Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Three Gifts

Tomorrow, October 31, is Halloween; it is also my birthday. But today I received three gifts.

The first from a co-worker and good friend. She said she couldn't wait until tomorrow. She gave me a beautiful teal sweater that is soooo soft. I hope it's not too warm to wear it tomorrow.

The second gift was being able to bring our cat, Wilbur, home from the vet. On Thursday night we had to rush him to the MedVet Hospital because his urinary tract was completely blocked. We left him until 7am when we transported him back to our side of town to our own vet. He has been on antibiotics and has been catherized for four days. They removed the cath yesterday afternoon. They were concerned because he wasn't eating, but after we got him home he chowed down! He'll still be on antibiotics for a week or so and must go back for a recheck, but he's home!

Gift number three was a phone call from my son. He is in Columbus. His work sent him here to open a new store. So, on my birthday, tomorrow, he's coming over to visit.

I'm supposed to be participating in a power draft writing week and I committed to a goal of 28 new pages. Hmmm. Saturday - nada. Sunday - nada. Monday - 7 pages. Tuesday - 2 pages. I know I won't type anything tomorrow unless I make myself get up early and write before work. That leaves only Friday night and Saturday. Saturday I believe I will be attending a three to four hour meeting for my local COFW writing group. I'll be on the board and we have to establish the budget for 2008. Why do I set myself impossible goals?

Hey...there are only 55 more days until Christmas! All the stores have put out Christmas decorations and trees for sale. I guess it's not too early to promote my ebook called "Lighting the Tree." It's a book about a miracle that happens on Christmas and it's delivered by an unlikely Santa. Here's a link where you can find out more. Click here.

Have a wonderful day! Thank you for stopping by.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The New Dress

I've been reading a wonderful book called THE ANGELS OF MORGAN HILL by author Donna Vanliere. The book is set in Tennessee in 1947. Reading one passage brought an old memory to the forefront today.

The passage: "I'd been wearing the same dress to church for two years. Somebody made it out of a flour sack (even women's dresses were made out of flour sacks) and handed it down to me when I was seven and it was way too big then. Now it was way too small, riding up above my knees."

I'm probably one of very few who actually remember or had a dress made from a flour sack. These flour sacks were floral prints and offered an economical way to stitch new dresses. I had quite a wardrobe full of these practical dresses when I lived with my grandmother for a few years. I knew the rules. After school, I would hang up my dress, take off my socks, put them inside my shoes and put on "play clothes." I would wear the same dress and socks for two days, then they would go into the laundry basket.

I came home from school and took off my dress, preparing to put it in the dirty clothes since I'd already worn it twice. My grandmother, who could be very stern at times, told me to hang my dress in the closet. I tried to make her understand that I'd already worn it twice. She insisted that I hang it in the closet. I cried. I didn't want to wear the dress for a third day. But I was taught to obey and respect my elders. So, with silent tears on my cheeks, I opened the closet door and reached for a hangar. To my surprise, I found a beautiful new store bought dress hanging inside that closet. It was the most gorgeous thing I'd ever seen. It was blue and mint green with tiny little flower appliques. My grandmother's face was lit with a big smile. She even allowed me to try it on and run across the street to show it off to my very best friend.

I can't picture what those flour sack dresses looked like, but I vividly remember that organdy dress.

Do you have any memories that stand out in your mind from childhood? I'd love to hear.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a blessed day.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

What About Forgiving?

Today in our Sunday School class we were studying the story of Esau and Jacob. If you aren't familiar with it, the story begins in Genesis 25:19. It is the story of ultimate forgiveness. We talked about forgiving and heard some stories that began to inspire me.

My newest novel is going to explore how one act can drive two people apart, and what it takes to forgive.

Is there someone in your life with whom you've had a disagreement that drove you apart? Have you forgiven or been forgiven? What would it take to repair that break? Can you take the first step?

May God bless you, and thank you for stopping by.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Crossroad or a Dead End?

Have you ever traveled through the countryside and come upon a road that ended with a fence in front of you and a perpendicular road that forced you to turn either right or left? No going forward?

