Monday, April 28, 2014

Flying across the pond

"Oh the places she'll go!" 
The above link is a rough itinerary my writer friend Julie will be on.

I thought of stowing away in her suitcase. 
You see, she is embarking soon to my happy place.
Yep.  She is going to England.   I'm not even ashamed to say how jealous I am!

In the post, there is a picture of her in front of The Eagle and Child.  I was right there where she is standing...once upon a time.  I want to go back.  It will happen.  One day! 

Enjoy this link. 
This is what England is like. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Excitement in a friend's life

"We want your book."

Writers wait a very long time to hear those words. 
I am thrilled that my writer friend Brenda heard those words not long ago. 
She has in her hands her new published book. 

She is one of the firsts that I met when I walked in to my first writer's group meeting  just over a year ago now.   Many thoughts went through my head....

What am I doing here?
I can pretend that I walked into the wrong door and walk right back out.
Sweat starting to pool on my forehead
You can't write

I walked in and was warmly welcomed.  I knew I was in good company.  Writers.  The whole meeting was full of encouragement and a writing lesson.  The lesson was about obstacles and tension in a story.  "Make your reader care."  "Build conflict." 
I am happy to report I know a little bit more than I did when I walked in that room, but I have so much more to learn.  That is the fun of  this craft of writing.  LEARNING. 
I am meeting the most amazing and intriguing people.  That first meeting,  I was invited to a book release party.  Didn't even know what that was, but I was going!  I did go and it was really fun to celebrate with that author.
Just like now...celebrating with Brenda Anderson.
Her book is called Chain of Mercy.
It released April 22.

You can read all about her at her website...
Thanks for being so welcoming to me when I first started at ACFW MN NICE Brenda.
I am over the moon thrilled for you with your release.  I can't think of anyone more deserving.  Your perseverance is an example to every writer to keep pressing on. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Re read

Although I've not met her, Robin Jones Gunn is a sister chick of mine. 
She is one of my favorite authors. 

By her definition,  a sisterchick is defined:  "friends who share the deepest wonders of your heart, love you like a sister, and provide a reality check when you're being a brat."

Robin Jones Gunn wrote a series of Sisterchick adventures.  Fictional stories taking you to far off lands such as Britain, Italy, and Mexico. 
Titles include:  

Sisterchicks on the loose
Sisterchicks do the hula
Sisterchicks in sombreros
Sisterchicks down under
Sisterchicks say ooh la la
Sisterchicks in gondolas

My husband said to me, "you're smiling.  you must be reading a good book."
"I am," as I kept my eyes on the pages in front of me.

Sisterchicks go Brit!
I read this book quite awhile ago. 
 I am thoroughly enjoying reading it over again.  Especially chapters eight and nine.  The chicks are touring Oxford and the real life stops significant to CS Lewis.  Places like The Eagle and Child pub where the Inklings gathered to talk about what they were writing.  Week after week they met, critiquing each others writings.   The Kilns is another stop.  (The home of CS Lewis),  Holy Trinity Church where he worshipped and is buried in the church cemetery.  I have had the privilege of being at these grounds, and so reading about them in this book is making me want to go back.    Robin Jones Gunn is spot on writing about what each stop looks and smells like.  I am taking my time reading through the pages, remembering every detail of the steps CS Lewis' routine took him in his daily life.  
In the back of the book there are pictures of Robin Jones Gunn in England.  Big Ben and the famous red phone booths are among them.  I love the one of her at the Ritz having tea with her friends.  One of those being Marion Stroud!  A British writer who I have had the honor of being on the receiving end of a few emails.  I am so blessed.     
The bookmark is from a trip to Cambridge.   It saves my spot in the latest book I am reading and gives me a quick memory of a moment in time that I will cherish always.   
Is there a favorite author you love?  Do you have a longing to meet that author?  What book are you reading right now?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

When I am afraid

Writing is hard.  Giving up is easy to do.
Last night I was feeling a little overwhelmed. 
The "not good enough" monster nagged me.  
Then I read these words....
Luke 12:6 "...are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?  Yet not one of them is forgotten in God's sight.  Even the hairs of your head all are counted.  Do not be afraid...."

Psalm 56:3
"When I am afraid, I will trust in You."   There's my word again!!   TRUST.  Its everywhere!

