The lesson of all those boxes…

ACFWAdvice, Authors and writing, Books, Plots, tips, writing 1 Comment

by Allie Pleiter @alliepleiter

“We have a lot of books,” I warned the man from the moving company.

He smiled and waved a hand in the air in a no big deal gesture. “Oh, don’t worry, we’re used to that.”

“No,” I insisted, “We have a LOT of books. Come with me.”

He kept chatting in reassuring tones until I took him to “The Book Room.”

He stopped chatting. I was pretty sure I heard him gulp. “Um…how many are there?”

“At last count, upwards of 1,500,” I replied, not the least bit ashamed. It’s never hoarding when it’s books, right?  “I’m an author. But as you can tell, I’m also an avid reader.”

And so began our quest to move 56 boxes containing over 1,500 books across the country to our new home in South Carolina.

On the advice of aforementioned stunned moving guy, we piled the books into one of those on-site moving containers we’d rented to ship ahead of our big and final move. All the books. It was a bit of a revelation to see my husband’s and my entire book collection boxed up in one giant metal container (along with whatever furniture and household stuff would fit). I’ll admit to a host of emotions as we watched that 16-foot container be loaded onto a truck and make its way to South Carolina.

I was nearly giddy at the prospect of nestling the books into their new spaces. This “new chapter” filled me with possibilities. @alliepleiter #christianfiction, #writing, #books Click To Tweet

Once all the books were deposited into their new rooms in our new home, I was nearly giddy at the prospect of nestling some of them (not all of them would fit, even in the massive built-in bookshelves that are the best feature of my new office) into their new spaces. This “new chapter” filled me with possibilities.

For those of us who aren’t dedicated plotters, unboxing and arranging a plot can be as taxing—and as surprising. I do eventually lay out my plots, post-it by post-it, on the glass block wall in my old office. How will I accomplish this in my new office? Well, that’s still up for grabs. It’ll be something on the wall, but what wall? How? I need to declare myself open to new possibilities.

Camp True North Springs is all about new possibilities. The camp seeks to offer a place of respite and healing for families who have lost a member to violence. The staff seek to help them along to a place where new possibilities come to life. I’ve loved the deeply emotional nature of this series, and the families who come to Camp True North Springs have become dear to me.

Camp Nurse Bridget Nicholson has a lot of history with staff “fix it guy” Carson Todd. It’s going to take patience, honesty, and a hefty dose of faith for the two of them to step into the future God’s had waiting for them all along. I hope you’ll come along for the journey in The Nurse’s Homecoming.

So tell me, what’s your glass block wall? What do you use to “unbox” a plot? And if you’ve ever changed offices, what new discoveries did you find?

The bestselling author of over sixty titles, Allie Pleiter’s twenty-year career has sold 1.6 million books.  Allie also coaches on writing productivity and speaks nationally on time management for creatives. Allie is an avid knitter, confirmed coffee junkie and firm believer that “pie makes everything better.” Visit her website at






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