Think about writing. Many times you will come to a dead stop. When that happens, have you ever thought of it as one of the roads I described above? Instead of a dead end, perhaps you need to journey in a different direction. If you think of it as an adventure into new uncharted territory, you might be able to envision two different roads. Which will you choose?

If you've been following my blog, you know that I've been struggling with my latest manuscript. I recently cut 20 pages because it wasn't going where I wanted to go. Yesterday, I ruthlessly cut another 39 pages. The problem? I didn't turn left or right. Instead I turned around and backtracked.

After much introspection, and many prayers, I have come to the realization that I've been forcing my passion for writing to fit a "mold." Because I enjoy reading romance, especially romantic suspense, that's what I've been writing. But I turned in the wrong direction. I sold myself short. Sure, I can write a novel that readers tell me are page-turners, that they couldn't put it down, and they eagerly ask when my next book will be out. I won't lie. That feels good. It's a great ego boost. But it's not the real me. What is the real me?

I have been on a faith journey for some time, and have come to the realization that I need to write inspirational to add sunshine to my soul. And I don't need to try to fit any particular mold. What I need to do is put my fingers to the keyboard and write, truly write from my heart. Whenever I do that, the words flow freely. When I wrote "Hands of Time" and sent it to Chicken Soup for the Soul, that piece flowed from my hands in a matter of minutes. And they bought it. Not just once, but three times! That piece has been in three different Chicken Soup books, and is the story they use on their website to promote one of their books.

I may not get the books I intend to write published, but I will nourish my soul in writing them. If I get a contract, it will come in God's time. And that brings a smile to my heart, and a joy to my soul.

Thank you for stopping by, and may God lead you in the direction that will bring joy to your soul.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Scavenger Hunt!

Sweeter Romantic Notions (SRN) is throwing a Halloween party! Join us on a scavenger hunt. All the answers can be found through our main site.. http://www.sweeterromanticnotions.com

It kicks off on Friday October 26th and will end on Halloween!!

There will prizes, books and goodies, and maybe some chocolate too!

Here's the rules:
Answer the following questions and email the answers to sweeterromanticnotions@gmail.com with "contest" in the subject line.

The winner will be announced on the Group Loop October 31st and in the First Friday News Blast!

So, let's get scavanging!!

1) In the October News Blast what was the title of Edita Patrick's release from New Concepts Publishing?

2) Who has the picture of a dog on their cover art?
Elle Fredrix?
Kim Watters?
Adelle Laudan?
What is the title of that book?

3) What branch of the military is Sela Carson's husband retired from?

4) Cindy Green is published by By Grace Publshing?
True or false?

5) Diane Craver has three titles listed on her author page at SRN?
True or false?

Good luck!!!!
Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Getting lost...

Today’s quote on my perpetual calendar said, “Getting lost at times reveals itself to be a blessing, not a curse, prompting a search for a better route.” That quote really hit home with me, since I deleted twenty pages from my current WIP.

I began think about the quote and how it relates to so many aspects of my life. How many times have you taken a detour off a major highway and found yourself on a strange road with no signs to direct you? It has happened to me. My first reaction is fear. The old song about a man who gets on a bus that never returns and his fate is unknown runs through my head. Once I took an incorrect turn and wound up on a two lane country road that went through several “blink once and you miss them” towns. But the scenery was gorgeous. I knew I was heading in the correct direction, so I decided to just enjoy the view and the relief from battling traffic. It had been a rough day, getting up before dawn and traveling three hours to a meeting, then having to face the long ride home. By the time I reached a familiar road again, I had relaxed and no longer white-knuckled the steering wheel. Traffic had died down and the remainder of my journey passed quickly.

In my writing life, I’ve found myself lost and unsure what the next scene should be. Usually it means exactly what I’ve done today. I’ve taken the wrong path, instead of allowing my characters to lead me through their story. It’s painful to lose hours of words, but the blessing is always in the rewrite.

