Right now I’m getting ready to go to St. Louis for the 14th annual Christy Awards. Something I never thought I’d say. Especially with this first book, Be Still My Soul. I have shoes and a dress and a husband who’s coming with me and the utter excitement of seeing a dozen friends that I’ve been eager to meet or see again. And I’m going to hug Laura Frantz. I am looking forward to this 🙂
Some friends and family have asked how they can follow along the “live blog”. In years past, the folks at the Christys have hosted a live blog for those at home to follow along if they’d like to know what was happening as awards were announced and to see pictures as they’re taken at the event. I’ve followed it the last few years (which consists of wearing my pj’s at the computer while eating popcorn) and have loved cheering on my friends. You can find it here at the Christys website or check in with their Facebook page for updates on when everything is going to happen.
And…I turned in edits
This weekend, I turned in the copy edits for My Hope is Found. I’ve had the privilege of working with the most wonderful copy editor for all three books in the Cadence of Grace series. She has a beautiful attention to detail and a great way of helping me along in any areas where the story needs clarification. For me, the copy editing stage is much more than finding typos or honing in on the color of a character’s hat. This is the stage that I want to make sure that the story is going to be purely edifying. That it will be a fragrant offering unto the Lord. That it would in no way be a stumbling block to readers, but something that points toward Christ. This is the most challenging season of all. If there’s anything I want to get right, it’s this.
I devote the story to the Lord through prayer and spend a lot of time listening to God, waiting for a reassurance that, “yes, this story is complete.” That peace took a while in coming and days within needing to turn the edits in, I was terribly stressed. The story didn’t feel like it was coming together–yes, despite the fact that it’s been written and revised several times–I was utterly worried that the whole thing was no good. It’s that Gideon O’Riley, I tell you. He’s difficult to work with. 🙂
There were still some missing elements, but suddenly, everything came together. It’s one of my favorite stages in editing. It’s the time when the shift in a conversation or a tweak in a character’s perspective, can suddenly free my heart and this story. It’s the time when I am so thankful that I don’t have to do this alone. There were many of those moments this last week as I made adjustments and tried to fill this story with truth and love and life. It’s there now. God is good. I’m ever so excited to get it to you.
Love and hugs to you all!
Congratulations! Have fun!
Thank you so much!
Thank you Joanne for taking the time to grace your beauty over at my place. It’s always a wow moment when someone new visits and joys your heart with inspiring them to leave such a beautiful comment.
Congrats on your event and your beautiful journey as a writer and a gatherer of words. Listening to God is always the best move and his small voice always directs if we are patient enough to sit and listen to him.
Big blessings to you and yours.
I hope to see you again with another posting and I will also visit you.
I am going back to see what you have inspired so passionately in your older postings so I can get to know you much better.
Beautiful rest of the week and weekend to follow.
Good morning, Dore,
It was my absolute pleasure! Thank you for visiting me here! Your comment is so sweet and thoughtful. It truly blessed my morning. So well said… His voice truly does direct us if we’re patient enough to listen.
Thank you so much for visiting and I hope you have a wonderful day!
Wonderful, Joanne! I’m so thankful you had that moment of it all coming together. Been praying you through this one. I’ll be following along with the Christy’s this year, FOR SURE! Give Laura an extra hug from me, too. I wish I could see you both.
Lori, Thank you for those prayers– I needed them! And they were felt 🙂 I’m so glad to know you will be following along. I will give Laura an extra hug for you! I’ll let you know how it goes because I have every belief that one day, you’ll be heading there yourself!
I am so happy for you – congratulations! Blessings to you.
Good morning, Donna! Thank you so very much!
Hehe!! I think we BOTH got to cross something off on our bucket list this year!! <3
Joanne, when I saw the Christy finalist list, yours was one of the names that jumped out at me right away. SO excited for you! I hope you have a fabulous time!
You are darling and I just want to hug you. Thank you so much and I’m so thankful for your friendship!
Cheering you on! Can’t wait to hear how it goes!
Thank you Melissa! (Two Melissa’s in a row!) and both of you are just as sweet. Thank you so much! I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂 Excited as can be to just be a part of it. Now… to try and pack, LOL.
I love how Dore expressed it: A gatherer of words. It made me think of picking and arranging flowers. Some are so gifted at it and create works of beauty for others to enjoy. Then there’s you and other amazing authors who gather words in such a way to create amazing stories for readers to enjoy and fall in love with.
LOVE the shoes! Cheering you on at the Christy Awards!
