Friday, October 30, 2009
When Mel and I were talking about what I might blog about last Friday, he suggested swine flu H1N1. I thought that was a little boring so I went with cats, instead. Of course, then Diann's family got hit really hard with flu this week, so I was sorry I didn't take Mel's advice. I know she's already blogged about it, but I'd like to do it again. Her family is still struggling, so when you get this blog, would you please pray for our Diann and her family as they fight this influenza? It may be H1N1, which seems quite widespread, and the fever and misery is sweeping through her family. Please pray for quick healing and a special blessing on Diann for being the go-to mama for the family, even when she's feeling sick, as well. She even critiqued my synopsis this morning in the middle of everything else. She's a great friend.
For those of you who don't have it, be warned that it is spreading more quickly amongst the kids this year. The theory about that is that we older adults were partially immunized when swine flu came through years ago. The kids were not. My husband, who is an ER doc, has noticed that H1N1--if that is, indeed, what's hitting us--is milder than flu of years past, so don't panic if you get it, or if your children get it. They are using Tamiflu, which seems to help, but in many places, pharmacies have run out of the liquid Tamiflu for kids because they were caught off guard--didn't expect the children to be so affected. Many hospitals are blocking children below the age of 14 to enter unless they are actually patients. So don't listen to all the hype about how deadly H1N1. Thousands die from the flu each year, but Mel has observed that so far, it seems the death toll is not as high as in years past.
Please don't forget to pray for swift recovery for Diann's whole family.
Labels: flu, H1N1, hospitals, schools, sick kids
posted at 11:56 AM
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I don't know whether to blame birds, pigs, or the government.
All I know is I kept two grandkids overnight in hopes to keep them from getting sick from the other three family members in their home who are sick (one, diagnosed with H1N1). But guess what? They developed fevers and vomiting overnight.
I'm just curious, how many of you have been touched by flu this season? Was it close--as in, family or was it friends, or your second cousin twice removed the next state over?
In other words, I'm wondering if it's truly spreading like wildfire as the media suggests or is it running its normal course the way flu does every year.
Next thing I'm wondering, how do I NOT get it?
posted at 8:04 AM
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
(Me in the Glee Club -- Second Row, Second from Right)
So on my other blog, my readers have been telling me, "You have to watch 'Glee'." The last thing I needed in my life was something else to watch. In fact, my mother asked me not to get her watching anymore shows. (But I did make her watch "Glee" with me, and I think she'll have room for one more.)
One of my favorite things to do is see plays and musicals. Glee is like getting that every week on television. Granted, there are some storylines that resemble the desperate housewives, but the music...oh my gosh, it's fabulous. Broadway reworkings of old favorites by Queen, Journey even my favorite song from "Les Miserables" -- all of these songs were already on my iPod, but now I have the Glee version. It makes me happy. It makes me feel like I just left San Francisco's theater district, and I don't have to cut anyone off to get across Market Street. Happy music, happy life. What music makes you happy?
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
A HOME REMODELING ADDICT
I admit it. I'm an addict. I LOVE home projects. The house is finished but I'm not looking for something else to do. We redid the kitchen last year but now I'm sorry we didn't take down the wall between the kitchen and the dining room to open it up so we're going to knock it down. It won't undo anything we've already done, so that's good. I think we're also going to redo the upstairs bathroom that we did when we first moved in twelve years ago. It's time, don't you think? :-) And we're going to take down some wallpaper and paint.
HGTV feeds this addiction. We watch it every single night. Seriously. Without fail. I love House Hunters because I can peek inside and see what other people are doing with their houses and what a current update looks like. When I think about it, it shouldn't be surprising that I so love the editing process too. That's taking the bones of a book and "remodeling" it so it's better. I'm about done with the rough draft to Lightkeeper's Bride
and that fun tinkering can begin! This time is a little scary. All my Nelson books have been edited by Erin Healy. Last week I had a call from her that tossed everything upside down. Now I'd been expecting it since she's writing her own books. But expecting it and being ready for it are two different things! But as always, Ami and Erin had it all thought out and planned and they'd arranged for Lisa Bergren to take over for this book. (Erin says it's just THIS book. That she'll be riding tandem with me on the next one.) So I've got an editor I've heard really great things about. It helps that I love her books AND she writes historicals so that should be a help.
