Saturday, September 29, 2007

More about my "TRIP"!

Oh it's so hard to come back to the "real" world of life issues and struggles. 

After this week full schedule of classes, a very unanticipated bit of potentially-life-changing news, the long awaited arrival of relocating in-laws, and a scramble to finish off my workshop article for Afictionado, I am thankful to finally be sitting in quiet at my desk this evening and having a chance to revisit my conference experiences at last!

SO, floating back to only a week ago...

I was having a blast with new friends! 

Starting out with...

(read more about our shenanigans on their sites)

Ocieanna Fleiss and CB

Lindy Jacobs



...Talking about adoption with Tiff Coulter (our girls' adoptions were in the same Siberian towns!), and Kelly Pelton (who also gave T and I the inside scoop on sightseeing in Memphis).

...Learning from and laughing with amazing authors, Sharon Hinck, Susan Meissner, Trish Perry and Deb Raney (her track was AWESOME!).

Sharon-happily signing the last of her books!

Susan is SOOOo sweet, she even gave me a copy of her latest book!! 
I only hope her workshop "300 Pages in 30 Days" helps me to write as fast as her someday!

Deb's word's of wisdom were a salve to my new writer's heart!

...Being blessed with worship, fellowship and encouragement on all sides. 

All I can say is "Thanks ACFW!!" Looking forward to next year...  =0)

Monday, September 24, 2007

What a "TRIP"!!

Everyone talks about "surviving" your first writer's conference. It's true, I didn't really know quite what to expect. But if you ask me today,

"Did you 'survive'?" I'd have to say,
"I didn't really. How about you?" 

For those who have no idea what I'm talking about....just think of whatever YOU've plugged through the past few days! Did YOU survive??


Pronunciation: s&r-'vIv
Function: verb
intransitive verb
1 : to remain alive or in existence : live on
2 : to continue to function or prosper

transitive verb
1 : to remain alive after the death of
2 : to continue to exist or live after
3 : to continue to function or prosper despite : WITHSTAND
- sur·vi·vor /-'vI-v&r/ noun

Well, according to Webster's Dictionary... I didn't (merely) "survive", I actually "thrived" through my first writer's conference!!! Wooohooo! 
How about you?

(Side note to some: please don't fret, if you ARE in survival mode right now --I'm there in many, many areas of life too... still looking to God for the wisdom and strength to "thrive" in those journeys as well. I encourage you to hang on, to know that He IS there, to continue to seek Him, and to trust with all your might, that He WILL bring you through!) 

Pronunciation: 'thrIv
Function: intransitive verb

1 : to grow vigorously : FLOURISH
2 : to gain in wealth or possessions : PROSPER
3 : to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances -- often used with on
- thriv·er /'thrI-v&r/ noun

The ACFW conference was quite an experience. 

I grew spiritually. Worship and fellowship with other writers, editors and agents challenged me, both in writing, and other priorities of life as well. 

I gained knowledge. Yep! Soaked up lots of new information about the "craft", and the process toward publication.  

Taking one step further in my progress toward a first novel, helped me realize that I'd already learned a little more than I thought, and confirmed that I'm definitely on the "right track"!

Writing like any endeavor in life is a" journey".  I was laughing when I came home last night and everyone kept asking if I'd "had a good trip?"... "Trip? What trip? I was just at a hotel here in Dallas for a few days", after all I hadn't really left town or anything. 

This morning as the memory of the past few days washed over me, it finally hit...Trip? Did they say TRIP? I giggled to myself. Wow, yeah...what a "TRIP"!! 

Watch for photos and more about my "trip" over the next week... AND THEN, on October 1st I'm back to "work"!! 

Join me then, as I officially unveil the "title" and invite you to an ongoing, intimate view of what it takes to write my first book!!

Smile, it's a fresh new week-

Thursday, September 20, 2007

HUGE Book Signing Open to the Public!!

If you happen to be in the Dallas area this Saturday, there will be an ACFW booksigning, get more information here!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Gifted Series: by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Though these are the first two novels I’ve read from Lisa Tawn Bergren’s collection, I can tell you that they will absolutely NOT be the last! I'm anxiously awaiting the final installment of this series in 2008, and may even have to add a few others to the top of my endless bedside stack. I was touched by both the storytelling, and the scriptural truths that she has masterfully woven in. A best-selling, award-winning author of over 28 books, she has outdone herself with these powerful stories of adventure, faith and suspense. I found myself fortunate to have both volumes on hand, once I’d entered her rich landscape!

In “The Begotten”, Lisa introduces us to an extensive cast of characters, intimately drawing us into their medieval Italian world.

Piero, a wise priest, passionate about “the living God”, carries an ancient secret that has been passed down for 500 years.
Daria, a noble, young woman seeking recovery from a devastating relationship with her childhood sweetheart, stumbles across God’s unique calling on her life.
Gianni, a faithful knight of the church, is on the heels of retreating evil, following an elusive man known only as “the Sorcerer”.

When three lives collide, the ancient prophecy reveals itself, inextricably binding them together as one, each with a divinely appointed gift. The troupe of “gifted” continue to rise in number and strength as they identify others who are a part of the divine plan.

Overflowing with beautiful symbolism, intense action and intrigue, “The Betrayed” brings each character to the fullness of their “glory”, as the battle continues between darkness and light.

While immersed in mystery, adventure and suspense, I found myself challenged to dive deeper yet into God's strength for the path He's put me on . Realizing at once, that even the simplest daily callings God has on my life deserve the depth of worship and faith that Lisa’s “Gifted” characters exhibit. And though entertained by knights and flying swords, I was “sharpened” in my own spiritual walk. The scriptures say in Proverbs 27, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” In creating this riveting series, Lisa managed to do both!

FYI--these books are available as near as your local Target store, where you'll find both “The Begotten” and “The Betrayed” featured this month on their Breakout Books display. Order either here, by clicking on the titles in the previous sentence.

For more about Lisa Tawn Bergren you can go to and click here to jump on the blog tour and learn more about this fantastic new series of books!

Peaceful page-turning!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Blog, BLOG, blog, Blog, blog, blogblog

It's been a busy couple of back-to-school weeks, here at the Barlow household. Suffice it to say, I have very little profound to write at the moment. Last week I wrote nothing, so maybe this meaningless blog is at least a step in the right direction!

I'm excited about some new classes that I'm teaching at the kids' school and the local homeschool co-op. Often known as a "Jackie-of-all-trades" (mistress-of-none??), I'm venturing into the world of teaching gourmet cooking to teens this year. My classes are bursting at the seams as we start off with appetizers, of course. Last week I indoctrinated them with the fresh cooking style of Jamie Oliver--after all, he's a guy, British, extremely hip, uses words like "just whack it in the oven..." and has an insatiable enthusiasm for good food and cooking--what more could you ask for to inspire young chefs?

I'm also gearing up for my first writer's conference next week! (see my countdown widget) I'm not sure what to think right now, except that with all of the angst and the chatter going on among the writer's preparing to attend, I'm thrilled to have the luxury of just being along for the ride this time. Since my first novel is still in its "embryonic stages", there's no pressure to pitch my work to editors or agents right now. I plan to do my "sponge" thing again, just soaking it all up, and way over my head in the water. But that'll be fun now that I've got this "scuba diving" thing down! Some new "writing" friends of mine will be arriving, too! Click here to find out who?

By the way, if you happen to be in Dallas on Sept. 22 at 1:30there will be a HUGE book signing event open to the public. More details on that...coming soon!!!!

Have a blessed day!