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Thursday, May 29, 2014


Ah, back to writing. I spent most of the week editing thirty devotionals for Women of the Bible. I had women from very well known matriarchs (Sarah and Rebekah) to women mentioned only once (Rufus's mother). A challenging, fulfilling study.

I am now in the throes of starting a novella for Homestead Brides, due out next year. Barbour has assembled a great group of writers for nine novellas in the anthology. My story is Priceless Pearl, set during the 1893 Oklahoma Land Run.

I finished Gameland--without a clear ending, of course, so I will buy the next installment. :) But I won't, as much as I enjoyed the story.

Next I read another mystery, Stranger in Town by Cheryl Bradshaw. A PI mystery about a child abduction case--a few murders, but not the main mystery. Definitely a series I would revisit.

I just started A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin, a WWII story. I look forward to reading about the ugly duckling. (at least that's how the heroine sees herself)

This isn't a book, but I am enjoying the return of 24 to TV for a limited engagement.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Poetry Zone May 21-27, 2014

Prompt: Combine first lines or titles from your favorite musician into a poem. I thought about John Denver and Charles Wesley, but ended up with Fanny Crosby. Wesley and Crosby both wrote hymns, and her hymns are the ones I still sing.


Rescue the perishing for I am Thine, o Lord
Pass me not, o gentle Savior
Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it

Near the cross, tell me the stories of Jesus
He hideth my soul close to thee
Blessed assurance, to God be the glory

Take the world but give me Jesus
Savior, more than life to me
To God be the glory of unsearchable riches

Jesus is tenderly calling me home
All the way my Savior leads me
To that bright forever

Form: Staccatto

Two poems for this one.

He holds colored cones in a tow’ring stack
My arm stretches out, bones grinding on bones
Reach high! Reach high! Don’t dare to stop
Unfolding fingers brush air and miss
Undaunted, I extend my hand again
Reach high! At last the end, success


Proudly you march to pomp and circumstance
While your heart beats romp with joy on this day
Go forth! Go forth! The world’s your stage
Your choice to make, to hurl yourself
Into the future, grasping the brass ring
Go forth with confidence, clasping your dreams.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


I finished Lacy William's novella this week and now I'm in the middle of my first-ever foray into ya-zombie fiction. I don't know zombie mythology but the story is actually more compelling than I expected, with the heavy hand of big brother ready to fall on these nerdy kids' necks. The book is Gameland by S.W. Tanpepper.

Writing-wise, I figured out that at my revised goal of 1K a day, I have contracts to keep me busy through October (and beyond). So I hunkered done and revised 22 devotions of the 30 I need to turn in ASAP. This project, learning more about women whose names I didn't recognize (many are mentioned only once) has challenged and blessed me.

I also wrote a devotional for a summer handout at independent Christian bookstores--thanks to CAN (one of 30 we're doing). The theme was "summer." I struggled with it until I brainstormed sights and activities that I associate with summer. When I got to crops, my mind went ding! ding! ding! The story of how Egypt, Vermont got its name and the background of my story, Bride to Love. Bride to Love is one of a five-novel anthology coming out this summer: The New England Romance Collection.

And to cap off this week: Here is the cover of my next Heartsong book, Saving Felicity.  (Book #7 set in Maple Notch, but contemporary this time.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Poetry Zone May 14-20, 2014

Prompt was: Some things go without saying. And sometimes there isn’t a right time to say the obvious. Think of  about seven (7) of the worst things you could say to someone who was just dumped. Make three of them the first lines on a three (3) stanza poem on the subject! 

My response:

Happily Married—Not

Not good enough for you, my father said
Was I the fool for choosing him back then
When fears of dying lonely filled my head

 Too far away from them, my mother penned.
Her grandchildren on Mother’s Day—her due
More important for us, my man of men

 Control brought pleasure to him, friends saw clues
Too much, submit, too much, enough, no more
My head held high, my days unfold like new

The form was a Tyburn, "a six line poem consisting of 2,2,2,2,9,9 syllables. The first four lines rhyme and are all descriptive words. The last two lines rhyme and incorporate the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th lines as the 5th to 8th syllables." I missed the 9 and wrote 8 instead but these were more fun:

Children at Play
Children at play spinning, grinning,
We all fall down, pinning, winning

inspired by Jaran's description of Jordan and Isaiah playing at the local water park
Nature's Lace
The spider works weaving, reeving
When web is shred, grieving, leaving       

trying to think of "nature" themes, I thought of the rare spiders we see here. . .

Monday, May 19, 2014


My reasons to celebrate motherhood: My son Jaran, my daughter-in-law, Shelley, and their four children: Shannon, Savannah, Jordan and Isaiah

My therapy hours have become fun times for conversation. On Friday, we discovered we had a couple of favorite books in common: Wild at Heart and Captivating by John Eldredge. Those books became best-sellers based on their clear understanding of the different needs of men and women.  Am I "the man"? Can I protect and provide? or "Am I beautiful? Will someone rescue me?"

Am I beautiful, inside or out? My gut reaction is a solid "no." I have abused my body, I'm overweight, I have scars up and down my body. Inside, people call me beautiful, but as I told Darrin, "I know the real me, the one who gets mad at the aides, cross and mean and complaining."

Before you step in to reassure me, I realized how much I sound like one of my friends here, who brushes away any attempt at a compliment. Today, when she wanted to help me get my oxygen tank to my room (she's in a wheel chair as well), I told her, "you're sweet."

Automatic answer: "No, I'm not."

I revised my statement. "You always want to help people."  And you know what? She accepted the compliment and thanked me.

And I realized how much my complaining and apologizing for my many outbursts make me like her--refusing to see myself for the beautiful woman God created me to be.

