Five Things I’ve Learned Since the Last Time I Blogged

Last week I announced that my novel, Deadly Harvest,will release on August 1. I’ve been hard at work at this book which is the first mystery in a new series, and with all of my energy focused on that story and its sequel, Deadly Holiday, my blogging went by the wayside. Without further ado, I give you five things I’ve learned since the last time I blogged.

  1. Ancestry DNA tests are fascinating.

Not long ago, I decided to buy a 23andMe kit and have my ancestry DNA tested. The kit arrived quickly, and as I filled the vial with my saliva, I learned something else. My own spit makes me gag. Anyway, after surviving that ordeal, I sent the kit off, expecting to wait six to eight weeks for the results. Instead, they came within two weeks.

The verdict? I’m mostly French, German, British, and Irish. I also have DNA relatives in twenty-eight states and two countries. (Of course, these are just people who’ve submitted their DNA for testing.)

  1. I actually like formatting books.

Part of indie publishing means you either have to hire someone to complete parts of the process or do it yourself. While I’d never recommend doing your own editing or cover (unless you’ve studied graphic design), programs like Vellum make formatting ebooks and print books easy and enjoyable. Of course, it may just be that I find formatting easier than writing…

  1. I enjoy history but had never heard about General Morgan’s Raid on Indiana.

A recent visit to Conner Prairie educated me on this part of the Civil War. In 1863, Confederate General John Morgan led his mounted infantry on raids through towns in southern Indiana. Citizens formed a militia to fight against them and defend the Union. Conner Prairie has an entire interactive area dedicated to the raid on Dupont, Indiana. There, you can step into life in 1863 and learn what it was like for the citizens of that town during the war.

  1. I’ve picked up a lot of British baking terminology and techniques.

This is entirely thanks to watching four seasons of The Great British Baking Showon Netflix. I find it fascinating how the bakers weigh ingredients instead of using cups like we do in the U.S. Not to mention they create desserts I’ve never even heard of like the Charlotte Russe. (Prior to watching the show, my only experience with Charlotte Russe was the clothing store!) Finally, my favorite slang term? Scrummy—short for scrumptious.

  1. I should never compare my season of pruning to someone else’s season of fruitfulness.

In all areas of life, it’s easy to compare ourselves with others. For writers, that comes in the form of contracts, reviews, book sales, and awards. Last year, I wrote about how God was pruning me after I faced disappointments in my writing career.

Since then, I’ve been reminding myself that God prunes to make us more fruitful, and for me, part that process is learning not to focus on other writers’ careers.

All authors write one word at a time, and those words matter to God. Just because he chooses to bless someone else with more talent, more contracts, more money, and more awards doesn’t mean my writing isn’t important to God. Therefore, I must keep writing and trust him with the outcome.

It’s been fun blogging again about the things I’ve learned. If you have a chance, I’d love for you to check out the first book in the Georgia Rae Winston Mystery Series, Deadly Harvest.



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