So, the next time you are “lost” on your journey, no matter what that might be, look for the blessings you find in the new route.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Matchmaking Fun

Have you ever cut out pictures of your hero and heroine to help you with focusing on their physical characteristics? I know some authors who create a storyboard--a physical poster with pictures, descriptions, plot points and more and put it where they can see it as they write their stories. I've never been able to do that.

I can't outline or write an entire synopsis before I begin. Oh, I have a rough idea of the story and what happens, but I write as a pantster all the way. Since I've been struggling with my current ms, not knowing if I should completely rewrite or just need to rethink the ending, I thought perhaps I really didn't know my characters as well as I thought I did. So, I spent my lunch hour on a matchmaking mission.

What fun! I took the Sunday paper ads with me. First I searched for a picture of Raeann. I knew her the minute I spied her in a neat casual outfit. Then the real enjoyment came into play. I got to pick out her mate! Woo hoo! There were so many guys that looked perfect to be heroes in my books, but I was looking for Braden. I found him posing with a "bogus" family. I knew he was the man I'd written about. And when I put Raeann next to him I saw the perfect couple.

I almost felt like climbing on the hood of my car and playing a fiddle and singing! Oops, does that date me? Remember "Fiddler on the Roof" and that catchy tune, "Matchmaker, Matchmaker?"

Monday, October 22, 2007

Better Than a Box of Chocolates!!

I admit it. I am a chocoholic! In March I gave up sweets to help bring my glucose count down. It has worked, and I really don't miss it too much. If I feel like I really need to have a bite of something sweet, I don't deny myself now, but I don't overdo it either.

See, I've found something better than a box of chocolates! It doesn't cost a thing and it brings a big smile to my face every single day. What is it?

It's the beauty in every single day! When I'm driving to work, I'm never at a loss to see something that makes me give thanks to God for his creations. It might be the sun shining through a cloudless sky, or a mound of clouds so big and fluffy, as if they are stepping stones to heaven. I love to see raindrops on leaves and petals of flowers. I adore the first snowfall of the year and being the first to make footprints in the pristine whiteness. But most of all, I love the kaleidoscope of colors that God paints when the leaves change in the fall! Today, driving home I couldn't stop smiling at the beauty surrounding me. Yes, definitely better than a box of chocolates!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Writing What is Unseen

Our sermon in church today focused on II Corinthians 4:16-18. This message spoke to me in so many different ways. Our pastor asked us several questions. The most significant to me was "Am I more like Jesus than I was a year ago?" The answer is yes.

Faith is something which grows within us daily. Each struggle, each triumph, each new day brings us closer to knowing God's plan for us. I'm always asking myself if I truly have Jesus in my heart, or if I'm simply paying lip service. Sometimes it is hard to tell. But as I look on the times I turn to prayer throughout the day to ask God to place a healing hand on someone who is in pain, or ask Him to remove a burden which is worrisome to me, or thank Him for the many blessings in my life, including unanswered prayers, I know that He lives in my heart. I am blessed.

I've been asking God what direction He wants me to take with my writing. I have a passion to write. It is a hunger that gnaws at me. Yet, I don't know what direction or plan God has for me.

Today, during the sermon, God touched my heart. He told me through my Pastor that I should not be looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. God created us in His image. Each day that we spend as a servant to God brings us closer to being the person that He created us to be. What is inside me is where my words must come from. I know that only by trusting in God and writing from my heart will I fulfill His plan for me. My journey may take me up many hills and down many valleys, but it will be a journey worth taking.

Thank you for stopping by. May your day be blessed.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Oh Me, Oh My, My Brain is Confused!!

I've had a rough day as far as thinking about my current manuscript. I know I have to finish it, but I keep thinking it just isn't strong enough. Self doubt is a terrible thing.

So, when I saw the post in one of my writing groups about a Left Brain Right Brain test, I decided to take it. Why not? Had to kill some time and stop flogging myself.

Hah! Okay, before I go any further, here's the link--Left Brain, Right Brain Test.

Have you tried it yet? Go ahead. Then read on.

