Book Meme

I'm still enjoying the Chris Tomlin song on my July 26 post. If you missed it, scroll down, hit the archives, or check it out here.

Meanwhile, I thought I'd try out this meme I found on some other blogs:

1. What's the one book or writing project you haven't yet written but still hope to?

I would really like to finish my one historical (Civil War era) novel that I was planning to make into a three-book series. I stopped working on it when I decided to focus all my efforts on Contemporary fiction.

2. If you had one entire day in which to do nothing but read, which book would you start with?

I generally reach for a Kristen Heitzmann book, but right now on my To Be Read list are See No Evil and Caught in the Act by Gayle Roper, followed by Reluctant Runaway by Jill Elizabeth Nelson, followed by Midnight Sea by Colleen Coble.

3. What was your first writing "instrument" (besides pen and paper)?

My paper and pencil fiasco was what led me to save my stories on the computer. It's hard to save a copy of your work when you erase to change the story and then decide that erasing was a mistake.

I don't think I saved any stories on my husband's Commodore 64. It was probably the one after that - and I don't know if it had a name. He bought it at a store where he could pick and choose components to get his perfect customized computer. What a sweet geek. Ya gotta know I love him.

4. What's your best guess as to how many books you read in a month?

As a mom who lets the kids distract her with the occasional, "Mom, you gotta come see this!", I barely get through two novels in a month. I know, it's sad. I actually read faster than that, but not while I'm driving, not while I'm cooking, not while I'm... You get the picture.

5. What's your favorite writing "machine" you've ever owned?

The answer to this will probably always be the current machine. My last Dell got old and stopped. I think it still works, but since it stopped right around Christmastime last year, my beloved husband bought me a new Dell, my new favorite. I've never owned a Mac, to my brother's chagrin. Maybe next time.

6. Think historical fiction: what's your favorite time period in which to read?

I prefer contemporary stories, but my favorite historical time period is the Civil War era.

7. What's the one book you remember most clearly from your youth (childhood or teens)?

I remember reading Where The Red Fern Grows while I was stretched out in the back of our 1970s brown station wagon on vacation somewhere in the northwestern states. I don't clearly remember the exact story, but I do vividly remember how it affected me. It was the first book that was so real to me that I cried. I'd never stopped reading to cry before.

Funny how movies make me cry pretty often, but books have to be so well written that I'm in the setting, looking around, almost touching the characters.

If you'd like to answer these on your blog, consider yourself tagged. Enjoy!

Now For Some Writing Time

It's difficult for me to find enough writing time in the summer. I spend a lot of time with my kids. I hug them, discipline them, play with them, and clean up after them. But this week is writing week!

I sent the kids to camp.

They're expectations are set on having lots of fun. They'll be with their church friends, and they're familiar with the adult chaperones. So even though they're young, they'll be fine. I might worry, but they'll be fine.

Actually, I'm much calmer now than I was when I dropped them off. I realized they've gone to our church since they were born. All the adult chaperones know them and would recognize them in a crowd and will watch out for them.

They know them because my kids are regular church attenders. My husband and I have gone to church together regularly since we were in college. We want to live in God's wisdom and we want our kids to find God's wisdom on their own. This is a very good way to start them on their own journey toward God.

If you don't attend church regularly, check out my Domino Club post on this subject.

I view church attendance as a way to build your faith, a way to give back to God, and a way to build a support system of people who will pray for each other.

Now, I'm going to write in silence.

Chris Tomlin Indescribable

God is more amazing than words can say. He is truly indescribable.

Enjoy this song from Chris Tomlin.

Have You Been Talking With Jesus?

Today on my Seek God With Me post, I share the story of two men who were visited by Jesus while they were talking about him.

I don't usually see Jesus in the flesh joining my conversations with people, but I know he's there. He promised that wherever believers are gathered in his name, he would be there.

So seek God with me. We'll look for him together.

Would You Like A Vacation?

Everybody wants to be on vacation. School teachers get summer vacation, but Sunday School teachers usually don't.

Today on my Domino Club post, I describe an opportunity that is often overlooked. We don't realize how many opportunities there are to bless others until we stop to think about the people in our lives.

I invite you to think about those in your life who may not be getting a needed break. Go to the Domino Club and pray about how God can use you to bless others.

Hearing God

Today's post on my Seek God With Me blog features a couple of sisters with different priorities. Who are they? If you guessed Martha and Mary, you're right.

