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Arlene Rains Graber

'To write something that brings a smile or initiates thought is truly one of life's pleasures.'


Arlene has written for newspapers, magazines and Christian periodicals for over thirty years. In 2010, her first non-fiction book, Devoted to Traveling, was published by AWOC Publishers. The book traces the author's travels throughout the world. In 2011, her first novel, A Plane Tree in Provence, was released, and a Christian novel, Angel on My Shoulder, was released. In 2012, Arlene published The Cape Elizabeth Ocean Avenue Society, the second book in the Plane Tree series, followed by Sarah's Choice in 2014. All books are available in paperback or as e-books.


Oct

Good news. Keyhole Conversations has completed a video of one of the characters in A Plane Tree in Provence. Take a look. http://youtu.be/aJKblkw3uhs. Also, Angel on My Shoulder has been released by Amazon.com as an ebook. Pringle Taylor is thirty, single, tall, lean, smart, and involved in a two-year relationship with Hunter Wilson. Her third floor walk-up in Park Slope, a section of Brooklyn, New York is decorated just the way she likes it, and she is rewarded every day teaching at-risk children. Crisis hits when the head master at her school suddenly closes due to economics, and Hunter unexpectedly proposes. What to do. While she is fond of Hunter, theirs is more of an uncomplicated romance without excitement. You might even say boring. And, while she loves teaching, there are no other Alternative Schools in the area. Does she settle for a predictable married life with Hunter? Does she settle by taking a job she doesn’t want? Or does she throw caution to the wind and change her life completely?

I’ll be going on a four day writing retreat next week and it is much needed. I’ve been so busy marketing the novels that my writing has taken a back seat. Even so, I can’t wait to get back to working on a sequel from the Plane Tree novel during the retreat. I’ve also signed up for the NaNoWiMo event for the month of November. For those that don’t know about it–writers write every day and try to complete an entire novel by the end of the month, or at least 50,000 words. Why they have it in a month where there is a holiday I’m not quite sure, but I’m going to try it. Wish me luck.

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Jun

Maine! Where I’m lulled to sleep by restless ocean waves crashing against a six-foot sea wall. Where at 53 degrees a light blanket is required, and daytime temps struggle to reach 75 degrees. I’m on my annual writing retreat polishing up a soon-to-be released novel. Energy flows through panoramic windows of our oceanfront beach house. This year is special and I’m so blessed to be able to be here.

On May 11th, I took some overdue medical tests. Less than twenty-hours later, I was in the hospital where medical teams worked to get my heart back to a sinus rhythm, and others treated me for pneumonia. Heaven was flooded with prayers from church friends and relatives. I healed and went home seven days later. Slowly, I gained strength only to be re-admitted within five days for a gall bladder attack. Removal occurred as soon as my body would tolerate the surgery.

Seven days later, I once again returned home and focused on building strength. Maine wouldn’t wait and my plans were made.

So here I am. Weak, but strong of mind writing away energized by God’s creation right outside my door. I’m most thankful for God’s healing–and aren’t I blessed His will for me included Maine.

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02

News

Mar

I’m sitting here today with my very own copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul – Grandmothers. It feels good to be a part of this world-renowned publication. It’s been a long time coming because I’ve submitted at least four times in the past and never succeeded. Preseverance is gold. My story is about the first time I was allowed to stay with my first grandson alone. Hmmmm. Look for my contribution is on page 26 and a brief bio on page 354.

For those who are not familiar with Chicken Soup for the Soul books, they publish real stories from real people and are translated in 40 languages and found in more than 100 countries. The goal is to offer hope, comfort, inspiration, and improve lives everywhere.

The second bit of news is that after 28 years as a travel agent, I have retired. My emotions are mixed. I will now have more time to write and spend time with my family, but at the same time…what will I do at 8:00 a.m. each workday morning? The first week I hit the gym, but admit I’m already getting bored with that, so I’m betting something else will soon that its place.

