2010 Down Syndrome Awareness Walk

Yesterday I participated in the 2010 Down Syndrome Awareness Walk along with my mother, my daughter (who has Down syndrome) and a number of teachers and students and families from my daughter's school.Our walk took place in Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls, WI and we had a beautiful autumn day, sunny and cool, for our walk. The National Down Syndrome Society holds a similar event at this time of year called Buddy Walk.

According to my brochure the DSAW-CV Down Syndrome Awareness Walk brings people together to celebrate Down syndrome in our community, to focus on the possABILITIES and not the DISability and raises money to support the efforts and the mission of the Down Syndrome Association of WI-Chippewa Valley. It’s fun for families and friends. It builds camaraderie among neighbors and co-workers. And, above all, it is an event that you will feel good about being a part of! Whether you have Down syndrome, know someone who does, or just want to show your support, come join our awareness walk in the Chippewa Valley!

Proceeds from the Awareness Walk allow DSAW-CV to provide support to families and individuals with Down Syndrome and others with developmental challenges through education, information and the exchange of ideas and experiences.

For me, it was a time to reflect on the blessing of ALL my children and a reminder that we are all God's children and he loves us in spite of our imperfections.

New Review for Susan's 4th of July Fireworks

Clare of Happily Ever After Reviews gave the latest love story from Orchard Hill  4 Tea Cups: 
The first Orchard Hill story I have read and it won't be the last. Ms. Russell isn't afraid to tackle the heroines flaws head on, in this delightful tale set around the US Independence Day holiday.
You can read the rest of the review here: http://hea-reviews.blogspot.com/2010/09/review-susans-4th-of-july-fireworks-by.html 

I'm not very familiar with this review blog, but after looking around a bit I'm very impressed. They offer great features like a "Buy Now" link and similar book recommendations. (Hearts Surrender by Marianne Evans, Mended Heart by Mary Manners and Standing on the Edge of Good-bye by Mary Easton in this case. I'm in good company with these White Rose authors!)

Thank you Clare and Happily Ever After Reviews for taking the time to read and review Susan's 4th of July Fireworks.

Is there anything better than free Books?

White Rose Publishing's first anniversary is coming up! To celebrate they are offering a chance to win FREE BOOKS FOR A YEAR! To enter the contest, sign up to receive White Rose Publishing's brand new newsletter, Blossoms of the Vine before October 1. Your enrollment will automatically enter you in the contest.

Subscribers will receive news, announcements and special offers from White Rose Publishing.

If you are not lucky enough to win a year's worth of free books (or even if you are) you can still access short free reads on the White Rose Publishing site. More free  reads, including Teri Wilson's novella Once Upon a Collar, are available to members of White Rose Publishing's Yahoo Group. Coming soon - the free novella Cross My Heart by Elizabeth Pina will be available for group members. Don't miss out!

Why Do We Worry?

September 10th?  Already? Seems like only yesterday that I walked out of my day job for the very last time on December 31, 2009. At that time, I had some fears about how we'd have to change our lifestyles, and whether or not I'd have to take a part-time job.

We all have fears from time to time. That's our nature. We are worriers.

I needn't have worried. God has so richly blessed my life this year. My husband often says, "It's a good thing you are retired, because you'd never have enough time to do all that you do if you were still working."

My worries about what I'd do with my time, if we'd have enough money, if I'd become a couch potato, if I'd miss using my skills...all these were for naught. Why? Because I forgot the one thing I should never forget. God's plan for me!

I've filled my hours with writing, with being active in ministries at church, with reading my Bible and doing Bible studies, having lunch with friends, exercising, and enjoying time with my husband. Even though we have less income, we have so many more blessings. And God always provides.

I don't know what God's plan is for me, but I know it is something beyond my wildest dreams!

What have you worried about, only to find that God was working in your life?

Happy Labor Day

From Wikipedia: The first Labor Day in the United States was observed on September 5, 1882 in New York City, by the Central Labor Union of New York, the nation's first integrated major trade union. It became a federal holiday in 1894, when, following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with the labor movement as a top political priority. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike.

These days Labor Day is seen as the official "end of summer," celebrated by picnics and cookouts. It's the last hurrah before autumn begins. However you are spending your holiday, I hope you'll enjoy this "last hurrah."

For the writers out there, here's a quote on work to contemplate today.

