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So much going on this month! Hope your Christmas is Merry and Bright!
I am flabbergasted! Is that the right word? Hmmm. I received this on a post on one of the Yahoo! Author groups I'm on, and I couldn't not brag!Thanks Jan! There comes a time when you might start pulling your hair out in frustration because a publisher, fellow writer, writing group, whatever tells you that you have a 'consistent' problem with - oh, I dont know, commas, POV, chapter breaks, (fill in the blank) and you have looked over the WIP so much you know you're missing things because you're skimming even more after the 20th review .... heck, you might even hate the WIP now and want to just tear it up ..... worse, you might just not want to write again.
I was there. I had all three boxes checked and double checked. I was told I had a problem with POV and sentence structuring (turns out the majority was my comma usage - and not just what I thought it was - who knew that, at the end of a sentence, a comma is still used in certain aspects of writing?!?I had so many stories in my head wanting to get written - people knocking on my noggin saying, "Hey - wait till you see this!" (I daydream my books so I see the story unfold like a movie - hence why I "see") and then they find their way into a series or such .... but I didnt care any more. Oh, I knew I would again one day, but I was so over it that I let my writing go and delved into a new venture: College. Thrilled that I had a *reason* to not have time to write but feeling guilty that I wasnt writing, I asked for help and I got so many offers, it was a difficult decision on who to go with.
I've had some ups and downs. I've got new classes that are challenging the 4.0 I got with my 1st 2 semesters but I am finding time to write again and I owe it to one of our members: Jan. We wrote back and forth, we chatted about family, and she ... inspired me. She worked hard for the small amount she charged and gave more than anyone should expect. She always found ways to tell me I was on the right track or I even had a great idea - all while guiding me to making my work .... well, work.
I've thanked her one on one but she's remained in my head long past the time she helped me out. She took my WIP and not only showed me my problem areas but gave me pointers/websites to help me improve - and I cant tell you how many times she exemplified "patience" when I argued the idiocy of whatever it was she was correcting me on until I accepted it, buried my angst, and carried on. I have a long way to go in finishing because of college and my eye rosacia, but I'm really excited about 'tomorrow'!
And Jan? I'll be back with more - just give me a little time ;)
Highlander's WitchCheck out her book!
As you can see, I'm not a very good blogger!
I get a lot of emails that are worthy of sending to my friends, but this is just not the place to share them. My baby daughter, Audrey, sent this to me through FaceBook, and I thought it was very worthy of my Blog page.
What an astonishing thing a book is.
It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles.
But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years.
Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you.
Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each
other, citizens of distant epochs.
Books break the shackles of time.
A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.
~ Carl Sagan
I received these 2 poems through my email this week, and they both touched my heart. I wanted to share them with you.
IN YOUR DARKEST HOUR, HE IS THERE
When you're writhing in pain, and your body is weak,
The Lord hears your prayer, even when you can't speak.
He doesn't need words to know what's in your heart,
And He wants to be with you, and draw you apart
To show you the grace He delights to bestow,
As he wraps you in love, and He helps you to grow.
He promises strength for each day that you live,
And His storehouse is full - He has plenty to give.
So take heart, precious saint, and rest calm in His care,
For the Lord is as close as each weak, heart-felt prayer.
By Betty Jo Mings
Shoes in Church
I showered and shaved................ I adjusted my tie.
I got there and sat................ In a pew just in time.
Bowing my head in prayer............ As I closed my eyes.
I saw the shoe of the man next to me....... Touching my own. I sighed.
With plenty of room on either side......... I thought, 'Why must our soles touch?'
It bothered me, his shoe touching mine.. But it didn't bother him much.
A prayer began: 'Our Father'............. I thought, 'This man with the shoes, has no pride.
They're dusty, worn, and scratched. Even worse, there are holes on the side!'
'Thank You for blessings,' the prayer went on. the shoe man said................. A quiet 'Amen.'
I tried to focus on the prayer........ But my thoughts were on his shoes again..
Aren't we supposed to look our best. When walking through that door?
