Here is a pic of our sweet dog Shadow. My hubby had Shadow before I met him. I always used to joke around and say the dog had seniority. We had to put Shadow to sleep early last week. It was a very sad day in our house. She was over 16 years old and had a very good "doggy" life. We all miss her!!! The kitty is walking around like "where's my buddy?" Lenny's walking around like "where's my buddy?" I"m walking around thinking "do I really miss the dog hair on the floor?" (She had very long hair!) Pets are like part of the family and when they're gone it's like part of your life isn't quite the same. For right now we're hanging out with the kitty and a couple of Macaws we are raising. And of course we still have our blue and gold Chiquita and our lilac headed amazaon Lila. So we are not alone!! But it just isn't quite the same.
Whew! I'm rocking right along. Not at the 50,000 pace of the NaNoWriMo, but I'm still rocking. Any pace is better than no pace, right? I'm loving how this story is coming together. There have been a few twists and turns I haven't expected, but that's okay. It's what writing is all about.
Over on F.A.I.T.H. I'm talking about cities we'd love to visit, live in, or just are interested in. Go visit and check it out. Also, look to the sidebar on the right. My word count for This Crazy Love I Never Expected is going up, up and up. I've hit the 25,000 mark. Yeah!!!
We have a lot going on. I've posted a post titled Reality Check. I have a link to a great post from the Seekerville Blog from Tina Russo. I also have a link to Missy's post today on Seekerville. So come on over to F.A.I.T.H. and check out my post and Missy's Seekerville post.
I had a vision for my manuscript This Crazy Love I Never Expected. It's a long story, but basically I've written almost the entire book in third person, hero/heroine point of view. Then I decided I wanted to write it in first person, heroine point of view, so I started over. The first chapters have done great in contests, but somewhere along the line I lost my vision of the story. I couldn't decide in which direction to go in. It was truly crazy. I started another story which I believe God gave me to write. I have a good beginning of that story. Which is where it is stopping for now.
Because I have to finish This Crazy Love...... I just have to. And I sent my Cuz the first three chapters to read and she was such an inspiration. She gave me encouraing words regarding the story and said she wanted to read more. My mother read them and liked them and said she would like to read the rest of the story.
Well, Cuz, Mother, hopefully before the end of the year you…
Actually his birthday isn't until Monday but since we are going to see him today I decided it was Happy Birthday Alex weekend! My baby will be 22. I can't believe how the time has flown by. From just a little (well, 9lbs 10 oz. isn't too little I guess) boy to a handsome grown man.
For all of you out there reading this with little ones, enjoy. The time they are young is shorter than you think.....I know, you don't believe me now, but it's true. (Missy, if you are reading this I know you feel the love here!!!)
Maybe I'll have some pics to post when we get home.
I do get a great cut. (Since I wouldn't tell my cuz how much I spend on a cut, she thinks I spend $400!)) I don't spend that kind of money but I do LOVE Erik!! (He's my hair dude!) He and his wife are friends of my step-daughter and her hubby. I was always commenting on how great Lisa's hair looked so she gave me a gift certificate for my birthday almost three years ago and I'm still going. Here's the lastest style Erik did for me.
And yes I know I don't look like Katie Holmes, (sigh) but the cut is very cute. It's also very short!!! But I"m up for a change and some bangs for a while.
So, what about you? Every do a drastic change to your hair? Love it or hate it?
Laura chose pink flowers for her wedding and Brenna chose yellow. Such fun, bright colors and I'm glad we have the photos since summer is fading into fall. I love the cool weather, the sun shining when it's not sweaty hot. Summer 2008 will be remembered by me as the summer of weddings. How are you going to remember the summer of 2008? Any special things happen this summer?
My friend and cp Missy has been coping lately with the "first son goes to college syndrome." Her son went just far enough away that coming home for the weekend won't happen every weekend. She misses him terribly and I know what she means. My son is now a senior in college. And yesterday was an amazing day for me:
I had about six different conversations with my son ranging from school finances to the upcoming wedding of his sister.
Now these are special times in a mother's life. Sometimes I go for over a week without chatting with Alex. But days like yesterday are special because you can't help but want to converse with the people you love.
So if you love somebody and haven't talked with them in a while, pick up the phone. Say hello. It would make their day!!!
