Publishing/Cut Chapters


Yesterday I stumbled upon this while cleaning out my office:  Can you guess what it is? If you’ve read When God Intervenes, you’ll remember I mentioned the coloring/activity pages the elderly man gave me at church. Can you believe we kept this gem of a book after all these years? A smile crossed my face as I remembered how far my husband and I have come. You see, today is my 19th wedding anniversary (Woohoo!), so I thought I’d share some special moments I mentioned in the book along our journey. Like the Gazebo where Jason proposed on Palm Beach, and the crazy lady tried to have us arrested:    And the vintage shop ticket from my itty-bitty wedding dress: My Experiencing God devotional where’d I’d written my prayer out that I needed Jason to give me a certain flower before he could ask me to marry him: Two pressed yellow flowers (here’s where I’m being super vulnerable as I’m sharing a peek inside an old journal…please, please, please look past my awful penmanship and simplistic message. This note only proves that God can equip anyone to do anything that He wants them to do. Can I get an Amen?):         I hope you enjoyed a little glimpse into our journey. And, Babe, I knew you were the one for me the day you swiped my hand while we studied at your apartment picnic table. Here’s to many more years of growing gloriously old together. I love you forever....

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A Recent Speaking Event

A Recent Speaking Event


Posted By on Nov 21, 2013

Back in October, I shared part 2 of my story at my church’s Seasons event for women (right after I had just gotten over pneumonia…hence the random throat-clearing–praise God my cough was gone!). For those of you who could not attend, take a peek. PS Some of the ladies in attendance at this event remember when I was pregnant with Asher in the ICU and acknowledged that they were at church the Sunday morning back in July of 2005 when Jason asked for prayer from the pulpit. Pretty cool stuff!                 Thank you Calvary Church and Kevin for the recording!...

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There is a reason the beginning of chapter 14 in the book starts with, “I never knew pain could be so cruel.” The following cut content is what should have followed. In hindsight, I’m glad this more graphic part was axed. But, for those who have started treatment or know of someone going through treatment…I wonder if this wouldn’t have helped in some way? All I know is I wish I would have been warned. ***   Hours later, I woke with intense discomfort in a rather private area. Never experiencing this type of irritation before, I drove to the store for medicine. The initial contact from the cream sent me writhing in pain. Jason rushed me to the nearest hospital only five minutes down the road. Veterans at this process, we signed-in and scanned the room. Only one other patient sat in the corner. Our odds looked promising. I bent over the best I could with my round belly, grabbed my legs, and rocked back and forth. After thirty minutes, Jason approached the desk. The receptionist reassured him we’d seen as soon as staff was available. Another half an hour passed. “Listen,” Jason said, his voice a little louder. “My wife’s pregnant and going through chemotherapy.” He pointed at me, “How. Much. Longer. Is it going to be?” Jason didn’t look so happy. “We’re understaffed tonight. I’d suggest getting her to another hospital.” We arrived at Good Samaritan. The receptionist eyes widened listening to my condition. She darted for the phone, and yelled for a wheelchair. In minutes, I rested in a maternity room with a monitor strapped across my belly. Thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump.             “Baby’s heartbeat’s good,” the nurse said.             I exhaled, then explained my burning symptoms. Her brow creased. She examined me as a second nurse entered with a tube and applied a generous portion of what looked like the same white cream I’d previously used. I gripped the metal rails, clamping my teeth. “Make the burning go away, please!” Everyone’s stared at me, especially Jason’s who had never heard me yell this loudly. A doctor entered. She had spoken with Dr. McGarry, she said. The chemotherapy was flushing out of my system, stripping layers off skin as it exited my body. The same way cancer patients experience mouth sores from drugs, I reacted with chemical burns in the most unthinkable area. The nurses apologized over and over. Then they both admitted that they’d never seen a case like this before on the maternity ward. I snorted, chuckled, then flung my head back into the pillow. “Of course you haven’t. This doesn’t surprise me.” I...

