Sunday, April 30, 2006

He makes all things new

The past ten days have brought with them tears of worry and, today, tears of grief. One good friend of ours suffered a heart attack more than a week ago. Thankfully, he's pulled through and is slowly gaining back his strength. Yesterday, a sweet woman from church also suffered a heart attack, but sadly, she didn't make it. Having trouble making sense of it all. Despite my heavy heart, though, I'm grateful to know Jesus. To know that He was involved in both these situations. Grateful to know that all those who call him LORD will spend eternity with him in heaven.

I'm posting a simple picture here of a wildflower. I took this shot in Cambria last week, and for some reason it's cheered me today. It reminds me of life's fragility, but also of its brilliance when tendered to by the Master Gardener Himself.


Friday, April 28, 2006

Back from...

Cambria. Big sigh.

Here's a pic of my hubby and our oldest daughter on our first evening in the sleepy little town of Cambria, one of my favorite places in California. We drove through buckets of rain but arrived in time to watch the sun dim the sky.

More pics to follow...:-)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

More Idol Chatter

I know, I know, I should be packing for my mini-trip (see post below). But I just had to ask: Did you all see Idol tonight? (As a Christian, I can't help but wince at the word Idol but you know what I'm talking about!)

Anyway, what did you think of those judges panning Katherine? Shocked me, I tell you. For me, it's between Katherine and Elliott. I find them both honest and breathtaking. What about you?

On the road again...

Heading off for a brief sojourn to one of the prettiest places along California's central coast. Will be researching the area for my next two books (even while still revising the first :-) I'll post pics from this journey when I return.

Speaking of the first book, I heard yesterday that cover mock-ups of Chocolate Beach have been created--yay! Haven't seen anything yet, but hopefully I'll have something to post soon. I'm learning more and more that the publishing process is a long one. Still, every step's a welcome one. Thanks for coming along on this journey with me.


O Changeable Me...

Once, my old bank called to verify that a check I'd written, a rather paltry one I might add, was actually authorized by moi. (You must know that I was transferring money from one bank to another, so this could be the true reason for their call. "What??? You're taking mula out of our bank???")

I digress. The bank manager proceeded to tell me that I had four different signatures. Four. Different. Signatures. What up? (Actually, I think that was her question as well.)

Of course, and you knew I'd be going here, this made me think about writing. My favorite writers are right-brain types, never tied down to just one facet of their personalities. They crank out story after story, each one breathing down the neck of the other. They write by the seat of their pants, taking me along on their wild ride. They make me weep one day and laugh the other, like schizos on caffeine. Long live the multi-faceted author!

So maybe I do have more than one (boring, old) signature? At least I'm in good company, you know? :-)

Monday, April 24, 2006

blogger trouble?

Had a little ol' trouble with blogger lately. Anybody else?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Lions and Tigers and Lemurs, Oh My!

My book's release date is nearly a year away, yet I'm working away now on the rewrite suggestions sent by my editor. Like I said earlier, it's not as daunting as I once thought. After all, I know the characters already. The beginning, middle and end already exist. Instead of reinventing the wheel, so to speak, I'm just adding more air and spraying them down with a healthy coating of Armorall to make them shine.

Not that this doesn't get tiring. It does. So the other day I took off with the kids--all are on Easter break from school--to the zoo. (Btw, quips about going to see our relatives were lost on my creation-minded kids...) Saw coatis, alpacas, meerkats and lemurs. Also took a gander at capybaras, asian otters and the two-toed sloth. Man, whatever happened to pigs, bunnies and the occasional crooked neck giraffe? Actually? They were there too.

This, of course, got me thinking about characterization and how there's so much more than, well, pigs, bunnies and giraffes. If we writers were to simply take a walk in the zoo, study the wild things God created, and apply just some of the breadth of creativity on exhibit to our own characters, well, we'd blow away the competition now wouldn't we?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Mt. Hermon Bandwagon

Just about every blog I've encountered over the past week mentions Mt. Hermon. This means a couple of things: 1. The annual Christian Writer's Conference has managed to significantly impact those who make the sacrifices to attend and learn at the feet of masters; and 2. I don't get out much.

Seriously, I'm finding that even in cyberworld, I tend to run with the pack. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean to suggest that I'm "in the know". In fact, from what I've read about various Mt. H experiences, I don't know nuthin'!