“a person who works with his hands is a labourer, a person who works with his hands and his mind is a craftsman. But a person who works with his hands, mind and his heart is an artist." 
- Louis Nizer

Writing evolution

Life is ever changing--and quickly. Mobile phones have gone from "bricks," to celluars so small you almost had to move them back and forth between ear and mouth just to have the speaker and microphone in the proper place at the appropriate moment, back to something larger that can accommodate easy texting. Televisions have gone from huge consoles that could emit only black-and-white, to thin, high-def, mega-sized models that can wall-mount...and now, the latest is to watch movies on a teensy phone screen! Yes, everything changes, and a writer's writing ought to, as well.

I see a number of submissions where it's obvious the author wrote the manuscript a decade ago. That's not a bad thing. There's nothing wrong with pulling out an old manuscript and dusting it off, polishing it, and submitting it--but there is something wrong if the editor or agent to whom you send it can tell it was written in a bygone "contemporary" era.

I'm not talking about an individual and unique voice. Your writing should always be "you," but it should also demonstrate an ability to capture a perfect sense of time and place. For example, it wouldn't do in a contemporary to have your heroine stranded and not be able to call 911 unless it was clear that she didn't have a cell phone for some plausible reason or that phone was inoperable.

This evolution doesn't apply only to prop devices, but also to emotional and plot content, and to dialogue. Writers need to adapt to the changing trends in their genre. Today, it is not only more accepted, but necessary, to include a deeper emotional pull in a Christian novel whereas twenty years ago, most stories were deeply plot-driven with the focus being more external than internal.

Dialogue choice can be a dead-giveaway to an "old" manuscript. Contemporary speech is always changing. Slang changes. These things, if not updated, can alert the editor, agent, or reader that the manuscript isn't current.

So, if you're pulling out an old manuscript to polish and submit, remember to look not only at the technical issues in which your skill has improved over the years, such as point-of-view and passive writing, but also to anything that might date the story--from a public phone to no emotional content, to speech patterns that are no longer "contemporary." Doing so may be the difference between contract and rejection.

Some more great oppertunities for today's release

Hi again! I failed to mention this morning when I posted the release day special that Marianne will be blog-touring throughout September. At the end of the month she will pick three winners from those who leave comments and award prizes that include: an Amazon gift certificate, a White Rose Publishing gift certificate or an autographed copy of Hearts Surrender. So make sure you leave a comment here to be entered into her drawing. She will also be hosting a book discussion for HEARTS SURRENDER in a few weeks on the White Rose Publishing Reader's loop.

In the meantime, lets see what a few folks have to say about her latest release:
first from Love to Read Novels, Sherry Kuhn said: "Hearts Surrender was a beautiful and endearing love story! One I could not put down and won't soon forget! It played out like a beautiful song that starts off soft and quiet and ends in a perfect crescendo! The chemistry between Kiara and Ken was absolute magic."
Here's the link to the full review if you'd like more. http://www.love2readnovels.blogspot.com/

Then, over at The Book Club Network Lisa Lickel said: "Readers of inspiring romances will thoroughly enjoy the author’s clear settings and well-rounded characters, as well as be intrigued by the first book in the series. A hint at the third book will cause a line up to wait for its release. I enjoyed Evans’s great phrases such as “cd-skip conversation” and the precious observation that Kiara makes: “No man has ever forced me to look so long, and so hard, at who I am, and who I want to become.”

Here's even more: http://www.bookfun.org/profiles/blogs/lifechanging-romance-by

New Release & special offer

Today is the release of Marianne Evans book: HEARTS SURRENDER. White Rose Publishing said, "When we published the winning story of the Hearts Crossing contest we never dreamed the hit story would become a complete series...but here we are, happy to release Hearts Surrender, Book 2 in the Woodland Series. Come learn what happens at Woodland Church when Daveny's best friend, Kiara, falls in love with Pastor Ken."

BLURB: Kiara Jordan is a sophisticated modernista, but beneath an engaging personality and super-model looks, her heart hungers, and she longs for deeper meaning in her life.

Ken Lucerne is the charismatic young pastor of Woodland Church; he's adjusting to life as a widower and copes by keeping as busy as possible with his parish and missionary work.

A home-building mission in Pennsylvania brings them together, and forces them to look hard and deep at the relationship they share, and where God means for it to go. Already bound by mutual respect and caring, love dawns, a love that takes them to a life-point neither would have expected.

After all, can a chic, vivacious woman find fulfillment within the quiet, mission-centered life of a clergyman? Can they trust God's hand strongly enough to surrender their hearts to one another...forever?

A Special Offer For YOU...
Purchase any edition of Hearts Surrender by
Marianne Evans--The latest release from White Rose Publishing--and
receive a FREE .pdf of "Hearts Crossing." Purchases must be made on 3
Sept 2010 to be eligible, so hurry before time runs out.