But it doesn't have to be hard, either. I have started walking. Whoo-hoo!! I know to some of you this is no big deal. Walking? you ask? Phew! I walk every day. But I never exercise. I can't stand the thought of the word. Every year when I go for my annual doc visit he asks the dreaded question---Are you excersing? No. I just tell him "no, I'm not." He doesn't say much. Some little speil about how beneficial it is, yadda, yadda, yadda. So you see, I have to start somewhere. What about you? Do you exercise? If no, why not? If yes, please give me some encouraging words so I don't give up.
And I haven't been very good at posting this month! I know, you don't want to hear about how life gets in the way, but trust me life gets in the way. Oh, what's so hard about sitting down and typing a few words now and then? That's what I thought. But trust me, sitting down before laying down to go to bed has been a struggle. I've been to Florida twice (fun) and Tennessee twice (work) and am getting done with the last minute wedding details. The good thing is I'm not stressing yet. I hope I don't. I mean, if all is well, why bother, right? I have a dress, but I"m going to look for another one. If I find one, great, if not I have one I like. Three weeks from today and it will all be over with and I'll be packing to go to Minnesota for the ACFW Conference! All the F.A.I.T.H. girls will be together. We are really excited.
You know, life is full of all kinds of things. Good, bad, exciting, boring. We just need to go with the flow, ride out the storms, s…
Just a quick note to say my manuscript This Crazy Love I Never Expected took first place in the Faith, Hope and Love Chapter Touched By Love Contest. Missy accepted my award for me in San Francisco. Thanks!!!
This week is the Romance Writers of America National Conference. I am not going to attend. Weddings and work are the priority right now. Working so we can pay for the wedding. But my cp Missy Tippens is headed to San Francisco today. I know she'll have a great time and see lots of people she gets to see once a year. Conferences are good for a lot of things. Learning, socializing, getting away. Take your pick. Or pick them all. This year Missy will have to do them all for me. I'll miss being there, but not to worry. I will be attending the ACFW conference in September. All the F.A.I.T.H. girls will be there. I'm very excited to be together for the first time. All of us. And it's in Minnesota. I've never been there. Not that I'll get to see too much. Of course the book signing is at the Mall of America, so I hope to get a chance to walk around there a bit. If you're reading this and you are going/or are at the RWA conference let us know how it's going. If yo…
For the last month and probably the next two months I've been leaving my home on Tuesday mornings to head up to Oak Ridge Tennessee where I've been working. I'm not a traveling type of person normally when it comes to work, so I'm a little out of my element in all this. I love to travel, but with my hubby and or family. Not myself. My boss is there with me sometimes, but sometimes she's not. I take my computer and try to make the best of the evenings and early mornings by writing, catching up on email and the blogs I like to viist. Well, this week I get to the hotel Tuesday night and pull out my computer. I search the bag for the charger and realize I had left it in Atlanta. So I have less than 45 minutes of time on the computer for the whole week. Bummer. To top it off I have a spider bite and my leg is the size of a grapefruit. Very uncomfortable. I will not go into the details as they aren't very pretty. So my week was spent watching a lot of reality TV. There …
It's hard to imagine something this massive and beautiful.
These pictures don't do this glacier justice, but trust me when I say it was an amazing experience seeing this creation of God.
The picture with the people standing on the deck of the boat gives some semblence as to how massive this glacier is. We got really close to the glacier and the captain of the ship turned the ship in a circle for about 45 minutes so no matter where you were on the boat you got a really good view of the glacier. We had absolutely beautiful weather. The sun was out. The temps were a little chilly, but nothing a sweatshirt and a hat oculdn't handle. This was truly a dream vacation for me. Between the friends, family, scenery, weather and all other aspects I don't see how it could have been better. Now my dream is to go back to Alaska. But not on a cruise. I couldn't nor do I want to replicate that dream, but I want to go landing. Rather seeing Alaska by land. I'm looking at 2010 for a…
The first stop we made was in Icy Straight Point. A very small town of about 876 people. There is one school all the kids go to. The town is very beautiful and scenic. Mountain and water combine for a great view no matter where you look.
There was a very cool nature trail that we walked. It wasn't very long, but it was beautiful and full of shades of green we just don't see here in the Southeast United State.
