Girls Write Out
Saturday, June 30, 2007
The girls are all out and about right now, but we just got another award, this one as a Blogger Reflection. Sweet Deena awarded us this.
She told us "The reason for the title is because this award should make you reflect on five bloggers who have been an encouragement, a source of love, impacted you in some way, and have been a Godly example to you. Five Bloggers who when you reflect on them you get a sense of pride and joy... of knowing them and being blessed by them."

The other girls can each choose one but I'm giving one to my friend Rachel Hauck. Her blog is here: Rachel is the most godly person I know. Her faith is a shining example that encourages me to spend more time in prayer and more time with my focus on heaven. She's a great cheerleader to her friends and faithfully prays for them. Her blogs are fun but MATTER too. She very much deserves this award.

And she's a terrific writer to boot (though that has nothing to do with the award.) This is for free--you MUST read Diva Nashvegas and Lost in Nashvegas. Great chick lit but with a heart and depth that draws you right in--and a peek at country music.

Love you, Rachel! Thank you for all you do in my life.
Colleen Coble  
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Friday, June 29, 2007

The girls are too shy to toot their own horns so I'm going to do it for them. LOL I don't have a shy bone in my body.

Kristin's book SPLIT ENDS is up as a possible choice for the ACFW bookclub. This is a huge bookclub (400 members) and way fun to discuss your favorite books. If you don't already belong, you can join. Follow this link to join then go to the poll and vote for Kristin's book to be chosen as a selection. The poll closes tomorrow so you have to move fast. Let's show the club the power of Girls! Here's the link: Incidentally, you can join or drop off any time you want.

Drum roll, please! A new birth announcement. Weighing in a whopping 318 pages the new arrival, BE SWEET, is guaranteed to need to diaper change, only a spirit change to laughter. Mother is doing fine, though she is still on quarantine. The new baby definitely lifted her spirits as well. Congratulations and raves about her new arrival will help as well and you can send those to Include proof of purchase and you might hear her squeal. LOL

And one more announcement! We've been awarded a Rockin' Girl Blogger! Robin Lee Hatcher gave us this honor and we're passing it along to some of our favorite blogs:

You girls are ROCKIN'!
Colleen Coble  
posted at 8:32 AM  
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Thursday, June 28, 2007


So I've been quiet this week because I've been working at my church's VBS. Oh my gosh, there is nothing cuter than seeing little kids praising Jesus! But the weirdest thing happened yesterday, someone was announcing after VBS, "We're all going to the Billerbecks to swim!" Then, she corrected herself and said where the party really was. We have no pool now. The woman who said it doesn't either. The two of us used to host so much and for some reason, it felt like a kick in the gut to both of us.

First off, I have an unrealistic view of money. Colleen tells me that all the time and I'm sure it's true. Money just never dawns on me. Never has. I want it, I'll find a way to get it. It's probably how I got my work ethic and I've always been a hard worker. Getting older, I want a lot less, I will say that.

So I'm watching all this money in the Silicon Valley and it's just so weird. People are building 10,000 square foot houses (for two!) and across the valley from us on the hill, somebody is building this HUGE fake rock wall with water slides and a vineyard surrounding their pool. I'm not jealous. I live in a lesser house than the last three houses I've had, and I love it a lot more! But I miss entertaining people at the pool. I miss that people could just come over and no one cared that my house was a mess because I'm glad to see them! I miss being "the house".

We have lots of people with beautiful pools extending their hand. In fact, we have two such friends with gorgeous views of the San Francisco Bay that see all the way to the Transamerica building on a clear day. Much more than we ever had! These people don't build things for themselves either, they are more than generous and probably better hostesses than I ever was, but it's interesting when God gives you a new role in life and you want to revert to what you know. That's why I did VBS this week -- it's not usually my thing. I had a total blast and I'm completely exhausted, but since I've got this new role, I better learn my lines!

BTW, the pictures are from my friend who goes to China on business. They used to send me these and let me take my pick when he got back. I still have the role as moocher, Jackie gave me a white Gucci. : )
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It was bound to happen sometime. My past keeps catching up with me. Last week it was the Kurt Russell crush. Last night all those prank phone calls my friend and I made when we were kids came rushing back. The reason? At midnight, we got a prank call.

