Sunday, July 30, 2006
Well, the Romance Writers of America conference is over and my family is flying in to Atlanta today to meet up with me. Then we are driving to South Carolina to do some water skiing. I know for a fact I don't receive a cell phone signal in the town we're going to. I have yet to determine if I will have an internet connection.
So, if you don't hear from me this week, that's why.
Have a blessed week!
posted by Deeanne at 9:07 AM
Friday, July 28, 2006
Our youngest son is a musician and composer (he's the one at the microphone). Some time ago, he put together a garage band with his buddies and they had their first gig a couple of weeks ago. I have to tell you I was blown away by their performance.
I had heard my son playing each of the songs (over and over and over) on the piano, but he'd play each part seperately: the melody first and then he'd work on the bass, the second guitar, the keyboard and he did the drums on the computer. But I'd never heard the group as a whole and they were so good. I was so, well, surprised. I mean, I knew they would be decent, I just didn't know they'd be so good. (They practice in the drummer's garage, not mine.)
I certainly had no idea my son would be at the microphone. And, he wasn't singing exactly. I think the kids call it "growling" and I didn't understand a single word, but the kids in the audience really seemed to enjoy it. And it was a rush for me and his dad to watch. (I asked the drummer's mom if she knew what the lyrics were and she said she'd seen them written down and they were fine. Whew!)
As I watched my son, I saw for the first time how really accomplished he was on the guitar. I mean, I knew he could play quite well, but to watch him perform was such an eye-opening experience. There were times when his fingers were moving so fast that they were actually blurred.
Anyway, the boys have booked themselves more gigs and I plan to go to every one (if he'll let me). So, thanks for letting me be a "proud mama" and indulging me as I go on and on about my baby!
posted by Deeanne at 12:02 PM
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Hot Mama Update
I have been remiss in posting this week because I am in Atlanta at the Romance Writers of America convention. Then next week my family is going waterskiing in South Carolina. I'm not sure if the cottage we will be staying in has internet access (so if you don't hear from me next week, that's why).
Meanwhile, I have an update from Barb on our "Hot Mama."
Sandy's at 70%!!!! Tomorrow is the last day for this week's round, then assuming she wins (she's been ahead every day so far) they move her to the top winner spot (where the other lady is now) and they put a new person up against Sandy. If she wins against 5 women, then she goes into the Hall of Fame (which no one has done yet, according to that page on the website). That's the scoop as I know it, anyway.
Go Sandy! If you haven't voted yet, go here
posted by Deeanne at 3:22 PM
Friday, July 21, 2006
New Scrapbooking Headquarters
Boys are so different from girls. When our oldest daughter moved out of the house, her room was still filled with trophies, picture frames, art work, bulletin boards, etc. When our son moved out, he took everything with him and what he didn't take with him, he threw away. His room, his walls, his closet, his drawers--everything was barren.
So, with his blessing, I moved all my scrapbooking stuff out of Greg's office and into our son's old room. I put a big ol' desk that up to four people can use at once (my daughters like to scrapbook, too). I filled his old comicbook stand with scrapbook papers. I mounted a pegboard across one of the walls.
Now all that's left is to get in there and get to work!
posted by Deeanne at 12:12 PM
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Our server was attacked by hackers a couple of days ago and we are just now getting the website up and back to normal. Thankfully, my web host does regular backups of my site, but it still takes a while to put it all to rights again.
I will be back at our regularly scheduled time tomorrow.
posted by Deeanne at 11:38 AM
Monday, July 17, 2006
ICRS - Part II
After the kickoff at the Christy's, the real work began. The rest of the week was filled with meetings, meals and booksignings with booksellers, media personnel, and sales reps, along with people from Bethany House and their parent company, Baker Publishing Group.
Greg arrived Sunday night and finally got to meet my Bethany House family, which was really special. We snuck away for
a couple of hours to go see the house he lived in when he was six.
"I remember that yard being a lot bigger," he said. He showed me the creek he used to catch crawdads in and the places he rode his bike to. They even still had an old drive-in movie cinema. It was the first "down" time I had had since arriving and, boy, did it feel great.
He left first thing Tuesday morning, but I still had things scheduled and stayed a bit longer. On the plane ride home I dozed two or three times, which is a shocker because I hardly ever sleep on airplanes.
After I arrived home, I did absolutely *no* work for four days. (Not good, considering I have a deadline fastly approaching.) But, the rest rejuvenated me. Well, if you could call it "rest." I converted my son's old room into my scrapbook room. I'm really excited about it and will tell you all about it on Wednesday.
All in all, ICRS was great fun and something I always look forward to. Next summer it will be in Atlanta and that's where my critique partner lives. So, that will be a special treat.
posted by Deeanne at 11:56 AM
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
I've made it home from ICRS in Denver and have no voice whatsoever. I arrived on Friday, started talking and never stopped for six days. (Writers don't get out much.) ;-)
The other thing I did the whole entire time was eat. I had to have gained five pounds in just that one week. My first event was sharing dessert on Friday night with some booksellers from the Parable Group.