But I can't say I'm not a little nervous. It's like picking out a paint color and not knowing for sure how it's going to look on the wall and in my lighting. LOL But I'm game for it! The call of the new remodel awaits. :-)
How about you? How do you feel when faced with a new challenge? Do you like change or dig in your heels?
Labels: Erin Healy, HGTV, home remodeling, House Hunters, Lisa Bergren
posted at 6:36 AM
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Dreams can be so weird. Like last week I dreamed I had a possessed baby. Definitely creepy. I also dreamed of a big black spider. Both of these dreams in one night, after weeks of no dreams.
Kristin told me spiders represent money in dreams, which is a little worrisome since the spider in my dream was flying away. Hmmm. My oldest son dreamed of spiders last night. They were in every bedroom, and he couldn't find a place to sleep.
I used to have two similar recurring dreams:
A) I'm delayed at school, and the busses are leaving, or I can't remember which bus is mine and they all leave without me.
B) I'm late for class and either can't get my locker open, can't remember which locker is mine, or can't remember my class schedule.
I haven't had either of those in a long time, but I used to have them often. I also used to dream I was flying out a window--in a good kind of way. That one is long gone too, but I wouldn't mind if it revisited.
Care to share your recurring dreams?
P.S. The book in the photo is the new Dutch version of "Mending Places". The title means "Hanna's Destination" which I hope sounds more poetic in Dutch.
posted at 2:32 PM
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I'm going out on a limb and guessing that pets have been discussed here before, so I'm probably beating a dead horse, but my cats haven't been mentioned yet, and since I spend a great deal of my day herding them--and using that as an excuse to not be writing--I think they should be shared. I accidentally managed to upload a photo of Mel and me for the blog in the beginning, which shocked both of us, but tonight we've had a dickens of a time uploading a shot of our cats. If this works, which it may not, the picture you see--if it isn't Mel and me--is Data at the top of the picture, Teddy Bear in the middle, and Hobbit the Fat at the bottom.
I'm not a cat person. I love dogs. I'm an animal lover, but never went out of my way to get a cat as a pet. One day a few years ago, however, I was so stressed about so many things going on in my life that I told Mel, out of the blue, that I would just love to have a cat in my arms right that minute to hug. There's something about the movements of a cat that are relaxing...unless it's the cat scratching fleas on the bed. That's NOT relaxing.
Now, mind you, I did NOT pray for a cat to enter my life. In fact, Mel went right out that very day and bought me a cat statue. Somehow, God heard me and apparently took those words as a request. Ever since that day, cats have sought me out like a heat seeking missile seeks out burning jet fuel. We've had a feral mother cat feeding her babies on our front porch, we've rescued a baby kitten from a busy Walmart parking lot, and we've placed ourselves in danger when we allowed a cute, cuddly cat into the house for an evening, and then tried to get her to go back out into the cold winter night. Those claws were NOT cute!
But we've been blessed by loving life in our home, and animals that love to be where we are, not because they want something from us, but just because they seem to like our company.
I've had pets of all kinds, from horses to dogs--lots of dogs--to cats to skunks and pigs. What have been some of your pets, and how have they impacted your life?
Labels: cats, pets
posted at 11:47 PM
Books are taking over my house. I have to-be-read piles, give-to-the-church-library piles, return-piles, and put-on-the-bookshelf-for-eternity piles. It's hard for me to get rid of books, which is one of the reasons I love my Kindle. I can still read and not have clutter around my house. Well, that's the goal anyway.
So here's my question for you today. How do you decide which books to keep and which ones to give away? I know it's a hard question, so you may want to consider this after you've had your morning coffee.
Is it the breath-taking plot? The unforgettable characters? The autograph on the front? The sentimental value (a book from Great Aunt Gertrude the day before she died)?