I was happily minding my own business, having a nice little dream when the phone screamed through the night air. My hand groped along the stand knocking over the lamp, the books, the chocolate—er, uh, the lamp and books. I finally found the phone, answered it and the little girl on the other end said something stupid.

For this I wiped out the lamp?

I hung up.

Before I could get too smug about it all, my past zipped into view. The midnight calls to unsuspecting people, telling them their refrigerator was running, they’d better go catch it.

Yes, I have a past I’m not proud of.

But I don’t for a second believe I’m alone in this. Girls will be girls. We giggle, eat chocolate, giggle, and, well, make phone calls.

It suddenly occurs to me I’m sharing far too much on this blog.
Diann Hunt  
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Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Did I REALLY say I wanted to make me over? Do you realize how hard that kind of work is? I've started walking in the mornings. Dave got my old bike out, the kind with the big wide seat and the brakes you backpedal. Anyone remember a relic like that? LOL

And did I mention it's gotten HOT here? What was I thinking when I said I wanted to exercise and get serious about some weight loss? I should have my head examined. LOL

And I still hate my neck. LOL But hey, I figure if the rest of the body looks better, maybe no one will look at my neck. And there are still scarves. Pammer sent me a super resource about style. It's at Fabulous site! I signed up for my personal profile and I'm going shopping.

But at what point do you do that? That's always my dilemma when I think about something like this. I want to lose weight so it seems a waste to spend money on clothes that might be too small in two months. On the other hand, weight loss isn't easy to maybe they would fit a while. And what if I like them so well, I don't want to lose weight? Er, scratch that. No outfit is worth that. LOL

And what about hairstyles? What's your opinion on short vs long when you get to be my age? My husband about has a cow at the thought of me cutting it any shorter but maybe it's time, you know? I need help!
Colleen Coble  
posted at 9:13 AM  
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Monday, June 25, 2007

The sign at the parking garage read "Please take ticket with you". I pulled the ticket from the slot and laid it on my dashboard, then drove my car through the garage, thinking. Hmmm. Maybe people steal these from other vehicles for a cheaper rate. Hey, I don't make it downtown very often and crime is worse in this section of town than where I live.

I never even considered taking my ticket with me. I won't be in the City County building long and besides, I always lock my doors.

So I park my car (and lock my doors), then hike to the flight of stairs across the garage. I take the two flights down and the bridge over the street and that's where I see a curious looking little building. "Present parking tickets here" the sign reads.

I'm starting to feel a little dumb about leaving my ticket in the car. After all, the sign did say to take it with me. Why did I leave it? Would it have been so hard to stick it in my pocket and trust that the sign knew better than I did?

But the sign gave me no explanations for why I should change the way I ordinarily do things. A simple instruction wasn't enough. I wanted to know WHY. If it had told me I would be paying outside the garage, I would have gladly followed directions and saved myself from the long walk back to collect my ticket.

The situation made me reflect on spiritual things. How often had God given me instructions I failed to follow because they didn't make sense to me at the time? How many times had I ignored his signs thinking they didn't apply to me? Next time I receive instructions, I hope I remember this, because God rarely gives us the why when gives us the what. I guess that's where faith comes in.
Denise Hunter  
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I'm annoyed. I mean, really annoyed. Artists are known for having hissy fits. It's part of their (our)nature. I'm certainly not above it. So when Isaiah Washington (the actor who plays Burke on Grey's Anatomy) threw a hissy fit, the writers have their own hissy fits and cut him from the storyline. Hello??? They're already losing my other favorite character, Kate Walsh (Addison Shepherd) to her own show -- which I will watch. Grey's I'm not so sure.

I must ask you writers, why is Isaiah not entitled to his own hissy fit? He's an ARTEEST!! Don't let the product suffer by having your own hissy fit -- that's called cutting off your nose to spite your face. I mean, is there someone out there who isn't completely grossed out by the whole Izzie/George plotline? YUCK! It's like watching brother and sister. And men, the chances of Izzie being with George or Seth Rogan in "Knocked Up" are extremely low, FYI.

