February here already

What else could go wrong?

The closer I get to self-publishing my first Romantic Suspense Novel, White Rose of Promise, the more unexpected little problems I encounter.

The most recent one took me a lot of time, and a whole treasury of emotional energy, to deal with. It derailed my progress in all of my writing activities. Long hours spent online ‘chatting’ to the Technical Support team took me on an adventure of discovery.

For those who have visited my page before, you may have noticed that the ‘my email isn’t working’ notification was up for a VERY long time. I was reasonably certain that I had made some foundational error, but didn’t have either the time or the emotional energy to deal with it in 2018.

A tricky problem

Turns out I was correct. The seventh ‘chat’ finally revealed that I had missed some basic information right at the start of setting up my account. An attempt to rectify the problem back then didn’t work, because the additional feature I was paying for was not attached to this page… It was NEVER going to work. All fixed now 🙂

As a writer, I am very interested in the emotional rollercoaster that accompanied this difficult lesson. The first time I contacted the Help Desk, I felt very anxious but confident that I had explained myself correctly. The second time, I was annoyed that the reassurances hadn’t come to anything. In fact, my situation was much worse – my whole web page went offline!

The third time, I was frustrated and impatient.

Something unexpected happened after that. The anxiety and anger dissipated, to be replaced by a lighthearted feeling of relief. I was able to sit at the computer with a smile on my face, and gratitude in my heart.

It didn’t seem to matter that I was losing writing time, only that someone was doing their best to help me. The worst case scenario had been fulfilled and rectified – my web page was back online, the links to my posts on my facebook page worked again, and eventually, the promise that my email would work would be fulfilled.

So what changed?

So what changed between the third and fourth ‘chat’? The helpful advisor told me that I ‘obviously’ hadn’t waited long enough for changes 1 and 2 to work, and said not to contact them again until I had waited 48 hours. So I did.

Please don’t think that I patiently waited during the remaining hours in silence. I petitioned heaven, both about my problem with the email and because the torrent of emotions and the accompanying fallout was wrecking my ability to deal with all the other daily struggles.

Only when I reached the end of the seventh ‘chat’ did I see the resolution to the email problem, but having my emotions flip to positive ones gave me patience and the expectation that everything was going to be fine )i(

Ezra’s words of wisdom:
There is nothing a good prayer,
a cup of hot chocolate, a cookie,
and a friendly bear can’t fix )i(

Please comment!

I am signing off now. If you have the time, please help me celebrate the email account victory, by leaving me a comment. I would love to open my emails and find a notification to remind me that even the little problems have a guaranteed success.
Chrissy )i(

Seeking Wisdom

Ezra, Writer’s Companion, Artist Assistant
Here is the link to follow his adventures on Facebook

I am writing a day late this week. There were so many possible topics running around in my head yesterday, I couldn’t catch any of them long enough to write them down!

This morning, it has been a lot easier to take up a thread and run with it all the way to the lesson to be learned )i(

Three decades ago I participated in a detailed survey designed to identify my Spiritual Giftings. Wisdom was not one of mine, and there have been countless times since when I have wished that it had been.

There have been many times when I have made foolish mistakes. Everything always turns out alright in the end, but the journey of discovery that follows such a mistake can be challenging.

Most of my waking moments this week have been spent either writing the first draft of my current manuscript (Book 3 untitled) and watching the Australian Open Tennis on television. My favourite athlete has been eliminated, making it easier to tear myself away as the competition heads to the finals.

I am happy to report that I have only six more chapters to write for Book 3, but the hard work starts after that as I edit and review. Watch this space for a further update.

