Archives for June 2012

Lo, It Is Finished (For Now)

So over a year ago, in April of 2011, I was folding clothes in the guest room (in case you didn’t know, I consider our guest room bed a gigantic drawer for clean clothes, and occasionally that drawer gets a little out of control), and out of nowhere, a book title popped in my head.

Well, it wasn’t an actual book title. It was an old Southern expression that I thought might be a possible book title. Granted, it seemed totally ridiculous that I was even contemplating book titles considering that I had no plans to write a book and had never even had an idea for a book. Plus, I’m not a dreamer, I’m not a goal-setter, and I’m terrified of rejection. So it didn’t require much of a mental leap to conclude that my self-doubt and I were not exactly on the fast track for publication.

But the title stuck with me as I finished folding clothes, and I texted it to myself so that I wouldn’t forget it. I couldn’t shake the feeling that there might be something I could do with it.

Well.

Last fall there were some very unexpected developments, and in February I signed a contract to write a book for Tyndale. I was thrilled to pieces for approximately twelve hours, at which point I realized that OH SWEET MERCY I HAVE TO WRITE ALL THE WORDS NOW.

And there may have been a little bit of panic at that juncture.

But this past Saturday night, around 9:20 in the PM, I finished the first draft of the book while I was sitting at my kitchen table. David and Alex were in the kitchen with me, and oh, it was a happy moment. They have been so supportive and encouraging throughout this whole process – y’all have no idea. I don’t know how I can ever repay them, but I’m going to start with lots of ice cream and also fried chicken.

The book is a collection of personal essays (that sounds fancy, but I think you know me well enough to know that the book is most definitely not fancy) about the joy of the day-to-day. It’s about the South and faith and family and food and how faithful God is to meet us in the middle of our seemingly ordinary circumstances. And while I never expected to say this, I cannot even begin to tell you how much fun I had writing it. It was one of the biggest blasts of my whole life. No kidding.

And by the way, the book really is called A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet. That makes me so happy. It wasn’t the title that we had on the proposal, but a few weeks after I signed my contract, I emailed my sweet editor and said, Okay. There’s this title that came to me last year when I was folding laundry. And I can’t let it go. She immediately wrote me back and said that she loved it. And then I put my head down on my desk, and I cried.

Actually, I sobbed. But we’ll pretend it was all very feminine and dainty and delicate.

ANYWAY, thanks so much for your patience with me over the last six months or so. It’s been a hectic time, but it’s been a wonderful time. I am unspeakably grateful.

And now? Oh, listen. I AM GOING TO WATCH SO MUCH TV.

I’m also going to sample new snack crackers, and I’m going to try to make Alex laugh at least once an hour because his laugh is pretty much my favorite sound in the world right now, and I’m going to paint my dining room, and I’m going to visit with my friends, and I’m going to go out to dinner with my husband and remind him at least every ten minutes to please notice how carefree and not stressed out I am.

And then, after I’ve frolicked in the land of no deadlines for awhile, I’ll tackle the first round of edits.

(HOLD ME.)

Love y’all!

In The Hours

The other night I was on the Twitter, and Veronica mentioned that she was enjoying some music by Indelible Grace. The name rang a bell – I think a few of y’all have also recommended their CDs – so I made a beeline for the iTunes. I ended up buying their album called The Hymn Sing.

Well.

I’m sure the whole CD is excellent, but I really wouldn’t know yet because I cannot quit listening to the very first song.

As my friend Elise always says: If that don’t light your fire, your wood’s wet.

Amen.

A Few Monday Favorites – 06.11.12

I know. I normally do the whole favorites thing on Friday. But when I was doing some writing at Starbucks earlier tonight (1,000 words to go, oh hallelujah), I looked on the Twitter and found out that I’d better GIDDY UP, GUSSY – STORM’S-A-COMIN’. So now I’m home and hanging out in the guest room with all my people until said storm passes.

You know, I think I can speak for Alabama and say that we would love to have a pass on severe weather for a while. The rain is fantastic, but the straight line winds and tornados can be a little pesky.

Anyway. Favorites. Here we go.

