One of those days

We had a break in our Wisdom Wednesday guest authors today, so I wanted to share with you a new blog series that is starting this week and will take place on Tuesdays.

IMG_1565Monday was our son’s 100th week in our third phase of cancer treatment. In case you are unfamiliar with our story and his journey, our youngest son Gabriel was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) Leukemia on December 29, 2016. We were sent by ambulance from his pediatric office to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It was a whirlwind of uncertainty, change and scary for us all.  Gabe started chemo immediately and within fifteen days went into Remission! For his type of cancer, there are three phases. The first phase, lasted approx 6-8 weeks. The second phase also lasted 6-8 weeks and had very intense chemo and multiple hospital stays. You can read about our journey during these phases in the archives section of the blog. The third phase is the Continuation phase, and it lasts 120 weeks. This week we hit the 100th week! Which means we only have TWENTY weeks left of treatment!

We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we are so excited. There are still some bumps in the road as Gabe is dealing with leg pain and has to wear braces. But we can see the finish line. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for us. As I mentioned in another post, I haven’t been feeling well, and then this week at St. Jude we had a long appointment day and car problems. We had to stay an extra day in Memphis and a long time sitting around waiting for our car to be fixed.

Have you ever had one of those days where everything that could go wrong, does?

I was starting to feel like that. We’ve had quite a few ups and downs throughout our cancer journey as a family. It’s been incredibly difficult. It’s tried our patience, and zapped our joy many times, so when more things happen it just seems to pile on and ultimately be overwhelming.

Last night, I messaged my husband the Midnight Dad devotional post and added a few personal words to the message. I know he needed to hear a few things and I needed to say a few after the frustrating forty-eight hours we’ve had.

But it sent my mind racing, and I realized something. Those couple of short sentences of encouragement was not only true, but I knew it was his love language. He enjoys words of affirmation. I knew it would mean a lot to him, and I was intentional in taking a few moments and sending him something that would lift him up. What if I was that intentional with the ones that were the closest to me? What if I found out what would make the most significant impact by doing something small for my kids? To my sisters? Parents? Best friend? What if I took a few moments and did something on purpose for the ones who are the closest to me? I could play a video game with my oldest son because he loves to play games. With my daughter, I could do something artsy, because she has seemed to inherit my love of crafts. With my youngest, I could watch him play a video game or play with him. He’s five, so I will have to be a little bit more creative. But you get the idea.

What would happen if I did this once a day, for a week? Or a month?

I can tell you this. When I took this very frustrating couple of days and focused on how good Gabe is doing with treatment, how supportive my husband is, how I had friends that said they would come to get us, and family that helped take care of the car situation, my frustration was gone. I didn’t go to bed upset and down last night. I was grateful for these relationships.

I know I’m not alone. You may be reading this right now and going through some of the same things. Everyone’s situation is different, but we all struggle. Everything that could go wrong may be going wrong in your life right now.

 I get it. I see you. I understand.


Be still & know Relationships play a huge part in my series, The Kalila Chronicles, and really, they should be important in our own lives too. What about joining me on Tuesdays and let’s get more intentional and hold each other accountable? Sometimes it’s good to have others who are going through similar things to help you to remember to look for the good when you are in the middle of a situation.

#BeStill blog will be on Tuesdays, and I will have discussion posts on my author accounts on Facebook and Instagram. You can comment and interact on either the blog or social media. Use the hashtag #BeStill to find the posts.  Next week, I will dig deeper into why this phrase means so much to me and my writing.

Ready to jump in with me and list five relationships or areas where you want to be more intentional? Or maybe you’re having a bad day, and you need to find the good in the situation. In that case, list five things you’re thankful for. Post yours in the comments sections on this post or the social media post. I will post mine in the comments too!

Hugs,

Erin

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Blog Stop 13, 14, & 15

Have you ever had a week when you have to play catch up? I’m going through that this week.

I haven’t been feeling well, so I went to the doctor and had some bloodwork done. I just got the results back and found out that my hemoglobin was super low. I have to take iron supplements three times a day. I’m thankful that we caught it now because I was almost down to the transfusion level. I had to have those when I was pregnant with our third child, and they are not any fun at all. Especially, for someone like me, who has a horrific time getting blood drawn or IV’s put in. I usually go through a couple people before someone is able to do it.

Hopefully, after a few more days, I will start to feel better. But in the meantime, I have three new Blog Stop’s to tell you about this week for the Blog Tour of The Soul Searcher. 

Blog Stop #13 is an interview on Laurie Wood’s blog. I had a lot of fun answering these questions, and there are different questions then I’ve been asked before, so make sure you go check it out!

Blog Stop #14 is an article on Ada Brownell’s blog about why I love writing in the fantasy genre and what I hope readers get out of my stories.

Blog Stop #15 is an excerpt from The Soul Searcher on Laura Hilton’s blog. Yep, that’s right. You can see a little bit from Elnora’s POV. You don’t want to miss out, so drop by and read it!

One last thing!

There is a reader’s choice award for fan-favorite science fiction and fantasy novels published in 2018 for The RealmMakers Alliance Award.

If you have read The Seer (book 1 in The Kalila Chronicles) and loved it, would you consider going on the website and nominating it for this category? You can nominate up to three authors so you might have someone else to enter as well. =) Here’s the link: https://faithandfantasyalliancellc.regfox.com/alliance-award-2019

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Blog Tour: Stop #9 & 10

I’m happy dancing right now because it’s only … 

FOUR days until the release of The Soul Searcher!

