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2017 ACFW Conference Mix & Mingle Blog Link-Up

Thank you Laurie Tomlinson for creating this blog link up so we can get to know each other before the 2017 ACFW conference!

Here’s how to play:
– Copy/paste the questions and fill out your own answers in a post on your own website and paste the URL to that specific post (not your homepage) using this handy link-up tool at Laurie Tomlinson’s site.
Here are my answers!
Name: Sherrinda Ketchersid
Location: Irving, Texas (almost part of Dallas!)
What you write/tagline/trademark: I write clean + inspirational historical romance!
Place in the book world: One completed manuscript and about to start it’s sequel. I’m entering many contests and am starting the query journey.
On a scale of hugger to 10-foot-pole, please rate your personal space: Bring them on. The bigger, the better.
Something VERY serious: How do you take your Starbucks? Cold brew coffee with lots of cream and no-calorie sweetener.
The unique talking points that will get you going for hours: Bible Journaling, lettering, time-travel romance, Scotland, and Netflix…currently Blacklist and Granchester.
Loved ones at home you’ll be missing: My sweet husband, though he will be joining me for the Gala!
Conference goals we can pray for? This is my first conference, and I am terrified of having to say my pitch. Still can’t do it without stumbling around. So don’t ask me! lol Actually, please do…I need the practice. 
Anything we can celebrate with you? I am a finalist in the 2017 ACFW Genesis historical category and the 2017 Lone Star inspiration category. 
One or two ways we can help you build your platform? You can sign up for my monthly newsletter by clicking here! You can follow me on twitter here and instagram here.

Now head back to Laurie’s site to meet others who will be at the ACFW conference!

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Preparing For A Writing Conference

I am going to the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference this month. It is being held at the Gaylord in Grapevine, Texas on September 21-23. I am so excited about this conference, because it is my first big conference and I am going to learn so much.

I already have business cards made and ready to hand out. Evidently, your business card is a great way to make connections and friends along the writing journey. Who knew?

Another item I need to prepare is a One Sheet. This is a one page sheet that includes a blurb about your book, rather like a back cover copy. It also includes a bio and picture. I believe I have the information ready, though I need to put it together in an engaging way.

Yesterday I finished the final edits on my manuscript. I cannot even begin to tell you how good that felt. The process came with a huge learning curve, yet I learned so much, and hopefully the skills I learned will help my next story.

Of course, in preparations for a conference you cannot forget about the all-important grooming for the event. I need a nice dress for the Gala, as well as some “business casual” clothes. I’ve lost 25 pounds in the last few months, so I really need to update my clothes! I wonder if I can tempt my daughter into shopping with me next weekend. She has a good eye and makes me pick things I wouldn’t normally choose.

The most important thing to do in preparing for a conference is prayer. I’m praying daily the Lord will order my steps and my words so that His will is done in my life. For open – or closed – doors. For new opportunities. For the right path for me and my writing.

Can you think of anything I’ve missed? Please share!

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Blogging Consistently and Eclectically

When you are writing with the hopes of publication, there is so much more to the dream than just putting words on a page. These days writers are expected to have an online presence before they are even published. It’s a lot of pressure and takes up time that could be better spent writing, but if we are serious about publishing, we need to learn to go public.

I’ve had this blog for quite awhile and have been fairly consistent until the last couple of years. Now that I’m writing again, I need to blog more consistently. The thing is, I don’t remember what made it so easy before.

Maybe it’s because I just wrote what I was interested in, what I was doing at the time, or maybe I just did a book review. No pressure. Just me. Not what I thought people expected.

So I’m going to attempt to do that again. It will be an eclectic collection of posts, so if you are following me because of the summaries of John’s excellent sermons that I post, then I apologize. Please feel free to unfollow me if you don’t care for the new regimen. I promise it won’t hurt my feelings!

Now….to think of something to blog about this week. 😉

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Have Courage and Be Kind….a Cinderella Way of Living…a Godly Way of Life

At our family movie night with my parents last week, we watched Cinderella. It is a stunningly beautiful movie with a beautiful message. It’s about a mistreated girl who listened to her dying mother’s last words to be courageous and kind, no matter how hard it was.

Time and time again, Cinderella just swallowed her hurt when her step-mother and step-sisters were cruel: when they wouldn’t let her eat with them; when they called her Cinderella because of the soot on her face; when they took her room and made her live in the attic; and when they tore her mother’s dress apart. Yes, it hurts when others put is down, take advantage of us, or mistreat us.

And sometime it takes great courage to be kind in the face of such hurt.

Our society is big on self-sufficiency and not being treated as a doormat. We applaud those who stand up for themselves and demand their rights instead of letting others walk all over them, but I think that is where the courage part comes in.