'Well, this certainly isn't it,' I thought, Glancing toward the floor.
Then the prayer was ended............ And the songs of praise began.
The shoe man was certainly loud..... Sounding proud as he sang.
His voice lifted the rafters........ His hands were raised high.
The Lord could surely hear.. The shoe man's voice from the sky.
It was time for the offering........ And what I threw in was steep.
I watched as the shoe man reached.... Into his pockets so deep.
I saw what was pulled out.......... What the shoe man put in.
Then I heard a soft 'clink' . As when silver hits tin.
The sermon really bored me.......... To tears, and that's no lie.
It was the same for the shoe man... For tears fell from his eyes.
At the end of the service........ As is the custom here.
We must greet new visitors, And show them all good cheer.
But I felt moved somehow........... And wanted to meet the shoe man.
So after the closing prayer........ I reached over and shook his hand.
He was old and his skin was dark..... And his hair was truly a mess......
But I thanked him for coming.......... For being our guest...
He said, 'My names' Charlie............ I'm glad to meet you, my friend.'
There were tears in his eyes......... But he had a large, wide grin..
'Let me explain,' he said............. Wiping tears from his eyes.
'I've been coming here for months...... And you're the first to say 'Hi.''
'I know that my appearance...........'Is not like all the rest.
'But I really do try....................'To always look my best.'
'I always clean and polish my shoes...'Before my very long walk.
'But by the time I get here........'They're dirty and dusty, like chalk.'
My heart filled with pain............ And I swallowed to hide my tears.
As he continued to apologize.......... For daring to sit so near
He said, 'When I get here............'I know I must look a sight.
'But I thought if I could touch you....'Then maybe our souls might unite.'
I was silent for a moment............. Knowing whatever was said
Would pale in comparison.... I spoke from my heart, not my head.
'Oh, you've touched me,' I said.......'And taught me, in part;
'That the best of any man..............'Is what is found in his heart.'
The rest, I thought,............... This shoe man will never know.
Like just how thankful I really am.... That his dirty old shoe touched my soul.
I do not know who wrote this last poem, it had no name at the end. But it reminded me of how the Lord tells us not to judge lest we be judged. How true that is. How can we judge anyone, not knowing what they come though. Knowing what their background is, knowing all that they have done in their lives, still we must keep ourselves from judging, because we haven't walked even a mile in their shoes. What we think we know about a person, may be off by just a degree or two...
Which reminds me of a pilot, and what he said about being off by just a degree. When in an airplane, being off just a degree, flying for hundreds of miles, could put you many miles away from your destination, or in some instances, finding a mountain in your way that should not be there. Just a degree off...
So, when we look at another person, whether it be their clothes or their eyes we see, don't judge, lest ye be judged. You don't know what their circumstances are.
And if you find that you are the one being judged by those around you, just smile and don't let it bother you. They don't know what you have come through in your life. You can't change another person's thoughts about anything, so don't waste your time trying. There is only one person who you need to worry about, and that is you! It is true what I've read: You cannot lift another person up if you are on the bottom rung of the ladder.
Have a wonderful day!
THE CRACK of the thunder woke her from a sound sleep. Next to her Rafe lay still, unaffected by the raging storm pelting the apartment building. Snuggling closer to his warmth for a feel of security, René felt his arm tighten around her at her shifting. He was her pillar of strength during the rough points in her life.
They had been married almost five years. Their anniversary was coming up in a month, and she’d been planning a party behind his back. Keeping it a secret was hard, as he had come into the room where she was making plans with a caterer or talking on the phone with the musicians.
“Is my baby scared of the storm?” his whispered words were sweetly spoken. Rafe knew of her fear of storms, and he loved that she looked to him for safety. She made him feel as if he was everything in her world.
Outside there was great wind whipping around them. Usually the sounds of nature weren’t heard within their apartment. This storm was definitely not to be ignored. The rain pelted the bedroom window. Then louder, until they both realized it was hail that was falling.