So anyway, Isaiah throws a hissy fit and calls the George character a gay slur. Granted, that's not going to make for a grand working relationship, but ACT, all right? They can ACT nicely to each other. Where is the storyline without Burke? McDreamy is boring. Meredith Grey is neurotic. Addison is leaving. George as a sex symbol, people!! That's just wrong. I mean, have your hissy fits, and go back to work like the rest of us have to! Isaiah's entitled to his opinion -- it's not like he's lived his life without some prejudice aimed at him -- and by the way, I don't think it was an opinion, I think he was just ticked off. It happens. So here's the thing, without Isaiah and Kate, the only interesting characters are Miranda Bailey and Christina Yang -- and Yang without Burke, it's just not right! There's no Ying!

Producers for the show are saying that Isaiah caused the show a lot of embarrassment. Please. You're a TV hospital show where half the doctors end up in a storeroom without their clothes on -- and Isaiah embarrasses you? Rick Springfield was doing this 20 years ago on General Hospital. A moment of silence for Dr. Noah Drake. The thing that bugs me about all this is Hollywood only cares about hissy fits when someone doesn't believe exactly as they do. It's McCarthyism in the modern day. You can be anti-Bush, but you better not be anti-gay or anti-(choose your ethnicity). You can be pro-abortion, but you can't believe life before nine months is sacred. You can fly all over the place in a private jet, but Lord forbid you take the Hummer out for a spin.

I'm just sick of the bullying. If people are so tolerant in Hollywood, where's the tolerance for Isaiah? Why can't he be forgiven? We forgave these people:

Tom Cruise on the Today Show and his Anti-meds rant

Dixie Chicks anti-Bush comments in Europe

Mel Gibson's Drunken anti-Semite comments

Young Hollywood's Apparent Underwear Shortage

Brad Pitt dumping Jennifer Aniston for a tattooed, serial adopter
(My husband won't let me bring home a puppy!)

Grey's, get over yourself, you are not the litmus test for morality. Lest you think I care that much about Grey's, I'm just so sick of the bullying that goes on if you have an opinion and it's not what it's supposed to be. People are raised differently, they think differently -- it's allowed.

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After some of the posts this week, I realized just how multi-faceted we all are. This realization started when Crystal said she laughed to discover I had a crush on Mr. Spock. What the heck? Could people not SEE I was a Trekkie by looking at me? And what about D? Isn't she clearly the type who would hate a wet toilet seat. What's so odd about that?

And Diann. Clearly she's the type who might have cooties and have to wear a face mask. I mean, come on. Anyone with an addiction to watermelon has secrets she's hiding.

And Kristin. I mean, who can't clearly see she is a Barry Manilow freak? Anyone that skinny has to have an addiction somewhere. Something worse than a yen for mochas.

But no, I'm not talking about surface things. I'm talking about something so scary you fear to tell your best friend. List the weirdest, quirkiest secret you hold. And remember, this may end up in a book. LOL

I'll get us started. Not only did I have a huge crush on Mr. Spock, but I also loved the vampire Barnabas Collins on the old show, Dark Shadows. What does that say about my personality and the fact I now kill people in my books for a living? I'm sure watching poor tortured Barnabas fight against his basest instincts warped me in some elemental ways. I also floss my teeth every day. Think I'm trying to keep the chompers in shape for, er, chomping necks? LOL

So spill it, folks. Confess something here you have feared to share before this day. We'll love you anyway.
Colleen Coble  
posted at 9:53 AM  
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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Well, while Di is quarantined at home with drawn-on lips, I'm trying to get into the swing of summer. With no drive to school and back, gone are my daily trips to the local coffee shop for my cinnamon latte (waah . . . waah!). Not to mention my quiet 6 1/2 hours for writing.

This morning, after two weeks with the kids home, I began writing chapter one of my next book. It started well--the kids were still in bed. Then they woke up and needed breakfast. Then a fight broke out between the youngest two. There was yelling and screaming. When I finally settled down, I re-explained my need a couple hours of quiet (Mom has a line . . .)and returned to my story.

