Hi, everybody. Hope you had a great week and an even better weekend. Here we are looking October right in the face. Around here, October is a busy month what with Homecoming at my church, Goshen. That’s a big deal for us and in four years we’re going to have to have a really big deal since the church will be 200 years old in 2012. Doesn’t that sound as if it’s too far in the future to even think about? 2012. But you know what? That’s only four years away. I hope somebody at church is getting ready to pull out all the stops and do some celebrating. And I doubly hope they’re not waiting for me to be the one getting ready because I’m a last minute type person. I always think there will be more time next month or next year and then pretty soon, here it is and I haven’t done half I needed to do. I want to be a plan ahead Ann, but I think I may be a last minute Ann instead.
Except I did come under the wire, very comfortably, with my new Shaker book, The Believer, before the deadline in November. That’s a good thing to be ahead on. Now I just have to sit back and chew my fingernails while I wait to see what the people who read it next think. First my agent, and then my editor. Eventually some months down the road, I’m hoping a lot of you will be reading it. Next summer is what I’ve been told, but that sort of thing is subject to change, so we’ll see.
Of course, I’ve read the book. So many times I might have lost proper perspective. I think it’s a good story. I didn’t go to sleep reading it even though I knew what happened. That’s always good. Of course, that was during the editing portion. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen or at least how it was going to happen before I wrote the last few chapters. I did have an idea of where I wanted my characters to go, but sometimes it’s interesting seeing how they get there. And sometimes you have to change where they’re going to end up a little because it doesn’t work to try to force characters to do things they don’t want to do. Not without figuring out a believable way to lead them down the road you want them to walk toward your ending.
Anyway I mailed off the book last week and now I’m missing those people I’ve been living with in my head. But I might need to let my character-creating brain rest a few days while I get some of the other tasks of writing and promoting done. I’ve got several booksignings and events coming up. That’s always exciting. I’ll be in WV for their Book Fest on October 11. At 10 a.m. that Saturday, I’ll be speaking on “Writing about Shakers and Other Odd Characters.” How I come up with my characters. That should be fun and maybe eye-opening for me since I’ll have to put some thought into how my characters come to life inside my head. Then the Thursday after that, Oct. 16, I’ll be doing a reading/talk and booksigning at Joseph-Beth’s Booksellers in Lexington with my friend and fellow writer, Virginia Smith. Check out her books at www.virginiasmith.org. Her new book for Love Inspired, A Taste of Murder, will be hot off the press. She’ll also have her Sister to Sister Book from Revell, Stuck in the Middle. You’ll like Ginny. She has a knack for humor.
Later in the month, the Patriots will be having their annual Homecoming Celebration on October 24 and October 25. That’s always fun. I love to listen to the guys sing and it’s fun talking to people when they come by the product table. Plus on that Saturday, October 25, I’ll be in New Albany, Indiana at the Heaven Help Us Christian Bookstore doing a signing and talk during their five year anniversary celebration. I’ll be there from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sounds like a busy day and great fun. Then in November I’ll be heading to South Carolina for a couple of signings at Barnes & Noble in Greenville and Spartanburg. You can always check out my schedule on my website, www.annhgabhart.com for details.
So I’m looking forward to a lot of celebrating in the next few weeks. Actually last Friday I was in Bardstown, KY at a Reading Celebration for some young readers at the Nelson County Library. I was part of a row of authors that the young people had the opportunity to meet. I picked the spot beside Woody the dachshund who is quite a prolific little writer. Guess who the kids wanted to talk to most? It wasn’t me. But Leigh Ann, Woody’s mom, is great with the kids and I enjoyed watching her make all the kids feel special when they stopped by to see Woody whether they bought a book or not. And of course I picked that seat because I love dogs.
Then Yolantha Pace sat down on the other side of me and totally overwhelmed me with her beautiful spirit. She’s a writer and poet who performs her poems. I’m hoping I’ll get to see her do a reading sometime because she doesn’t just read. She dances as she reads. So she’s a writer and poet and dancer. And missionary. She has a heart for the Haitian children and had made beautiful prayer books and tissue holders and Bible covers to raise money for these children in desperate need. I was so blessed to have her sit by me and share some of her experiences.
So it was great fun sitting between Woody, the dog, and Yolantha, the dancing missionary. Made me feel as if I should be doing something a little more special. But you know, we’re all who we are and the Lord gives us each our individual gifts. The Lord just wants us to be faithful with the talents we’ve been given. So we laughed and enjoyed visiting with the young people who came in to claim their reading rewards as we all celebrated the fun of reading and writing.
I hope all of you have plenty to celebrate this week. You know even when nothing special is happening, we still have plenty to celebrate. We’re all gifted with dozens of everyday blessings every week. Friends and family. Church families. Food on our tables. Shelter in a storm. School for our children. Dogs and cats to pet. Babies who smile at us for no reason. Sunshine and rain. People who like to read. That’s one of my best blessings. You all take care of yourselves this week and enjoy each day.