A Few Answers to Your Questions

It’s always exciting to send out a new edition of my Plain News newsletter. The June issue went out on Saturday, chocked full of interesting things shared only in the newsletter, including the first chapter in When the Soul Mends, the second half of the article about connecting to the Old Order Amish, a contest with a chance to win all three books autographed, and some humor from an Old Order Amish friend.

Since Saturday, I’ve received positive feedback about Plain News from hundreds of you. Thank you!

Some e-mailed me with questions that I’ll address here. I won’t be able to respond individually for weeks, so my daughter-in-law will try to respond to as many as possible later on today. When she returns to full-classes at UGA in the fall, I’m going to miss her help!! How I wish computers were as intuitive as she is on what needs to be done and how. Anyway, if you hear from her, be sure to say hello.

Erin and I at work in my office.

As a mom of all sons, I can’t tell you how fun it is having a daughter-in-law, a really great one! I also have a terrific future daughter-in-law. More on that later!

If you signed up to receive the newsletter and didn’t receive it on Saturday, please enter your e-mail address again at Plain News. Although the newsletter can’t be sent out to individuals, you will receive a welcome letter with a link to the latest newsletter. At the bottom of that newsletter is a link to the previous newsletter and so on.

I went into my e-zine account last night (i.e. newsletter server) and saw that 78 people were inactive. When I began reading the e-mail addresses, I realized why. Some had simply changed e-mail accounts, so they are in good shape. But most of those 78 people had entered their e-mail address in wrong. For example, someone had put @homtail.com which should have been entered as @hotmail.com. With one glance at each e-mail address, I could tell what simple slip of a key had happened, but fixing it will take take days of work . . . days I can’t give right now.

If my daughter-in-law has time, she’ll begin addressing that issue too. Did I mention how great it is to have a daughter-in-law? — although I’ll be honest, letting go of my son wasn’t easy. I fell in love with Erin long before the engagment took place, and I was excited for her and my son to have found each other, but I wasn’t braced for all the emotions that led up to the wedding day and letting him go.

On my wedding day, my mother told me, if you want my opinion from here on out, you’ll have to ask. I’ll not offer an opinion on any decisions you’re making. I’m opinionless . . . unless you ask.

She stuck to that too. She helped me move and decorate half a dozen homes, stayed with us for at least a week for the birth of each child, asked lots of questions of how I wanted things done, and never gave an unsolicited opinion. To say I miss her doesn’t begin to cover it. We had a fantastic relationship, and I did ask her opinion regularly. I try to live by that same wisdom.

What is it with me today? On to your questions . . .

Several asked, “In the newsletter you said the book you’re currently writing on is possibly titled Hope of Refuge. Will it be Amish too?”

Yes, the novel I’m writing on has an Amish setting with Amish characters. I’m very excited about this new novel. It has two storylines, both of which are based on true stories and issues that have faced at least one Old Order Amish community. It’s book one in a three-book series, but the main story will begin and conclude in the first book. Hopefully there won’t be any cliffhangers this time;-)

I say hopefully because sometimes a story, as in Sisters of the Quilt, comes to an author in a certain way, and there’s nothing the author can do but write it. But Hope of Refuge is now plotted, so if it continues to behave, you’ll read a wonderful based-on-true-life story in a single book.

Several asked: “You were in Pennsylvania without doing a book signing?!”

I send my deepest apologies on that one. I hope it never happens again! But this trip was planned to coincide with a particular Amish community’s school-sale auction. It took months of planning and every minute was accounted for. We had to take our son out of school for three days to meet our agenda. We drove our van to Pennsylvania. Five days later my husband and son returned with a van load of items bought at the auction. I stayed and worked on writing projects with an Amish friend, but I can’t really share about that yet; I will say I was so far away from the main flow of traffic my Blackberry couldn’t receive e-mails nor half the cell calls that came in. When my phone did work, I only heard part of what was being said and then the call dropped. Days later I hired a driver (like the Amish do) to take me to BWI so I could catch a plane to Georgia. Once I was halfway to the airport, my Blackberry started buzzing nonstop as it sent and received e-mails. My agent called me, saying he’d received an e-mail from me that I’d written to him seven days earlier. LOL. I could have sent it U.S Postal service and it arrived much sooner than that.

The next question I received several of after the newsletter went out asked if I could give permission to use and/or send you the first chapter of When the Soul Mends.

Although you can forward the newsletter to whomever you wish and they can open the link to that chapter, I’m not allowed to send out individual chapters. I had to get permission from Random House to post that chapter in my newsletter, which means I can’t give you permission to use that chapter on your blog. Only the publisher can do that.

On that same note, I can’t answer questions about the plot and outcome of When the Soul Mends. I’m sure you understand. But once it’s out, let’s discuss it!

I received such wonderful feedback on that first chapter of When the Soul Mends, as well as encouraging congrats on being a Rita finalist for When the Morning Comes.

Denki! Denki! Denki! (Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! )

If you have a question, feel free to send me a note or post it in the comments. I’ll get back with you on it as soon as possible . . . which can be a while sometimes 😉

Gott segen eich ~ God bless you!



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