Tuesday, April 18, 2017

New Book

"I hope to see a new book from you soon!" - Alicia F.

I needed that encouragement in my inbox this week. Thank you, Alicia!

Mount Hermon was amazing! I posted a quick recap on my InfertilityMom blog. Thank you to all who prayed and in any way helped send me!

Perhaps the funniest moment of the week came when I won a door prize. I got to go to the front of the dining hall where 350 authors were assembled and do a very brief interview. After sharing my stroke story in a couple of sentences, the MC looked like he wanted to crawl under the table or disappear into a crack in the floor, Mortified, he announced the title of the book I had won, Don't Write My Obituary Yet. I felt so bad for him!

I told him the title was actually perfect. I had wanted to die, been repeatedly told I would die (and was mad that God wasn't following the doctors predictions), but that Jesus is the author and finisher of both my faith and my very life. It took five years to get to this point, but I can now gladly say, I am thankful that God was writing my story rather than those doctors. I am finally fully thankful that I am still here!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Writing Roadtrip Hastags

My mom just bought me this butterfly notebook for my trip.
I'm leaving on Wednesday to start making my way to Mount Hermon Christian Writer's Conference. I will be tweeting daily updates from @RenoMom (my personal page, with motherhood and stroke focuses, along with northern Nevada interests, if I can get my phone to work with that account) and/or @InfertilityMom (my big infertility, miscarriage, adoption page, where my phone likes to post by default), using hashtag #MHWriters2017 either way. Please journey with me! :)

Want to leave me encouragement or post your prayers for the journey? Please use #HarvestingHope as your tag so I am sure to find you. :)

Hubby and oldest miracle baby preparing to leave for his prom this past Saturday.

I would especially appreciate your prayers for Rick and our kids as they hold down the fort while I'm away. I'm cutting three days off my original trip plans, but still will be gone for nearly a week.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

March, 2017

Last Friday, I finally got the first 1/4 of my Harvesting Hope from Heartache manuscript is as finished as I can make it and off to Jill Jensen Amack for her fantastic editing services. I'm exhausted and happy!

I started this book in 2011, one week before my strokes. 

I committed to the third major restructure/rewrite of the entire project around Thanksgiving of 2016, and with the holidays, was finally able to give the project my full attention around mid January of 2017, still typing the entire piece with significant short term memory and word recall challenges and only one hand.

Four chapters down, twelve left to go. I'm praying for God's divine connections next month at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference that will lead to the right publisher and a contract to get this book into many hurting hands! I travel over on April 6.

If you are interested in learning more about my conference, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/StrokeOfGrace

Thanks for your prayers, support, and encouragement!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

February 2017 Writing Updates

I have been seriously dedicated to the re-write of my Harvesting Hope from Heartache
manuscript since Thanksgiving.

With the holidays in there, realistically, since the half way through the first week of the new year.

The initial chapters flew together quickly and so very well.

I have ended up adding significant amounts of new material I had not planned to include, requiring dozens of hours of new research on my part. As a result, I've been stalled at the "not quite 1/4 of my final draft" finished mark for about three weeks now.

I am SO EXCITED about all the new things I'm learning, how these early chapters now flow, but I am also physically/mentally exhausted (I'm often in bed for the night before our 11-year-old who has a 7:30/8 PM bedtime) and rather discouraged to feel like I'm rather spinning my wheels, not at all in book content, but in manuscript finishing progress.

My hubby and our youngest watching birds together.

Would you please pray with me to include every single word God wants me to share, but to also get this accomplished QUICKLY? My personal desire is to have a finished draft ready before I head to Mount Hermon Christian Writer's Conference in early April. At this rate, that is not a feasible expectation, but if God returns me to the speed I was seeing at the start of the year, it is still possible!

The other two people I keep keeping on for.
Now 17 and 14, both "seniors" of their campuses this year, high school and junior high.
An update on Mount Hermon, between a few gifts (THANK YOU), this past year's royalties still trickling in from Hannah's Hope (I'm very blessed to still be seeing any income from a 12-year-old title!), my money from my birthday and Christmas, and a partial scholarship directly from the conference, here's the breakdown:

My registration for the conference itself totals $1,285 this year, since I'm not going for the extra early pre-conference like I did last year. This amount is due in full by March 5.