Not saying my actions are always okay. But I shouldn't allow them to define me. Too often I do.

I know I'm not the only one out there who struggles with how I see myself. Let us see our selves as the princesses God created us to be (for the ladies, of course.) For the men, the best word might be warrior!

Together, we can conquer the world.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Four weeks in a hospital without my computer can make a dent in productivity. (It did do a lot of good for my health.)

I wrote a few devotionals for my women of the Bible assignment and a few poems. And got an extension on the book due on May 15th.

Missing a deadline because I was in the hospital (for the fifth time in two years), I did a certain amount of soul-searching. Was it time to "retire,"  to stop writing?

 I quickly decided no. Writing gives me pleasure and purpose. But I do need to scale back. So the next time I'm sidelined, it doesn't create a domino effect. And after working so long to reach this point, it's discouraging. :(  So your prayers still appreciated.  And for clarity as to "which" stories I want to write!

 But four weeks with only puzzle books, ebooks, and the Game Show Network for entertainment, can lead to a lot of books read.  Here's the list, with a few comments.

Dante Connection by Estelle Ryan. A mystery that I found quite confusion. Not one I care to read again.

A collection called First Kisses, six contemporary and historical romances featuring memorable first kisses. I am nearly finished with the last story, by Lacy Williams, and I am proud to say that I most enjoyed the stories by our Oklahoma authors: Linda Goodnight's Rambler's Bride, Margaret Daley's Deadly Hunt, and Lacy's story, Kissed by a Cowboy.  Also in the collection:
Lovebirds at the Heartbreak Café by Janet Tronstad
Her Mule Hollow Cowboy by Debra Clopton
Necessary Proof  by Camy Tang

I alternated romances with 12 mysteries in the collection, Deadly Dozen. So far I've read:

Don't Know Jack by Diane Capri
Cry Wolf by J. Carson Black
Night Widow by Carol Davis Lice

I also finished a novel about wreckers on Fire Island, NY, in preparation for a book proposal I'm considering: Fire Island by John Stevens.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Poetry Zone

A few poems emerged after the past few weeks. Here they are:

Prompt: "Since (blank)"

Since I Became a Writer

The words were mine before I was theirs, a wordsmith.
Ten years, no, make it a dozen, before
“Are you a writer?” didn’t make me cringe.
I won a contest, then two and published
A story, a devotional, even lesson plans
Until I whispered to myself, I am a writer

The stories disappeared the day my daughter died
Words traipsed through my mind like strands of color
Raging red, burning gold, blue repose, green reborn
Poetry called but I didn’t answer
Rhythms and rhymes, alliteration and abc,
Pound the keys
I write poetry
But am I
A poet?

The Road to Poetry

Addicted with the first story
Twenty years and more
Words slip and slide
One sentence, one chapter, one book
Jonesing for a fix at opus number thirty
Demanding a more powerful drug
Adding rhythm and rhyme
One word, one rhyme, one line
Words reborn as poetry
Dare I proclaim it?
A writer? Yes.
A poet?
I must

FORM: "Wrapped refrain."

My Yes Is Me

To find my yes, what does it mean
Do I dance and smile and sing, keen
For rhythm and joy without end
Guaranteed happiness my friend
But golden skies fade to gray, manic turns depressed
Party’s over, and I have yet to find my yes

My yes is all me, unabridged
Mad, sad, glad, and more, acknowledged
Daily discoveries enhance
Self-portrait, too much for a glance
Exuberant expression, light and dark, a spree
Spending each moment without fear, my yes is me

While at the hospital:

May Day
May day, flower day, blooms strung into leis day
May day, play day, every day a fun day
May day, sun day, temperatures climb high day
May day, sky day, will tornadoes come day
May day, drum day, honoring war's dead day
May day, head day, toss black caps in air day
May day, care day, Moms are number one day
May day, Son day, beginning and the end day 

Monday, May 12, 2014


How not to build an internet following: inconsistent postings of interest and writing without a specific focus (except me, myself and I.)  :)  Great appreciation to all of you who've stayed with me through it all!

This time I have a good reason: I spent a month at the hospital.  Wound care, which is largely healed. (But even after a month, not completely).  Wound caused by pinching my leg on the commode. Weird, huh?

So I am home again. With a slight shift in perception. To  continue to write diligently, but not at the same pace. I write because it's who I am, and I have so many stories I want to write and devotionals I hope to write (and publish). 

But it's time to focus more on my neighbors, to take a more active role in daily activities here at the nursing home, and to respond more to the requests and needs of my online friends who have poured love to me over and over. If I could write a thank you note every day for the rest of my life, would I reach everyone who has made a difference in my life? Whether I do or not, it would sharpen gratitude and raise the temperature of my daily moods.

Also thanks to my hospital stay, I get PHYSICAL THERAPY at last. So another activity for my daily schedule. A very welcome on.

My son gave me a marvelous mother's day. Last weekend he showed up at the hospital with the movie Frosted which we watched together on my computer--a gift both of time and of sharing his interests (and the grandbabies.) I was tickled when I laughed at a scene just as Jaran said, "Isaiah always laughs at this part."  Way to go, grandson!

This morning, he showed up with cupcakes. We ate cupcakes with coffee and chatted for about an hour before home he went to enjoy the day with his own special lady. Putting me first on the day, and remembering my preference for cupcakes to celebrate.

I recently read a great quote about writing: Don't write for 100 readers to read your book now. Write for ten readers in ten years. . . write for one reader after a hundred years.

If anyone reads my books in a hundred years. . .an unimagined blessing. And one I will be unaware of.

Happy May!  If the blog allows it, I'd love a hello from my friends!