Okay, at first all I could see was the figure going clockwise. Nothing changed it for me. Then I came home and pulled it up on my flat screen monitor. Ack!! She keeps changing. If I move my eyes away and back again, she changes direction. Okay, so no wonder I'm having a difficult time deciding if I should continue with my manuscript or not. My brain is fighting with itself!!

Okay, go ahead and post a comment. I'm dying to see if there are any other weirdos like me!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Six Most Dreaded Words

I wish I had a nickel for every time I've heard the six most dreaded words--"Hurry up and write another book." Arrrrgh!!!

That's the peril of being a writer. Non-writers do not understand the publishing business. They think I can just write a book and 'voila', just like magic, it appears in book form. I try to explain the process, but their eyes take on a look of muddied water. **sigh**

Looking at the bright side of this (as I always try to find something good out of the bad), I feel honored. The comments that follow those six most dreaded words are: "I just couldn't put the book down." "You have a way of writing that keeps me turning the pages." "I love the way you write. Straightforward, no words wasted, but written in such a way that I have to keep reading to see what happens next."

I love hearing things like that. And when someone says those six most dreaded words, besides feeling like I have to defend myself, I also have to smile because they wouldn't say them if they didn't like my writing.

I only wish I could talk one of my fans into becoming my agent.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Oh No! Not Goodbye!!!

Have you ever received a catalog from a company you have never purchased a single item from that had splashed across the front cover: "Is This Really Goodybe?"

Over the years I've received so many. Some say: "This may be your last catalog!"

I wish!! Oh, don't get me wrong. I enjoy looking through the catalogs. Sometimes I even dog-ear a page or two, but rarely do I order. Do they really think that "threat" is going to cause me to pick up the telephone and quickly place my order to prevent me from **gasp** falling off their mailing list?

The catalog I received today was from Chadwick's. I believe I ordered from them about twenty years ago when I was skinny and firm. But today's catalog says: "I know you like new styles, leading fashion trends, quality fabrics, and a good deal when you see one. Our records tell us so...in fact, you were once ranked among our best customers but, unfortunately, we'll have to say goodbye if you don't order from us soon." Funny, I thought I said goodbye years ago when I quit ordering.

Now further down, the words go like this: "Let's start over! To encourage you to give us another try, we've made an exclusive final offer just for you...I would love to welcome you back!"

Okay, if we've never said goodbye, how can you welcome me back?

Bet I get another three or four catalogs from Chadwick's before the year ends. Some people just don't like saying goodbye.

Speaking of which, did I tell you the title of my newest manuscript is "Saying Goodbye"?

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Blogging Brain Damage

I have brain damage. It's official. I admit it. Each day I look at this blank white space for a blog and I wonder what in the blazes I can possibly talk about. I think my brain damage comes from working at a computer all day and then coming home and...working at a computer! I dream of computers. I carry a computer with me and work on a computer during my lunch hour.

You know how they say that a person starts to look like their pets? Well, what about people who spend so much time glued to their computers? Am I starting to look like my SONY flat screen or my HP processor?

I don't think there is a cure for this kind of brain damage. I doubt that a lobotomy would work.

I even volunteer to...do more work on my computer. Saturday I volunteered to take over the responsibility for my RWA chapter's newsletter. Am I crazy???

**sigh** I think I'll have to do something I dread doing. I'll have to become a plotter instead of a panster when it comes to blogging. Soooooo, I'm going to try something new. Yeah, yeah. You've heard that before. But this is cool! Listen!

I'm going to blog on one topic for an entire week. That way I won't have to come up with something new for each day! HA!

I'll defeat this blogging brain damage yet.

If you've made it this far, thanks for stopping in and reading.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hear Their Cries

My heart has been so heavy over the senseless loss of a beautiful little girl. It is horrible to lose a child in any way, but when the death comes from the blow of a parent, one who has been entrusted to care for God's little angels, it is beyond my comprehension. I haven't been able to get this off my mind. So, I'm taking the liberty of posting something I wrote a while back.

She knelt upon the cold, damp floor,
And clasped her hands in prayer,
Tear stains upon her dirty cheeks,
Clad in tattered underwear.
Outside the door, the fighting raged,
Yelling, cursing, words of hate,
An adult world so filled with pain,
Another sleepless night, her fate.

