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Monday, July 27, 2009


So much has happened this past week ... if I concentrate on one thing, I will overlook other things. So I will do this in more or less chronological order.

Monday: Mondays seem to be a struggle to get back into a writing routine. Saturday I work as needed, Sundays I take off. Mondays it's nose-back-to-the-grindstone time and I just take a long time getting anywhere. But eventually I did. And shared supper with Jaran & his family at the restaurant where he works.
Tuesday: Met my writing goals (yay!).
Wednesday: Managed writing goals, Jaran came by, went to choir at night.
Thursday: Here's where things got interesting. Long-distance phone call from a Denver friend. Looked for my retirement check, which was supposed to be delivered by the 23rd. No sign of it. Found out my novella Dressed in Scarlet is a finalist in the ACFW Book of the Year (BOTY) contest! Too excited to do any more writing, so I went out to celebrate. Saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Friday: Found out the check had been delivered to the office at my apartment on Tuesday! Aargh. At last deposited. Yay! Spent the afternoon taking care of Jordan and evening out for supper with family.
Saturday: Attended the OKC chapter of ACFW for the first time. New friends!
Sunday morning: Tried to join local church. Ran into a big snag; they're saying I should be baptized again, I disagree strongly. Very upset.
Sunday afternoon: Shelley (dil) invited me over for a home-made "greasy Mexican fiesta." We gobbled it down ... all of us going back for 2nds. Wonderful afternoon with the older girls, who made my day by telling me they didn't want me to go home. They joked about how they would sleep in Jordan's crib and I could have one of their beds. :) Day ended as well as it had started out poorly.

I have visited Mom almost every day. After last Sunday's discouraging visit, this week she has remembered small things, like the Bible book I'm studying with a friend and the soon-to-be-released movie of our favorite book of all time (after the Bible): The Time Traveler's Wife.

Many more ups than downs ... but please pray with me that I'll have wisdom about the church situation.

Monday, July 20, 2009


What a time last week turned out to be. The old Girl Scouts song "Make new friends but keep the old" came true.

I'm starting to get plugged in. On Wednesday night, I visited choir rehearsal. Oh, how I miss choir when I'm not singing. I received a warm welcome from the folks at Southern Hills Baptist Church. They're already working on Christmas music. Christmas in July is more than a catchy phrase at this church.

On Thursday, the lady who invited me to sit with her in church last week called. Friday night, my new friend from last Sunday invited me to join her at Toastmasters. Saturday, I went to a potluck dinner and movie night with the singles class.

(I must have overdone it with all the parties and outings. I got sick on Saturday night and didn't make it to church.)

Silver friends? I like to think so.

And the olden, golden ones. A letter from the man who helped me prepare to move. An email from a former coworker. Another from a friend from my church back in Colorado.

Friends--how needed. What wonderful gifts from the Lord.

Keep Mom in your prayers. She has good days and bad days. Yesterday I mentioned her stay at the hospital. She said, "When was I in the hospital? What for?" Oh, Mom.

Thanks to all of my blog friends.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday, Sunday

At 8 o'clock yesterday morning, I tried to brush the sleepies out of my eyes and convince myself to get into the shower so I could get to Sunday School on time. (Those of you from ARBC will laugh. You know how rarely I made it to 9 a.m. Sunday school. But weekends are no longer my only chance to sleep.)

I'm so glad I went.

Last week I visited a megachurch here in Oklahoma City. The services were great, and they responded with 4 contacts during the week. But I had missed that personal touch during Sunday school--no one took the time to talk with me. But I returned, and asked God, Please let them welcome me into their midst. And if I should meet another writer--so much the better, Lord.

God answered that prayer. They invited me to a French-themed pot luck supper & movie night on Saturday. One lady asked me to sit with her during the worship service. And lo and behold ...

Yes, I met a writer! Who is also a musician. Out of a church of 1200, in a class of 12 people, I met another writer. She invited me to her local group, and we've made arrangements to go to a Toastmasters meeting on Friday night. Fridays, yay! When I always feel at odds and ends.

Thank you, God, for leading me. Amen.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Jolene Speaks

Daddy I say as I run to you
I then fall in your arms
As you give me a big squeezy bear hug
I look into your face
A face of love and wonder
I shall find a place called home in your arms
You say loving and comforting words to me
Tell me that I am all right and no harm shall come
And though I close my eyes you put me
on a soft cloud and sing a lullaby
Oh Little One you shall find peace in me.

By Jolene Franklin
January 19, 2001

Darlene's note: This one makes me want to cry. Jolene ran home to her Father, and this prayer came true for her.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

One Writer's Mind: Progress

Wow. Is God good or what?

When I talk about good times, I have to remind myself that God is also good when times are tough. His nature doesn't change when my circumstances do!

But this past week has had some amazing developments.

It's official: I have received a contract from Barbour for the first of a three book set of historical romances set in Vermont. In the past week, I have written over 10,000 words for Prodigal Patriot, a love story set during the American Revolution, scheduled for publication next summer.

I also have received a contract for 30 short pieces for a nonfiction book for Barbour.

So God is blessing my decision on both fronts.

Thanks for your prayers and encouragement as I work on both these assignments.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Lullabies and love songs

I've mentioned before that I make up silly songs, or sing silly lyrics to well-known melodies.

Often I'm singing to my cat, Talia. She follows me around and looks at me with round blue eyes (Siamese blue), and so I add her to my song. "Talia, Talia, where have you been? I've been to London to visit the queen. Talia, Talia, what did you there? I frightened a little mouse under her chair." Every time she hears her name, her ears perk up and she looks at me. Sometimes she graces me by jumping next to me on my bed or onto the computer desk or the box I am unpacking.

I sing to Talia because she is precious to me and because I love it when she knows I'm talking to her.

Do you suppose God feels the same way?

One of my favorite verses from the minor prophets is found in the third chapter of Zephaniah: "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." (emphasis mine. verse 17)

I pray I will hear His song, perk up my ears, and bask in His love.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Blank Page

There is little more daunting to a writer than a blank page. It stares at me, challenging me, making me doubt my ability to put anything meaningful into words, to match let alone improve previous successes.

I should know. I've had three "blank pages" in the past two weeks, writing first chapters for a number of different projects I hope will sell. And the beginning always seems heavy, uninteresting--nothing anyone would want to buy.

Yet a blank page is exactly how I want to be before God. I want to come to Him without my ideas pencilled in. To allow Him to write His plans, His thoughts, His prompts to action on my heart, day by day, hour by hour.

And then maybe the blank pages of my writing will fall into line.

FYI: Mom left the hospital on Tuesday and is in a skilled nursing facility for rehab.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Jolene Speaks

On Calvary

Written 1-19-2001

On Calvary you washed away my sins
The price was big
And my sins were as scarlet
So you came to man as man to die
Now I am as white as snow
Now you show your love for my at calvary
Oh the price you had to pay