Ahhh, Rain

We had five baseball games scheduled to be played this week between our two boys. We ended up playing 2 ½ innings of one game, total.

I love rain!

I know, it will be a headache later when makeup games are inserted into the already busy weeks to come, but I do love the unexpected time off—especially the Saturday we thought would entail about seven hours of baseball, including travel time.

Now I get to fill the day with other things, like finishing the book I’m in reading, washing the clothes that are spilling out over the laundry basket, and enjoying the brilliant sunshine that has replaced the gray of the past week.



Since my daughter has started cooking up a storm, I’ve decided I have to find time to exercise (because she is an awesome cook and I’d hurt her feelings if I didn’t eat!) So every morning now I get on this HeathRider thing I inherited from my grandmother and turn on a Tivoed episode of the Waltons.

I’ve always loved the Waltons, but in this time of writing discouragement it’s been really meaningful. John Boy struggles with his dreams of being a published writer just like I do. I can so relate to his feelings, to his frustrations. And yet rather than giving me fodder for further discouragement, I leave my exercise session inspired, eager to sit in my office and see words fill my computer screen, to work toward the fulfillment of my God-inspired dream—for myself, for my family, for readers and writers everywhere.


Thanks to everyone who read my first chapter and rated or commented on it. I so appreciate you taking the time to do that. It was quite interesting to have it out there--kind of American Idolish in that watching others' ratings I sometimes felt the unfairness of people's opinions. But that's okay. I know that's the kind of thing the will happen if real publication ever comes, and you have to be able to take it!

I don't expect it to go any further in that contest, but if by some miracle it does, you can be sure I'll let you know!


I'm leaving these links (register and read) for my first chapter up at the top until my "read and rate" days come to an end. But don't forget to scroll down a bit to see new posts.

Thanks Richard, Mary, Heather, and Tina for commenting on my story--and for those of you who voted anonomously!


Write and Re-write


When do you really know something is done? I’ve worked for a good while now on the rewrite of my historical fiction. I’m moving forward, making progress, but I keep going back to the opening paragraphs, worrying that they aren’t enough to compel the reader forward into the story.

To make matters worse, I intend to enter it in the Genesis contest, the one I made it to the finals of last year. Talk about pressure! What if I don’t live up to the standard of my own previous achievements? Then again, what if I do???

Needless to say, the situation is wreaking havoc on the editor in my brain. For the first time in a couple of years I’m ready to wad it up and toss it away rather than knowing it can be made better with a fresh perspective, a little time.
But the deadline approaches. At some point, I have to leave it as it is. I just wish there was a little pop-up button, like on a turkey, to let me know when it’s really ready.


A Break from Spring Break

I thought I’d have time to post quite a bit over Spring Break. But, alas, while it has been a break for my children, it has been 100x busier than normal life for me! This is my first day with no appointments, no pressing errands. I might actually be able to do one or two of the things here at home that I need to do! But the kids go back on Monday, so I’m determined to use this weekend to get things in order around my house so I can write again first thing Monday morning.


The Power of Story

I watched Princess Diaries again the other day. I love that movie on many different levels. I’d been missing it, the songs from the soundtrack popping up every now and again on my ipod. So I stuck it in while I was alone on Sunday afternoon—the boys and hubby at baseball practice, my daughter at school working on the yearbook. I spent most of the movie picking up around the house, doing dishes, etc. But near the end of the film I sat down and watched.

It was just at the part where she runs into the ball, dripping wet, and accepts being a princess. I bawled. This time the spiritual application hit me square in the face. Suddenly I saw myself in the character.

Do you see it, too? We are insignificant nobodies until one day we accept Christ and become somebody—a child of the King of Kings. But we are still a mess. We have to undergo a transformation—often while kicking and screaming—in order to better reflect who our Father is. We get put in uncomfortable situations. We mess up. We even try to quit. But along the journey, we grow. And eventually, we get it. I am God’s child. I am who He says I am. And we stand up and accept it.

I’ve been there. And I so well remember the time in my life when I finally stood up and accepted that I’d been grafted into a royal bloodline. However, as Mia tells the faithful Michael just a few moments later—after she’s been transformed from a drowned rat into a beautiful princess—“I may be royal, but I’m still me.” I cried again, realizing that God’s transformation of us doesn’t change who we are, it enhances it. We become more truly who He made us to be.