There are books in your home you have been unable to part with--what makes them special to you?
posted at 6:46 AM
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
(Jimmy Choo's new affordable line for H&M -- how cute are these?)
I think if I could use one word to describe me, it would be passionate. I think the most-said phrase to me is, "Why don't you tell us how you really feel, Kristin?" Well, I thought I was. I blame it on being Italian, but the fact is, I was born to love beautiful things and have strong opinions. I remember being mesmerized by Cher and her Bob Mackie dresses.
Like Scarlett didn't want to be hungry, I did not want to be badly-dressed. But the thing I think makes me different is that I have never done it for other people. I want my house pretty because I live in my house. I don't care if another living soul walks into it and comments, I want it pretty for me. I want happy colors. And if given an option, I will usually choose sparkles. Life is happier when it glistens. So I understand that the rest of the world doesn't get excited about handbags with supple leather. They don't think "Joe's Jeans" are any better than Levi's. And I honor their opinion, but pretty things make me passionate. Not expensive things, mind you, pretty things. When I was a single girl, my studio was a dump, but my friend's dad got me some stray carpet, and I put up pictures of old movie stars and my futon was brightly colored. Passion for beauty around you is not about money. It's about leaving a space better than you found it. Prettying up your part of the world.
So maybe you don't get it, but tell me, besides your faith and your family, what makes you passionate?
Labels: Bob Mackie, Cher, Jimmy Choo affordable, Joe's Jeans, passion
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
AN ODE INDIANA
It's always been a dream of ours to move to Arizona. My husband held tightly to that dream for much longer than me because, well, I began to notice things. Like how wonderful Indiana truly is. We have our challenges: the skies are gray in the winter. We get snow and ice. We grow corn and soybeans around here so there are none of our beloved mountains. We don't have the stark beauty of the desert. We've now adopted daylight saving time which would have been the best reason to move!
But the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. The changing of the leaves in October is glorious against the brilliant blue of the sky. Our summers are pretty and we get soft green grass and flowers popping up everywhere. The cost of living is low. But the main advantage is the people. I realized how much I would miss the midwest friendliness. In big cities like Phoenix, there are so many people and so many new people moving in that the residents are too wary or too busy to easily make friends. Here in Indiana, we can still write checks many places. I talk to my mailman most mornings (his name is Bryan and he's wonderful) and we chat with people in the grocery store. On our way down to Nashville the other day, we noticed a woman and her teenage daughter struggling to get open the oil cap on their car. My husband immediately stopped to help. That's the midwest mindset. Our daughter carried her upbringing with her to Phoenix, and I think that's why her shop, See Spot Clean, is doing so well. People love her because she's warm and genuine. That's how Hoosiers are. So we've decided we won't make a permanent move to Arizona. We will look for a house to buy there and fix up that we can live in for a few months in the winter but we'll keep a home here too. Where are feet are planted in black Indiana dirt. This decision has nothing to do with our granddaughter. ;-) Okay, maybe a little. Okay, maybe a lot. But all these other reasons are icing on the cake!
How about you? Is there something you love about your home state? Or is there a place you'd love to live? I posted another picture of the girls together. Three of us are Hoosiers. Isn't that amazing?
Labels: Best Books of Indiana, Hoosiers
posted at 8:02 AM
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I'm not sure what I did during my teen years, but one thing I wasn't doing? Going to concerts. Not sure how that part of teendom passed me by, but through my entire adolescence, I can count on 1 hand how many concerts I went to. Okay 1 finger. One. Seriously.
Lionel Richie rocked in 1986, and I was there to watch him dancing on the ceiling. (That's one of his songs, for you youngsters.)
Maybe I didn't get in touch with my musical side until adulthood--which would explain taking up drumming at 34--but now it's one of my favorite things to do. I've seen tobyMac, BarlowGirl, Skillet, Hawk Nelson, David Crowder, MercyMe, Newsong, Relient K, Family Force 5 and The Afters.