I don't know how God is planning to provide this. I'm looking around at things I can ask my daughter to list on eBay (I'm InfertilityMom if you want to watch for my auctions) for me in the next week or two, to try to raise part of the needed funds there.

I currently only need $180 more in order to finish paying for conference registration. (If that comes through GoFundMe, I'll need a little over $200 there to pay their fees and still have the $180 to pay off the conference. If you wish to PayPalMe and select Friends & Family (without "PayPal Purchase Protection") rather than “Goods and Services,” I will receive 100% of your gift and not have any fees incurred).

This covers Thursday, April 6 dinner through Tuesday, April 11 breakfast, all meals, training, seminars, and lodging.

I will likely get a ride to go half way on April 3 and spend a few pre-conference writing days with my ride / co-author / conference buddy.  So the conference registration amount listed above will not cover my portion of gas or meals between April 3-6, or on the way home.

I will come home on April 11 or later, depending on ride provision. I can get at least half way home that day, even have a place to stay at the half way point if I need to spend another night or three there, but am still looking for a second leg ride home back over Donner pass.

Thank you for prayers for all of God's provisions in this matter!

Why I love butterflies.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Book Research

In digging through mountains of research for my book, one very brief article I read on

Why did Jesus choose John to care for His mother Mary?

touched me deeply.  The article was only about three paragraphs long, but gave me much to ponder on faith and God's timing. I couldn't give the article justice without rewriting both the points given by the author, but it is worth your read!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

1/4 way there!

Here's the writing update I just posted on my Go Fund Me page tonight I'm excited about all of this, but paragraph four will give you specifics about my current manuscript status:

As you can see, I have dropped my goal from $4500 to $1,525. This new amount includes the funds I already spent for last year's tuition. 

This remaining $395 request will completely cover the remaining cost of this year's tuition need, account for Go-Fund-Me fees deduction, and provide some funds for meals and travel.

I have dropped my funds request by $3,000 because my travel buddy and I each have received enough outside funds that I am under $400 from meeting my need. My conference buddy is still awaiting God's final provision too, but I'm taking this funds request down to just my need and if extra comes in, I can share with her. :)
So, bottom line, our registrations are in, our deposits are paid, and we have until early March to make final conference payments.

Meanwhile, the final draft of my book is 1/4 completed. After 5 years of struggling to write with brain injury, I started fresh and scrapped the old manuscript. God has blessed and allowed me to get through 1/4 of the rewrite since mid November, even with the holidays and travel happening during this season.

Thank you so much for your love, financial support, and especially your prayers!
Help spread the word!
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Friday, December 16, 2016

Starting From Scratch?

I gave my family heartburn last month. I told them I was taking the 173 (typed and covered in hand-written notes, along with over a dozen pages simply handwritten) and past 5 years of work on my book and "starting over from scratch"!

In talking my plans through especially with our daughter (who was beside herself at the thought) and the gals from my Bible study, who are praying and cheering me on, I've come to realize that the "starting over" aspect of this statement is indeed correct, but the "from scratch" part isn't exactly accurate.

As I explained to a friend, my current manuscript attempts have been written over a much-too-long time frame and at too many drastically diverse stages of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual abilities. I can't even figure out what I was trying to say in certain sections that were penned in the earliest post-stroke attempts. What I can identify, often doesn't flow well and the pieces don't fit. There were many days when I've been writing and doing therapies at the same time!

Therapy device.

Rather than try to repair, I am just salvaging what I can and starting fresh. I'm glad I have all these "building blocks" to work with and a solid book skeleton in place, so now I can flesh out something fresh. I would dearly like to have a finished manuscript ready to start presenting to publishers before the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference in April 2017. Would you please pray with me toward that end?

My post Mt.Hermon 2016 review and article about Perception and New Things can be found at http://strokeofgrace.blogspot.com/2016/03/i-perceive-it.html - amazing how what I learned nearly 9 months back fits so well with today's announcement!
If you are interested in helping me go to Mount Hermon in 2017, read more at

What I long for my writing to be:
"We need theologians to plumb the depths of the Bible and to clarify doctrine. We need preachers to open the Book for daily living and show us the way of worship. But often what we need is a compatriot, a fellow pilgrim on the road with enough scars to prove, 'I walked this path before.'" - Alton Gansky, from the foreward of Jesus and the Beanstalk (Lori Stanley Roeleveld)