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A few people have asked how I finagled a contract with Tyndale House Publishers. It wasn’t easy, and even though I felt this uncomfortable compulsion to finish this project, I had no guarantee the book would be picked up. The following is a guest post I wrote for my agent, Rachelle Gardner. Whether you’re a writer or business owner, I think there’s a lesson here to be learned. When God puts a desire on your heart, run after it. Please. *** I’m not a writer, per se. I’m a speaker who learned the craft of writing and secured a contract by her second writers’ conference. But intense work was involved; especially since I didn’t know how much longer I had to live. Let me explain. At age 36, my cardiologist predicated a heart transplant was in my future. Nothing ignited my inspiration like a failing organ. I put a hot pink sticky beside my bed that read: “If you had six months to live, what would you do with your life?” Documenting my four near-death experiences was always the answer. And since writing made my throat constrict, I thought if I pitched my story at a conference to a publisher during a one-on-one meeting, surely they would purchase my memoir and pair me with an editor. Only that didn’t happen. But what I gathered at my first three-day conference changed my vision. A new plan emerged once I learned what publishing houses were looking for: • standout writing • a compelling story • strong following/platform For a new writer, conferences are the perfect place to hear firsthand from an editor if your vampire trilogy based in Amish country has a great storyline. We all want to know if our idea is sellable. That’s why these fifteen-minute appointments with editors and agents are worth the full ticket price. Here’s the good news. Most editors offer candid feedback. If they see raw talent, they’ll encourage you. They might think your memoir won’t sell because you’re not a celebrity, but the storyline is interesting enough for a YA novel, and you can run with it. And if they slip you their card and offer hints on what direction to rework your piece, then you have the perfect formula for your project. The editors I met at my first conference told me my storyline intrigued them, but I needed to: Improve my writing Get published in magazines or newspapers (they wanted to know I was serious about the craft) Develop my platform Find an agent A few said to dump the idea since inspirational memoirs typically don’t sell, but that simply primed my competitive spirit. I decided...

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Opinions Needed


Posted By on Jul 7, 2013

One of the things I’m often asked is if I speak at churches or events. And I do. So I finally stopped dragging my feet and found a way to share clips of me speaking. This required lots of sleuthing and then pretty much begging the hubs to teach me a thing or two about video editing, however I think I only want to post one snippet for viewers to see. Any chance you can help me decide? If you have a minute or two, take a look at the YouTube videos below and let me know what you think. Which video would you choose to feature on my *Speaking* page? You should be able to comment by scrolling to the top right. If you are having difficulties commenting (someone shared they were having problems recently), email me at dabneyhedegard@gmail.com....

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Some days I need a reminder that my God is bigger than I give Him credit for. On those days, I re-read some of the sticky notes tapped to my desk. My favorite by far is the hot pink PostIt attached to a framed photo (the one above) that says, “Have you seen my God?” Indeed I have. He’s living and active and still in the business of performing miracles. Today is a day that I need to remember that all He has brought me through really isn’t about me, but what He wants to do through me. I say this because  this afternoon, July 1, 2013, at 6pm EST I’ll be on the In the Market with Janet Parshall show. Live. Ack. I’ve never been interviewed before. I’m kind of a simple gal who followed the nudges of the Lord to document His miracles. So why am I so nervous? Because I’m human and sometimes I wonder what others think when really all I need to focus on is bringing God glory. But this is where I remind myself “You have seen God, Dabney. He’s orchestrated every step.” Reminders are a good thing. And so are precious prayers from my friends. I guess that’s where you come in. I’d really appreciate your prayers today, especially between 6:00 pm and 7:00pm EST. Please pray that He puts His words in my mouth. And if you’d like to listen in, click this link and join us. And just in case your a prayer warrior like my mom, here’s the line-up of future interviews. I’d certainly appreciate your prayers for these days too. 1. Monday July 1 from 6-7 pm EST – In the Market with Janet Parshall (Moody Radio) (To listen to the interview with Janet Parshall you can click here.)  2. Tuesday July 2, 2013 from 1:08-1:38 EST –  The Bob Dutko Show (WMUZ) 3. Wednesday July 3, 2013 at 8:15 am EST- Morning Show with Craig and Becky (WPOS FM) 4. Wednesday July 24, 2013 from 4:00 – 5:00 pm EST- Chris Fabry Live! (Moody Radio) 5.  Tuesday September 10, 2013 from 2:15 – 2:45 pm EST – The Ohepen Mind Show with Missy Ohe (KKEQ-FM) 6. Thursday September 26, 2013 4:30 – 5:00 pm EST – Living Inspired Radio with Tricia Goyer  So tell me, have you seen my God? I’d sure like to hear your God-story. That’s where the faith-building begins.  Forever in His hands, Dabney “I will not die but live, and proclaim what the Lord has done.” Psalms 118:17...