I can't remember what I was thinking when I left my computer much less what my protagonist was thinking. I hear the annoying drone of my son's light saber in the other room. What was my protangonist doing? Was she about to board her Starfighter and invade a distant planet? Wait. I smack my head. I'm writing a love story set on Nantucket.

A few paragraphs later, my youngest son wants to watch a movie--would I start Spongebob for him? I weigh the cost. Con: three minutes from my writing. Pro: A possible hour and a half of silence. I start the movie and return to my computer.

Now, where was I? Let's see, my antagonist was considering some kind of plot. . . a plot to rule the world . . . by stealing the recipe for the Crabby Patty? No, no, no! Turn the TV down, please!

Three hours and countless interruptions later, I have five pages and a raging headache. Then I remind myself that my boys are my most important job. Writing is secondary. At the end of the day, the kids matter more than my work. I save my pages and walk away from the computer. Hey, anyone want to go bowling?
Denise Hunter  
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Monday, June 18, 2007
Okay, I told you my daughter was going to give me lips for my mask. What do you think?

Diann Hunt  
posted at 7:24 PM  
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Turns out the boy in my first grade class was right. I do have cooties.

Evidently, I have a spot on my lung that the doctors seem to think is some kind of infection. Possibly a contagious infection. Just what we’re dealing with, they’re not sure.

Sooooo, I have strict orders to stay home for TWO weeks and if I HAVE to go out of the house, I have to wear a mask. Okay, maybe not the one in the picture, but the patient-type that screams nerd-with-cooties. That would be the one.

The good news is my daughter offered to draw lips on it, and I figured, hey, if I’m going to have to wear it, might as well have some fun. The real dilemma here is how does one eat truffles through a mask?

No need to feel sorry for me, though. I have edits to work on, and I’m surrounded by great books I’ve yet to read. And don’t tell anyone but I’m actually looking forward to some rest.

If you get bored, feel free to email me. We can’t spread germs through the computer—well, other than that virus thing, but I don’t think I have that.

Happy Monday! *g*
Diann Hunt  
posted at 3:00 AM  
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Sunday, June 17, 2007
In honor of the single life Ashley Stockingdale had to lead, I give you exhibit A -- courtesy of April, a reader. : ) I don't know, these are so real, I'm not sure they're funny.

Understanding Engineers.
Take One

Two engineering students were riding their bikes across a university campus when one said, "Where did you get such a great bike?"

The second engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday, minding my own business, when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike, threw it to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want."

The second engineer nodded approvingly and said, "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit you anyway."

Understanding Engineers - Take Two

To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer,
the glass is twice as big as it needs to be!

Understanding Engineers - Take Three

A priest, a doctor, and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers.The engineer fumed, "What's with those guys? We must have been waiting for fifteen minutes!"

The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such inept golf!"

The priest said, "Here comes the greens keeper. Let's have a word with him." He said, "Hello, George! What's wrong with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?"

The greens keeper replied, "Oh, yes. That's a group of blind fire fighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime. The group fell silent for a moment.

The priest said, "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight"

The doctor said, "Good idea. I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist colleague and see if there's anything he can do for them."

The engineer said, "Why can't they play at night?"

Understanding Engineers - Take Four

What is the difference between mechanical engineers and civil engineers?
Mechanical engineers build weapons and civil engineers build targets.

Understanding Engineers - Take Five

The graduate with a science degree asks, "Why does it work?"The graduate with an engineering degree asks, "How does it work?" The graduate with an accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?"

The graduate with an arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"

Understanding Engineers - Take Six
Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Engineers believe that if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet!

Understanding Engineers - Take Seven

An engineer was crossing a road one day, when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess." He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket.

The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week."

The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket.

The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a Princess, I'll stay with you for one week and do ANYTHING you want."

Again, the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket.

Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess and that I'll stay with you for one week and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?"