After being in Seattle and now Alaska I've decided I'm somewhat partial to the Northwest portion of the US. There is a crispness, clearness, I don't really know how to describe it, that envelopes me when I'm there. Maybe it's just because it's so different from where I am normally.
I'm already looking into another trip to Alaska. Not a cruise because we had such awesome weather and such a great time I know nothing could top it. But I would like to go back to Juneau and stay. Wait until I post some of those pics! Wow.
I have news and pics. News first. My manuscript, This Crazy Love I Never Expected is a finalist in the TARA Writing Contest.
And now for some vacation details and and pics! We went on a cruise to Alaska. We started in Seattle for a great visit with my brother, then made our way via Amtrak to Vancouver where we boarded a boat with 10 friends and family. We had fun! Alaska is THE PLACE TO BE in the summer. Fabulous weather.
Here is my hubby and his brother and his wife. We have just arrived on the boat and are waiting to set sail.
A view from the boat leaving Vancouver. Beautiful scenery.
Do you like to read? I love it. I read a lot of different genres. And I've started doing something I've never done before. I can read two or three books at a time. Yep. I can and I do. Usually they are different type of books, and whatever I'm in the mood for I pick that one up. Then the next day I may pick up the other one. It's really a different type of thing for me. I never used to be able to do this. It would drive me crazy.
I'm also working on a writing a couple of books. But that's harder for me to switch back and forth. I'm basically working on one, but have started another one to enter in a contest. That story idea has really progressed, but I'm putting it aside until I finish the other story. If ideas come for the second story I'll jot them down in my trusty notebook and keep on plugging away until the finish of previous said wip.
What about you? Can you read two books at the same time? If you write, can you work on more than one story at a t…
I had to share today's devotion. It's from Daily in His Presence by Andrew Murray. June 5: Faith Don't be afraid, just believe. Mark 5:36
How simple, yet complex.
But it's true. We don't have to be afraid. We can just believe. Not that all of life is going to go well. Not that there won't be things that break our hearts. Not that you won't have a bad day, or a flat out mad day. But there is a hope. There is an underlying joy at the base of these not going well, breaking our heart, bad, mad days. Jesus. Don't be afraid, just believe.
My daughter and her fiance went out with another couple last night. They went to the Drive-In. How fun!! I pretty much had forgotten about the venue. When I was in high-school we used to go all the time, but I honestly didn't know if they still existed. I'm glad to find out they do. With all the high gas prices and technology it's refreshing to know something of the past is still in existence, and that the younger generation is enjoying it.
What about you? Do you have a Drive-In around you? Have you been lately? Would you like to go?
I just received news that my manuscript This Crazy Love I Never Expected is a finalist in the Faith, Hope and Love chapter of RWA's annual Touched By Love contest.
I'm thrilled with this news. The winners will be announced at the Faith, Hope and Love one day conference in July. It's in San Francisco this year in conjunction with the RWA National Conference. I won't be able to attend, but I'll be anxiously awaiting a phone call to see where my manuscript placed.
Mothers are very special people. Today is the day we celebrate the women in our lives that have impacted us in a postive and loving way. Don't forget to tell those special women how important they are to you.
Just had to announce that my cp and friend Missy Tippens had sold another book to Steeple Hill!! I'm so thrilled for her. She reworked this book and they really liked it. Missy has great revision skills. I look at my work and think, "it's the only way this can happen." I need to learn from her.
Click on over to F.A.I.T.H. on Monday. We are talking about finding the true core of your writing. What your story is about at heart. If you're a reader, you can post about what type of story you LOVE to read.
I'd like to introduce to you Amy Wallace, Rita Award Nominee for Ransomed Dreams.
Today we are talking about her second book, Healing Promises which will be available April 15th. I'll be drawing for a free copy tomorrow morning. So leave a comment today and check back to see if you are the lucky one to receive this great book.
I had the privilege of asking Amy a few questions.
Belinda: What was the biggest difference in writing Ransomed Dreams, then Healing Promises?
Amy: When I first wrote Ransomed Dreams, I knew nothing and had a ball just getting the story on the page. I also had a number of years to hone my craft and then rewrite the story under the guidance of my incredible editor.
Writing Healing Promises was done with a great deal more knowledge of the publishing world and skills needed for writing well. It was also written during a time of intense physical pain and spiritual searching. Due to all that, it was less than a thrill ride. But the experience taught me even…
I had a migraine on Tuesday and a grandson born on Wednesday---so I spent Thursday and Friday doing all I didn't do Tuesday and Wednesday. How's that for excuses?
