WHAT I'M UP TO THESE DAYS

SHORT-LISTED FOR TWO AWARDS
So thrilled: Finding Sarah Finding Me is currently shortlisted for two awards. Canada's The Word Guild Award, and the Blue Ridge Mountains Selah Award, both in the Memoir category. I'll find out in the summer if my memoir wins.

AMERICAN CHRISTIAN FICTION WRITERS CONFERENCE IN SEPTEMBER

And also, very exciting for me, is that I was awarded a scholarship to attend the ACFW Conference this September in Grapevine Texas. Please pray I can complete my latest manuscript to take to this conference. I hope to interest the literary agents and publishing houses who attend this big conference in this manuscript.


MY CURRENT WORK IN PROGRESS
For a long time I've wanted to write a book set in the beloved land of my birth--Ireland. More accurately, Northern Ireland. Lots of people have no idea that Ireland is similar to India in that it too was partitioned into two separate countries. There is the Republic of Ireland which fought for and was granted independence in 1922, but at a cost. The six counties in the north remained part of Great Britain and were called Northern Ireland. The reason for this was that the population at that time in those 6 northern counties wished to remain part of Britain.

As an person born in N. Ireland, I've struggled with the question--am I Irish? Or am I British? The truth is, I am both. This personal dilemma sets up loads of great plot ideas for my characters from the time of the Irish Rebellion against England in 1916 and up to present day, including the many different Irish "Troubles" over the decades.

The premise of this book is about a woman who sees the face of her former love in the features of her grandson, a young man who has no idea that she is his biological grandmother. Yes, my readers of Finding Sarah Finding Me will note that this too harkens to my personal story. But I hope with a different slant.

The book will have two time-lines, one in the past, and one in present day, that will gradually unfold a family mystery. All I'll say in addition to this is, the book will have loads of historical detail about the Irish struggle for independence, it will have a mysterious cache of diamonds, a murder, and plenty of romance.

I plan on making this into a series. My working title is The Curlew Calls. A curlew is a bird in Ireland that makes a mournful sound in the winter, but during the summer this bird's cry changes to a happier tune.

If you pray for me, would you pray that I can get this book written so that I may take it with me to the ACFW conference in September.


WHERE I'M SPEAKING NEXT
This past winter and early spring were very hectic with speaking engagements. I am so looking forward to the summer to recharge.

I plan to spend lots of time just relaxing in the joy of my God, gardening, and completing my current work in progress, a new fictional novel. 

Also, at the moment I'm in talks with a church for a speaking engagement at their ladies' event in September. Details to come later. They are considering reading Finding Sarah Finding Me over the summer and having me come to talk on using our gifts for God.

Perfect topic in conjunction with this memoir since this is exactly what the Lord did when He brought me through my journey as a Birth-Mother and a mother. Through that emotional pain, He developed the gift of writing and speaking so that I have the privilege of encouraging others.

Something for you to think about:

How can God use your current painful situation to develop your GIFT?





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