Have you pre-ordered your copy to bring to the Release Party yet? I can’t wait to celebrate with you all on the 23rd with prizes, photo backdrop, and refreshments. I received my copies yesterday, and they are so beautiful!

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Until then, I have two new stops to share with you on the Blog Tour of The Soul Searcher. What is fun about all of these stops is each one is different, and there’s no telling what new information you may learn about book two of The Kalila Chronicles!

Blog Spot #9 is a Three Question Wednesday on Jennifer Hallmark’s blog. Stop #10 is a questionnaire from Laurie Lucking on Lands Uncharted.

 

 

 

 

Make sure you stop by and chat with me. I love to hear from you guys and answer any questions you may have!

 

 

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Blog Tour: Stop #5

Have you ever thought about how a writer comes up with the names for their characters? Today, I’m featured on Catherine Castle’s blog and going behind the scenes on how I came up with the names for my characters in The Seer and The Soul Searcher!

Hop on over to Wednesday Writers and check it out! Next stop on the blog tour will be on Patti Shene’s blog on February 2nd.

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Blog Tour: Stop #4

Today was another stop on the Blog Tour for The Soul Searcher! I had a lot of fun being a guest on Erica Hogan’s blog and answering her interview questions.

If you missed it, you can check out the blog here: Other Worlds Fantasy Writers. Leave me a comment and join in the discussion.

See you at the next stop!

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Behind the Story: Gift & News

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday season!

We spent two whole weeks at home instead of having to go to Memphis for my son’s treatments. It was nice to be at home, but it was strange not to travel to St. Jude.. Especially when we’ve gone every week for the past ninety weeks! Since it was New Years this week, our appointment was moved to Wednesday, so it’s thrown off my entire week and I’m playing catch up.

There are a couple of things that I wanted to let you know about.

1. If you are a member of my newsletter community, The Hive, you received a booklet called Behind the Story in your inbox. It is a booklet about the portals in The Seer, and why I chose these particular locations to highlight in the book. Members of The Hive are the first to receive news, updates, freebies, and information about The Kalila Chronicles and my new novella series that is coming soon. If you would like to receive your free copy of Behind the Story, you can click here.

2. We are getting closer to the release of The Soul Searcher. YAY! Which means that I will have the cover reveal and pre-order dates soon. I will also post a list of dates for my blog tour and book signing events.

3. My website, www.erinrhoward.com  has recently been updated with a new page just for The Hive members. There is also a new Inner Circle (membership only) page for my Beta readers, and a new latest info section listed on the home page.

4. If you are an author, I have openings on my Wisdom Wednesday guest blog for February and March. If you would like to sign up to be a guest and share a writing tip, please sign up here.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Hugs,

Erin

 

 

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Wisdom Wednesday: Beth E. Westcott

Christmas is almost here! I have a few more presents to buy and wrap, but now that my kids are officially on Christmas break, it’s starting to feel more like Christmas. Are you finished with your Christmas shopping?

Today, I have author Beth E. Westcott sharing her favorite writing tips for Wisdom Wednesday. Thanks for joining us, Beth!


Name: Beth E. Westcott

Genre: Christian Romance

Latest Release: Meadow Song

Writing Tip for Authors:

One of the first things I learned about writing is to do it regularly. At my first writers’ conference, we had to repeat over and over: “A writer writes. I am a writer, therefore I write.” You may be “gifted” to write and have ideas galore, but you have to become a “good” writer by learning the craft and practicing it. Read books, attend conferences, join an online webinar. Learn from the veterans in the publishing community. And practice. Like an Olympic athlete, we need training and practice. Being a regular and consistent writer has been a challenge for me because life so easily gets in the way.

Life can definitely get in the way. Discipline is the key to consistently writing every day. I struggle with this as I’m sure most writers do. 

Writing Tip for New Writers:

Be persistent. Keep at it. If writing is your calling, don’t give up.

If you feel like giving up, find a writing group (online or in your local area) and get plugged in. Other writers know exactly what you’re going through and have been there themselves at some point. Let them encourage you. Get recharged and keep going!

Meadow Song cover

Artist Kate Greenway moves to a new town to escape the memories of her dead fiancé. While painting beside a meadow, she meets a young girl and the girl’s uncle Jack Chambers. Kate is ready to move forward with her life, but Jack resists commitment. Kate returns home to care for her ill mother. Will she ever fulfill her dreams in art and love? Will Jack overcome his fear and realize that life without Kate will be his greatest loss?

 

 


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Beth grew up in upstate New York, the youngest of seven. Married to Frank for 45 years, she served with him in Child Evangelism Fellowship for six years and beside him in the pastoral ministry for 33 years. Beth is the mother of three and has five granddaughters. She enjoys music, sewing, and gardening, as well as reading and writing. She has had church programs and devotionals published, and her short story “Sadie and the Princess” is included in Heart-warming Horse Stories on Amazon. Her contemporary Christian romance novel, Meadow Song, was published in 2018 by Mantle Rock Publishers.


 Thank you for joining us today for Wisdom Wednesday. Don’t forget to connect with Beth on her website, www.bethewestcott.com and check out her novel, Meadow Song

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Do you struggle with consistently writing every day? Do you have any tips to help become disciplined in writing every day?