Monday, May 5, 2008

Blog tour links for A Mending at the Edge

The graph below shows activity on Change and Cherish series in the blogosphere. The phrase “A Mending at the Edge Kirkpatrick” has been mentioned 60 times.

Read some of the reviews at…
Amanda Amanda A Patchwork of Books Amy April Ashley Becky Beth Brittanie CeeCee link Christa Christy David Deanna Deborah Deborah Dee Deena De'Etta Elisabeth Gretchen Heidi here Jamie Janis Jenny Karla Kim Laura Leah Lisa Marlo Melissa Melissa Michele Pamela Paula Reviews By Two - Christian Books Reba Sean Sue Susanne Takiela Tami Terri Tiffany Ty

Christy awards, heart stories, bobcats, listening

May 5, 2008. Today the power went off around 1:30 AM. We had power to the irrigation pumps but no power at the house. The electric company spent the morning and finally found the cause: apparently some coyotes had likely chased a bobcat up the power pole and he had met his demise by chewing into the power link that went to the house. Poor thing! "I suppose he died?" I asked. "He is still there at the scene of the crime," announced the power company. They have to drive over 50 miles to get to us but he seemed pleased to have had a reason to come down the reptile road, watch the river rise from the snowmelt in the mountains and eat his lunch overlooking the alfalfa field. Power is back. I can get back to writing.

this is the montly memo that will eventually be posted on my website Please visit there and check out my schedule. I'll be in Portland, OR tomorrow evening (May 6) for the Willamette Writer's gathering there. Hope you'll stop by.

Earlier this year I took an on-line class from writer/artist mary anne radmacher (she writes her name with all lower case letters, by the way). It began January first and required writing three paragraphs a day and sending them to her. I didn’t think I could manage that with the novel being due, working on the quilt book and Jerry’s January surgery, but I thought it would inspire me and it did.
At the same time, along with several other Christian novelists, I committed to writing 2000 words a day hoping to finish that novel before I went to Italy. I made it! And I’ve kept up the practice mary anne began, a little. Not every single day, but often.
Today I pulled up the phrase “Let your heart instruct you. Listen well. You will know your way.” It’s from one of mary anne’s little boxes of sayings from her site, It seemed especially fitting this month.
May it seems is a month of good news for me. A Mending at the Edge has been on the Pacific Northwest Booksellers bestsellers list since it was released in mid April. The third book in a series often doesn’t sell well so this is great. Along with it, we’ve seen more people at events and signings, too, which is sweet. Then early this week we learned that A Tendering in the Storm, the second book in the series, is a finalist for the Christy Awards, a national award for the best in Christian fiction. The first book in the series didn’t make the Christy cut but it was a finalist for the WILLA Literary Award so it’s amazing to me that this has happened now, after all this time. The list of all the finalists is pretty impressive if you’d care to visit the Christy site. It could make up your reading list for the year!
When I read mary anne’s words, I was reminded about the importance of that heart instruction. Since I began this writing journey, I’ve tried so hard to listen to the stories that really called my name, the ones that “instructed my heart” so I could write them down and share them when I’m off on my adventures speaking to writers groups or to educators or to people who just love stories. I’ve tried to do the same when I’m asked to read a book or explore with someone how to get a book published or whether I could endorse their latest work.
The book that was nominated was a hard book to write because of the sadness of the woman’s life at that point. It’s a book about grief and its many siblings and it’s a book about the price of independence and the costs of compliance to a devastating act. Those are hard subjects and I struggled with whether to tell much of that part of her story. But readers have said even though it was a difficult (as in sad) book to read that it was worthy of their time. Several on the blog tour said the series as a whole had truly affected their own life journey.
Still, readers said they’re looking forward to A Mending at the Edge because they have confidence that Emma’s heart will be restored, that she will find her way. And so she did through the arts, through her faith, through community and through her listening to her heart.
This all speaks, though, to the continuing need to listen to my heart. I have to listen when requests come in that I can’t always fill, for events or to speak. I have to learn how to say “No” which I realize I didn’t do so well if you look at my schedule! I have to learn when to say yes as well.
Today I learned that the release date of the quilt book I’ve been so absorbed in for the past 18 months has been put back to January of 2009. Oh how my heart ached when I learned this! Within the hour of discussion with my editor I went through all the stages of grief: anger, denial, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance.
While my mind was racing, my heart was saying “what’s the best thing for this story?”
It is the best thing to be able to have the best product possible, the best way for pre-sales, for getting the book into places we hope it will reach people. The more we talked, the more my heart settled. Yes, I have to disappoint people who hoped to have the book to give as Christmas gifts! Yes, I had to change some dates already scheduled for events related to it. But on the plus side, the entire team can do the work they want to do to make this book their best and publishing really is a team sport. All the facets must come together or we’re lost.
On the plus side, Oregon celebrates its 150th birthday next year and the quilt book will be available for that, a perfect way to memorialize Oregon’s history with this historical/quilt/inspiring book. The national association of communal societies will meet in the fall next year and the publisher hopes to do additional promotion through the year so that will be a good linkage. It’s actually a plus that I’ll have “an Oregon Story” (though it’s much more an American story) since my next novel will be set in the Midwest and my Northwest fans might feel slighted a bit. Now they won’t be. They’ll have their own book to devour (hopefully) for 2009 and still have an appetite (hopefully) for my grandmother’s story set in Minnesota and Wisconsin, my home state, when it comes out in April of 2009.
Plus, I’m in the midst of having my website revamped and I’ll be learning a new program so I can post my monthly memo and keep my schedule up instead of having to bug my very busy niece. And I’m already busy researching the second novel in the “Portrait of a Woman” historical series so really, as Jerry said, everything will work out.
It’s really nice to have his support and to know that he, too, can adapt to this change. We’ve been having quite a good time on our journey of travel this year, sometimes with the dog, sometimes not and we’ve discovered that spending that much time together is really pretty special. We’re fortunate indeed.
I don’t know what sort of things may be happening in your lives right now but I do know that taking that deep breath and listening to your heart is a truly good thing to do. You will find your way. And you will not be alone.
I do have lots of events in May so I hope to see you at some of those. Most of all I thank each of you for making room in your heart for my stories.
Warmly, Jane