Saturday I was coached/trained by a media expert. She taught me how to be successful in front of the camera. Took her four-and-a-half hours, bless her heart, but I learned sooooo much. Late Saturday afternoon I shared some chips and salsa with Dave Long's (my editor's) wife, Sarah Long. She's also an editor for Bethany and I hadn't seen her for over a year. We talked and talked and talked until we had to go and get ready for the Christy's.
The MC for the Christy award ceremony and dinner was Dan Balow from Tyndale. He was hilarious. I'd met him briefly before, but didn't realize what a great sense of humor he had. My manager, Ron Smith, came with me. We sat at the same table as my dear friend, Patti Hill and her husband Dennis, and her agent Janet Kobobel Grant. Also at my table was Sarah Long and two of her authors--Tracie Peterson and Stephanie Grace Whitson.
After dinner, Bret Lott gave the keynote speech. He called for the CBA authors and publishers to generate books with realism and candor. He said that when we color our books in pastels and then smudge the edges, it keeps us from reaching out to the secular audience and a great majority of the Christian audience. I really enjoyed his speech. Good stuff.
Then, it was time for the Christy Awards. They go category-by-category and announce the finalist. Then, instead of saying "the winner is," they read the first two or three lines of the winner's book and then announce the author and title.
So, for Bride, they started with "'Saints above, girl. What are you doing here?' the shackled man hissed."
I glanced over at the table next to me and saw my editor, Dave Long, (see photo on right) smiling. I went up, accepted the award and said a few words. I thanked Bethany House. Told a quick story about Dave, then thanked him profusely. I also thanked my editorial editor, Julie Klassen, who pours over my manuscripts with a fine tooth comb and draws the very best out of me. She wasn't able to attend, and I really missed having her with me.
The 2006 winners are (from left-to-right):
Everyone had a really early (and long) day planned on Sunday, so no official celebrating goes on after the ceremony. But Ron (see pic on right) took me out for a big ol' piece of cheesecake. I had chocolate-coconut and he had strawberry-shortcake.
- Contemporary Series, Vanessa Del Fabbro, The Road Home (Steeple Hill)
- Romance, Deeanne Gist, A Bride Most Begrudging (Bethany House)
- Visionary, Karen Hancock, Shadow Over Kiriath (Bethany House)
- Historical, Liz Curtis Higgs, Whence Came A Prince (Waterbrook)
- Contemporary, Dale Kramer, Levi's Will (Bethany House)
- First Novel, Nicole Mazzarella, This Heavy Silence, Paraclete
- Suspense, Athol Dickson, River Rising (Bethany House)
So, that's it for now. I'll wrap the rest of the show up next week. Thanks so much for all your congratulatory comments and encouragement. Y'all are the best!!
posted by Deeanne at 10:18 PM
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Glory Be To God
It's 1:30 in the morning and I have to be up by 7:00am. I just wanted to let you know that Bride was awarded the Christy for Best Romance of the Year. I'll give you all the details next week, but for now, here she is.
Glory be to God.
posted by Deeanne at 1:38 AM
Friday, July 07, 2006
Well, I had a birthday this week. I got an ironing board, a frying pan and a blender. Ha! When Greg first called me to the table, he had the numbers on my cake reversed so it said "64." I made him put them back in order. ;-) Next to the cake was my ironing board all wrapped up with a bow and everything. See it?
Now, I will confess to putting those items on my birthday list. I love receiving domestic stuff as gifts. The switching of the candles he thought up on his own, though.
I'm off to Denver today. This week is the ICRS (International Christian Retail Show) and the winners of the Christy Awards will be announced tomorrow night. I will try and let you know the results if I can, but you can always check for the winners here
I won't be back until Wednesday. Hopefully I'll be able to post before then, though.
posted by Deeanne at 7:51 AM
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
He Went West, Our Young Man
Well, our 18 year old left the nest on Monday. He's decided to opt out of the college-route and, instead, go find his way in the big, wide world. So Saturday we gave him a going away party. We had about 15 to 20 kids over for burgers, hot dogs and swimming.
Our son and his buddies love to do flips off of just about anything--platforms, balconies, roofs, whatever. Here they are flipping off of the side of the swimming pool.
Then he loaded up his car from top to bottom and headed west before the sun came up on Monday morning. We received a call from him yesterday evening saying he'd arrived safe and sound.
Hard to believe he's on his own now. I hope he finds a job soon!
posted by Deeanne at 12:55 PM
Monday, July 03, 2006
Hop On Over
It's my day to post on Romancing the Blog
, so hop on over if you wanna (though I'll check my comments here, too, as always).
Have a GREAT Fourth of July. It's one of my all time favorite holidays.
posted by Deeanne at 10:09 AM
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