The sounds quieted for just a few moments before the howl was heard, what some would call a freight train roar. The rain and hail couldn’t be heard over the solid whoosh of the wind going wild inside a giant vacuum.
Rafe was pushing her away from him. “Get on the floor, next to the bed.” His tone was harsh. He knew they were in immediate danger, that outside their home was the ragings of a tornado. He’d heard it before.
“Not without you, Rafe.” René didn’t want to be away from him, even if it would be inches that separated them.
Pushing her toward the edge of the bed, he gave answer. “I’ll be right behind you.” As she slipped off the mattress, he scooted his body toward the edge following her.
At that moment, part of the roof lifted above their bedroom, slammed down, then lifted again and flew away. The noise was deafening, rain and hail pelted down through the large hole above the bed.
“Rafe!” René tried to scream for him, but his name was lost before it reached her ears. “Where are you?”
There was no answer, and she wondered he had heard her.
She lay on the carpet, as much under the bed as she could get. Only an arm was beneath, and a leg. The bed was too close to the floor for her to get under it. The feel of suction made her wonder if she would be pulled out through the ceiling. The rain and hail wasn’t hitting her, yet she heard it pelting the dresser above her head.
Then all was almost too quiet. The wind was still howling, but it sounded as if it were miles away. The rain now soaked through her gown, leaving her shivering. Lightning flashed and thunder followed, but not as it had a few moments before, when it would crash through the air before the light had a chance to leave.
Where are you? Rafe, you were following me. Where are you? The words went through her mind, but she wasn’t able to get them out through her lips. She was afraid to move, yet she couldn’t just lie there not knowing.
Slowly René lifted her upper body, shivering in the wet cold that came from above her. Her hand on the mattress, she pulled herself to sitting, where she could see that the bed was empty. Panic hit her when her husband was nowhere to be found.
“Rafe? Are you on the other side of the bed?” There was no answer. “Rafe?” Scrambling up on the bed, across it, she peered over the other side to see the empty floor. “Rafe!” Her husband’s name came from her in a scream that should have been heard by all her neighbors.
Nothing came in return. Again and again, she shouted his name. He was nowhere in the room. He
hadn’t had time to get out on his own.
This past week has been one headache after another. Really it has been. My husband has headaches a lot, but I'm grateful it's not migraines most the time as it has been. My middle daughter keeps a headache, and sometimes it's worse than normal. What's normal about a headache?Then my oldest granddaughter had a horrific headache two days this past week. Kind of scary, to say the least.
So, she's had migraines in the past, few, but it's something that happens. She takes a BC powder (she can't swallow pills, some kind of phobia, afraid she's going to choke - we deal with that, not making a big deal of it), and she sleeps the day away. Luckily she doesn't suffer for days, and is able to sleep.
But these headaches were different. They were so painful, she couldn't sleep. We took her out to the ER, they gave her a shot for migraines. She came home and was able to sleep through the night. She had a good day and a good night. Then another hit when she was in her early morning Bible study class. My husband called her doctor and they told him the doctor was overbooked for a week. He brought her home and I called the doctor's office. I guess it takes a concerned grandmother. I was told to bring her right in and they would work her in. She didn't want to leave the house because of the bright sun, movement of the vehicle, noise in the doctor's office, etc. All legitimate migraine complaints.
But something was different. Like the headache she'd had two days before. The doctor was very concerned and wanted to get an MRI before the weekend, which meant that day or the next. But it wasn't happening. Too much red tape.
Here are the symptoms of an aneurysm:
Brain aneurysm symptoms more typically occur when an aneurysm ruptures. This is considered an emergency situation and requires immediate emergency care. The first wave of symptoms of a ruptured brain aneurysm typically include:
- A "warning" headache that may occur several days or weeks before the rupture (March 9th)
- A dilated pupil in one eye (We didn't notice this)
- Problems with vision or eye movement (Didn't notice this)
- Pain above or behind the eye, or in the temple, back of the head or neck (definitely had this)
I guess this is why the doctor was so concerned. We were too.
