Dobsons 411

Hanging on for the ultimate ride--God's great adventure.
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Location: Oregon

The author of fourteen contemporary and historical novels, Melanie Dobson lives with her family in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Her latest novels are Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor and Chateau of Secrets. More info at

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Going for Broke

Two boxes arrived at my doorstep this afternoon. I glimpsed at the return label, and my heart started racing. The Going for Broke books were finally here!

I told Karly that the boxes were full of Mommy's new book, and she helped me open the first one. But as I pulled out a crisp new copy, she ran to the kitchen in search of something more exciting (i.e. a cheese stick).

So I was left alone to celebrate, welcoming the quiet as I swept my hand over the cover and then cracked it open to read the first lines that I'd already read dozens of times.

After almost two years of writing, editing, and rewriting, Going for Broke is officially done! It's surreal to have the finished book in my hands, and I thank God for the blessing of being able to share another story.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Hunt for Kiki

This morning when I woke up, I went to check on Kiki. Just like normal. She’s usually cuddled up on her bed with her blanket and yellow sunshine toy (Ni Ni), but this morning she wasn’t in her bed. I blinked in the dim room like she might suddenly appear. Still no Kiki.

So I backed out of her room and jogged down the stairs.

I figured that she'd probably tiptoed by our bedroom and was rummaging through a box of cereal so when I rounded the corner I expected to find her sitting on a stool with a guilty grin.

But she wasn’t in the kitchen either.

So I started to search. Quickly! Her playroom. The couches. Our den. But I couldn't find her anywhere.

The panic set in.

I shouted upstairs to enlist Jon and Karly in the hunt as I ran to the front door (locked). And the back (also locked). And then to garage.

When we still couldn’t find her, I did what any mom would do—I started screaming her name, hoping to wake her up if she’d fallen asleep in some odd place. And praying that somehow she hadn’t disappeared.

Finally, Karly yelled down to me from the second floor. “I found her!”

I rushed up the stairs, my heart about to spring out of my chest. Kiki was in her bedroom, half asleep, snuggling in her Daddy’s arms. She looked up at me like I was crazy.

I reached out to hug her. “Where was she?”

Karly shrugged her shoulders. “Under the bed.”

I crouched down to look under the frame. I have no idea how she squeezed under that tight place in her sleep, but I’ve never been so grateful to find my baby. It was a heart-stopping morning with yet another reminder of how thankful I am for our girls.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Green Monsters

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (Philippians 4:12)

Yesterday our pastor spoke about being content—in every situation. He talked about how the constant desire to want more things or more money or different circumstances sucks the joy out of our Christian life. It was a good message. The perfect reminder to keep our eyes on Christ.

But the message didn’t resonate with me. I’d heard it before, and that familiar pull for more or better things has eased off since we moved to Oregon. Our house seems perfect for our family. We don’t need more stuff (okay, a rug for our hardwood floor would be nice and paint for the girl’s room and a hutch for the dining room…). I’d like these new things, but I don’t feel the root of envy taking over.

At least I didn’t think I did…until I settled in for a relaxing afternoon with a latte, a fire, and of course a good novel. Grace at Low Tide by Beth Webb Hart. An amazing, beautifully-written, soul-stirring book.

And then I realized I am NOT satisfied with my circumstances. Or my abilities. I’m far from it!

No matter how hard I try, I will never be able to write creative, quirky characters like Ms. Hart. Or witty descriptions. Or metaphors that make you stop reading to savor the words.

Envy—yep. Jealousy—you bet. Contentment (groan). Apparently not.

The green monster began strangling my mind and my soul. I want to write prose like this! I want to create words and sentences that make the reader go “wow!” I want be like Beth Webb Hart!

Whine. Whine. Whine.

I’ll never stop trying to improve my description and characters. No matter how long I write, I’ll attempt to make each book, each character a little better than the last. But I’ll never write a book like Grace at Low Tide. Literary fiction is Ms. Hart’s gift, and I can’t wait to read her next book.

As I start working on a new manuscript this week, I need to keep my eyes on Christ. If I let discontentment destroy my confidence, I’ll be too terrified to write the first word.

Okay, it’s too late. I’m terrified already.

Maybe next week the pastor will talk about overcoming fear…since I don’t need that message either.