Wednesday, October 31, 2007

drum roll...

I randomly drew a name from those who participated in the creativity challenge. Today I found a book that looks good to me. I hope it is. But if it isn't...well, it didn't cost you anything, so I don't want to hear it! LOL Ok, really, I do want to know if it's good or not. I will read it too, if it is.

The book is a Christian novel called The Reluctant Journey of David Conners by Don Locke. Don Locke is actually a writer for NBC's Today Show. Interesting tidbit, that.

Ok, ok, so the winner is...

Accidentally poetical Susan! Whoo hoo! Lets hear it for our Canadian friend! She's pretty good at that accidental poetry, too, isn't she?!

So, Susan, if per chance you have read this book, let me know by tomorrow. Otherwise it is in the mail and off on an international jaunt!

Monday, October 29, 2007

what's your excuse?

I'm wondering how long I can get away with, "I just moved here. I'm still settling in."

My friend has a great one. When late for an appointment, etc, everyone is always forgiving when she says, "I'm sorry. I tried. But I have five kids." Say no more. We understand. Lady, we're just glad you took a shower! How can we expect you to function with five kids?

And people are more than accommodating to my "just moved" excuse, too. For now...

Or another one. "I'm not really a dingbat; I think my hormones are changing."

"I'm sorry I'm so grouchy, it's hormones."

"Let's talk about it next week. I'm hormonal."

I'm always preaching that people need to be responsible for their actions and not blame others. So I don't blame others, but I still have plenty of excuses.

What if I just said, "I am so sorry that I missed my appointment. Please forgive me." And not even mention that I missed it because I couldn't find the keys in the freezer where I put them while I was putting away groceries. But I didn't remember of course. Because I am a dingbat. But I have an excuse for being a dingbat. Really.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

creative prize

Ok, I've figured out how I'm going to do this. Since I can't possibly judge these things because I love every entry, I am going to draw a name and the winner will receive a new book! What book? I don't know yet. Probably something newly released to be sure you haven't read it. Also, there is at least one male that I know of who reads this. If he should enter and win, he might like a different type book than some of you ladies would, ya know?

But...I am not going to draw the name until Tuesday so that anyone who wants to participate has a chance.
Editted to add: Feel free to use any of the prompts on the site I gave.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

poll closed

The majority of us treat our books with polite, respectful care. Twice as many as those of us who take our books with us in the shower.

I am one of the latter. Ok, I don't really take them in the shower, but I can't be bothered to stop reading long enough to eat, and I'm not going to skip eating! So, stuff happens. And sometimes it is just more comfortable for me to read it with the front cover rolled back (this drives my nine-year-old son crazy). I can sometimes find a scrap to use as a bookmark, (don't know what happened to all those I buy) but when I can't I won't hesitate to dog-ear.

Now this is for my own books. If you've lent me a book, relax. I treat other people's books better than my own.

There is a new poll up now! Please share your opinion.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

ok ok

So you want to play the Twenty Questions Game, but you won't do the creativity challenge? Come on....
I did it and a poet I certainly ain't!
Sooo, I'm going to make it a contest. Take the challenge and you just might win something!


Go play twenty questions. Let me know if you stump it! I can't.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

creativity challenge

Create a poem using Emily Dickinson's, "Bring me the sunset in a cup" as a starting point. From Creative Writing Prompts.
Please play along!

Bring me the sunset in a cup
That's a good place to start
Then the galaxy on a platter
The wind in a velvet bag

I'd like a hailstorm in a jar
A whirlwind
The moon
A planet

Bring a kiss in a china bowl
That will loosen my heart
Then an apology on a tray
The love in an open hand

Monday, October 22, 2007

melt down

Yesterday morning I awoke to a sky aflurry and aflutter with snow. The flakes were not so much coming down as they were coming straight at us. The north side of my house and the north facing stoplights, were covered with snow. The stoplights made for some interesting driving.
We had perhaps four or five inches. It's hard to tell when it is drifted so much. The kids had a grand time in it yesterday and are out there as I type in fact. The dog didn't so much like the windy, cloudy coldness of yesterday, but had a grand time in the snow today in the sunshine. I had numb toes and nose, but she rolled around in it like it was the best thing ever.
I do love me some snow. I love me lots of snow. So I am happy, but I am happiest inside looking outside at it.
(PS that is a stock photo, not mine)

my world

Friday, October 19, 2007

can you just say it?

