For those of you who think that fiction writers just make it all up, I’d love to tell you about my friend Michelle Ule! She is always researching fascinating subjects–everything from Navy SEALs to the Romanovs–and her tales of exploratory library time appeal to me because I often feel like all I have time to research is recipes for dinner. (And that mostly takes place on Pinterest.) I first met Michelle a couple of years ago at a writers retreat and was fascinated to hear about her soon-to-be-released romance novel featuring a Navy SEAL in Coronado, CA–a beautiful community where my family lived for a few years. That book is now available as Bridging Two Hearts–check it out! http://michelleule.com/books/
And also, for those of you who are as awed and fascinated by Navy SEALs as I am, here’s a great blog post by Michelle about her research into the SEALs way of life, both professional and personal.
I also love that Michelle, like me, comes from a background of journalism, so we both know that sometimes you just have to plunk yourself down and write SOMETHING–a lesson that has served me well over the years.
Michelle chose me to take part in a game of blog tag, so I’m going to answer some questions about the writing life and then point you to an amazing writer who will be “It” next week. Here goes!
What are you working on now?
My most recent book, Mom Seeks God, just released in April and I have been having the best time promoting it on radio and TV show, through blog posts and articles, and (my favorite!) by speaking to real live moms at church gatherings, conferences, and MOPS groups. I’ll be hanging out with oh so many MOPS moms at the upcoming MOPS International conference, a.k.a. MomCon, in Louisville, KY October 2-4. Join me! www.mops. org/momcon
But the time comes when you feel that call to write something else, and lately I have grown ever-so-slightly obsessed with the idea of hospitality as a spiritual discipline. Hospitality was such a huge part of the cultures we read about in the Bible. People welcomed one another, even when visitors were strangers. It seems to me that we’ve almost completely lost this focus in the culture I live in. I’m so busy with so many little and big things that I rarely seem to have the availability I want for the people in my life. My next book will be an exploration of this topic of hospitality as simply availability to others–the freely giving away of arguably our most valuable asset, time.
How does your work differ from others of its genre?
I am a mommy blogger and mommy writer, so I write mostly for other moms about my experiences as a mom, and I’m proud of that! But I think that my writing also comes from a place of deep interest in and engagement with the spiritual disciplines–of how we can live life in a way that helps us to grow closer to God and more like Jesus with every step, within the fabric of every day. I want to be a mom and a wife and a writer and a person who is working to weave silence, solitude, simplicity, prayer, and other spiritual disciplines into the fabric of my everyday life with my children, for their sake and for my own.
Why do you write what you do?
Well, the classic writing advice is “Write what you know,” and boy, do I! Parenting and spiritual disciplines are the areas I am most engaged in right now, and so they are the focus of most of my writing. But most importantly, I received a clear call from God (indeed, the clearest call I have ever received from God!) to write non-fiction, to write for other moms and other people who are seeking to engage deeply with God in the chaos of their everyday lives. So that’s what I try to do every time I sit down at my computer.
How does your writing process work?
Anyone who’s read my book knows that it is a constant struggle! I work at home (and at the occasional coffee shop), so I’m always trying to carve out the necessary time in balance with the needs of my two sons and my family and my home and all the other things that call for the attention of us all. I’ll be honest with you: summer has been very hard for writing! I’ve been loving spending the extra, unstructured time with my boys, though. We’ve had a fantastic time having adventures and even just a little bit of being lazy together. That’s not to say, however, that when they both head off to preschool and elementary school in a couple of weeks, I won’t tear up a little and then sprint home to my desk and a cup of black tea in breathless anticipation of some uninterrupted writing time.
So that’s a little about me and my writing life. Next week, I’m so excited to read about the thoughts of my new friend, Lori Wildenberg, who with her writing and ministry partner, Becky Danielson, has just released a book entitled Raising Little Kids with Big Love.
This is a fantastic guide to parenting using 1 Corinthians 13 as a guiding principle. These are two ladies filled with God’s wisdom and love, that’s for sure. Can’t wait to read about your writing process, Lori!