For instance, I just learned that Camy Tang and Meredith Efken were attacked regularly by flying termites. I also discovered a covert operation of writers that met nightly to create a three part murder mystery involving chick-lit authors and a lethal prada handbag. And did you know that Dave Long considers acquisition editors to be "nerdy rock stars of writers conference"?

I may have thought I've learned a lot over the years, but all these things happening under my nose helps me to see: I've got a lot to learn.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Name Dropping, et al

Back from a nearly week long writer’s conference and, I’m exhausted, people! Who knew that creativity could be so tiring?

Anyway, I’m trying to decompress today, but my calendar won’t quite allow it. All the things I put off in prep for the conference are screaming at me for attention. Ugh.

Over the past week, I did manage to meet up with some cool up and coming writers like Sharon Hinck, Patti Hill and Camy Tang. Also got to meet Brandilyn Collins--can anyone say Wow! And hung out with my pal, historical novelist, Tricia Goyer.

SO MUCH to digest! SO MUCH to mention! SO MUCH to do! Somehow, though, I think I'll have to start with the laundry...

Friday, April 07, 2006


This person's toughest obstacle in life is overcoming a house fire when they were in high school. Syesha Mercado

This person's spouse isn't going to cut their hair until he/she gets eliminated from American Idol. Brooke White

The person this contestant would most like to meet is Keira Knightley. David Cook

One of this person's nicknames is "Lettuce Boy." David Archuleta

He likes chick-flicks. Michael Johns

This contestant's rituals before performing are to warm up, don't talk too much and to suck on a boiled piece of candy. Carly Smithson

Before performing, this person always prays. Kristy Lee Cook

The person this contestant would most like to meet is him/herself in 20 years. Jason Castro

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Not to worry...

Had to say goodbye to our girl, Mandisa, last night. Sigh. Didn't you all think it might be Bucky or Ace? That was the consensus around here. We were wrong. Double sigh.


I'll be away from email for a few days, but wanted to mention that I received those edits I've been worrying, I mean, talking about. AND...they weren't that bad. Not at all. I'm actually looking forward to fixing what needs to be fixed. Who knew?

If you're a writer, what's your favorite part of the process? Writing, editing, or having written? :-) I'll check back in when I return.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Spa Action

Heading off to a writer's conference, but wanted to revisit the Spa Extravaganza from last Friday. As I said, the Day of Pampering was a gift for my pal Deb and me from our husbands. Here are just a few things we learned:

1. Massage therapists like to say things like, "What's your body saying to you?" when they actually mean, "What hurts and I'll hurt it more."

2. Esteticians laugh. A lot.

3. Blackheads are gross. Enough said.

4. That little lever in the steam room actually turns ON the overhead shower. Full bore.

5. If you're going to actually drink mysterious green stuff, make sure there's a bathroom nearby. Or a plant.

6. Multi-bean soup brings on multi-problems.

7. 250 calories for lunch is.just.not.right.

8. Maybe the pedicurist really has seen weirder toes.

9. Husbands that care this much ROCK.

10. No matter how tough it is to make the time to get there, IT'S WORTH IT!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Idol Chatter

American Idol's starting in like one minute and I STILL haven't blogged about the Spa Extravaganza. Ugh. Sorry, sorry, saawwheeee!

Oops, gotta run. My daughter just called that, "It's ON!"

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Quick Diversion

Before I get into the Spa Extravaganza from last Friday (and I will, tomorrow) my daughter told me that I really should post about what a great shopper my husband is. I'm headed off to a writer's conference later this week and, OF COURSE, needed some new things. Dan accompanied me to the closest outlet mall while the kiddos stayed home working on varying stages of homework (you know, late, later and overdue). Anyway, we shopped til we dropped...actually, until my toes ached from my uncomfortable shoes. Fortunately, I bought THREE PAIRS. Can you believe it? I have three pairs of new shoes! That and three blouses, a sweater-thing and a pair of jeans. Something tells me all the Chick-lit I'm reading (and writing) is having an effect on me. Ya think?

Dan-o did pretty well himself with some new shoes and two pair of Gap pants. He's so stylish :-)

A man who shops (for and with me) is such a gem...wouldn't you agree?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

APRIL FOOLS!!!! Hee-hee-hee!