- A very severe headache. Even if a patient is prone to headaches or migraines, this headache will feel very different from the normal pattern (This was definitely happening)
- Neck stiffness (as if she slept on it wrong)
- Nausea (severe)
- Vomiting (Yep)
- Sensitivity to light (definitely, and noise, and very sensitive to movement)
50% of people suffering aneurysms die.
50% of the people that don't die, have neurological problems, not unlike stoke victims.
20% of those who have survived aneurysms have another.
So, here we sit, and I thank God she is doing alright, we await the phone to ring in the next few days to hear if an MRI is going to be allowed.
Oh, and we did take her to the Children's hospital nearest us. The doctors were really concerned about my granddaughter, but they couldn't do much. After 5 Friday nights, there is only one MRI machine running until 8 Monday morning (children are not to get sick or hurt on weekends?). That night, there were 3 stroke victims (all children) waiting for an MRI. Since my granddaughter neurological signs were good and she wasn't experiencing a headache at that time, the head doctor couldn't push for an MRI. Talk about frustrating!
I hope your week was better!
All is well right now. Please pray for her.
An Unusual Runaway
This is the story of the day my Mama ran away from home. Sometimes teenagers run away but surely not mothers!
On this day in the early 1930s there were five of us children, very noisily playing, and sometimes scrapping in selfishness over little things. Lost in doing our own thing, we were oblivious to the fact that Mama was beside herself, trying to get things done, with all the noise and commotion going on. When we finally noticed it, we were shocked at seeing her heading toward the door. Suddenly we were all eyes and ears.
Without any warning, she abruptly told us that she was leaving and never coming back. She had had enough and just couldn’t take it anymore. Dealing with all those rowdy children was getting to her, along with a difficult husband who did not really understand the problems of rising children. He never offered to help but gave her lots of criticism. He blamed her if the kids were noisy. Sometimes he would come home and lie down on the couch for a nap, right in the middle of where we were playing and then demand that she keep us quiet. Has anyone ever seen that many little children playing quietly?
As the door closed behind her, we were stunned and fear began to take hold of us. We realized she was really leaving us, I was only around six or seven years old but I remember it as though it were yesterday.
We stood starring through the window in unbelief as we watched her walk down the street to the place where the bus stopped. We watched with tears as the bus pulled up to the curb and the door opened. I don’t remember much else of what we did at that moment. I just remember that noisy playing became tears of panic.
Times were hard and frustrations were high but this was unthinkable. What would happen to us? We were so frightened. She had finally gotten our attention but it was a little too late. I do not remember where our dad was but he was not there, and the future looked bleak.
God was with us that day, but we didn’t think about that when Mama left. Through our tears, we wondered, “what will we ever do without her? A terrible feeling for little children!
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if God decided he had had enough of our world today with its attitude of self sufficiency, fun and games, with no regard, respect or time for him? We are all too busy doing our own thing with little thought about our need for Him in our lives. What if He decided to run away and leave the world to shift for itself? He would have the right you know!
Our thoughts about Mama were nothing in comparison to the fearful thought of God leaving this world of rebellious people. If God ran away, all of us would die within a very short time. Think about it. God is light so light would be gone. Everyone would be in panic because no one could see anyone or anything. God is love so there would be none of that here. He is also a God of order and without order in a crowd, there can only be chaos and disaster. Can you even imagine a world with no order, light or love? It would be horror far beyond imagination!
Mothers may feel like running away sometimes but not God. His love far outweighs a mother’s love. John 3:16 proves that. He not only loves us but he has provided a way for us to live with him forever in heaven. To those who are his Children, through Faith in Christ, there is no need to fear. His promise is “I will never leave you nor forsake you. Heb. 13:5
Our tears were turned to joy when suddenly to our surprise, the door opened and there stood Mama. I shall never forget what she said to us through her tears. “Well, if I had a new dress, I really would leave”. She needed an excuse in order to save face. She really did love us, in spite of it all. We got serious that day, at least for a little while.