The cool thing is, since I was musicless during my teen years, my taste seems to have skipped a generation, and I love my kids' music. No fighting in the car about what to listen to. :-)
Last night was the latest in my concert adventures. We had 3rd row seats at a Newsboys concert, but it was so much more than a concert. Newsboys founder and former lead singer John James shared his amazing testimony and over 170 people committed their lives to Christ. What an amazing ministry that God is blessing abundantly.
Not only was I blessed but I found some new bands to follow: MeinMotion, Seventh Day Slumber, IN Honor of Him, and Bread of Stone.
Labels: Barlow Girl, Bread of Stone, IN honor of Him, Lionel Richie, MeinMotion, Newsboys, Seventh Day Slumber, tobyMac
posted at 1:10 PM
Friday, October 16, 2009
I have a problem with follow-up, so when I promise to do something, I do it as quickly as possible. Once, years ago, my pastor's wife advised me that if I promised to pray for someone, I'd better do it immediately so I wouldn't forget. Have you ever done as I have, and realized, days later, that you forgot to pray for a friend you'd promised to pray for? Ouch. Yeah, I've done that. I have notes attached all over my refrigerator to remind me to pray, even wrote them down on the wall calendar, but still missed them. So if you ask me to pray for you, I do it immediately, as soon as I read the message. After that, remind me and I'll pray again. if you have a prayer request for me today, I'll be checking in, and when I see the request, I'll be praying. I dare say, some of the rest of us will be, as well. What a wonderful group this is.
So...prayer requests, please?
posted at 1:58 AM
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The skies are grey, it's raining here and they're saying in some parts of the city there is snow! I haven't seen it yet, but when I get home, I'm going to dig out my California Raisins Christmas CD and play it. I always play it at the first sign of snow.
Pray for Colleen, I'm sure she's having chest pains right now from me saying that.
Anyway, since it's such a "cozy" day, it has turned my thoughts toward reading. So being the nosy person that I am, I thought I'd ask what you're reading these days. I'm curious how many fiction and non-fiction readers we have here. Also, it's interesting to see what genres everyone is reading, too. If you only have time to read a People's Magazine, that's okay, too!
I'll start. I'm reading Denise's book, "Seaside Letters." It's great, by the way! After that, I'm going back to one I picked up on my Kindle, but I can't remember the title right now. I also just finished reading Max Lucado's book on Fear. I love to read fiction AND non-fiction.
So how about you--what are you reading these days?
posted at 11:03 AM
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The best part of writing for me has turned out to be the relationships I have because of this job. Maybe that's not apparent on emails, but I'm telling you, these Christian publishing people are incredible. Let me give you a sampling. Ten years' ago at Mt. Hermon, I met Lonnie Hull Dupont, an editor for Baker/Revell. She read something of mine, told me what was good and what wasn't. But I just connected with her and I knew I wanted to work with her some day.
In the meantime, we've met in San Francisco for lunch, met at various writing events, all the while knowing someday. Well, that someday is here. She's editing my first young adult novel, and she is FABULOUS! Just how I knew it would be. In fact, this morning, I had written something in the wrong context. Out of context, it was downright raunchy, but it context, which is the way I saw it, it worked fine. But my oh my, that would have brought letters upon letters from angry parents. And Lonnie? She laughed and wrote some wry comment. That is so ENCOURAGING.
Okay, then, there is Ami McConnell, who I also met at Mt. Hermon. I have the utmost respect for Ami (she's an editor at Thomas Nelson) and she can speak an idea, and my eyes just light up with possibilities. She has put my writing enthusiasm back to the keyboard. That is a gifting.
But wait, then there's Colleen Coble, who took me in when I was sick as a dog with MS and nursed me back to health while I got off the meds and went the natural route. There's Athol Dickson, who took my husband's resume, rewrote it and make my DH realize how incredibly talented he is. Angela Hunt, Karen Ball and Robin Lee Hatcher, who have guided me in paths they've already taken. There's no end to the encouragement I've received from Denise, Cheryl, Rene Gutteridge, Nancy Toback and Diann. Daily stuff that keeps the world spinning.
