Great Writing News and Encouragement

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

I had a great week as a writer last week. I got offered a contract for a couple of new books. All I have to do is write them. I think this is where I need to start begging for your prayers. The first deadline is a bit sooner than I’d like. I have discovered I’m not the fastest writer on the block, but maybe this time with the deadline looming I can pull more words out of my reluctant brain a bit faster. It looks as if I’m going to have to keep my nose to the grindstone for a while.

You know, when you think about it, that is without a doubt a disturbing image. One’s nose to the grindstone. Does that mean you should just pay attention to what you’re doing or does that mean you need to sacrifice a bit of skin off your nose? That’s what a grindstone does. Grinds away things. Sharpens knives and tools. Now that could possibly make sense for me. I need to sharpen my writing tools and my writing thinker upper. So maybe that’s how the grindstone can help.

We’re always spouting old sayings that we have no idea where they came from or how they got started. Some we can figure out. Like a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Or snug as a bug in a rug. We might not want a bug in our rug, but we don’t have any problem imaging said bug as snug. I think I just came up with a tongue twister. Try saying those last couple of sentences ten times fast. But back to the old sayings. Some are not so easily imagined by our current generation. Like the grindstone one. Most kids have never seen a grindstone. Ah, how quickly the years pile on and our language is ever growing and shifting and changing. New words pop into use and old words fade away. Sometimes that makes writing historical fiction difficult. You not only have to come up with the right idea, the right plot, the right characters, you also have to be sure not to use words that weren’t around back then. Can you think up some modern words that shouldn’t have been there that you might have caught in some of the books you were reading?

But I was sharing my good news of the week with you. I got the offer about the two new books. My book, The Outsider, due out in August is getting some early interest and has been picked for a main selection by Crossing Book Club as well as an alternate selection for several other book clubs. So that’s great news. That means the book will be out there and available in a lot of different ways. The book I’ve already written that I titled Angel Sister got a good report from my editor, so that was encouraging. No publication date as yet. It will be a while, but I think it will eventually be out there for the rest of you guys to read. They were such a great bunch of characters. I always think I have a great bunch of characters. They’re not all sweet and kind, but they are all mine. And some of them are fun and crazy weird.

And then my granddaughter in WV turned five. Is there anything more fun than have a fifth birthday and opening a pile of presents and blowing out candles and eating cake and ice cream? How many of you remember your fifth birthday? I don’t remember that birthday specifically, but we had a wonderful aunt who always did our birthdays up special. She made our cakes and decorated them and I can remember standing out by the lane to our house and watching for her car on my special day. That’s the best thing about birthdays. Feeling special. Feeling loved. If I could make a birthday wish now and blow out all my candles, that’s what I would wish for everyone in the world. That they could feel special on their birthdays. Of course, no one will ever put that many candles on my cake again. It would set off the smoke detector if they tried and I’d have to take at least five tries to blow out that many candles. So maybe instead of a wish, I’ll make it a prayer.

Since I’m talking about a special day, I’ll tell you about a special celebration I just came from. A couple in our church are celebrating their seventy-fifth anniversary. Wow! Now that’s something. He’s 95 and she’s almost 92. They still live in their own home and they still read through the Bible almost every year. They are beautiful people.

I had a good time at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest. Thanks to everyone who came by to talk to me and maybe buy my book. Thanks also to those of you who came to sit in and listen on our panel as we talked about how we used our Kentucky roots to help establish the setting and tone for our books. The next book fest, Bluegrass Festival of Books, is coming up in Lexington at Joseph-Beth’s in May. Hope if you’re in the area, you’ll come by and say hi.

That’s all for now. Check in with me again next week. And feel free to comment about your most fun birthday or anything at all. Ann