Their priorities on the day Jesus came to visit has brought them much recognition. They had different goals, and both were set on achieving them. Martha and Mary remind me of another set of sisters.

My sister lived her youthful years with all the energy she had - and therefore got into a lot of trouble. I stayed quiet and learned what not to do. Now she's a pastor and I'm a mom and writer. She speaks to a lot of different people every week. I speak to the same three people every week. My sermon is more like, "Pick up your mess, please. Thank you. And get your shoes out of the middle of the floor." My sister lives alone so the only mess she has to pick up is her own.

But Martha and Mary had similarities too. They both loved Jesus. My sister and I do too.

Check out the post.

Boaz is a hero

Check out Boaz.

According to the Book of Ruth in the Bible, Ruth the Moabitess and Boaz are great-grandparents of King David. So David should be really grateful to Naomi for her part in setting up Ruth and Boaz.

When her husband died, Ruth followed Naomi back from Moab to a new land and new people . Apparently, word got out about Ruth’s faithfulness to Naomi. When Boaz found out Ruth was gathering grain in his field, he was generous to her. Not only did he allow her to gather grains from his field, he also offered protection. He let everyone in his field know that Ruth was not to be harmed. In fact, they were told to pull out a few stalks for her to pick up so she’d have enough.

One day, Naomi decided to help Ruth find a good home – with a good man. She gave her daughter-in-law some advice that led to Boaz making an offer to purchase Naomi’s land and taking Ruth as his wife. Boaz cared enough to be friendly with Ruth and with the man who could’ve claimed Ruth as his wife (instead of Boaz). There’s the old saying that you can catch more flies with honey.

Friendliness helped Boaz get the woman he wanted.

Find Someone To Encourage

Today on my Domino Club blog, I left a suggestion for those of us who know of friends or family members who need encouragement. I'm sure we all know of someone who is going through a difficult time. We can be there for them, supporting them, lifting them up.

Usually they don't need much. A shoulder to lean on. A hand to hold. If we only lend an ear while they figure out how to solve a problem, we've helped them.

Check out today's post at Domino Club.

God Is A Writer

Did you know that God writes?

He writes with His finger. He's carved out messages in both stone and sand.

In my Seek God With Me blog, I share my thoughts about what He wrote. Please, feel free to join me there.


Writing a synopsis doesn't have to be a horrible experience. I've been working on a synopsis for a writers' conference I'm going to attend in September. I found help online at Where The Map

Jeff Gerke has put together several writers' tools that can send inexperienced writers down the road to success. His synopsis page offers four methods for synopsis writing.

Method 1 is the basic quick pitch - not really a one-page synopsis. You only mention the most important highlights of the story and leave the rest out. It's important to make the pitch brief. Jeff suggests sixty seconds. Very important to rehearse the pitch before arriving at a conference. Be able to repeat your pitch in your sleep.

I liked Method 2 and Method 3. These two methods hint that a writer should know the 3-Act structure of their story backwards and forwards. These methods help get the fluff out of the synopsis.

Method 4 is for those complex stories that can get too complicated and unfocused in a synopsis.

Having gone to Mount Hermon Writers' Conference this year, I was able to purchase the CD of Jeff's synopsis workshop. The notes I took while listening to the workshop were a little more detailed than his online synopsis page. The CD and the website page works very well together. I suggest having both in front of you at the same time.

Writing a great synopsis is essential if you want to attract the right kind of attention from an editor. So Jeff's writers' tools are quite helpful.

Thanks Jeff.

In The Workplace

Today on my Domino Club site, I'm giving examples of things you can do to show interest in others at the workplace.

My workplace is my home, so this summer I'm showing interest in my co-workers by playing games with the little cutie pies. Around here, those who share my workspace get hugs. But if you don't work at home, you probably won't give as much affection to the people around you as I do.

And you probably won't tuck them into bed at night.

You can check out my post here.

July Fourth

It's almost midnight here and I still hear fireworks popping in the surrounding neighborhoods.

In fact, when we got home around 10:15 pm, my son had counted almost 200 individual explosions as the fireworks popped in the different neighborhoods we passed on the thirty minute drive from my sister's house.

It was too wet to go to the outdoor theater and listen to the symphony play Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture while the costumed minutemen held their torches and lit their cannons. So we played games at my sister's house and watched fireworks on her TV.