The engineer said, "Look, I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog, now that's cool!"
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Thursday, June 14, 2007


I know you guys always have an opinion. Homer Hickam (Rocket Boys was made into a movie) has a new book coming out with Nelson. They're trying to decide on two covers. If you would go here and vote, we'd be very grateful! And if you DO vote, could you email me and tell which one you picked? I'm keeping track too for Nelson. Email me at

Homer says this about the book: Red Helmet is set in today's West Virginia coalfields, and will be out in February, 2008, just in time for Valentine's Day, which is good because it is a book filled with romance (not to mention action and adventure, of course). I see as a funny but wise tale of a woman, a man, a town, and a coal mine.
Colleen Coble  
posted at 5:38 PM  
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I know there's a bestselling book out there called I Feel Bad About My Neck but it's really true. Why is it that as women get older, their neck is the first thing to age? I put good stuff on my neck the same as I do my face. Why doesn't it work there? It does seem to get be getting better with the new hormone therapy for migraine I'm doing, but it's not changing it enough, fast enough. I'm seeing other youthful things coming back (like hair on my legs and eyebrows. LOL) But the neck remains a problem. I have enough rings around it to account for a tree my age. LOL!

And why is it some women have a natural style? I went to Toronto this weekend to speak at BookExpo. Everywhere I looked women were strolling around with impeccable style. They knew just what jacket to pair with their shoes and jeans or pants. More are wearing skirts too, what's up with that? I agonized over every piece of my wardrobe and even asked my Canadian friend Ellen and sweet editor Natalie for advice on what to wear. You see the result in the pic with the Simpsons but it's only with advice that I looked put together. LOL

Coming home, I decided this is the year of the new Colleen. I'm going to work harder at losing weight. I'm going to try to uncover some kind of style that works for me. Any suggestions for a style that works for us baby boomers? Or at least for THIS boomer? Like shoes. What's the secret of the right shoe to wear? I have these fabulous black mules that I'm never sure what to pair with. Only slacks? A skirt? And can I wear black with jeans?

I need a makeover. I need friends to help me! Rescue me, girls. What's the secret?
Colleen Coble  
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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Denise's Pet Peeves of the Month
Because sometimes you just have to vent

1. Wet public toilet seats. Okay, ladies, let's be honest. The only thing worse than entering a stall to find a splattered seat is finding yourself sitting on the splattered seat. If you must hover, for crying out loud, clean up after yourself.

2. Email Forwards. The rare one from friends . . . okay. The 3x a day ones from people you hardly know . . . not.

3. Dr. offices that keep you waiting and waiting and waiting. Emergencies are one thing, but those offices that habitually run an hour behind? Why don't they just post a sign that says "Our Time is More Valuable than Yours" and be done with it?

4. Hotel shower curtains that cling. If it's clinging to me, it was clinging to everyone else who showered here. Ewwww.

5. People who pop their gum.

6. Hair stylists who don't listen. I said a half inch, not an inch and a half. I once requested a trim on our then 3 yr old middle child. He walked in with an adorable long hair style and walked out with a short layered cut. I almost cried. Okay, I DID cry.

7. Women who wear low rise jeans with a thong. Are you really that desperate for attention?

8. 100% cotton. The cotton industry has got to be in cahoots with the iron companies. This fabric is unexplainable otherwise.
Denise Hunter  
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Some of us have a past.

For some reason a childhood memory came to me this morning. Something I’m not necessarily proud of, but it’s there just as big as you please.

See, I have—um, HAD a huge crush on Kurt Russell. While in the third grade, my “friend” came over for a visit. We talked about whatever it is that third graders talk about and then it happened. She spotted the humongous poster of Kurt Russell’s face on my bedroom wall. She started teasing me about it, which I didn’t, well, appreciate. One thing led to another and suddenly things turned ugly. Did I mention she had a banana in her hand?

The next thing I know, we’re calling each other names and she takes a hunk of banana and smears it on Kurt’s face. All at once, time stands still. My thoughts turn dark. Very dark.

In the distance, a dog barks.

Springing into action, I wail into her so fast she doesn’t know what hit her. What follows is somewhat of a blur.

Rest assured that I paid dearly. I lost my poster and had to do time. Sometimes being young and in love isn’t pretty.

So tell us about your first crush.
Diann Hunt  
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Monday, June 11, 2007
I'll admit, I listened to the book on tape. I was curious. I got to the part where you can't look on your fat friends because you might ingest the "fat" energy in the universe and that was about all I could take.