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Dec

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I am so blessed with family,friends and the love of God. Our family will celebrate with a huge Christmas Eve dinner, this year brisket, potatoes, mushrooms in a white wine sauce, grape leaves, and a mega salad. Often we have had prime rib, but over the years when arrivals are delayed and we never know when dinner actually is—we have changed that to brisket as it holds well. Lots of Simi wine and Elvis singing in the background. It’s a wonderful time. Christmas morning, we have Champagne and Caviar while opening gifts. Over the years, the gifts have become quite secondary with laughter, conversation, and just being together as primary.

I wish all my friends and family a wondrous Christmas and may God shower you and your family with blessings this Christmas season. One of my favorite quites is this one from Andy Rooney. Think about it.

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room Christmas morning. Don’t clean it up too quickly.”

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Nov

I wish all of you a most wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m sorry to say, sometimes I really forget just how many blessings I have. My goal is to send thanks to heaven daily for all that I have and all that I am. 

I’ll catch you up on what’s going on. In October, I joined the NovelTrack writing exercise through ACFW. This is where you set a goal for the month and write daily to achieve it. I’m happy to report I made my goal (see badge in the gallery) and added it was so rewarding, I signed up for the November Noveltrackediting workshop  This is a daily exercise of editing your written work. You set a goal on the 1st day and hope to meet that goal by the end of the month. I’m happy to announce that I’ve already obtained my goal, and hopefully will finish my novel by November 30.  

Last  weekend I attended the HACWN writer conference in Kansas City. It was indeed a good time of fellowship with writers, wonderful speakers, and several appointments with agents. For the contest, I was awarded First Prize in the article category, and won second prize in the devotional area. During the weekend I also watched my grandson play in two hockey games. He of course played fantastic. But then, I may be a bit prejudiced. 

The holidays are upon us and everyone will be busy busy busy. Don’t forget to consider Devoted to Traveling (my book) for someone on your list. It is available on Amazon.com and kindle plus Dandurand Drug and Watermark Books in Wichita. Also, I just heard that Barnes & Noble, Bradley Fair has a couple left. Many thanks for considering.

Have a wonderful safe Thanksgiving.

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Oct

Don’t forget to put Devoted to Traveling on your Christmas buying list for all those folks that need a little something extra. It makes the perfect gift book and one they are sure to enjoy.

I attended the Kansas Authors Club Convention last weekend. So much fun along with wonderful information. Michelle Black gave a workshop on Self-Publishing and covered all the major pros and cons. Another one I loved was the computer savvy for writers workshop. Silly me, I didn’t know we needed to clean our computers monthly. I was only cleaning the keyboard. Hmmmm. And, that’s why I continue to go to conferences and conventions. I came away with an honorable mention for an article I wrote which made it all the more fun.

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Jul

The summer is half over and I still have another trip planned. In August, I’ll travel with my travel buddies to Yellowstone and the western national parks. 

In June, I traveled to Seattle for my nephew’s wedding. It was a non-stop whirlwind of parties, but the highlight was getting reacquainted with my six nieces and one nephew. It rained constantly, but the day of the wedding, the sun came out as planned and the outdoor ceremony was beautiful. Then right on schedule, once the wedding was over, it started raining again. The couple was truly blessed with a wonderful day.

In late June, I visited my Maine retreat. Fo those who have read my book, you know that Maine is special to me. I go every two years to write. The energy I get from the ocean is wonderful. This year a friend went with me and we rented a beach house a few steps from the ocean. We had ocean views from every window and a great writing deck perched on top of the roof. Check out the new photos in my photo gallery.

I’m happy to report that my book is on Kindle. Check it out. I also have a book signing at Barnes & Noble the 31st of July at the Bradley Fair store in Wichita, Kansas from 2-5 p.m. Many thanks to all of you who have taken the time to write me an encouraging note and shower me with nice comments about the book.

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May

At the OWFI Conference. Left to right: Arlene Rains Graber, Gordon Kessler, Starla Criser, Tonya and Gary Cummings, Julie Anderson and Vicki Hermes-Bond.

At the OWFI Conference. Left to right: Arlene Rains Graber, Gordon Kessler, Starla Criser, Tonya and Gary Cummings, Julie Anderson and Vicki Hermes-Bond.