He cried and squeezed his eyes so tight,
While sounds of anger filled the room,
Mom and Dad in screaming rage,
He knelt in silence in the gloom.
Pajamas warm, a fluffy bed,
A room stock full of toys,
Frightened and alone he prayed,
His words not heard above the noise.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

Lord, Jesus, please save our children.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Click, Click...Click, Click, Clickclickclick....Click!!

That is the sound of my fingers flying across the keyboard. This past week has been great! My accomplishments:

1. Monday managed to get myself to the Aladdin Shrine Complex by 7am to set up for our holiday trade show. All 88 tables, point of sale, and wines were displayed beautifully in an hour and a half. Record time.

2. Tuesday - hosted the largest ever holiday trade show for my industry--total customers in attendance, 1213. Never got a potty break because of the huge lines waiting to register. Worked a straight 13 hours.

3. Drug myself into work on Wednesday and actually managed to finish out my 8 hours without snoring.

4. Thursday - played catch up on the piles of work waiting on my desk, making one small dent only.

5. Friday - Nearly completed matching up invoices for the Cincinnati Trade Show with the product coming back into the warehouse. Have to wade through the pallet of wine on Monday. Still waiting on the invoices for the Toledo, Cleveland and Columbus shows.

6. Today I attended my local RWA chapter writer's meeting. What a great meeting. Somehow I managed to volunteer to take over our Newsletter for next year. Maybe I still haven't caught up on my sleep. LOL! Learned all about publishing from the bookseller's end from Linda Keller, 2006 Bookseller of the Year and winner of RWA's 2008 Steffie Walker Bookseller of the Year award. Linda gave an insightful and entertaining workshop of nearly two hours. Immediately following we had a booksigning event at the Pickerington library.

So, the click, click, click you are hearing are my fingers flying across the keyboard. I'm all rared up to finish SAY GOODBYE, my second inspirational romantic suspense novel.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 12, 2007

On the Bookshelf Today

Since Halloween is approaching, and that is my birthday...what? You didn't know I was born on October 31? It's been a fun day to have a birthday over the years. I've always had fun telling everyone that I'm a witch. Of course, I'm not! I guess that lighthearted look at this controversial holiday gave me the inspiration to write TWISTED SPELL.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my story had been reviewed by Night Owl Romance. The reviewer gave the story a rating of 4 out of 5.

This was a cute Halloween story that had me chuckling at Dora’s antics. I enjoyed this story so much that I look forward to reading more from Ms. Erhardt. You will definitely be entertained with this one.(Diana)

Read Full Review

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Sad and Depressing Day

Nearly every day there is an article in my local newspaper about child abuse. My friends and I discuss these instances, citing that the parent or significant other adults involved should be heavily punished. It is inconceivable that anyone can do the horrible things we read. Yet, we are removed. We know it happens, but it happens to strangers, not to anyone we know or not in our families. Today I was slammed hard with the knowledge that it can hit home.

My son's best friend, who practically grew up in our home and still calls me Mom, lost his two year old granddaughter. How? His daughter abused the child who died as a result. When I first heard of the death, I heard the child had actually fallen down the stairs and later died of a ruptured intestine. All I could think of was how tragic that this had happened, and that the child's remains were being held for autopsy and the incident was being investigated as possible abuse. Last night the mother admitted she had abused the child and tried to cover the bruises with makeup because she was afraid of getting in trouble when they took the child to the hospital. She was arraigned in court today and the funeral is Monday.

I can't imagine the pain that family is enduring now. The terrible loss of a beautiful child, and the knowledge that another family member was responsible. Now they face in addition to a funeral, the publicity and horror of a court trial.

My prayers are for the family, and for God to care for his new little angel.

God entrusts us with these little angels. We are to care for them and keep them safe. If ever I needed proof that Satan is ever present, it is with the knowledge that the world's children are not safe. Not even with their parents.