This bear never says a word…
perhaps that is the secret to his wisdom.
Often I come away from a moment
of quiet reflection to discover
that I already have what I need
to deal with the current problem

Ezra’s Words of Wisdom #1: Remember to take time to read, reflect and pray. Wait for God to point you in the right direction. Only then is it okay to run off on an adventure…

“God’s laws covered concerns from sacrifices to sexuality, crops to cleanliness, building a house to taking a bath, religious rituals to raising children, sowing a field to sewing a garment. Wisdom is no ethereal, other-worldly quality, but is down to earth and pragmatic, with something to say about mundane details of everyday living, even walking along the road (10:3). Wisdom is viewing life from its Creator’s perspective and living life according to its Designer’s principles. The outcome isn’t simply righteous living, but a smoother, safer, more successful navigation of life’s uncertainties.” ( Tanya Ferdinandusz, from Whispering Wisdom, WordLive 10/1/2019, accessed from https://www.wordlive.org/Session/Classic/2019-01-10/Whispering-wisdom

Ezra’s Words of Wisdom #2: Sometimes, you have to take a little break before you can let the creative writing flow freely

Here is a video that gives some clues about how another writer comes up with creative ideas.

“Basically… he took the mundane and he turned it into the miraculous.” 2:56 TEDx Talks. 2014. “A writer’s secrets to catching creative ideas/ Brad Herzog / TEDxMonterey.” YouTube video, 10 May 2014, 15:36, https://youtu.be/Ln1ggxYoh2g

I only realised when I was putting this post in some kind of order that the word ‘mundane’ is included in both the Tanya Ferdinandusz quote and the snippet I saved from the video. The first one was fresh, but the second had been sitting here in my helpful resources file since 2018.

My creative philosophy is built on the expectation that every little detail has the potential to be extraordinary. The routine, seemingly unimportant, trivial,
everyday ordinary things – the ‘mundane’. In the hands of my Creative God, the mundane is transformed into my greatest treasure. He is creating a masterpiece out of things that the world considers worthless. This brings me the greatest joy )i(

White Rose
A white rose…

Thanks to those who gave me feedback on my draft book blurb for White Rose of Promise. I shared it in a number of forums and have made a few subtle changes. Here it is now:

A prophetic dream she can’t remember. A shameful past she can’t forget. An impossible future she dare not cherish.

Ria Fontana comes home from twenty years in exile. She is looking for reconciliation but her family refuse to acknowledge the secret that keeps them apart. They cannot accept that the lost years have changed her forever. Her hope for a new beginning fades.

Sebastian Romano has no time for women and abhors weakness. The wealthy businessman is uncertain why he offers Ria a way out of her dilemma, but it is too late to change his mind. If only he had understood the risk.

Ria’s innocence turns his orderly world upside down. Her faith challenges his values as she steps into her destiny. He thought he was done with his violent past, but his enemies have found her. Romano watches helplessly as the prophecy unfolds…


This is Ezra, study companion, writing critic, artist assistant
This is Ezra. He has had a VERY big day.
What was supposed to be
a dedicated writing day at home,
turned into an adventure.

I am juggling different writing tasks this week. Book 1 White Rose of Promise is back from the editor, and I have started the conversation about the recommended changes. Half the report was easy to respond to, but the other half will require a bit more effort.
Book 2 When Promises Are Broken is written and is now in the revision stage. Two of my beta readers have been promoted to alpha readers, and are helping to identify any troubling scenes. I know more now about what I want them to look for, and they have both stepped up to give me their honest opinion. My other beta readers are waiting to get their hands on the revised manuscript.

Books 3 and 4 are still clamouring for me to set aside time to write their outlines. I already know that heroine 3 is going to cause lots of trouble for me. Heroine 4 might be easier to write, but the two of them are going to have a face-off confrontation, hinted at in book 3 and explored in depth in book 4. 


Among all the interesting texts I have looked at this week, the following one is especially relevant to the stage I am in.

“Sometimes we authors want to shield our characters just a little. Okay, a whole lot. But we mustn’t. They have to slam up against obstacles, problems, conflicts, trouble.
They have to hurt. Why? Because our readers hurt.”
(Davalynn Spencer, ACFW Blog, 18 October 2018. Available from  https://www.acfw.com/blog/dont-be-a-troublemaker/)

Thanks for taking the time to read my update. Do you have any interesting blogs or on-line articles that you think I should read?