It’s been a whirlwind these past few months with book promotions and keeping up with my writing schedule. Book sales are steady and I’m happy to report Devoted to Traveling was on the best seller list at Watermark Books for two consecutive weeks. I’ve restocked Watermark three times already. For this I’m really thankful to all who have purchased the book. Raven Books in Lawrence Kansas is stocking the book, and Design Studio in Wichita has kept a steady pace in sales. Happy to report that also Bethel College in Newton, Kansas offers my book.

In April I attended the OWFI conference in Oklahoma City. It was amazing as always and I came away with a renewed knowledge in writing techniques. Kansas Writers Association had a nice presence with six of us at the KWA table. So fun and so informative. A great conference for writers of every genre. I’ll write more later, but now need to get that novel off to an agent. God Bless,

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Feb

Devoted to Traveling is finally here and ready for purchase. I can’t tell you how good it feels to have this book in hand. Much thought, a few tears, and a whole lot of prayer went into this publication. I hope you enjoy it. Travel with me as I wind my way through places near and far.

Devoted to Traveling is a chronicle of the first-hand experiences of a woman whose adventures are written with lessons learned.

Adventures, from the healing of San Francisco to a spiritual renewal in an ancient cathedral, allow readers to experience the highs and lows of traveling. As a travel professional since 1983, Graber also gives first-hand accounts of how to pack, security issues, and what happens at the airport when “canceled” blazes over the departure screen. As a travel professional since 1983, Graber also gives first-hand accounts of how to pack, security issues, and what happens at the airport when “canceled” blazes over the departure screen.

Currently Devoted to Traveling is available through the publisher at www.awocbooks.com/book.cfm?b=79, (special only $1 postage) Amazon.com, and Watermark Books & Cafe. More stores coming soon. 

Thank you all for considering and my what an experience this has been for me.

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Nov

January 15, 2010

The text proofing on Devoted to Traveling is finished and back to the publisher. I noticed several errors so it was a slow process. In fact, I ended with over nineteen pages of edits. After that, the publishers were plagued with rounds of illness prompting another delay. But, it’s a new year and once again everything is moving forward. It shouldn’t be long now before I receive the cover to approve.

After the holidays, I spent a good amount of time setting writing goals and creating a complete business writing calendar for the year. For me, this works well and keeps me on track with assignments and submissions. Each year I take time to slip away on writing retreats to make sure I keep on schedule. In fact, I just returned from a three-day retreat. The Slatecreek Lodge, near Wellington, Kansas provided hours of silent writing, a welcomed crackling fire, and inspirational views across the lake to the rolling prairie of Kansas. There is nothing better than escaping to the countryside to enjoy God’s great creation and becoming one with nature.

During the weekend, I completed entries for the OWFI contest held in conjunction with their annual conference April 29-May 2 in Oklahoma City. I also worked on a novel which I’ll pitch to agents at the same conference. This is the same conference where I was fortunate to receive the contract for the Devotional Book. Another book contract wouldn’t be bad at all. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

December 1, 2009

I’m so excited. I just received the galley for Devoted To Traveling, a book of devotionals and a chronicle of my personal travels with friends over several decades. In every trip, a learning experience, memorable occasion, or intriguing adventure, triggered a devotional.

I’m thinking the proofing will go quick as I’ve already been through one round of edits. Then it’s off to the printer and a final okay for the book cover. I’ll keep you posted on the release date.

This year I attended three writing conferences. First the OWFI (www.owfi.org) which was chock full of speakers, agents, and editors. This is one of the best conferences around that is both economical and informative. The keynote speaker this year was Tess Gerritsen, who pumped writers with antidotes of her own personal writing journey.

In October, I attended the Kansas Authors Club convention/conference in Topeka, and in November the HACWN (Heart of America Christian Writers Network) in Kansas City. If your genre is inspirational, this is the conference for you. I came away with renewed knowledge of available markets, book proposals that sing, and spiritual guidance.

Conferences are key to gaining expert guidelines on many topics for the writer. Give them a try. Scan the speaker list to select the conference that best suits your writing style, register, pack your bags, and be prepared to enjoy the comradeship of fellow writers all working toward one goal–publishing.

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