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March 29, 2018

On this day, 18 years ago

18 years ago on March 29, I was on my way from Wildwood to the Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids, MI. My mom was in the hospital, fighting a setback with lung cancer, but I had spoken with her the previous night and she sounded okay, said she was getting better and would soon be home. I told her I would come see her, forget the conference, and she said to come see her when she got out of the hospital.
Before I left home, I said to Greg, "check in with Dad and see how Mom is doing." I was about 45 minutes from home when he called. "Turn around," he said. "You need to get to Vegas." He arranged a last minute flight for me and as soon as I got home, took me to the airport where I caught the plane.
Mom was in a coma by then. She came to briefly later that evening while I was alone with her, reading to her from my newly published book (her favorite of mine, she had told me when it came out a few weeks before): What About Heaven? We had a few moments together and I reassured her it was okay to let go, God had a place ready for her. She had been agitated, but settled back into the coma. My sister, brother, Dad, and I all sat vigil around her bed that night.
She did go home the next morning, around 5:40 a.m.
On this Maundy Thursday, I will remember how our family gathered to face her death. I will remember how Jesus gathered with his closest friends to prepare to face his death. I will rise at 5:30 in the morning tomorrow and light the yahrzeit candle that my friend, Ruth Woodruff introduced to me. I will pray and remember that this year, the anniversary of my mother's death falls on the day Jesus died. And then I will celebrate the dawning light of Easter morning, and the empty tomb, and the promise of new life, and deep gratitude for all the people I love and who have loved me through the years, including all my family who will be with us for Easter.
Be grateful for each day. Live boldly. Because life is short and we have but little time to gladded the hearts of those who travel with us. So let us be swift to love, and make haste to be kind (Henri Amiel).

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What Have You Been Reading Lately?

I like to read books of all kinds: historical novels, recent bestsellers, old classics, young adult (YA), middle grade (MG). Every year, when the Association for Library Service to Children (a division of the American Library Association) announces the winners of its major book awards, I rush to buy the latest Newbery winner to read and add many of the others to my wish list or library account. 

 

Check out the list of this year's winners: http://www.ala.org/alsc/2018-alsc-book-media-award-winners

 

What are you reading these days? Drop me a line and let me know!

 

Happy reading, everyone!

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Kirkus review for new book!

Authors dream of having great reviews of their books, do imagine my surprise —and delight— when I discovered that my new book, Stories from the Bible, received a wonderful review from Kirkus, one of the premier reviewers of books for all ages, and in all genres.

I loved that the reviewer recognized the "graceful  Read More 

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New Faceboook Author Page!

Greetings, readers!

I've been working hard on getting an Author Page set up on Facebook. The page can be found at: Kathleen Long Bostrom / Author. Feel free to leave comments and feedback!

I'll be adding more of my books in the next weeks, and sharing news and events.

I taught a class on Writing and Publishing  Read More 
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Good news and bad news

Let's start with the bad news.


Last week, I had 5 books go out of print. Five. My Rufus and Ryan series counts for four of those. I love these books and the feedback has been great, but they aren't selling. And one of my Little Blessings books, What is Prayer, that has been in print since 2002 - yes, 13 years - is now out of print. Each book that goes out of print is a big loss to me. It's like people telling me, "I don't like your kids" (okay, that's worse, but still, any author knows what I mean). It's harder and harder these days to get visibility for one's books. There are few bookstores that stock children's religious books - and even the local Christian bookstore refused to put up a local author display, or have me come in for a book signing, because, as they said, "We do what corporate tells us. We don't make the decisions." We authors count on our readers to tell others about our books, to pass the word along (pun intended). We need good reviews and word of mouth excitement. Most of us aren't celebrities with a name that gets noticed - we just want to get our work into the hands of readers. Is that asking so much?

 

So that's the bad news.

 

The good news is that I have been added to the faculty for the 2016 Buechner Writer's Workshop, which will be held at Princeton Theological Seminary (my alma mater) June 7-11. I attended the first workshop in 2015 and it was phenomenal! I'll be teaching two workshops on writing for children. I'm ecstatic! Frederick Buechner is my chief writing mentor and it is such an honor to teach at a conference named after him.

 

Like all of life, the life of a writer has its ups and downs. Despite the downs, it's still a great life, and I am blessed beyond words - and that's saying something for someone who loves words!

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Just back from Lake Tahoe

My husband and I just returned from a week at Lake Tahoe. He had a preaching conference, and I stayed at my brother's lakeside condo. Our only cost was travel and food - how lucky we are!

I worked on my spiritual memoir, reminiscing about how close my brother and I were growing up, and thinking about how, through the years, we have kept that closeness. Again, I feel lucky, and blessed.

Much of the time, once Greg's conference ended, we hiked and kayaked and spent time exploring the area. Saw a magnificent sunset one night, which we watched while walking the beach with our little dog, Ellie. I am reminded that much of writing does not involve the actual writing, but taking in the beauty of the world, thinking while taking long walks. All the time, I find myself writing in my head, words that will never find their way to the page, and some that will, eventually.

Now we're home, and back to busy schedules, grateful for the respite and the time together just to enjoy this wonderful world. Read More 
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November has arrived!

November is here! Not only is it my birthday month, but the tail end of fall, which is my favorite season. The colors of nature are astounding. I never tire of the trees.

This year, my husband Greg and I traveled to the east coast, something we've always wanted to do this time of year.  Read More 
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Launching my blog!

I retired from full-time ministry on July 1, 2013, and am now a full-time writer. I can't wait to write all the books that have been waiting to be written! I'll be writing a regular I hope that you will follow me and discover what's going on in my writing life. Feedback is appreciated!

Kathy
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