My youngest asked if he would get to stay up to midnight. I told him that he was thinking of New Year's Eve, not July Fourth. He laughed. "Oh yeah."

Happy Independence Day, America!

A Unique Calling

Today on my Seek God With Me blog, I compare us to Peter.

Peter had a unique calling. God gives us all a unique calling, and it's our job to submit to what God has called us to do.

Here's the link.

Vacation Highlights

I feel like I’m back in school writing the usual report on what I did on my summer vacation. My title should probably be:

How My Son Overcame The Trauma of His First Trail Ride

One of the opportunities we had during our vacation was a trip on horseback up into the mountains to a waterfall and back to the coastline. We had no idea what an adventure we were about to have.

We, along with 40 others, rode a tour boat to a small dock. After waiting for our tour guide’s directions, we walked through a small village to 40 waiting horses. My group of five was called together to a section of horses where we were assigned the “correct” horse for each of us.

My sister was assigned a tall black horse that responded well to her signals. My husband sat on the wooden saddle of a horse with a one-track mind. Must’ve been a postal service horse. Nothing was going to deter it from its appointed path.

My son’s horse was nice, eager, and didn’t need any coaching. Her name was Alison. She took off with the rest of the horses, and I followed immediately after her. My son was a little upset that Alison didn’t wait for instruction. I yelled out, “Pull back! Pull back!” He did and the horse stopped. I looked around and saw that all five of my riders were on horses, so I followed my son’s horse when it started up again – without my son’s permission.

My horse was great, but the stirrups were in need of repair. One stirrup had leather around where my foot was supposed to go. My other foot was in an oddly-bent, metal stirrup-wannabe.

What I hadn’t realized at that point was that my daughter still hadn’t grasped the whole “kick and click” concept. I heard others clicking their tongue and kicking the horse gently to get it to go. My daughter sat and waited. And watched us leave.

When I noticed my daughter not following us, my sister volunteered to be the cavalry. I stayed with my son, trying to calm his worried mind. My husband almost left his horse and ran to help our daughter, but decided to let my sister get her instead.

My sister is a good teacher. My daughter learned to direct the horse well. She also was able to stay on the horse when her horse started kicking because other horses got too close. I was proud of her first attempt on a horse.

My son wanted off the horse the whole way up to the waterfall. This mother’s heart ached at his unhappiness, but I kept encouraging him, following him. When we arrived at the dismount area, one of the locals helped my son put a foot on the ground, but walked off before his other foot was down. My son’s foot was caught in the stirrup when the horse headed off for a drink with the other horses, tripping and dragging my son. My husband happened to be near my son’s horse and grabbed Alison’s reins as soon as he heard my yell. I, of course, was behind Alison and couldn’t reach her to stop her.

I joined my son and left the horse area. None too soon, from the look on his face. We rejoiced at the falls – most of us. My son just stood with his distraught expression breaking my heart. We took off our jeans and shoes (we wore swim suits under it all), walked across a narrow rickety bridge, and jumped into the water below the falls.

When the time came to dry, dress, and get back to our appointed horses, my husband talked my son into giving the horse another try. The fact that he got back on the horse is, in my opinion, a miracle from God.

I was on my horse already when my son settled onto Alison’s saddle. I was ready, just in case. I think some of his discomfort came from sitting a little off to one side on the saddle – all the way to the falls and back. And the stirrups weren’t the right length for his legs.

I was well aware that either God Himself was walking alongside my son or He’d assigned a couple of extra angels to protect him that day.

On the way back to the boat, my son started singing. “I’m pretending I’m not riding this horse. I’m pretending I’m back at the hotel.” I didn’t laugh at the cuteness of my son’s singing. I was just glad he found a way to overcome his fears.

All in all, it was a day of rejoicing. We let the kids experience new things. But the best part of all was my son dancing to the music on the boat on the way back to the hotel.

Back from vacation

Don't you love visiting with relatives? I do. Especially if I haven't seen them in a long time.

I was at a family reunion last week (my second family reunion of the year) and found out some things about my relatives that I didn't know. I enjoyed listening to stories of what had happened long ago. And I saw old family pictures I'd never seen before.

We talked about their lives, the things they do, things that matter to them. We didn't talk about our yard being too dry or too wet.

We had many thrilling opportunities on our vacation. One of them was related to a gift that I described in my Domino Club post.

Tomorrow, maybe I'll share some of the other opportunities we had.