So I'm putting my skinny energy out into the universe -- better yet, I'll take Angelina Jolie's skinny universe energy. In case you haven't heard the premise of this multi-International bestselling book (and clearly, I should be so lucky!), the idea is if you can imagine it, you can will it into being. Yeah, whatever. I believe P.T. Barnum called that energy, lots of suckers born every minute and yeah, here I am.

But it got me to thinking about dreams and goals -- how important they are to have while pursuing the Will of God. Even the dreams that feel absolutely impossible! My goal/dream is that when my kids are grown, I want to live in San Francisco with a Bay or Pacific Ocean view. I will take a place in West Portal, the Marina, Pacific Heights district, just in case the universe energy is listening. LOL But as a white egg-driving, mother of four, that goal seems ridiculous. I will probably be a granny living in my kids' extra bedroom or something. (They'll love that!) But I want to be the kind of old lady who can walk up those San Francisco hills at 80 in cute, orthopedically-friendly shoes, eat in a cafe, buy my groceries in a corner shop and enjoy my reading near my water/city view. Ahhh. I'm open to what God has, but if He's open to me, there it is, that's my dream!

What about you? Anything that feels ridiculous right now? I keep thinking about the cute baby giraffe at the San Francisco zoo. I bet he never dreamed of an Ocean Beach view! So I know, God is capable!
posted at 12:29 AM  
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Renovating with Kristin

The new kitchen is on top with the black granite and glass tile backsplash over the stove. The original kitchen is that fossil leaf look with the peach sink. Mmm baby.
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Thursday, June 07, 2007

She was nearly 6' tall with flaming red hair, a frame like a sturdy oak, and a deep voice that made 7th graders hunker behind their metal desks. Mrs. Caldwell was her name, and at the time I entered her English class, it was rumored she would've retired years earlier but enjoyed torturing middle schoolers too much to quit.

She labled attractive women "handsome", laughed at her own jokes, called us Madamoiselle, and tolerated no nonsense from anyone. But it was in her class that my love for the English language was born. She taught me the parts of a sentence, (something previous teachers had tried to teach me) and somehow Mrs. Caldwell made me care.

When I arrived at school early, she welcomed me into her classroom and gave me sentences to diagram on the board (for fun!) even though I'm sure she had stacks of papers to grade and weasly 7th graders to prepare for. She nurtured my love of English, and after a while, I realized she wasn't scary at all. So, thanks Mrs. Caldwell. And thanks to all the great teachers who care, inspire, and lead by example. Enjoy your summer break . . . you deserve it!
Denise Hunter  
posted at 8:36 AM  
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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

School’s out for the summer! Okay, don’t hit me!

As you know my husband is an elementary school principal. I think he’s as happy today as the kids are that they don’t have to go to school. Though he still has to show up for work, things are a bit quieter and more relaxed through the summer. His tie comes off and he’s zooming away (hey, he can dream) on the motor scooter before I can say “recess,” with the wind blowing against his skin. Thoughts of the Whippy Dip (the local ice cream shop) filling his mind.

I was thinking how he becomes a kid again when summer hits, and I realized that’s how I am when I reach the end of writing a book. Once it’s turned in, I’m euphoric. The happy ending rings in my ears, and I feel downright proud that I’ve met my deadline. The laptop closes and I’m off to see the grandkids.

There’s something to that getting-a-fresh-start feeling, you know? One year ended, another one begins. One book finished, a new one to fill our dreams.

I know with the kids home, some of you will be busier than ever, shaping those little teachers, principals, secretaries, CEOs, pilots, authors . . . .
Okay, so the truth is I'm seeing early morning cartoons, swinging screen doors, endless whining and ice cream, lots and lots of ice cream in your future. And that's just on your end. We won't even talk about what the kids will be doing.
So have a plan, squeeze in some time for yourself, sneak a truffle or two.

Just remember one day they will grow up and it will all be a memory—who knows, they may never leave school. They could just putter away on a motor scooter, lunch bag in hand, ready to start a new year all over again.
Diann Hunt  
posted at 7:16 AM  
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Monday, June 04, 2007

You know how you can get advice, but it never registers until you're ready to hear it? And someone's words just suddenly "click" for you? I was watching Oprah the other day and she had this woman on who used to be extremely obese and had lost hundreds of pounds. What she said changed things for her was giving herself a little grace. Knowing if she fell off the wagon, to get right back on for the next meal and act like it never happened.