With heavy heart, I now fall to my knees.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Knitting a Novel

This past weekend I had the joy of spending a day and a half with my granddaughter. She is so smart and so much fun to be with. Earlier this year I taught her to knit. I was surprised when she brought her left over yarn and needles with her. She hadn't forgotten one thing I'd taught her. I used to love to knit, but I've had some problems with my thumbs that prevent me from holding needles for any period of time, so I've given up the craft. But as I watched my beautiful granddaughter weave that yarn into an intricate pattern, I began to realize that writing is much like knitting.

In knitting each stitch carefully interlocks into the next to complete a row. Each row connects to the next to form a pattern. The pattern continues until a completed article emerges.

In writing each word carefully interlocks into the next to complete a sentence. Each sentence connects to the next to form a paragraph. Each paragraph continues until a completed manuscript emerges.

Some knitters follow a detailed pattern to complete their project.

Some writers follow a detailed outline to complete their manuscript.

Some knitters don't follow a written pattern, but use their own creativity to design their projects.

Some writers don't outline, but let the story develop as they write their novels.

Tomorrow I'm going to get busy and knit a novel.

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

He Murdered Her Sister

“Keith did it. He murdered my sister.” Beth's face was set in stone, her eyes puffy and red from crying.

It was the second time Ryan heard her accuse Keith, but her accusations had no basis in fact. No one had seen the driver. He sat on the sofa facing her. He leaned forward letting his hands dangle between his knees. “Beth—”

“He did it. Why don't you believe me?”

“You can't positively identify the driver. You’ve got to understand—”

“Understand this, Detective. Keith killed my sister. I'll prove it to you.”

Ryan rubbed the stubble on his chin. This had been a rough day and it was only going to get worse. “I'm sorry. I know you're upset. Think hard, Beth. Is there anything else you can remember? Anything at all.”

“No.” She pressed her lips firmly together.

“I know how you feel about Keith, and I understand why. But he doesn't own a truck. He drives a Mustang.”

“I know what he drives, and I know Keith did it.”

“I can't arrest him without a witness or other incriminating evidence.”

“Then find it. That's your job.”

The conversation was going nowhere. He'd asked all his questions. He still had reports to file and it was getting late. He stood and placed a hand on Beth's shoulder. “I'll do my best. Look, I've got to go. Is there someone you can call to stay with you?”

“I'm fine,” she answered. She shrugged his hand away.

“I'm trying to be a friend, Beth.”

Her steely eyes held his gaze. “Friend? I don't need a friend. I need you to do your job. Arrest Keith.”


Since today was gripe day, I thought it might be fun to share the above excerpt from my novel, HIT AND RUN. I have tons of gripes of my own, from aching feet to a ganglion cyst growing on my right pointer finger. But my gripes don't compare to what Beth is going through. If you enjoyed the excerpt, you can check out more on my website.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Smiling Despite it All

Today was one of those days where I truly put the "smile" to the full test. It all started with having to set up for a huge holiday trade show for my day job. The truck carrying all the wines and point of sale material was due to arrive at ten to eight. I arrived at seven to make sure all was ready for the setup. Salespeople began to arrive and mill around waiting for the ... truck. Salespeople are paid on commission, so their giving me this time was costing them money. The truck arrived almost an hour late. (Have to smile)

Arrived back at the office and spent the next two hours fielding calls from our suppliers who would be at the show to pour the wine for the tastings. They didn't know what time the shows started, nor did they remember where. (Have to smile)

These shows are held throughout the state and I coordinate all four. One in Cincinnati (tonight), one in Columbus (tomorrow-the one I was setting up), one in Toledo on Wednesday, and the last in Cleveland. Cincinnati called me at 2pm to tell me they were short one of the wines for their 5pm show! All the managers in Columbus had already left for the show. No one to transport. Had to call the supplier and alert them to the issue. (Have to smile)

Came home and decided to help out hubby because he wasn't yet home from work. Took out the trash and put it on the curb to be picked up. Took out two cans of yard waste because that company (different from the trash) would also come tomorrow. Hubby arrived home, thanked me, and informed me that there would be no trash pickup tomorrow because today was a holiday--Columbus day. (Have to smile)

