I’ve been feeling a little guilty that I don’t post as often as I used to–I feel bad about that.  But life has changed for me, and there are days when I just

rainwalk3 copy

don’t feel like I have anything at all to say, let alone anything profound.

In the last two years, I’ve become a grandmother, I’ve had that grandbaby and her mother move into our home, and as of last week I’ve become a full time babysitter for a two-year-old.  Ha! I love spending time with my precious granddaughter, but it is difficult to find time to clean the house, do my writing, keep up with facebook, etc., etc., etc.

Oh, and I also became a professional (though part-time) photographer.
I’ve also been raising two mastiff puppies (one of whom is in heat this week–oy! Because I also have an intact male in the house), and last week I broke my foot.  So this is my life, and while it may be challenging, I’m not sure it’s interesting.

You should also understand that publishing, my line of work, has changed tremendously over the last five years. Publishers are merging, we have fewer places to sell our books, and people today are buying fewer books than they ever have before. With the rise of the ebook, the market has become flooded with self-published books, some of which are wonderful, but most of which should have percolated for a few more years.

This development has its pluses and minuses, of course. On the plus side is that technology has made it easier for writers like me to bring out books we have always believed in but they’d either gone out of print or  never found the right publisher.  This summer I have worked hard on finding artists for several children’s books that I’ve always wanted to publish, and I am so looking forward to selling those as the Christmas season approaches.  I’ve also written a series of “how to write” books which are directly from the classes I teach. I’ve often been asked to write a book on writing, but I’ve never wanted to write a book that contains information that all the other writing books contain.  So I selected six topics on which I could provide a unique twist–my plot skeleton formula, my approach to characterization, my methods for self-editing and tracking down weasel words, my thoughts about point of view, my techniques for evoking emotion, and finally, my procedures and thoughts about how to get a book finished, critiqued, and published.  These books are short (I don’t believe in fluff), and they are designed to get people writing, not reading about writing.  They’re called “Writing Lessons from the Front,” and they’re all available on Amazon, if you know someone who might be interested.

What am I working on now?  I’m outlining and planning a series to write up for my agent, and I’m working on “the train story,” which you may recall if you’ve been reading my blog for very long. A couple of summers ago, my cousin and I took a ten-day train trip from Washington, D.C. to Tampa, I wrote a story about that journey (but populated it with fictional people), but the story didn’t quite work. So now I’m dissecting it to see where the problems lie so I can put it back together and make it better.  🙂  Writing, as they say, isn’t writing, it’s REwriting.

So here you have it–a summation of the last two years. 🙂 Life here has mostly been quiet, which is a good thing, and sometimes having nothing much to write about is a sign of a life lived in contentment.  Thank heaven God is with us in the quiet moments, too.

Thanks for sticking with me!  What have YOU been up to lately?




  1. Carrie Padgett

    I was just thinking today Angie that I needed to pull out my Mt Hermon MP3s and listen to your fiction track again. I know the answer of what to do about that pesky subplot that won’t behave is in there.

    Being a grandma is the best, isn’t it?

    Will pray for your foot! I broke my ankle in 2009 so I know what you’re going through.

  2. Sam Umek

    I can understand exactly what you are going through. My husband and I adopted a 17 year old girl 5 years ago. She is bipolar and slightly mentally challenged due to a head injury as a small child. She left us as soon as she turned 18 to return to her biological family. Since then she has had 3 children by 3 different men. The oldest of those children is now my 3 year old daughter. (Yes, we adopted again.) Oh, I failed to mention that my oldest biological daughter will be 27 in a few weeks. Fortunately, she is a Social Worker and is married to a very handsome young man. They do not want children. I will turn 55 in December. I don’t remember it being so difficult to raise a 3 year old. I think I’m getting old! 😉 I don’t remember my oldest making such messes. My house is a disaster area. I can clean and she goes right behind me making another mess. She is also a blessing. She has amazed her doctors and therapists. She has Q4 deletion syndrome, her cerebellum didn’t develop properly and she has Bicuspid Aortic Disease. Her neurologist said last year that Lana would probably never walk without assistance. LOL! She should try to catch her when Lana runs away from me. She has some speech issues we are working on, but she is only about 6 months behind other kids her age. People ask why I adopted knowing she would have developmental issues when I myself am diabled. I just say, “She’s my granddaughter. God sent her to us for a reason. He will give me strength.” Keep us in your prayers.

  3. Clyde

    “To everything there is a season … ” You have lead (and continue to lead) an amazing and interesting life, Angie. You are an extremely creative person and have been constantly turning out books and photographs and aprons and cupcakes! Now is a new season; one in which you have the precious opportunity to create memories with this new little person who has joined your family. God knows what we want and what we need. And He fills those wants and needs in His time. Enjoy this break in your routine and enjoy this delightful little package who God has brought you to love. You are truly blessed! Much love and best wishes to you and yours … Clyde

  4. Sherry Hill

    You are so lucky! I just wrote, then deleted the longest paragraph ever about all the things I’ve discovered about myself and how I’ve changed in this grandmother season of my life. Instead I’ll just mention that my granddaughters that I care for during the week, Grace-4 and Abby-2, and with both feet recovering from recent surgeries along with the many photos I need to sort through and edit just made me realize how similar we are. I not only don’t have much of anything to say but my mind is actually blank rather often which is quite a switch with my life long ADD tendencies. I’ve always dreamed of being a writer but am too easily distracted so will just have to enjoy your efforts.
    You are my favorite author, and I’ll keep an eye out for those books. Thanks for taking the time to post. Sherry

  5. Victoria

    Miss you on FB and your posts, but Girl….you have your priorities straight and I’ve been there too…and still am! My youngest moved back in with us not once, but twice, each time with another precious grandchild. Now she is happily remarried with a third precious child.

    I was working full-time when they were with us before. I am working part-time out of the home now, but I take care her children the other three days of the week. I adore being close to these grandchildren (and our other eight grandchildren as well!) Hopefully, my love and care of them will make an impact for good on their lives, along with their parents and extended family. Hubby wonders why I don’t write as much and play my piano and sing as much these days. Pouring myself into these children leaves little energy left at the end of the day. And just maybe writing and playing and singing into their lives and hearts will produce more than any book or music composition that I can produce on my own.

    Enjoy this beautiful time with your grandchild. We are blessed to have it.

  6. Terri Gillespie

    Thanks for sharing your life with us, Angie. Over the years I, for one, have benefitted from your wisdom, humor, and overall maven-ness. I love what Clyde wrote and believe that these different seasons re-orient us. Just take care of yourself, as much as you can, my friend. Love, Terri

  7. Sandi Ansell

    You sound tired, but not done in, smile. I, too, have a grandchild living with me. He is now 20 and has been with me since birth. (If you think two year olds are hard…think teens, smile). I love your work and I admire your tenacity. You are truly amazing and one of my heroes! God bless

  8. Kathy Mackel

    Oh fiddlesticks on nothing to write! I, for one, LOVE doggies and grandbaby stories. You can feed me every day on that. The smart writer stuff, well–that’s like frosting on the dog biscuits!


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