Writing is a hard business, filled with lots of rejection, both from publishers and reviewers and private emails chastising your very being. That's the hard part. The good part is God gives you these lights. Who are your visual lights along the path? Have you thanked them? Do it publicly. Here. We'll wait.
posted at 3:03 PM
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
A VISIT WITH MY NELSON PEEPS
I went to Nashville to visit Thomas Nelson on Thursday through Saturday. What a fabulous time! They always make me feel I can conquer the world after a visit with them. On Thursday we had our strategy meeting about upcoming books. I've got some fun stuff coming up for you!
As I made my rounds chatting to my friends there, I realized again something so important. Too often we don't express our gratitude to people who make a difference in our lives. Several folks mentioned they love to hear from me because I'm so grateful for what they do: the foreign rights person, the licensing folks, the phone sales people, the list of people who work hard for very little thanks goes on and on. But my books wouldn't be selling if it weren't for them! They do SO much for their authors and it's time we did something for them. So I hear by declare today a "THANK YOU DAY." Find someone to thank today. The checkout person at the grocery store. The daycare worker who does such a great job with your child. The guy who washes your car.
Tell me who you're going to target today and why. Or report back and tell me who you found to thank that you wouldn't normally notice. Don't just plan to do it, DO IT!
Labels: gratitude, Thank you day, Thomas Nelson
posted at 6:01 AM
Sunday, October 11, 2009
There's at least one thing that ties us all together--we love novels. Some of us write them, but all of us love the pull of an engaging story. As a writer who depends on book sales for that next contract, I'm curious about current buying trends. The internet, among other things, have changed things.
So I'm curious. How are readers getting their stories these days? I realize it's not cut and dry. Because I'm so picky, I get 25% from the library. This is how I discover authors I love. Once I find them, I happily buy their backlist, either at the bookstore or at Amazon.com.
Before my Kindle broke (a moment of silence, please) I downloaded about 90% of my stories. I never, however, buy audio. I HATE listening to books on tape. But that's just me. I'm curious about you. Where and in what format do you purchase your stories?
Superstore (Walmart, etc)
Other Bookstore (Barnes and Noble, etc)
Online (Amazon, CBD, etc.)
PS Colleen sent me this photo from a Lifeway Store in Tennessee. Endcaps are a wonderful thing!
posted at 8:52 PM
Thursday, October 08, 2009
How do you best connect with God? I'm talking about the kind of prayer in which you most feel God's presence. I know a lot of people like a particular kind of worship music to feel in sync with Him. Others are closer to Him when reading the Bible, or doing the dishes or helping in a soup kitchen, scrap booking or researching family history. Some people actually are able to feel closest to God in church. I find I'm not one of those people. Don't get me wrong, I do worship Him in church, but I allow myself to be distracted because I'm in the choir loft facing the congregation throughout the service. It feels as if I'm on public display, and that isn't comfortable. I wish I weren't like that, but I am.
Most of the time, when I'm stressed and need to be alone with God to find my way again, I go hiking. Anyone who's known me for long won't be surprised by this, because I'm an avid hiker. It is during my hikes when I feel most able to open up to God and share my thoughts. I have a favorite question I like to ask Him. "Jesus, if you were walking beside me in person right now, what would you say to me?" It may take a while for an answer. Sometimes the answer is wonderful, sometimes hard, but I always know I've been given an answer.
Just last Sunday, I went on a hike. I've been kind of grumpy lately, and I wasn't feeling too good about myself. Still, it was a beautiful hike, where I saw evidence of feral pigs and a pawprint of what I'm pretty sure was a mountain lion. The autumn colors were amazing, the temperature was just right, and the sunshine was warm on my skin. I felt close to God, even though I didn't ask "the question."
But when I finally opened up and explained to Him why I didn't ask--yeah, like He didn't already know?--I immediately saw a migrating monarch butterfly flit above me. The breeze was a little stiff, and the butterfly was tossed all over the place, but it kept flying ahead despite the wind. In fact, as I watched, I saw more of its colors, almost as if the light reflecting from the butterfly made it appear to dance in the air. It wouldn't have appeared that way if not for the wind. That monarch was God's way of showing me that I may not be any more substantial than that butterfly when I struggle from problem to problem, battered by the winds of life. Still, I carry His Spirit in me, and that Spirit has the power to show through. It may even seem to some as if I'm dancing during some of the hard times of my life.