Sorry for the prolific posting today. I am making up for my friends who don't post, like, ever.
This video is just too good to not share. Maybe you've already seen it. It's on two blogs that I frequent, Cindy Swanson and Athol Dickson.

friday's feast


If you were a dog, what breed would you be, and why?

I would be a Basset Hound. Because they are goofy, lazy and disobedient. But I suspect they are very caring and deep thinkers, too.


What does the color purple make you think of?

Purple Mountains Majesty -- they aren't really purple, though. I can see them from here.

Also for some reason Purple Rain by Prince

And the Red Hat Society


Approximately how long does it take you to get ready each morning?

Thirty minutes if I know exactly what I want to wear

Main Course

How many cousins do you have, and are you close to them?

I have fifteen first cousins who are living and three who are not still living. I am not really close to any of them. The one that I was close to died from ovarian cancer. My sister and I are the youngest in the group with the next being 6 months older and the oldest being about 20 or so years older. We do see some of them for Thanksgiving and an annual reunion, but that's about it.


Take your initials (first, middle, last) and come up with something else those letters could stand for. (Example: SFO = Sweet Funny Otter)

Keeping Elephants Dancing

Rocktober in Colorado

How about those Rockies?

You can't go anywhere in this area without hearing that. I'm not really a sports fan. At all. But how can a person living in the Denver area not start to care a little bit about Rocktober?

In case you haven't heard --if you don't pay any more attention to sports than I do, then you haven't --the Colorado Rockies have made their way to the World Series for the first time. And from what I hear they did it with style and class and with a sweep, which is a big deal I guess.

So I may watch the World Series for the first time in my life!

Go Rockies!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

what's your secret?

I wanted to post something fun, but I can't come up with anything. This other topic has been mulling around in my head for days. So here goes...

Lately, it seems I am hearing of people's hidden sins being found out, just one after another. Of course this is nothing new. Adam tried to hide his sin. So did Cain. And David. And on down through history. It seems to be the most interesting to our society when it involves preachers or politicians, but it happens everyday to ordinary people.

They are caught. Found out. Someone is shocked and hurt when they learn that the person they thought they really knew has been living a lie all along.

I lived in Colorado Springs during the Ted Haggard deal. And I guess there is a large church here in Denver that had a similar situation with their pastor. We find ourselves disturbed and perhaps even judgmental.

But the thing is this: we all have secret sin. The things I hide may not be headline material, but it is still sin. God hates it just as much as He does the startling, degenerate things we hear about.

And the other thing is that every one of those big, shocking sins started out small. Jim Baker had to steal one dollar before he stole millions. Ted Haggard had to let his eyes linger a bit too long somewhere they shouldn't, or intentionally click a website, years before he wound up where he did.

And so, we may rationalize that the things we hide are not too bad. They're just little sins. But little sins grow. The Bible compares sin to yeast. You can't put yeast in your dough and then confine it to only one section of your loaf. Like yeast, sin will spread to every area of your life, no matter how deeply you may think it's hidden. It will spread and grow. It will not be satisfied to stay small. It thrives in the darkness.

The antidote? Confession. Not only confession to God, but confession to another believer. I have shared in Bible studies and even here that fear is a sin in my life. I am not going to let it stay in the dark, fermenting and growing and taking over. There are other things that I am not going to post on my blog, but I will share with my husband or a trusted friend. There is power in confessing. The Bible tells us to do it. When the light shines in, the sin loses some of it's power.

And it is much easier to confess looking at porn than to confess hiring homosexual prostitutes. Much easier to confess shoplifting than to confess robbing a bank. Get it out of your lips, out of your heart while it is still small.

But if it's too late, if you are already bound up in sin so ugly you feel you could never voice it, you still must. You must! Go to a pastor, a priest, a counselor, any godly person you can trust and tell them. The world won't end. I promise. In fact, after the ripples settle, you will find life better than you knew before.

The Bible says that sins committed in secret will be shouted from the rooftops. It also says to be sure you will be found out. The choice is yours. Confess, turn from it, or let God shout it to the world.

Let's turn on the lights.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

writing news

Yesterday at the local writers' group, that I am occasionally able to attend, we heard from the soon to be well known author Megan DiMaria. She talked about how to deal with writer's block and it was very encouraging.