Told hubby I wanted to go out to eat. He thought it was a good idea. We wanted to get home in time to watch Dancing with the Stars. We locked the house and headed out to his truck, which was parked behind me in the driveway and...the passenger front tire was going FLAT!!! An hour later, we'd managed together to change that tire. Since hubby has a heart and lung problem, he gets out of breath very easy. I did my best to do the carrying and heavy stuff. Time five minutes to eight. Decided to stay home after all. Hubby said he wasn't hungry any more. All he wanted was soup. I decided not to eat. **sigh** (Have to smile)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Warped Reflections

In our family room we have a "cornered" fireplace, which my husband built shortly after we bought this house. The brick encasing it from ceiling to floor has been the resting place for Christmas wreaths each and every Christmas season. Several years ago one of our daughters made me a beautiful quilted wall hanging. By using various patterned scrap material pieces, she created a scene of the hill with three crosses, the foremost prominent one depicting the cross on which Jesus was crucified. I loved the way it looked displayed above the mantle in our family room.

Earlier this year I watched a "Trading Spaces" episode where they placed a mirror above a fireplace, and explained how to angle it downward to reflect the room, giving it a bigger appearance. That made me think about making a change to our brick wall by removing the wall hanging and replacing it with a mirror. One day we were looking for some unrelated thing, when I spotted a "perfect" mirror. The price was right, so we snatched it up. My hubby finally got around to hanging it, and I was so excited to have a new change (he hates any changes in furniture rearrangement, etc). But after hanging the mirror, what it reflected appeared distorted. It's hard to explain, almost like looking at a picture that has been skewed incorrectly. In fact, the mirror actually makes one dizzy if you stare into it while you are moving. **sigh** I love the mirror, but I avoid looking into it whenever I'm "moving". I warn all our visitors about it, also. Our son, who makes windows for a living, told us the mirror was warped. Who ever heard of a warped mirror? Not me! Live and learn. I suppose some day we'll replace the mirror with another one.

The imperfect mirror made me think of how many times we might look at our reflections and either miss something that others "see" in us, or perhaps see something in ourselves that others don't. Reflections can be deceiving--even in a "perfect" mirror.

Oh, the wall hanging? It is proudly displayed at the top of our stairs where every visitor can look on its beauty, and hopefully feel the love of God that cements our house.

Thanks for stopping by and reading!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Snip, snip, snip

This is the day I blog about accomplishments. When I reflect back over the week, I have to confess I've written zilch on my manuscript. I think I've gotten a bit gunshy on trying to write this as an inspirational romantic suspense. I know where the story needs to start, but I really don't like the plot on the suspense/mystery portion. So, I'm thinking of leaving out that whole plot line. Can I actually sustain writing a complete novel on just the romance? So here I go mentally snipping away at my manuscriptm but I haven't managed to type anything at all this week--with the exception of blogging.

The only other accomplishments this week have been non-writing related. Like getting my hair all snipped off.

Guess this has been a week for snipping.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Going Down in a Sea of Books

What is it about books? I just can't seem to part with them. I have books on my shelf that I began collecting over forty years ago! And I keep buying them. I was doing fairly well with purchasing only paperbacks which I would give away, sometimes to friends and family, sometimes to charities. But then I found Zooba. Wow! For $9.99 I can get a brand new hard back book each month including shipping. It doesn't get any better than that. So...now I'm back to finding corners to stash my books. My bookshelves downstairs are overflowing. So it the bookcase headboard of my bed. Likewise, the bookcase in my office along with the two two-tiered wall shelves my husband built. **sigh** But I can't get rid of them. I keep thinking some day I will be all alone, lonely, with nothing but a television and my BOOKS. Books will entertain me no matter how old and decrepit I become. Now, hubby doesn't read anything but the newspaper and those little plastic tags that come on the many plants he purchases for our yard. But that's another story for another time. I have to get back to what I was doing...sorting paperback books to give away to charity.