It takes courage to face opposition with kindness and to turn the other cheek.

“Finally, all of you, be like-minded and show sympathy, love, compassion, and humility to and for each other– not paying back evil with evil or insult with insult, but repaying the bad with a blessing. It was this you were called to do, so that you might inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:8-9

“Even if you should suffer for doing what is right, you will receive a blessing. Don’t let them frighten you. Don’t be intimidated, but exalt Him as Lord in your heart.” 1 Peter 3: 14-15

And inherit a blessing is what Cinderella did! She got the Prince! Not because of how beautiful she looked at the ball. She had already captured the Prince’s heart while wearing rags, and he was smitten by her courageous and kind heart.

Living in kindness takes courage at times, but we are up to the task. We have the Lord on our side and can stand firm in the knowledge that He has our back no matter what. Our courage and kindness brings a smile to His face.

So have courage and be kind today.

You will find blessing indeed.

**I am not condoning any kind of abuse in marriage or in families. That is never okay. While we can be kind in return, it truly does not make it right and we do not have to stay in those types of relationships.**

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Painting For the Heart Class Project 1

Whimsical painting draws me in for reason. I don’t know if it is just the messiness, the out of proportion at times, the broken rules, the freedom to do whatever, but I love it and I really want to learn how to do it.

So I joined an online class called Painting for the Heart by Juliette Crane. She is excellent. Her first class showed how to do a bunny. I’m not really into animals, but the techniques here really good.

I think one of my favorite things so far is the freedom to paint over whatever it is you don’t like. Before, I lived with whatever I did, not wanting to “waste” all that work I had already done. But last night I painted over the whole bottom half of the bunny’s face because it was just too dark.

Freedom to do whatever.

I love it and can’t wait to try the next project this weekend.

Here’s a few pictures from start to finish.

Adding painted paper and book pages to cardboard.

Painted white on the background.

This was the difficult part…had to keep changing and painting
 and covering up until I liked it. 

I love finger painting!

I squeezed a bottle of distress paint and the whole cap flew
 off….and splatted onto my hardwood floor! Yikes!

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Turning 50, Tattoos, Parties, and Proposals

I think I want to turn 50 every year. Seriously, I have been blown away from the overwhelming affirmation and love from everyone in every part of my life.

So let me share with you a bit of my birthday celebrations…

First, Mani/Pedi’s with my sweet daughter on Saturday.

Then off to the tattoo parlor with my daughter and one of my sons. Yes, I got a tattoo. I’ve been wanting one for a long time. You see, freedom is a huge theme in my life. Freedom from sin. Freedom to fly in the Spirit of God. Freedom from fear of what others think. Freedom from the fear of trying new things. Freedom from the fear of failure. (Hence my word for the year…Brave)

You see, freedom is not just being freed from something. It is freedom toward SOMETHING. Freedom to try. Freedom to feel. Freedom to fail. Freedom to chase the Spirit of God without the bondage of sin. I can run free. Unfettered. Free to fly. To soar in all that God has for me.

I chose the Hebrew word freedom (d@rowr) in Hebrew because not only does it look pretty, it expressed the same sentiment as freedom in Galations 5:1…my life verse. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”

Besides all that….I felt it was a brave thing to do. I’m a preacher’s wife. I’m rather chubby. I’m 50. It’s not your typical young person old getting tattoos. But it has meaning for me and I’m so very glad I did it.

Next up, my incredibly sweet husband threw me a party Saturday night. He worked so hard to create a Hawaiian Luau in our backyard. He had tiki lights, twinkly lights, bamboo, etc and it was fantastic! We had a feast of Hawaiian meatballs, ham/cheese sliders, fruits, chips, dips, veggies, and an incredible cake brought by my sister. He had invited family and friends from church and I had so much fun. We ate cake and opened up presents, and then the big moment came.

My husband had me stand up with him and he shared how he had proposed 31 years ago on my birthday. Then he got down on his knee, opened up a little box with a beautiful ring (that my daughter created!), and asked me for another 31 years! Oh the teary eyes…and not just from me! What a blessing my husband is to me. I am spoiled and I love it! (and I said YES!)  😉

Today is my real birthday and when I got to work, I was greeted by sweet students singing Happy Birthday. These students-and staff – were dressed 50’s style! And surrounding my desk were 50 balloons and 4 huge bouquets of flowers that had been brought by the students at my school. I was given a gorgeous cozy sweater to wear at my iceberg desk and ate a yummy red velvet cake with the staff after school.

I am so overwhelmed by all the expressions of love. I feel like the most blessed person in the world. There is no way to express the depths of my gratitude, but I shall try. Just give me a few days to get my thank you notes in the mail. 😉

I really think my 50th decade may be my best yet!

What’s been your favorite birthday? Why?