She has a book coming out next year by Tyndale House, titled Searching For Spice. Her name is Megan, (pronounced Meegan) DiMaria, (pronounced Dee Maria) got it? Keep an eye out and I will remind you when her book is due out.

Here let me give you a bookmark...

Monday, October 15, 2007


When I was a youngster there were two things I aspired to be when I grew up. A veterinarian and a cowgirl. Not just any cowgirl, either. I wanted to be Rodeo Queen!

One day our dog got worms and I decided right then and there that I didn't want to be a vet anymore.

But Rodeo Queen! That never quite went away. We never even had a horse. Just a stubborn ol' pony who wouldn't even run and I could probably count on one hand the number of rodeos I've been to. But still...

So, what was it you hoped to be doing by now? Are you doing it? Did you make it? What did you wanna be when you grew up?
(PS take the totally unrelated poll over there on the right!)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

no tsunami big enough

The church we visited today had a guest from India. I guess back when the tsunami hit this church collected money to build over 270 homes for this one little village. They were receiving no help other than what came from this church.

The villagers had told the people that they would appreciate their help, but they did not want to hear about Christianity.

There are now 75 Christians in this little village. The love of God demonstrated through His people won them. There is a church in this little town where there has never --NEVER--been a church before. Ever.

Our God is a God who redeems. That is Who He Is. That is what He does. He redeems people. He redeems situations. Yes, the tsunami was a tragedy. So many people died and there was so much devastating loss and suffering. But if not for that tragedy, these people would possibly never have been open to the love of God. God redeems.

Merriam-Webster says Redeem means:

1 a: to buy back : repurchase

b: to get or win back

2: to free from what distresses or harms: as: a. to free from captivity by payment of ransom b: to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental

c: to release from blame or debt : clear

d: to free from the consequences of sin

3: to change for the better : reform

4: repair, restore

5 a: to free from a lien by payment of an amount secured thereby

b (1): to remove the obligation of by payment

(2): to exchange for something of value

c: to make good : fulfill

6 a: to atone for : expiate

b (1): to offset the bad effect of

(2): to make worthwhile : retrieve

Thursday, October 11, 2007

about the last post

You know, I do enjoy happy endings. And sometimes I want to read something just for fun or to relax. So I am in no way criticizing those kind of books. It's just that I would like to see more variety. And I would like to see a stark contrast between Christian fiction and secular fiction. I can relax with books from either market; I want something more from my Christian fiction.

I thought I was really weird and, well, I was right. But I can't help being weird, I guess. My husband and I did these personality tests -- you can see it on the right side of my blog. In fact it's free and it's fun, so you should go do it. There are a lot of links then that tell you all about your personality, or temperament type. Mine happened to mention that my type enjoys being sad. I knew that about myself, but I kept it secret because, well, it's weird. But apparently it's sort of ingrained, so I'm not gonna be ashamed anymore! LOL It is also a part of my temperament to love rain. And I do.

So while Camelot is one of my favorite stories because it is just so darn tragic, I guess maybe I am in the minority with that. Which means that probably I won't find a lot of books that don't have formulaic happy endings. And I guess really that is my biggest complaint is that so many books are just so predictable. And I like unpredictable. If it had a happy ending, but I didn't see it coming, I would like that, too!

So, enough about me. I really would like to hear what you specifically want out of a book. Whatever market you prefer. What genres do you like best and what do you want to gain or experience when you read a novel?

Monday, October 8, 2007

why i read christian fiction

I want to see God. I want to read stories about people dealing with real struggles, but handling them in a way that shows God's grace, power, and love. I want to see redemption. I want to see reconciliation. I want to see that the things that matter to God are so much different from the things that matter to us. Not because He has the wrong priorities, but because we do.

I don't want to just be entertained. I am disappointed in books that are nice reads and the character happens to be a Christian, (we know this because she occasionally goes to church).

I want to be challenged. I want to learn. I want to be convicted. I want to be different in some small, (or big) way from having read it.

I want to see people living the Christian life the way it should be lived, not the way it usually is lived.

I have read so many comments by people saying they don't want to be hit over the head with Christianity in Christian fiction. My question is, why do they read it then? I have read a lot of good secular books that are clean, and have a great message. Why not just read those?

Christian fiction is written for Christians. We shouldn't have to soft sell God in Christian fiction. If it were a story written for unbelievers, then some gentle tact is required in getting the message across, but the message still needs to get across. And it should probably be an ABA book so the person will pick it up in the first place. Most non-believers aren't buying up the Christian fiction, are they?

