Saturday, August 2, 2008

Face-to-Face with 4 a.m.!

I don't know about you, but there are very few things that will get me out of bed at 4 a.m. I can think of only a handful:

  • My darlin' daddy needing to be taken to the ER. Amazing how wide awake I can be at 4 a.m. when that happens. Thankfully, it hasn't happened often.
  • My puppy making those terrible hurking sounds that let you know your rug is about to be ruined.
  • Fishing. I'll get up even earlier to go fishing. I love it. I knew I'd become a true fisher-woman the day I baited my hook with leeches and maggots. Yeah, I know, gross. But the fishies love 'em!.
  • The call of nature. But only if it's screaming.
Yup, that's about it. Until yesterday, that is. That's when I discovered a whole new, fun reason to get up at the crack of dawn (rather than the crack of noon, as I far prefer...). What reason could that be? Well, check it out:
Seated from left to right:Tracy, Jenny, Nerolie, Lyn
Back: Rel, Angela, Nolene, Marg, Wendy and Sheryle

These lovely ladies, who live in Australia, have formed a book discussion group. You may know one of them: Rel Mollett. She has a marvelous blog, Relz Reviews, in which she keeps folks informed on Christian fiction and authors. I've known Rel through the internet for a number of years, since she wrote me after reading one of my novels. I've long been impressed with all she's doing to promote Christian fiction, so when she told me her group was reading my book, What Lies Within, (which a number of them are holding in the picture, bless their hearts!) I told her anytime they wanted to talk with me about it, I'd be there.

Be careful what you promise.

Now, I knew there was a time difference between Oregon and Australia . I mean, I'm not stupid. But I didn't realize just how LARGE a difference there was. So when Rel told me I'd need to be on the phone at 4:30 a.m. to talk with them, I only hesitated for a second. Well...okay, two seconds. But I was so excited at the prospect of talking with a room full of Aussies who'd read my book, it didn't take me long to get past the shock. Thankfully, Rel took to heart my advice to shoot me a number of reminders. With the short term memory issues I have thanks to Fibromyalgia, it's always a bit of a risk expecting me to remember something out of the norm. But with Rel's reminders--and PostIt notes all over my computer, bathroom mirror, and alarm clock--I was up and out of bed Friday morning at 4:10 a.m. (I only hit the snooze once. Aren't you proud?)

I made my way to my still dark office and waited. And sure enough, right at 4:30 a.m. Pacific, the phone rang, and there on the other end was Rel--and a chorus of greetings and laughter from the others. We talked for an hour, hitting on everything from why novelists use prologues to what an editor does to a bit of my own faith journey. And though I had to listen extra careful to be sure I understood what the ladies were saying (I loved their accents!), I had no trouble at all hearing the warmth, excitement, and joy permeating the women in that group. The hour passed as though it was a second, and when it was time to say good-bye, I told the ladies I wanted a picture. To remember them. To pray for them. And to show all of you.

So take a good look at those smiling faces. Though I only spent an hour on the phone with this wonderful group, I felt their love for each other and God. And, believe it or not, for me. So considering all I got from my time with them, getting up at 4 was not just okay, it was a real blessing.

Thanks, ladies, for a wonderful time together. May God bless each of you richly!




Rel said...

Oh Karen - it was so much fun! We could have talked on for hours :)

Lots of hugs from down under and book us in again for 2010 - LOL!!

Thanks too for your encouraging words in this post:)I have posted about our chat too.


Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed the phone chat on Friday, it was wonderful to talk to you and really appreciated the effort you made to get up at 4.10. I love reading and certainly admire the gift God has given you, your book was great. To plan to write at least 500 words each day is just uncomprehensible to a non writer like me, but I love to read the fruits of your labour and can't wait for the new book in 2010 God bless Wendy RBC book club

Misty said...

Hi Karen,

I am a member of Narelle's book club. I was unable to attend last Friday due to a headache. I am an Alabama girl who married an Aussie! You pegged the girls just right. They are wonderful and really love the Lord. They have made me feel so welcome (and that really means the world when you are so far from where you grew up!). I enjoyed your book. My brother-in-law is a police officer in my hometown. Over the past few years, gang activity has started there. I often worry for Dean and am saddened that these things exist. It was interesting for me to learn how the gang members consider themselves a family, but are so violent even with each other. Thanks again for waking up so early to speak with the group. Have a blessed day! Misty

Tracy said...

What an awesome privilege to be listed with emergencies and fishing! I'm glad it was a joy for you, rather than a chore!