So how about you? How do you best meet with Him?
posted at 11:50 PM
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Sisters. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are short, tall, fat, skinny, introverts, extroverts. Sisters squabble and fuss, giggle and share things--sometimes even secrets.
Sisters know the family history. She knows YOUR history--and she loves you anyway. She shares in your frustrations and many time causes them! But in the end, you don't care, because you're sisters.
I have an older sister. Time and distance have kept our relationship at arm's length, but I if I was in trouble, I know she would be here for me in a heartbeat. And I'd be there for her.
Sometimes we have "sisters" who aren't necessarily blood-related, but they're just as special to us. Maybe if you don't have a close blood sister, you are blessed with a friend who is like a sister. Both are blessings and never to be taken for granted.
So my blog today is to remind you, if there's a "sister" in your life who needs to hear from you today, call her. Send her a note. Remind her that you're there for her and you love her. You'll be glad you did. And who knows, maybe you'll be calling her at just the right time, right when she needed to hear from you. But then that's no surprise. It's what sisters do, right?
One more thing. Maybe you want to share why your sister--blood-related or not--is special to you.
Labels: relationships, relatives, siblings, sisters
posted at 10:34 PM
So right now, people are really hurting. It's a hard time for Americans as they search for work, pay outrageous mortgages to stay in their homes and just feel slightly less hopeful. Well, this is my grandfather's homestead in Ekalaka, MT. Clearly, I did not inherit any of my grandfather's hard-living stock. My grandmother was a city girl from Bay City, MI -- but still, she was much heartier stock than me.
Still, I think this picture should provide us all some perspective on how God holds us in the palm of His Hand. That is my Great Grandfather to the right (the tall skinny man) and my Great Grandmother is the one in front of the doorway. She raised twelve kids in this house, and it's said that no one ever baked a better biscuit (she even baked them on the trail with the covered wagon!) Even my grandmother never had a harsh word against her MIL. Grandma said GG was the kindest woman she ever knew. Imagine being kind in that scenario!!! Dang, I have a long way to go.
I actually video-taped my complaint about my small office and you-tubed it. Ever done something you really regret after you've realized how wrong you've had it?
Labels: 1916, Ekalaka, grateful, Homestead, MT
Monday, October 05, 2009
WHAT IS STARBUCKS THINKING?
I'm a coffee nut. And it's all Kristin's fault. We met for the first time when we roomed together at Glorietta Writer's Conference. My parents had always drunk coffee but I was not impressed. Kristin insisted on renting a car so she could have her iced mocha. I'd never been in a dedicated espresso shop. I inhaled that aroma and reeled with delight. K ordered her iced mocha and she got me one too. One sip and I was a goner. Coffee became an EXPERIENCE. And that is what Starbucks has built its business on. The experience we get when we walk into a cafe. The friendly barista. The aromas of the different blends. The myriad choices. Sitting at the table and chatting with friends or family. The experience is delightful.
I went shopping with Donna on Saturday. Of course we had to stop at Starbuck's for our afternoon treat. The first thing the cashier wanted was to offer me a chance to taste test the new instant Via. "Don't get me started," I said. "What is Starbuck's thinking? I can get instant at home. I come to the cafe for the experience. I like to hear the whir of the foaming milk, the sound of the espresso crema forming on the shots, the aroma of ground beans." People in line nodded as I talked to him. And I didn't taste it. What was the point? I don't want instant coffee. Not ever. My coffee loving soul just shudders at the thought! Coffee was never made to be instant. I want the full value of the antioxidants. I want the fresh stuff. No short cuts. No substitutes.
I walked out with a smile on my face and my iced Americano lightened with half and half in my hand. And it made me consider my books and my readers. I don't ever want to shortchange my readers. I want them to get the real thing. A book I've worked on, loved and produced with no shortcuts. One full of caffeine. :-) The real McCoy. No imitation. One that comes from my heart and is what I really love writing.