What I'd like to see more of: Characters who pray fervently about their decisions instead of winging it. People who look to God for direction and guidance. More stories demonstrating the sovereignty of God. People with questions and dilemmas that don't necessarily get solved. And I'd love to see some tragic endings. I am so tired of predictable story lines. Life doesn't always go the way we expect. How about stories showing that God is still in control even when our world falls apart. Life doesn't tie up neatly, there are always loose ends. I've read books about worlds falling apart and God picking up the pieces, but they always have the predictable happy ending. What if the person doesn't get cured from a deadly illness, but instead finds God's peace and strength to bear it? What if the handsome neighbor turns out to be an abuser, but the woman calls off the wedding just in time? Or what if she doesn't? What if a lovelorn woman continually has bad relationships until she realizes God is her all in all and that He will be sufficient for her in a life of singleness? Not everyone gets married. Not everyone gets cured. Not everyone has a marriage that is roses and walks in the moonlight.

Well, I hope there is some kind of market for this stuff that I want, because it's the way I plan to write.

I'm not saying there aren't some books out there like this. I'm saying there aren't enough. Lisa Samson's Tiger Lilly is a great example. If you know of some, tell me what they are.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

heavy laden

"I was with book, as a woman is with child."
Orual in Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis

Friday, October 5, 2007

you sang to me

You may be wondering why I picked some of the songs I did for my play list. Or, maybe, you haven't given it a single thought. But in case you have, I shall explain. None of them were chosen simply because I like them. In fact there is music that I like that I did not choose because I didn't have a reason other than simply liking it. Like Tom Jones. I love Tom Jones, but couldn't find one of his songs that fit here.

You Sang to Me - Marc Anthony
Oh... I just wanted you to comfort me
When I called you late last night you see
I was fallin' into love
Yes, I was crashin' into love
Oh of all the words you sang to me
About life, the truth and being free, yeah
You sang to me, oh how you sang to me
Girl, I live off how you make me feel
So I question all this being real'
Cause I'm not afraid to love
For the first time I'm not afraid of love
Oh, this day seems made for you and me
And you showed me what life needs to be
Yeah, you sang to me, oh you sang to me

All the while you were in front of me I never realized
I just can't believe I didn't see it in your eyes
I didn't see it, I can't believe it
Oh but I feel it
When you sing to me
How I long to hear you sing beneath the clear blue skies
And I promise you this time I'll see it in your eyes
I didn't see it, I can't believe it
Oh but I feel it
When you sing to me

Just to think you live inside of me
I had no idea how this could be
Now I'm crazy for your love
Can't believe I'm crazy for your love
The words you said you sang to me
And you showed me where I wanna be
Yeah you sang to me, oh you sang to me

All the while you were in front of me I never realized
I just can't believe I didn't see it in your eyes
I didn't see it, I can't believe it
Oh but I feel it
When you sing to me
How I long to hear you sing beneath the clear blue skies
And I promise you this time I'll see it in your eyes
I didn't see it, I can't believe it
Oh but I feel it

The first time I heard that song it has a spiritual feeling to it. I can remember it clearly and it was years ago. (Now don't get me wrong. I don't think God is a girl, you have to leave that part out) It seems to be a song of me talking to God because He has sung over me my whole life, but so often I haven't "seen it" for whatever reason. So I have, because of this song, become more intent on listening, more focused on seeing Him singing over me.

Zephaniah 3:17 "The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."


two snakes by the lake
as if one were not enough
i withheld all squeals
Yay me! Not for the poetry, but for the incredible bravery.

Monday, October 1, 2007

I've heard people say that they always felt like they were their mom's favorite. But then they say that their siblings felt the same way. Now, how does a parent manage that? How can you favor a child without the other one feeling...stepped on? See, most of the people I know noticed when the sibling was being favored, not when they themselves were. So, what is the secret? Anyone know? I would love for both of my kids to grow up believing they were my favorite child.
What about you? Which birdie are you? I admit, I feel like the one with a mom on it's head. But my sister always thought I was the favorite. I'm sure my kids both think the other one is preferred. My mom and her sisters always joked that their brother was a favorite because he was the only boy and my aunt was the favorite girl because she was sick, (she had Lupus for years).
Hat tip to Robin Lee Hatcher for the photo.