Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Not Write Now (Heather)

Howdy from Texas to all of my new Lands Uncharted friends! I’m so happy to be a part of this diverse and talented group. Thanks for letting me share a bit of my “writer’s life” with you today.

As I work on this post, I’m tempted to retitle the heading as “Non-Writer’s Life” because I’m literally typing this from my mother’s hospital room. She’s had a lot of health challenges lately, one of which was the need for a hip replacement this past week. Unfortunately, she suffered a small stroke the night after surgery, making recovery even more difficult. We are praying and looking towards rehab to get her moving. 
My mum and I at the Realm Maker Awards in St. Louis.
My third book, The Genesis Tree, was a finalist!
Soooo, as you might guess, I’m not doing much in the writing realm lately (we’ve been dealing with problems since October, so this isn’t a recent phenomenon). But! I just signed a contract for two additional books to add to my current YA fantasy trilogy, The Tethered World Chronicles. Plus, my second and third books, from said trilogy, are being made into audiobooks (to go along with the first one) as I write this! 

These things are writing wins and I’m so grateful for them—and grateful for my wonderful publisher, Mountain Brook Fire, and their willingness to work with me through this new set of challenges. Speaking of MBF, did you see the writing contest they’re hosting? I mentioned it in an earlier post but thought I’d bring it up in case you missed it! If you’re a writer, you need to check it out.

Though my current writing groove is in the two-steps-forward-one-step-back rhythm, it’s not always been this unpredictable. Though I am a definite pantser—writing by the seat of my pants—I somehow managed to write my first novel, The Tethered World, while homeschooling four kiddos. 

When my oldest graduated high school, and my youngest was headed to sixth grade, I decided to begin my writing career in earnest. Wasn’t my graduate also in the sixth grade, like two years earlier? Felt that way! I knew the next six years would fly by. And I didn’t want to wait until then to figure out what to do with myself—although I did have a job teaching ballet, which I kept even after my youngest graduated. 
One of my classes performing The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
That's Tumnus and multiple "Lucys" :)
I had TONS of fun playing the White Witch for another Narnia number!
In my heart, I was a storyteller. Whether with dance or words, that was what I loved to do.
God brought along a wonderful mentor in children’s author Susan K. Marlow who helped me learn a lot of the writing ropes. She encouraged me to send her whatever I was working on and offered oodles of helpful feedback. She even used an actual red pen to bleed all over my rough draft, which I had printed out on actual paper. Susan also introduced me to my publisher, Miralee Ferrell, a successful author-turned-publisher. 

That early, providential relationship has taught me the value of making connections in the writing world. Thank the Lord for the internet! It holds so many opportunities, especially for us introverts. Though I’ve finally met both Susan and Miralee in person, those meetings happened after my first book was published.

This past July I reached the half century mark! I now have two delightful granddaughters and my husband and I are official empty-nesters. You may be in a season of diapers and homework and dirty dishes, but, trust me, one day you will have time to pursue those quiet passions, lurking inside your heart. Someone once said that, “the days are long but the years are short” and truer words haven’t been spoken in regards to parenting. Be patient with your self and with life. You can depend on seasons to change.
My granddaughters, W and K. They bring such joy!
It's heartwarming to think that one day they will read my books.
Though I may not be swimming through diapers and dishes myself, these past few months have brought similar time-challenges with my mom’s health crisis. Writing today’s post has been a good reminder from my younger self. Wow! I actually managed to write a novel in the midst of a full house—a little here, a little there—and I will, with God’s grace, manage it again. And, like those valuable, early internet relationships, I now have a new relationship here, with all of you Lands Uncharted peeps! I am truly blessed.

Do you have a mentor, a writer’s group, or someone encouraging you in whatever you love to do? How did you meet them? Are there dear friends in your life, thanks to the internet, that you’ve yet to meet in person? If time constraints weren’t a thing, what would your dream job be? 

I'd love to hear what's going on with you!


  1. As a mom still in the thick of diapers and homeschooling, this whole blog post is encouraging to me. :-D

    1. I'm so glad! It can be so challenging to keep our eyes on the light above when we are in the dark, sleepless trenches. Hugs and hope to you, Kessie!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement. My kids aren't in diapers and I don't homeschool, but the demands of school and home can still overwhelm me.

  3. I love meeting Internet friends...like I met you!!!! My daughter was sooo jealous & excited when she received those autographed Tethered World books!!! So glad there are going to be 2 more!!! Praying your Mom gets on the road to healing.

  4. This is very timely for me. Thank you for reminding me that seasons of non-writing aren’t the end of dreams!

  5. I can remember a time when my writing world was just me, solo and alone, back when my kiddo was just coming out of the diaper years. So I intentionally set out to find my tribe, not even realizing that's what I was doing - just hoping to find other Christians who wrote fantasy. I followed the trails - joining a yahoo group, following the blogs of other members, and then the blogs of people who commented on those blogs, and then moving onto facebook as that original group faded. All the while feeling like an interloper who had somehow snuck in under the radar, building relationships without even realizing it was happening, until today I'm one of the moderators at the RMC and a team member with Havok, and I have friends scattered across this country (including you, Heather!). Even while I struggle with writing, since my daughter is still in school, I have a support team and it is such a blessing.


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