How about you? Do you have a pet peeve that you see your favorite company doing? Or something you are doing that you will vow to do to the best of your ability?
Labels: coffee, espresso, Starbuck's Via
posted at 9:39 PM
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Last week Kevin moved his home improvement store into a new, bigger building. For the past 4 months, he's worked like a dog to transform a huge furniture store into a home improvement showcase. He's worked long hours, handled countless details, and endured many nights of stress.
But last week was the grand opening. All his hard work and sacrifice have paid off, a dream has come to fruition. Our family has missed him as he's poured himself into this new phase, but we knew it was only for a short time and cheered him to the finish line, because that's what families do. We cheer each other on to reach our goals and dreams.
Sometimes we're the ones being cheered, other times, it's our turn to lead the rally. We all need people in our lives to support our dreams. Who are you supporting? Who is cheering you on to the finish line?
Top photo: Kevin (blue shirt) and mayor cutting the ribbon. Bottom photo: the Neighborhood Showcase.
Labels: dreams, goals
posted at 9:39 PM
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Wow, this past week has been a whirlwind, learning to blog, learning Facebook, learning Twitter and figuring out a Tweet Deck. Is that how it's spelled? And then, once a person is signed on, what's she supposed to twitter about? I like the 140 character limit. Editing your work. Yeah! My most favorite part of the writing process. Seriously. I know that's weird, but you love Colleen, and it's her favorite part, too.
But as I talked to Mel about it the other night, explaining all these choices I have to make and wondering what to blog about, and what hasn't already been done to death, what proposal I needed to send out next, he asked me, out of the blue, "Sweetheart, I could be the best neurosurgeon in the world, but what good would I be to a woman in labor?"
You have to understand Mel. He just blurts things out like this and expects me to get it. He's smarter than me. I admit it freely. He's also younger, hunkier and has a slightly better mustache...
Anyway, what he meant was, I must know my reader and be able to meet their reading needs from my own experiences. That can be done in several ways. Colleen meets my need for danger, intrigue and excitement, Denise for powerful romance and a strong sense of place, Kristin for knee-slapping, stomach-hurting laughter, and Diann for laughter and tears and "aha!" moments.
I know my readers, because they've already bonded to something I've written in the past, such as the pain of divorce, the fear of a medical emergency, the need for acceptance and love, the temptation to sin, the agony of guilt. But what next? Publishers are looking for historical, and I have an historical medical romantic suspense series proposal completed. People also like small town contemporaries, and I am working on a series set in rural Missouri drawn around a homeless rehab center, with lots of quirky characters finding love and medical aid as they struggle back into the mainstream of life.
I love the idea of the contemporary homeless rehab center--with suspense, of course. I also love the idea of a woman doctor in 1844 chasing her husband's murderer west. Any ideas? Which do you prefer?
posted at 10:15 PM
My son would kill me if he knew I put this picture up of him and his daughter, but it's one of my favorite pictures in all the world. I love seeing my granddaughter having fun with her daddy.
There's something about a family laughing and playing together that is very binding. We laughed and played a lot as a family. We played board games when the kids were younger--we even had a huge water fight with squirt guns, IN THE HOUSE, when the kids were in elementary school. My husband had a bazooka, while the rest of us had little water pistols.
I made up a song for each of our kids that I sang to them when I tucked them in bed at night. I also made up a "rap" (remember those?) that I, well, rapped every morning before they went to school. My kids make fun of it now but my grandkids love it. :-)
The words go like this (have someone else do the rap stuff while you say the words, it's more effective that way):
You got your lunch, you got your keys, you got your milk money?
You brushed your teeth, you combed your hair, you changed your underwear?
Don't be so slow, it's time to go, what more can I say?
Be a witness to your friend, and hey, have a nice day.
Okay, I guess it IS weird, but it was fun at the time, and it gives us all a good laugh now.
So how about you? Any fun rituals that you do with your kids/grandkids? Or maybe that your family did when you were a kid? Don't be shy--it's time to share!
posted at 12:07 AM