Prelude to Virtual Launch 7

Prelude to VIRTUAL LAUNCH: Day 7

Here we are at Day 7 of the prelude for the Becalmed’s Facebook launch Party on July 1. We’ve met James, Elvie Mae, and Rita Whitlock, along with Isa Wellington and Matt and Hannah Morgan and Matt’s brother Alex. (Oh, and Bethanne.) Today we meet Will Merritt.

 Share This Blog Post to Win

FIRST WINNER CHOSEN! Congratulations to Katie Clark!

For every unique share of this blog post on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or other media outlets, I’ll enter your name into the weekly drawing for a combination paperback and e-book of Becalmed.

We’re also having fun with ideas for actors to play the various parts. Come take a look at the Pinterest Board for Becalmed‘s Characters and let me know if you’d like to add a suggestion. I don’t see my characters this way, which is why I like faceless covers, but one of my readers, John Pelkey, sent in his offerings.


Seventh up: Will Merritt

Will had it all. A beautiful, loving, and perfect wife named Nancy, who dreamed of sailing with him and their daughter Jilly. Work he loved as a mechanical engineer. And that precious child, their first-born.

And then his world collapsed when a drunk driver killed the love of his life. It’s been almost two years now, but he misses her more with each passing day, especially when Jilly does or says something that is so reminiscent of her mother. He sees Nancy in the toss of Jilly’s hair, in her “that would be lovely”—words Nancy used for so many things, always accompanied by that turn-his-insides-to-slush smile.

How on earth is he supposed to do this?

But he’s got to. He and Jilly are following the dream. They’re living on the Nancy Grace, and they’re traveling. Coping. Sometimes more than coping.

And he’ll allow no one, absolutely no one, to encroach on the world they’ve made for themselves.


Share this on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or wherever.

For each unique link to this post, I’ll enter you in a drawing to win a paperback copy of Becalmed along with an e-version! I have ten characters to introduce. After each five, I’ll pull a winner’s name from the hat.

Read more about BECALMED on the PRESS KIT

BUY Becalmed on Amazon

Save the Date: July 1


Watch for the virtual launch on Facebook, July 1

Giving away books at Becalmed’s Facebook Launch Party from authors Lorrie Thomson, Roseanna White, C Hope Clark, Kathryn Craft, Barbara Claypole White, and Robin Patchen.


(PS. In case the Internet thingies that are supposed to tell me of shares decides to fail us, will you also leave a comment and tell me where you shared this so you don’t get left out of the drawing?)


Onward and Upward: New Roles and New Hats

I’ve had a lovely time as Executive Editor of Wayside Press, the general market imprint of Written World Communications, but it’s time to hang up that hat as I move forward into new roles. Two of my books release this summer, I’ve more on the hard drive in need to tweaking, and I’m a soon-to-be grandmother.

There’s only so much time in a day and only so much energy given to each of us. I’ve loved working with Wayside’s authors, and I know I’ll miss interacting with all the new ones who will be showing up at the imprint’s door. But none of us is expendable, and if we try to do too much, none of it will be done well.

So, to those authors I’ve met at conferences who had hoped to submit to me, I’m sorry. But I’m sure someone else will take up the slack. And I’d still like to hear from you, to encourage you in your work and to gather encouragement from you!

Editor Hat
Editor Hat

The Editor becomes:

Admiral of Sea Venture as we take to the water again with Michael and Mama and our trip north! Not a flattering photo, but very real as I maneuvered us into Bahia de la Paz, Mexico.

At Sea Venture's Helm
At Sea Venture’s Helm

And this, sailing my little boat on jaunts out to Cape Lookout:

Sailing Puff
Sailing Puff

And this! The author gets to have some fun.

The Author
The Author

As soon as I have pictures that include the grandmother role, I’ll let you know!


Clearing the Decks

Anchored in Puerto Escondido, Sea of Cortez, 2009

Before we take off on a cruise, we tie down dinghies, stow the sunshade, clear and secure lines, and set up jacklines if we’re heading out to sea. (Jacklines are tight, secure, lines that run from the bowsprit back to the cockpit and allow us to hook on tethers as we go forward. The last thing either of us wants is to become shark fodder, and the tethers and jacklines are part of Sea Venture’s safety equipment to keep us from sliding off and over in a big sea.)

Sailing the Pacific, Costa Rica to Panama 2011

I wasn’t on board as Sea Venture traveled toward Panama, and the doghouse cabin top seems to have accumulated everything the guys didn’t want to stuff below. But you can see the jackline, going forward from the mizzen mast. And there wasn’t much wind. Perhaps they’d have tucked the other items below if there’d been danger of a blow.

Sometimes my personal decks need to be decluttered so that distractions–which love to grab hold of each of us–won’t keep me dashing around, chasing loose lines before they drag in the water and risk fouling the propeller. I can get so caught up in the ought-tos that I forget to take a deep breath and ease back into the truly important things in life.

Those important bits are different for each of us and assume different levels of priority. But we each have the capacity for distraction, don’t we? Running here and there after that thing we need to know, that bit we ought to do, that person we ought to court, that group we ought to join.

These last few days, I’ve been considering my motivations for all of it. Trying to dig a little deeper into what is real, what is valid, what is true, and what is needful. For me.

I’m not suggesting that my answers will be your answers. The questions are universal, but each of us must define our own priorities.

My children are grown and away. Much of my family has fled into virtual hiding. But the call to love them remains acute and requires practice. Loving my children, my husband and mother? Loving my world? These are easy.

You may have young ones at home. Or you may live alone. Perhaps your world revolves around city life. Perhaps suburbia or the country. Or maybe your backyard changes whenever you up-anchor as ours did when we lived on Sea Venture.

But you and I each have things we’re called to do, don’t we? A job, a lifestyle, a ministry, a friendship, an art–something that needs our focus. Something for which we need to keep the decks clear.

As a writer who has at least one book releasing in the who-knows-when future, I’ve let myself become distracted by what-I-should-be-doing-to-learn-how-to-market. I read conflicting ideas from gurus and then clutter my decks with all the shoulds. Unless I either stow all that baggage or give some of it away, I’m never going to make it out of the marina slip.

Crossing the Sea of Cortez

And I want to go sailing. Oh, and finish another book.

How about you? What things or circumstances are keeping you anchored in place? Can you divest yourself of the un-needful in order to concentrate on the important?

And what does important mean to you?