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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Guest Blogger ~ Missy Tippens on Writing Partners

Missy Tippens is a pastor’s wife and mom of three. After ten years of pursuing her dream, she made her first sale of a full-length novel to Steeple Hill Love Inspired. She still pinches herself to see if it really happened! Her debut novel, Her Unlikely Family, was a 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year contest finalist and is now available in large print from Thorndike. His Forever Love was a June 2009 release, and A Forever Christmas is on the shelves now! You can find Missy at her website.

WRITING PARTNERS

If you see the title of this post and are wanting to learn about collaborating with another writer, I hope you won’t be disappointed. You see, the writing partner I’m talking about is the little black and white fur ball you see curled up at my feet in this photo. :)

I’m sure Ane will be jealous. If her dog sat at her feet, the bones would be crushed. So I feel very blessed to have a dog who’s a little neurotic and likes to be glued to my side. He’s also cold natured and likes the contact with human warmth.

So my dog, Duke, is part of my “office.” And speaking of my office… I know that previous guests have shared photos of their work space. I was so relieved when Robin Caroll shared hers on June 24, 2009. She shared that she does her best work when surrounded by a mess. I have to admit I felt much better about myself after seeing the photo of her desk. It looked so similar to my work area—my couch.

My real desk is in a part of the basement that doesn’t even have a window. And I haven’t sat at that desk ever since I got my first laptop. (Bless my dad for that gift!) So now I work on the sectional sofa in the family room. It’s quiet during the day while the kids are at school. But even when I work in the afternoon and evening, I love to work with the action all around me. My children know they have to actually tap me on the shoulder (or in extreme cases grab my face with both hands!) to get my attention. They know when mom is off in her fictional world.

I love that feeling, of being transported so far away that I’m living in the world of my characters. That’s when my fingers just fly over the keys, and ideas burst into my head more quickly than I can type. Of course, I have days where I’m in that fictional world, but it’s like every word I type has to be dragged out of me kicking and screaming. But what a sense of accomplishment to finally get the words out and onto the page, and to see a scene take shape—one that may have been very difficult to write but that takes the story in a direction I love.

Writing is tough, but it’s pure joy as well. Especially with a warm pooch sitting on your feet or laying his head on your knee. And even Duke knows he has to give a few yaps to get my attention when he needs to go out. All in a day’s work for the world’s best writing partner.

A Forever Christmas

Sarah Radcliffe's quiet Christmas back in her hometown will be lost if she agrees to direct the church's Christmas pageant. But when she meets two little boys determined to gain their father's attention, Sarah agrees to help. Then she discovers that the dad in question is Gregory Jones, the man she loved and lost. The single dad is working himself to the bone to give his boys the Christmas of their dreams, when all they want is some family time. Time that includes a new mommy. If Sarah can learn to open her heart, she may receive the most wonderful present of all—a family of her own.

Leave a comment: Missy's giving away a book.

26 comments:

Ane Mulligan said...

You're right - I AM jealous! Shadrach weighs 180 now and would definitely squish my feet if eh laid on them. :)

Missy Tippens said...

180!! Oh my gosh. I can't imagine. I have a lab who weighs 90 pounds, and she seems so huge to me. :)

Also, notice how Duke looks like he's wearing my shoe! LOL My feet are nice and toasty underneath him. :)

Margaret Daley said...

He is so cute. I have cats that help me, sometimes too much.
Margaret

Audra Harders said...

I'd say your writing space mirrors mine, only I have teensy windows way up high so I can't look out anyway : )

KD, our Corgi, loves to lay on top of my feet while I work. Only problem is she thinks that each I move and disturb her I have to pay a fine in dog cookies. Yes, we have a very round Corgi : )

Homemaker, MD said...

My writing space alternates between the kitchen table while the baby naps and the recliner chair by the window when she's playing in the living room. Oh, and my writing partner? a sweet, fluffy, snuggly long-haired ragdoll cat named polly. There is a reason the breed is called a ragdoll! She's helping me get through this first novel...