And my calendar for the day says
"..don't be afraid of your fears.  They're not there to scare you.  They're there to let you know that something is worth it.                    -------C. Joy Bell

I think I see a pattern here! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Althorp: One more peek

Have you ever dreamed of going somewhere and when you get there you never want to leave?
Do I have to leave?  Just one more minute.  I took pictures of everything so that I would not forget one thing.  Althorp alone I think I took about 1000 pictures.  Just ask my friends.  I took ALOT of pictures. 
I wonder if the sheep will miss me?  Hmmmm...maybe not!
This is England.  Quaint, old, perfect. 
My husband promised we would return.  I am holding him to it.  There is  a lot to process when a dream is completed.  Diana was perhaps the most photographed woman in all the world.  She was the people's princess. 
Bucket List:  Visit Althorp in Northamptonshire England
What's on your bucket list? 
Do you have a bucket list?
If not, take just ten minutes and start dreaming. 
By writing it down, it magically makes the dream come alive. 
"The glory of God is man fully alive"----Irenaeus

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ruthless Trust

2014.  I started this year with a word.  TRUST.  It is only April and already my journal about TRUST is a little more than half full.  Full of ways in which I have learned about this complicated word.  Actually the word came to me on the 15th of December.  The date in history that my mother passed away.  I wrote..."I have had so much trouble with TRUST.  Fear overtakes me...."
I spoke with someone recently who believes that he is "not sure we can ever really grasp all that this word asks of us"...and he is a pastor! 

I find the word everywhere.  I know it means that I just need to really work on it.  I see it in books that I read for leisure.  I just look up and say, "really God?" 
It is in my devotions, places I eat...saw this on a plaque on a recent breakfast trip.  "TRUST God that you are exactly where you are meant to be......"  I kind of liked that...I was meant to be eating breakfast!

Another time we were visiting a friend who had just had surgery.  Hidden by a lamp shade was a little saying.  I think it was just for my eyes.   Shining in the light were the words on a small plaque:  TRUST in Him at all times, pour out your heart before Him...Psalm 62:8

I was at Barnes and Noble the other day.  This book (above) just happened to jump into my arms!  I was first hooked by the word TRUST.  Upon further review, I saw the author.  Brennan Manning.  A Franciscan priest.  His writings are remarkable.
"the act of trust is a ruthless act..."
There is a good paragraph in the book that talks about Mother Theresa.  She asks someone, "What do you want me to pray for?"  The man says, "Pray that I have clarity."  She said firmly, "No I will not do that.  ......I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust.  So I will pray that you trust God."
Brennan Manning goes on to write..."Craving clarity, we attempt to eliminate the risk of trusting God.  Fear of the unknown path stretching ahead of us destroys childlike trust in the Father's active goodness and unrestricted love."
"Mistrust to trust---a conversion that must be renewed daily..."

So much wisdom in the book.  This writer knows pain.  He lost his dear friend Rich Mullins who wrote such songs as Awesome God and Creed.  Brennan was a recovering alcoholic.  He understood life's pain.  He knew grace and was humbled. 

He writes..."Where am I in all this?  With you, clasping hands each morning and crying out in unison, "Lord Jesus, I trust you; help my lack of trust."

I can't wait to finish the book. 

What are you reading these days?

Monday, April 7, 2014


For reasons still unknown, I have  felt some sort of a link to Diana. 
Maybe it is because of the fairy tale.  The Royal Wedding.  The dress, the earrings, the prince.  It was all there that day. 
And then it ended tragically  August 31, 1997.
I picked up every newspaper and magazine that had her picture on it.  Still have them.  She, indeed, touched millions. 
I am here!  My pilgrimage to Althorp, Diana's childhood home, complete!  My entrance into the history of  life as a Spencer was about to commence.   Yay! 
Taking a stroll about the Round Oval.  It is peaceful here.  It is here where Diana is buried on the island. 
Solitude.  Far away from the clicks and flashes of cameras that stalked her every move.  You can't see it, but there is a small row boat that I am sure her family uses to make their way to the island.  They can visit her grave in peace. 
Memorial to Diana. 

She was the People's Princess.

I am happy!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

"I have a Dream...."

That famous speech.  You know the one.  Rev. Martin Luther King at the March on Washington, 1963.
Yes.  That one. 
4 words that are his legacy. 
"I. Have. A. Dream."

I, too, have a dream. 
Took one step closer to that dream this week when I pushed the SEND button. 
One finger.  One button.  SEND.
I worked and worked editing it.  Making sure it was just right. 
Stayed up late, painstakingly going over every word I wrote.  Thought of a title, wrote a synopsis.

I entered my first writing contest.  There.  That is my dream.  I want to be published one day. 
Can I just say how hard it is to sit my butt in this chair.  Day after day, pumping out words that are up there dancing around in my head that I can't go to sleep until they spill out on the page.  Characters burning dinner and riding around town on a bicycle with a flower basket in front.  Changing, growing, discovering...yep.  This really IS my idea of fun.  Making up friends!

I am realistic.  The rejections will come.  Author Vince Flynn had over 66 rejections letters.  66!  Wow.  That's a lot. 
He never gave up and he was a bestselling author.  Dreams.  They do come true. 

I am wondering...what's your dream?

OH...I have another one.  It is simple really.  Can I just snap my fingers and go back here?

Today the forecast calls for .....SNOW...AGAIN!  Ugh!  4-9 inches.  REALLY?