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The proof is in the pudding, so they say. Next week I will send a list of names or “Influencers” to my publisher. So, what is an influencer? I’m glad you asked. Honestly, I’m still trying to figure this out myself. An influencer is someone who reads the book and spreads the word. Pretty simple, right? When I started the book-writing process, I imagined the hardest part would be finishing the manuscript. This next part, the marketing part, is trickier yet. That’s where influencers come in. I am looking for two or three people who are great word-spreaders. Take a glance at a few chapters under the “Look Inside” on Amazon. If you like what you read (and you want a shot at receiving a free book), comment below and tell me how fabulous you are. Seriously. Make it fun. It’s Friday. We all need a laugh. Or, just tell me you’d like a chance at a free book. Directness works too. I’ll pick the person with the funniest comment and two Master Influencers. Let the fabulousness...

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Let’s get one thing straight, friends. This Friday, May 10, I will not be Debbie Downer when I speak at Calvary Church in Jupiter.Why do I need to clarify this? Well, our ever-talented Creative Director from Calvary, Kevin, chided me yesterday that he was going to insert faux tears on my video announcement they played that morning at church because I looked weepy. I laughed. I knew he was kidding. But, of course I looked weepy. He knew the emotional stuff would bubble out as soon as the camera started rolling. I think that was his plan all along. (Kevin!) You see, I arrived at the shoot with a clever script prepared; one that would have piqued the audience’s interest (one I had planned to smile while speaking into the lens), and hopefully encouraged the ladies to come out on a Friday night. Kevin read through my commercial. Laughed at all the right parts. Then crumpled the paper and tossed it aside. He had an idea, he said. I stared at my wadded words on the ground. “We need something weepy, raw, emotional,” he cried. Ok. He didn’t cry or say those words. He mentioned speaking from the heart, and then gave me 56 seconds or so to prep before his blinding camera light flipped on and he said, “Whenever you’re ready.” I shifted on my stool. I was ready before I walked in the studio. Not now, though. No. Now I’m supposed to share a 60-second blurb on the fly? I’m a preparer. Not an improver. Those last two words ending in -er aren’t real words, are they? I’m not sure. Good thing people can’t hear my thoughts. Kevin’s looking at me. Say something smart. Funny. Don’t cry. Please don’t cry. Here we go. What I wasn’t expecting was to get caught up in the emotion of it all. Even though I wanted to reshoot this video and showcase a more uplifting side, the hope-filled side, Kevin was right all along. This is me. Raw. Unscripted. I’m just glad he cut the part where I frantically blinked back tears, trying to look like I wasn’t crying. That was nice of him. Thanks, Kevin. And Calvary. And all the many ladies who signed up. Debbie Downer will not be in the building. But God will. And so will His story. To see the mini-clip, click the Facebook link below and scroll the timer to 3:26 minutes. It may take a few seconds to load. Sorry I’m not tech-savvy enough to splice out the beginning. I guess there’s a reason Kevin’s the Creative Director, and I’m not. He did a pretty swell job. (This post was written with a...

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