That is such a beautiful picture (thank you, Dore!) a gatherer of words. That’s such a precious image. Thanks for all your encouragement and love. Big, big hugs!
You inspire me and give me hope for my own writing future!! Amazing to watch how far you have come in such a short space of time! I wish you all the best at The Christy’s and I will definitely be watching from home if I can!! Keep us posted!
That means so much! It’s been a wild and fast journey, indeed. I don’t think it’s all caught up with me yet 🙂 Thanks for your sweet wishes!! I hope you and your family are all well!
Congratulations, I’m so awed by the gift that some have with the written word. I’m so happy for you that your work is being recognized. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog and leaving me such a sweet and uplifting comment. I’m so pleased to meet you and learn of your work.
Good morning, Karen!
Thanks so much for your sweet comment and it’s such a pleasure to get to “meet” you! I can already tell what a warm soul you are 🙂
Cute shoes, now where’s the dress?!?
haha… the dress is in my possession and I’m so glad because I REALLY needed one!! 😉
Joanne, So thrilled we get to share this trip together! Can’t wait to hug you in person and not just online ;). Kindred spirits we are. Thanks for being here and for always shining your beautiful light. See you soon.
Laura, seeing you is going to be the highlight for me. And would you know it… I was reading Love’s Reckoning the other night and fell in love with it all over again. A beautiful story by a beautiful lady. Cheering you on!!
Hi Joanne, what a great perspective on the copy edit stage. My temptation is to feel that I am done and just read the green suggeted changes . . . but I am slowing down and praying through as I read my story once more. Thanks for the encouragement! I will be listening in on Christy Night and cheering for you and Laura too.
I’m touched that this was encouraging to you as you begin your copy edits. Already where I am in the TGHH, I can see such a beauty and tenderness for the Lord, both in the writing and in your heroine. Thank you for your cheers for both Laura and I. It’s bittersweet being in the same category. She is such a dear.
Joanne, I’m so excited for you! I wish I could be there to cheer you on. And I wish I could be there to hug you (and Laura!). 🙂 I will be praying for all of you as you travel and enjoy the experience.
Thank you for the glimpse into your writing world. Your stories are beautiful. God is glorified in your work.
Hope all goes well as you prepare for your adventure.
That means a lot! I’m so excited to see Laura. We haven’t met yet, so I’m really looking forward to getting to sit and visit. Hopefully will be able to see you too soon! I hear your going to ACFW? Yay! It’s been neat to watch exciting milestones unfold in your writing journey. Way to go!
Thank you for your encouragement–it’s my constant hope that God is glorified in what I write and to keep that the aim and the goal.
P.S. Still giggling over your ‘spinning wheel’ story 😉 Too fun!
HaPpY dAnCiNg with you, Joanne!!! Have fun at the Christy’s, and I can’t believe you’ve teased us so with that little excerpt! But I LOVE IT!
Have a blast, doll.
Thanks Andrea! 😀 From everyone in the industry I hear – ‘it’s such an honor to be nominated.’ And I feel it. This could be it, and I’d be thrilled! So blessed and thankful to get to be a part of it!
LOL–the excerpt! I wanted to take a screen shot of the “editing” stage and then realized that every scene kept revealing who was in it or what was happening, so I hunted for a neutral scene. Gideon in a barn, felt safe 😉 More to come!!
Well all that hunting for a safe scene was worth it, Joanne. You’ve intrigued me perfectly. 🙂
I hope to one day feel the utter excitement you’ve got right now. Congrats, again, on your nomination. I hope you win!
I’m so glad 🙂
And I hope you do too! There are as many downs as there are ups, it seems… so the ups are worth cherishing!
Thanks, Joanne! Your encouragement always means so much to me. <3
God is good Joanne! Your family must be so proud of you so dance the night away, bask in His love and just know readers will be thinking of you!
P.S. Love the spectators pumps…I hope you will share photos later on!
HE is! They are so proud and I’m looking forward to just enjoying the time there. I have friends in each category (including mine!) so I’m cutting the idea of winning or not winning out of my mind, to enjoy being with everyone and I know God has the perfect plan for what’s to happen and it’s so fun to get to be a part of it!
Glad you like the shoes 🙂 They were a fun find. Will be sure to post pictures! Thank you!
Congratulations on your nomination, Joanne. I was so excited to see your name on the list of finalists. What a thrill with your first novel. I hope you had a wonderful time!
Why thank you, Meadow! That means so much. It truly was a thrill 🙂 Lots of memories and so much to be thankful for. Thank you for your sweet words!