I wonder what it will take to get folks to stop and listen to God.
Carolyn Young has a lot of great stories to tell, and I invite you to go to her site and look around. She's a great teacher!
This is Brenda Novak and her Son
BRENDA NOVAK FOR THE CURE OF DIABETES
Brenda runs an annual Auction for Diabetes Research. Read below and help her cause!
Background, and boring to most...
My husband and I have diabetes. Really, it has us, we haven't gotten to the point where we have a hold on it. To see a specialist, it's a drive of over 100 miles, so we don't go. Our children and grandchildren could possibly get diabetes, in fact several of them have hypoglycemia - which could be a precursor to diabetes.
What's so exciting? This:
Mark May 1st on your calendar. It's the beginning of a special annual auction for diabetes research. The auction goes through the month of May. There are some wicked (is that too old to use? I'm not up on the newest things to say - don't ask the younger generation, I got "totally awesome" "epic" "totally amazing" "epically fun" to name a few). Okay, back up. Really wicked things are going to be auctioned off from May 1st through 31st.
DON'T MISS IT!
There are more than forty authors from a yahoo group of Indie authors pulling together to purchase eReaders. These eReaders are going to be loaded with some of our good ebooks, in different genres of Romance.
Tell others about this great auction! Brenda Novak, an awesome Best Selling Author, is putting this together, again. Go to her site to find out more details
For authors who are interested in doing this, please go to the website and click on "Join the Action" button in the top right corner. Get with other authors and donate together to purchase an eReader and load it with some of your best ebooks. Not only does it add to the donations for the auction, it's good advertising!
As a writer of novels and short stories, words are my friends. Words convey my thoughts to others. Some people may not like what I write, but that's okay, there are other writers who use words to a different degree, conveying their own thoughts, and there are some people who don't like that, either. Oh, well. We have heard that we 'can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself'.
So, I write because the stories are there to be told. There aren't many people around me at any one time, so I can't 'tell' my stories to people by word of mouth. It was slow going at first, using pen and paper, and with a typewriter it became easier, then the computer came into my life, and things took off. With a computer, you can change things without printing it out and seeing a mistake and having to type that whole page over again, that was how the typewriter was. Ah, the pluses of technology that has come to us in the last 30+ years...
Here are a few words I found interesting. This came as an email from a gal over in California. Since I'm in Missouri, it traveled a long way to get to me, yet, it only took seconds to arrive. We've come a long way, baby, since the Pony Express!
Did you know the saying "God willing and the Creek don't rise" was in reference to the Creek Indians and not a body of water? It was written by Benjamin Hawkins in the late 18th century. He was a politician and Indian diplomat. While in the south, Hawkins was requested by the President of the U.S. to return to Washington. In his response, he was said to write, "God willing and the Creek don't rise." Because he capitalized the word "Creek" it is deduced that he was referring to the Creek Indian tribe and not a body of water.
In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms.
Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are 'limbs', therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, 'Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg.' (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)
As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October) way back when. Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs.
Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn't wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term 'big wig... '
Today we often use the term 'here comes the Big Wig' because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.
In the late 1700's, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The 'head of the household' always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor.
Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the 'chair man.'
Today in business, we use the expression or title 'Chairman' or 'Chairman of the Board.'
Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's face she was told, 'mind your own bee's wax.' Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term 'crack a smile'. In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt ... Therefore, the expression 'losing face.'
Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the 'Ace of Spades...' To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't 'playing with a full deck.'
Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to 'go sip' some Ale and listen to people's conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. 'You go sip here' and 'You go sip there.' The two words 'go sip' were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term 'gossip.'
At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint- and quart- sized containers. A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in 'pints' and who was drinking in 'quarts,' hence the phrase 'minding your 'P's and Q's'.
In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon.
However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck?
The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon.
There was only one problem....how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others.
The solution was a metal plate called a 'Monkey' with 16 round indentations. However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it.
The solution to the rusting problem was to make 'Brass Monkeys.'
Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey; thus, it was quite literally 'Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.'
(All this time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn't you.)