That just totally resonated with me for some reason. Maybe because I can be a perfectionist. I don't like to exercise and when I've planned to, and the day passes and yeah, I've done nothing, it's over for me. I help myself to a truffle with a double iced mocha and sit this one out. So these words were magical for me -- it was like, really? I can just start over? If I miss Tuesday, I can still try again on Wednesday. It's really a remarkable gift. I've lost 12 lbs in the last month from exercising and eliminating iced mochas (um, I drank a lot of them!) Before you get weird on me, I'm not the kind of person who looks overweight. I'm long and lean by nature, so it's just about the way I feel. I'm drinking iced, soy lattes if anyone cares, but doesn't that sound so California? Ack, I'm almost embarrassed at what a stereotype I've become. Next thing I'll be driving a Bimmer. (NOT!)

I hike to the top of my hill every other day and I'm getting where I can RUN down. Isn't that exciting? And if I blow it for a week, I know I can start again. It's not over til the ahem, skinny woman sings! : )

P.S. Got my kitchen done this week, I'll post pictures on the weekend when the sink is in. With the befores so you can all feel sorry for me. : )
"Split Ends" April 2007 Thomas Nelson Publishers
"Trophy Wives Club" Fall 2007 -- Avon Inspire
posted at 10:13 PM  
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There's been a lot of chat about the ACFW conference coming up. That's the American Christian Fiction Writers one in Dallas Sept 20-23. It got me to thinking about where I would be without conferences.

Conferences are where us Four Amigos cemented our friendship in the early days. Put four women together in a room with only one bathroom and you either learn to love one another or you commit murder by week's end. We chose the love route, even though Denise straightens every single hair on her head (and when it's curly it's gorgeous as I just discovered so I'm a little bitter.)

At conferences we learned to write better, we made other friends, we found out editors we loved were just as nutty and crazy as we are. We found all authors have the same challenges. We are not alone. There are other people out there who make up stories in their heads too.

The ACFW one is special in that it's ONLY fiction so every single person there is a little weird, just like us. No high brow non fiction writers in the bunch. Or if they are, they keep quiet. LOL Anyway, conference time is something we all look forward to and guard with our lives. It's the one time of the year we all get together with no other distractions. We can brainstorm, fight over DeBrand truffles, make fun of Di and stay up too late.

Every year we leave there with our friendship even more solid and new friends we've made a part of us too. I can't wait! Is there an annual thing you look forward to every year?
Colleen Coble  
posted at 8:11 AM  
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Friday, June 01, 2007

You know, sometimes I wonder where my love for writing began. For me, I think it all started with Colorforms.

Now, some of you may not remember those—though in my search on the Net, I find they’re still available—but they’re vinyl pieces that stick against a glossy background, along the same principle as paper dolls.

I used to spend hours playing with those Colorforms, making up stories as I went along. Same thing was true of paper dolls. Truth be known, I probably learned my sense of fashion from those toys. Come to think of it, that explains a lot.

Childhood play is so much more than mere play. It’s a world of make believe. There may be fast cars, aliens or dragon-infested motes to cross, or it may be a world of fairies and princesses where knights-in-shining armor stand ready to free their damsel in distress. Who knew when I was having imaginary tea with my dolls that stories of women and friendships were beginning to take root?
One thing I love about writing? It allows me to be a kid again. To enjoy the wonder of story, a world created during my “play time.” When my husband comes home at the end of the day I say things like, “I was in Siesta Key today. Maggie got her hair done in cornrows and then the girls buried all but her head beneath the sand.” My husband gives me that knowing grin, pulls me into a warm embrace and tingles cover me from head to toe. I think it’s because he’s holding me, but my fingers feel for the notebook and pen in my pocket, just in case a story is forming . . . .

Speaking of story, don’t forget that Jane Orcutt’s fabulous new book, All the Tea in China, is now available! Check it out at,, or Barnes &!


Diann Hunt  
posted at 7:24 AM  
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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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