I got all of that out of a sweet coming-of-age Disney romance. And isn’t that the power of story?


The Brotherhood (or Sisterhood) of Readers

When I think about the people in my life with whom I’ve formed immediate connections, then intimate relationships, I see a common thread. They are readers. Yes, most of them are Christians, too, but there are lost of Christians in the world I don’t necessarily click with. And yet there are also people who don’t share my faith with whom I can bond over books.

I got to thinking about this—the brotherhood of readers—when I had my house sprayed for bugs the other day. I have that done regularly because I can’t stand the sight or even thought of a bug crawling around my house. (Can you tell I’m not really an outdoorsy kind of gal, either?) Anyway, the same company has been doing this for me for several years. The technicians are nice, hardworking people, but I’ve never really felt any connection with them other than the few moments they spend in my house four times a year.

So a new guy shows up at my door. Nice young man. (Well, younger than me, anyway.) He sprays the outside, then comes in. I ask him to do my office first since my husband is about to get on a conference call in there. When he comes into the living room (where I am working on my laptop), he says, “I noticed all your books. Who likes to read?”

I think I probably blushed. (The amount of books we own can sometimes prove embarrassing.) “My husband and I,” I answer. His face lit up as mentioned a particular author he’d seen on my shelves. Then he told me about the books by his favorite authors that he recently found at a flea market, and one given to him by a client. He tells me of the current novel that has grabbed his attention and his eagerness resonates with my own. His favorite genre isn’t one I particularly enjoy, but the writers he cited are known for writing well.

We connected as we talked. I asked his name. He said he looked forward to coming back. He’s an average Joe, probably with no more than a high school diploma. I don’t know knows the Lord or not. But he’s a reader. And I found myself thinking of him as my friend.


A Chance to Read and Rate

Ever wonder about what I write? Well here’s your chance not only to read something, but to give it a rating, as well.

I entered my legal thriller, Monkey in the Middle, in a contest at gather.com. To read and comment or rate my first chapter (and hopefully catapult me into round 2), you must register (it’s free) here, then go here
to see my work.

It’s only up for comment for 14 days and the votes are tallied by readers’ ratings.

I’m really not telling you this to drum up votes. I want your feedback. (Really. I’m thick-skinned now. I can take it. Just ask my critique group!) Does it draw you in? Does it turn you off? Are you confused or anxious to know more? Are the characters believable? Are they likable? Do they seem real or two dimensional?

I could go on, but I won’t. Read it for yourself, if you are so inclined.

Just thought you’d like to know.


My Comfy Place

I have a love/hate relationship with my office. I love the look of it. Ceiling-high bookshelves—stuffed to overflowing—line two walls. An L-shaped desk juts into the center of the room, providing a separate desktop space for my kids’ computer. I have a rolling, high-back chair, even a plastic mat on the floor to keep it from catching on the carpet. There is a stereo system as well as a large closet. Even a door into the bathroom.

Light streams in from the oblong window over the desk or shines from the four light fixtures attached to the ceiling fan. My two cross-stitched samplers, relics from my pre-child past, flank the window and a denim memo board covers a square of wall usually hidden behind the open door. Printer paper and office supplies are within easy reach.

It’s perfect, really.

So why can’t I work in there? What is my aversion to sitting at a desk? I would be more productive, I think, than sitting in my overstuffed chair in the corner of the living room. From there I see dishes that need cleaning, dinner that needs fixing. I see a dark TV set that could transport me into the storyworld of a movie (literature-based, of course—at least that’s what I try to tell myself.) I listen for the mailman. The sunny deck out back beckons me. In short, I don’t get as much writing done as I’d like to—as I think I ought to.

But somehow I end up with great word counts when I’m forced into the hidey-hole of my office for the day. And I love it while I’m in there. I guess it’s just a matter of foregoing my comfy place in order to fully do what God has called me to do. And isn’t that true, no matter what our calling is?


Rockwall Christian Writers Group

Rockwall Christian Writers Group, which I help lead, has a web presence! If you live in the Dallas area, come join us!