– I made this tilapia recipe for supper tonight, and it was absolutely delicious. Everybody loved it. And it’s super-simple, too, which is always a plus. Yay, Pinterest, for the find.

– Speaking of Pinterest, this made me laugh.



– My friend Shaun has written an e-book called In The Sky – And Other Big Lessons From Little People.

Shaun has a way of seeing the sacred in the ordinary – and communicating it in an absolutely beautiful way. It’s exciting to see him step out and share his words in a different format.

– Summer reading is in full force around here, and Justin Case: School, Drool, & Other Daily Disasters has been an early favorite with the little man. So has Wonkenstein (The Creature from My Closet) and The Name of This Book Is Secret.

– Last week I ordered some earrings from Noonday Collection, and today, when the package arrived in the mail, I opened it and swooned.

I love a purchase with a greater good.

– About a week ago Melanie and I had our first conference call with the LifeWay team about this year’s dotMOM Conference, and oh, we cannot wait. Mel and I will be emceeing / wearing those sassy microphones that go over the ear / trying to appear composed again this year, and we would love to see you there!

All righty. The bad weather has passed, and the boy is in bed. So I am now free and clear to watch The Bachelorette and listen to Emily say “Thank yewwwww” two or forty-five times. It makes me so happy.

Happy Monday, everybody!

I Think “Miss Mamaw” Has A Real Ring To It

Okay. I really am working on deadline-y things. It’s been a good week in that regard (now I just have 6,000-ish words left), and I’ll be right back at it tomorrow morning. Or, if you’re feeling particularly punny, I’ll be write back at it.

I know. That was terrible. I do apologize.

Anyway, I hopped on here really quick tonight because I’ve been thinking about something all day (well, ever since I picked up the little man from VBS), and it’s one of those things where I’m dying to know how this situation goes in other parts of the country / world / etc. and so on and so forth.

Today, when I walked in the church for pick-up, I was on the way to A’s room when I saw a few of his friends from school. The first one said, “Hey, Sophie Hudson!” – and it made me laugh because oh, I do enjoy an outgoing child. The second friend said, “Hey, Miss Sophie,” which is probably the greeting that I expect more than any other because it’s pretty traditional here in the South (and most people say “Miss” in front of the name regardless of marital status). The third friend said, “Hi, Mrs. Hudson,” very sweet and official-like.

By the way, let’s hear it for children who look grown-ups in the eye and say hello. I AM A FAN.

I always introduce my friends to Alex as Miss First Name, but I’ve noticed that some of my friends introduce other moms to their kids as Mrs. Last Name. Since I grew up in a town where we weren’t very formal in terms of how we greeted adults, I’m most accustomed to Miss First Name (or even just First Name) – it feels homey and comfortable to me.

SO – here’s my question. What’s your preferred way for kids to address grown-ups? What’s the norm where you live? Do you have a preference one way or another?

Love,
Miss Mamaw

8,000-ish

Last night I told David that I felt like I was just a couple of chapters away from being finished with the first draft of the book. Over the weekend I finally wrapped up a chapter that has taken me a sweet forever to write, not because it covers some deep emotional issue, mind you – it took forever because it’s about Martha getting a Kindle for Christmas, and any time Martha and technology meet face-to-face, it is an epic, life-altering event. When I pasted that chapter into my big ole master document, the word count jumped up to 41,909. Since the book is supposed to come in somewhere around 50,000 words, it was a glorious moment. I’m fairly certain I heard several harps in the background and maybe even a couple of lyres.

Anyway, I don’t know what they call that in book-writing circles, but in Deep South circles we call it HOLD ON, MYRTLE, WE’RE HITTING THE HOME STRETCH.

So this week? I’m gonna hunker down and get ‘er done. I don’t know if I can write a little over 8,000 words in a week, but I think I can get pretty close. And since the little guy is in VBS right now, that means that I have some really nice stretches-o-time when I can pop in my headphones and block out the world (well, to an extent – I will never stop being fascinated by the people who walk into Panera or Starbucks) and crank out some sentences.

Hopefully I’ll be able to say, “LO, IT IS FINISHED” the next time I post. And then maybe I’ll perform a heartfelt dance number.

Hope y’all have a great week!