Julie Lessman said...

MISSY!!! Duke is ADORABLE!!! I'm jealous, too, because my golden, Bunker, lays by Keith's feet instead of mine. But maybe that's because I have an electric footwarmer. :)

Fun blog, Missy!

Hugs,
Julie

Missy Tippens said...

Margaret, our cat likes to walk across the keyboard of my son's computer. It drives me crazy to work in there! LOL

Missy Tippens said...

LOL, Audra. KD is definitely the alpha if you have to pay fines for moving! You need to get the upper hand. Watch an episode of The Dog Whisperer. (big grin)

Missy Tippens said...

Homemaker, I saw a show on ragdoll cats one time. They're precious!! I bet you can tuck her in a corner of your chair and she does great. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Julie! I bet poor Bunker doesn't feel needed. [grin] Take away that foot warmer and see if he'll change loyalties. :) Of course, it may depend on which of you usually feeds him.

Duke slept on my chest when he was a puppy. And I usually feed him. We're very bonded. :)

Myra Johnson said...

Sweet, sweet doggy, Missy! My dogs are almost always hanging out in my office with me. Gracie is a 95-pound yellow Lab mix, and Shadow is a 50-pound solid black border collie-looking thing. They both think they are lap dogs, but thankfully don't try it when I'm at my computer. And they always seem to know when 6:00 rolls around and its . . . SUPPERTIME!!!!

Missy Tippens said...

Myra, don't you just love big dogs that think they're lap dogs. :) My lab used to try to sneak up in my lap. She's start slowly with just one front foot. Then the other. The would slip one back foot up...

How could I resist that?! :)

Of course, Duke just leaps in one big bound if he's scared. He has about a 4-foot vertical leap. :)

Thanks for stopping by.

Sheila Deeth said...

Oh, Duke is wonderful!!! (I miss my dog.)

Anonymous said...

what a great interview...I would love to read your book Missy...

karen k
kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

Janet Dean said...

How fun to meet Duke, Missy! I'm allergic to cats and dogs so I haven't had a pet in years and years. So long in fact that I forget to put them in my stories.

I'm reading A Forever Christmas and loving it!

Janet

Missy Tippens said...

Sheila, I'm sorry. It's so hard to lose a pet.

Missy Tippens said...

Thanks, Karen and Janet!

Johnnie said...

My aging cocker spaniel is asleep in her basket . . . and snoring! Unfortunately, I have to wake her up soon so she can take her evening meds for her ailing heart. I love having her nearby when I'm writing (or reading or watching tv or cleaning or . . . ).

Missy Tippens said...

Sounds so cute, Johnnie! I'm glad you have such a great writing partner.

Ruth Ann Dell said...

Hi Missy

Love your writing partner!

Aren't laptops awesome- I too bless my dad, and also my son, for buying one for me with all the bells and whistles.

God bless

Ruth Ann Dell

KINDRED HEART WRITERS said...

Makes me a bit sad. Used to have a big black Lab who enjoyed my walks with me. Clella

Missy Tippens said...

Ruth Ann,

I've especially loved my laptop because I can work upstairs closer to everyone. In the basement, I had to put a space heater on the desk to blow on my poor, cold hands. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Kindred Heart, I'm so sorry. It's like losing a member of our family, isn't it?

Caroline Storer said...

I have two dogs - both of which sit on my feet whilst I type away. I love them to bits! Take care. Caroline x

Heidi Main said...

My Jack Russel, Sophie, has her very own chair that she sits on. And she feels that if I am in my writing room, she MUST be there, no matter what! (Well...food would make her go elsewhere or the ringing of the doorbell but other than that, she is faithful!). Your book sounds wonderful!! Heidi

Missy Tippens said...

How nice, Caroline!

And Heide, Sophie sounds so cute!! :)