Can you claim you didn't blog because you had a migraine and a grandson being born?
Didn't think so!
But really----Tyler was born Wednesday morning. Mom and son are doing well. Everybody's home and settling in. We are going visiting today. Can't wait to hold little Tyler again.
You are familiar with the saying "time flies." And when you are young, you think everything moves so slow. I literally need a few more hours in the day to keep up with what's going on. But I know that's not going to happen. (There will always only be 24 hours in a day)
Okay. So I didn't post too much in March. March was a crazy month. Totally crazy. Work, not being home, combined with Lenny being out of town and me having to judge two writing contests, left me with much too little time. April however is going to be different. The work situation is getting better, we don't have NASCAR races and bowling tournaments to attend. Lenny will not be leaving town for work. I'm not judging any contests. In fact, I think I'll enter a couple. I have to get back to the writing. This story is jumping around in my head...shoot, the next story is already creating scenes in my head. What is a writer to do with so much stuff and so little time? Make the most of the time she/he has. I know I have a lot more than some people. I had a dream last night that I finished my book. I also dreamed that we almost missed the boat on our trip we are taking in June, but let's hope that doesn't come to pass. That part of the dream was very stressful. Not that it…
Well, the Idol 12 are in. The only real surprise for me last night was Aysha--(I know I didn't spell her name right.)
I think it's a good top twelve. I still think there will be more boys than girls around in a few weeks.
This Idol contest makes me think of us writers who are trying to get published amidst a sea of thousands of people trying to be published. There are a lot of good writers. There are probably a lot of great writers. Just like the contestants on Idol....they are all great. But what makes them stand out? What makes them connect with the crowd? What makes them able to have people clapping at the end of the performance?
It's what they bring to each song. As writers we have our own personality and experiences we can bring to each book. No other author has our exact emotions to each situation. We have to bring ourselves to our work and dig deep to grab that connection with editors and agents to make them believe in what we are doing.
The boyz were rockin' last night!! One of my new fav's David Cook---you gotta love that guy. Jason was awesome--most of them did a really good job. Isn't it amazing how the crowd cheers when Simon says "I loved it!" That's his new phrase for the year I guess. Unless he's said it before and I never paid attention. But I'll be like Simon about last night.
They weren't that intersting last night. What happened? They are nervous and pitchy. (I never even heard the word pitchy until I started watching Idol--now I use it like I know exactly what I"m talking about!)
I liked Brooke--she's always been my fav girl. She's fun.
We'll have to see what happens tonight. I think they are going to be in real trouble when they are combined with the boys. The boys are rockin this year.
Really. We do. We love having fun. But sometimes there's no time for fun. Sometimes we have too many things going on. Even when we have "fun" things planned, pushing together too many of them results in trying to fit everything in. Then the fun seems to disappear into the pressures of everything else.
I think God has been speaking to me lately regarding certain things. I have two engagments I was planning on doing that I have decided to say "no" to. I think it's time to slow down. After all, I do have a wedding to plan this year. I want to enjoy every minute of that process. The wedding and reception are going to be at the same place which simplifies things greatly. My daughter and her fiance just firmed up their honeymoon plans and they are simplifying also.
We have also just started the Lenten season and I know I need to rely on and listen to what God is telling me. I haven't had time to write and that is a big hole in my life right now. I do b…
Why do we continue to write after all these years? We keep writing, getting rejected, write, reject and yet we start another story, put another idea down on paper. I think it's because we can't not write. The ideas come, they have to be played out.
I was telling my dh this morning about a conference I would like to attend. I don't know if it will work out date-wise, but I've heard lots of great things about this conference, it's close to home and I think it would be a great opportunity.
But then there was this little nagging in my mind---how much more money are you going to put out--before getting money in?
I've never really thought this way before. I think it's not the way God wants me to think.
I have to write. It comes from inside my heart. It's a given that stories come into my head all the time.
So I keep plugging away at it. Creating stories and characters and happy endings. (Yes, I HAVE to have a happy ending!)
Dropping in to say have a great day in all you do. I"m working like crazy a good distance from my house. It's only temporary---that's the good thing! But I"m learning a lot and gaining more head knowledge. I"m sure God will put it use for his glory! Because that's what we're all about. Doing God's stuff so He will shine through and people will know His love.
