants you to send them a query/proposal, they LIKE your pitch.) The day was February 28 and I had totally forgotten about it until a friend asked a group of us writers if we were doing it. It was early afternoon and so I pitched my medieval romance, The Lady’s Masquerade.

I checked Twitter off and on the rest of the day, but had no “likes” so I chalked it up to another good experience and moved on. Let me be honest here and say that out of all the social media I am on, Twitter is the one that I don’t check as often. So FOUR DAYS LATER, I check Twitter and lo-and-behold, I have a private message from Pegg Thomas (she is also an author) from Smitten, the historical line of the Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas! She said to send her a proposal and she would take a look at it.

Yikes! It had been FOUR days since she had reached out to me!

And how in the world do I do a proposal????

You writers out there are probably rolling your eyes, but I’ve never been asked for a proposal. A query I could do, but a proposal? So I got online and researched. I had a friend send me a sample one, which helped tremendously. I got busy on it and gave it to my critique group to look over. Bless their hearts, they got it back to me that same day.

I submitted the proposal and was asked for the full manuscript! Be still my heart!

And then I had to wait. Here’s the thing – in the writing world, nothing happens fast. Sometimes you submit your work to an agent or editor and it takes days, weeks, and even months to receive reply. I was prepared for a good long wait, so I got back to working on my second book, delving into the medieval world once more.

Tuesday, March 13, I went to the Dallas Arboretum with my friend and her two boys (I call them my “adopted” grand-kids.) It was a glorious day and we got to the section specifically for children. The older boy wanted to get in the Tornado Tunnel, a telephone booth sized tube that creates a mighty wind inside. I got inside with him, then my phone began to ring. I pulled out my phone and checked the number.

Could it be a contest win? I was a finalist in a contest, so I decided I needed to answer the call. I said “Hello” and a woman answered, but I couldn’t hear her name because the wind had started to blow. And boy, did it blow! I am a little sketchy on what was said here, because I was trying to get out of the tube so I could hear and explain to my friend I really needed to take this call.

Once I was out of the crazy wind, I realized it was Pegg Thomas again and my heart began to pound. You know that weird sensation when things are surreal and even though there is a lot of noise and commotion, you can’t hear it? Yeah…that was me. And throughout all the weird feelings and tunnel vision, I heard those fabulous words:

“We would like to offer you a contract for your book.”

Yep! A contract to publish my medieval romance! I really didn’t expect to get a medieval published, as it’s not really the “happening” genre right now. I truly expected to seek out a different time period to write. But I am so glad God had other plans for this story.

My dream of writing and publishing a book, which started in high school, is being realized. A dream put on hold as life, children, and jobs took precedence. A dream finally come true. Thank you, LPC, for taking a chance on me!

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas is a small press publisher making waves in the Christian arena. With many lines, they are putting out award-winning books and creating buzz for excellence. Check out their books HERE. Also, if you love historical romance, join LPC’s Smitten Facebook Group to learn more about their books and their authors.

personal, silly

Living Life Young

I’ve been told I don’t look my age. I must have good genes, but I don’t think that is what makes me seem younger.

To be honest, I think it is because I love to laugh. I don’t mind looking silly. I don’t care if people laugh at me. Hey…I laugh at me. In fact, I record Dubsmash videos of myself and save them to my phone so if I’m down or discouraged, I can watch the videos and bring a smile to my heart.

I was going through some pictures the other day and thought I’d share some of my fun and silly photos.

 

I am married to a man who makes me laugh every single day. He is a kid at heart and I like to think I’ve absorbed some of his youthful spirit.

So laugh. Indulge in funny jokes, silly movies, and crazy pictures. Don’t care what others think. Just have fun. Life’s too short to just act your age. There’s no fun in that!

How do you stay young at heart?