Thanks for commiserating with me.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Thursday's Real Life Character

He weighed about 350 pounds, but he reminded me of an ex-football player, not a flabby overweight man. He had dark hair, obvious from the full but close-cropped beard and mustache. His eyes were as dark as his hair and deepset. The black ball cap with a red brim tightly snugged the top of his head. He paced the sidewalk in front of the neighbor's house directly across the street from me. Six paces to the left, then six paces to the right. Back and forth, back and forth, nervously puffing on a cigarette. I noticed him when I pulled into my driveway after a long day at work. I could feel him watching me as I retrieved the mail, unlocked the door, and went into the house to turn off the alarm. I looked out the screen door, and nothing had changed about his demeanor. The pacing continued. The cigarette went in and out of his mouth. A little uneasy, I closed the door and turned the lock. After feeding my three hungry cats, I kicked off my shoes and padded to my office. I opened the drapes and looked out. The man was still there. I wondered about his purpose for being in our neighborhood. No strange cars were in sight. As I watched he suddenly turned and walked across the lawn of the house he'd been pacing in front of and opened the door and disappeared inside. It was then I realized he must be visiting and had stepped outside to enjoy a smoke or two.

This real-life character sketch will go into my notebook and I'm sure he'll appear in a future novel.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Can't Not Smile

My daughter and I both find ourselves saying "I can't not..." There are lots of times when this is the correct thing to say, despite my son-in-law stating it isn't grammatically correct.

Let's say you see a hundred dollar bill on the sidewalk in front of you. What do you do? Me, well, I can't not pick it up. Sure it sounds funny, but you'll never convince me it's incorrect to say that.

Today is my day to blog about something I've learned.

One of the major things in life I've learned is that you have to smile each and every day. Smiling lifts you up and gives you a positive outlook. If you smile at others, they will smile back. Even when I'm feeling bad, if I force a smile, soon I start feeling better. Smiling will keep you from having a bad day. That doesn't mean that only good things will happen to you, but if you smile, you'll be able to deal with the worst of them without falling into a pit of despair. When I wake up each morning, I make a decision. I can decide to be unhappy, or I can decide to be happy. All it takes is a smile. I can't not smile!

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Grrr. I am sooooooo mad. I have to admit that I am hooked on some of the reality and entertainment type shows like Survivor, Dancing with the Stars, Biggest Loser, and American Idol. Tonight I was watching both The Biggest Loser and Dancing with the Stars. Now, why do the networks have to do this to me? Both the Biggest Loser and Dancing with the Stars overlapped each other in such a way that the "loser" on each show would be announced at approximately the same time. So, here I sat flipping back and forth, back and forth, not wanting to miss anything. Grrrrrr.

But the biggest gripe of the evening for me is Dancing with the Stars. You know, it should be a "dancing" competition, but because half the votes come from the home audience, the worst dancer is still in the competition. I love Wayne Newton. He's an idol that has been in the entertainment world for a long time and an accomplished entertainer. However, he cannot dance. Let me reiterate. He CANNOT dance. But because of his audience appeal he is still going to torture me next week with his flat footed awkward moves on the floor.

Sometimes I just have to gripe.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Did She Really Say That???

Today my blog is "something to smile about" and my goal was to keep my eyes open for things to share. My daughter left me a voice mail message that left me laughing so hard, I knew it was the perfect "something."

Every year we women go through the "annual" gynecological exam. If you are all like me you dread it. I mean it's so yucky. The positioning of the body, the baring it all, are things that our husbands never have to submit to. Now, my doctor does one great thing. Being a woman, she understands! She puts those cozy little slipper socks over the metal foot braces. Of course the rest of me stays freezing cold under that thin little paper top and sheet. But I digress. My daughter's tale:

She called her doctor's office this morning to schedule her yearly exam. The receptionist looked at her records and said, "You were here on November 7th last year. How about the 9th? Will that work for you?"

Daughter's response: "Well, that is my wedding anniversary. I'd really rather not be put in that position on my anniversary...unless it is by my husband!!

And that, dear friends, is something to smile about.

Thanks for stopping by!