I had a dream last night about sharing the love of Jesus. Somebody in my dream (not sure who it was) was feeling so much love from another human being. They just couldn't believe it--and I wanted to shout "You can feel that love all the time--everyday from God." But for some reason I didn't. And then in my dream I remember feeling like I should have said that no matter what.
I hope I step up in real life. I hope I don't miss an opportunity to share God's love.
Everyone is different. Everyone has their own talents, gifts and things they excel at. I'm reading a book right now titled Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. He is convinced that you can learn to write. Which is a good thing, because I don't think I'm one of those people who have innate talent. (In anything!) There are aspects of writing I have learned and at this point I have found my voice. I have found the style of writing that brings out the best response in readers. But no amount of craft books or that thrill of finding your voice will be of any use to you if you don't give it all over to God. Give your story to God and see what happens. You'll be surprised. I started journaling every morning before I write. Sometimes its just a couple of sentences, sometimes it's longer. I start out with what I would like to accomplish in my scene or chapter or whatever block of the story I'm working with, then I give the story to God. Ask Him to guide me in the way …
I think some people view living a Christian life as living a boring, rule-filled existence where they can have no fun. Nothing can be further from the truth. The reason God sent Jesus to this earth is nothing short of a miracle. Jesus was alive and well, interacting with people just like you and me. But he was perfect-void of sin. We are not. The message of Jesus is love. I know I can't begin to imagine the whole, perfect, complete love God has for us. But the little I can wrap my mind around thrills me. Knowing our God, loves us so much, He sent Jesus to us to teach, live and live out the love He embodies. Jesus is alive and active today in all of our hearts. He wants us to show the love our Father has for us as we live out our lives. Knowing we have such an awesome teacher, mentor and guide gives us the freedom to be who we are in Jesus---Praise God!
There has been some stirring in my heart all week, and I feel these words sum …
Okay--I've had a website since the summer. It's been "under construction" since then. Meaning I don't know what I'm doing, haven't had time to figure out what I'm doing and am too cheap right now to hire someone who knows what they're doing.
So this weekend I decided to try and tackle the thing myself. It's not where I want it to be, but it's a far cry from where it used to be.
I have a background I like, I've uploaded a photo and an image....stuff that took me a little while to figure, out but I did it.
There's something to figuring out this stuff for yourself. I'm not going to say I'm into computer stuff and all that. I'm not. But this webpage came with some very helpful pointers and a beginning. So, it's a start.
Check it out here if you want. Let me know what you think.
Another reason I like learning how to do this myself is I can change it at will.
I've been tagged by Missy to tell 8 fun things about myself. So here goes:
1. Like Missy, I was a baton twirler and wore white go-go boots. I didn't know we had this in common. We'll have to talk about it!
2. I've worn glasses since I was in the first grade. I got contacts when I was 13.
3. I worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken for 4 years, from when I was 16-20.
4. I've gone to the same OBGYN for 22 years, the same eye doctor for 30 years, the same guy cut my hair for 27 years. I've worked with the poeple I'm working with for 18 years. Like my dad says, if it aint broke don't fix it.
5. My first car was a camaro.
6. Our dog is 15 years old, our cat is 12 years old(he's sitting on my lap right now!) and our bird is 18 years old.
7. The "d" key on my laptop is broke.
8. Today is my birthday.
There. 8 fun things about me. Now let's see. Who can I tag.....
Okay. I didn't exercise Saturday. I woke up at 6:30 am with a headache. I mean the headache woke me up. I was kind of out of it all day. Ended up sleeping on the couch by 3:00. Maybe the thought of exercising gave me the headache. Not sure. But Sunday morning was busy with feeding the birds then getting to church by ten. Monday morning I had to work. So hence my dilema for the new year. I want to do three things before I go to work each day. Devotion time in the a.m. Exercise in the a.m. Write in the a.m. I found I write much faster and cleaner and can think way better in the morning. I could do the devotional at night, but what better way to start the day than with a word from God? And my dh and I have tried walking at night, but when I do physical activity at night like walking and exercising it seems to give me energy which would be great for the morning, but keeps me awake at night, hence I would sleep late the next day and that would result in not doing any of the things I want to …