December 31, 2010

No More Resolutions, Just One Word

I've always hated New Year's Resolutions--mainly because I rarely ever follow through with them. So when I heard of this website myoneword on a Seekerville blog post, I knew I had stumbled upon something that I could wrap my brain around.

Here's what My One Word says about itself:

Every New Year we hope this will finally be the year that things will change. We make promises about the new person we're going to become, pledging to get a grip on our finances, get in shape, become a better parent, spouse, even a nicer human being! But there’s one problem: our resolutions seldom work. The busy pace of life gets the better of us, and suddenly, the year is over with little to no personal growth having occurred in our lives.
“My One Word” is an experiment designed to move you beyond the past and look ahead. The challenge is simple: lose the long list of changes you want to make this year and instead pick ONE WORD. This process provides clarity by taking all of your big plans for life change and narrowing them down into a single thing. One word focuses on your character and creates a vision for your future. So, we invite you to join us and pick one word in 2011.

Brilliant! One word to be the lens through which I view myself, my goals, my life. How simple. Is it too simple? I don't know, but I aim to give it a try.

The word that I've been chewing on and praying about is:


Definition: having, compelled by, or ruled by intense emotion or strong feeling
Synonyms: excitable, emotional, impulsive, zealous. ardent,impassioned, excited, fervent, warm, enthusiastic, earnest,glowing, burning, fiery; animated

I feel like I have been living in a bubble for the past few years. A bubble that has been impenetrable and inescapable. I have gone through the motions of life, numb and unresponsive. And I don't want to live that way anymore.

I've become lax in all areas of my life, not really caring about excellence in anything, and I want to change that.  In everything I do, I want to passionately do my best, working as if for the Lord.

I want to be passionate about life. I want to be passionate for the little things. Passionate for God and His Word, delving deep and feeling His presence with me daily. Passionate for my family, spending time with them and keeping a clean home for their comfort. Passionate for my work, even though it is not my favorite thing, and be a good and conscientious worker. Passionate for my health, taking care of it by eating right and moving more. Passionate for writing, doing it for pleasure and not to prove something. Passionate for people, choosing to initiate relationships, developing close, spiritual ties.

My verse for 2011:
Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.
Colossians 3:17 (The Message)

Cheers to a New Year full of passion and love!

December 24, 2010

Dancing In The Rain

I went to my great-uncle's funeral yesterday and it was a sweet celebration of a life lived in love. Love for family, love for friends, and love for his Savior, Jesus Christ. While I came home thankful for the victory of this life, I was struck by my lack of passion for Christ.

I've grown up knowing and loving Jesus all my life, but there are ebbs and flows to faith and I have ridden them high and low. I've lived a blessed life--almost idyllic really, and never faced any kind of testing until about 5 years ago. And I haven't been the same since.

Battling church issues, the start of a new ministry,  losing much of what I had always relied upon in the material world--all in obedience to God's call on our life--caused me to question God. I've wondered at His leading. I've wondered why. I figured that it's okay since Job did it. He questioned, but in the end God spoke and plainly stated that He is Lord. He gives and takes. He is God. Period.

I have come to rest in the knowledge of God's sovereignty, because I firmly believe that He is a God of Love and He will never let me go through anything that He won't see me through. Though the deepest part of me knows that, I still struggle over lacking that deep passion for Him like I used to have. And I miss it so.

I have a daily quiet time, but it is like a dry creek bed, cracked and desperate for water. I write in a prayer journal, but it reads like a daily planner rather than the reflections of His Word's power working in my life. I sit in silence, waiting to hear for the One and Only, but I wait until distracted by my daily list of things to do, or the laptop sitting nearby.

Reflecting on my great-uncle's life has put things in perspective and I believe it is now time for action on my part. It is time to fall prostrate at the feet of my Lord and beg for His presence. It is time to lift up praises to my Savior. It is time to surrender. Completely. Unrestrained.

It's time and I am ready. And maybe, just maybe, my humbug life will transform into a life of freedom. I won't wait out the storm, I will dance in the rain. And there will come a time when the clouds will break and the sun will shine through, bringing a rainbow of hope and healing. Until then, I dance, reveling in the 'reign' of God washing over me.

Merry Christmas and may God bless us, one and all.

Winner of Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball

Using a random generator, the winner of Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball by Donita K. Paul is:


Congratulations! I know you will enjoy it!

December 20, 2010

Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball Review & Giveaway

A hint of magic stirs the embers of romance into flame with this sweet love story by Donita K. Paul. When "Bah-Humbug" Cora searches for a book in the mysterious book store on Sage Street, she stumbles upon her handsome and serious-workaholic boss, Simon. Both purchase books which contain tickets to a Christmas Ball.

Through a series of strange events and 'coincidences', Cora is thrown together with Simon's family, including his sweet Down-syndrome sister, Sandy. Between the bookstore proprietors and Sandy playing matchmaker, Cora and Simon have no chance but be drawn together.

It's only when Cora's sister shows up that things turn sour. She wrecks havoc on Cora's life and brings mistrust into everyone's lives. Can their faith get them through the turmoil of the season with Cora's sister involved? Will Christmas magic do it's thing and bring to opposite personalities together?

If you like a sweet romance, then this one is for you. It reminds me of those Hallmark movies where a little magic brings love and happy endings for a special couple. Perfect for the holiday season. You will come away with a sigh and a little smile on your face.

To read the first chapter, follow this LINK to a PDF file of the first chapter.

I am giving a copy of this book away, so leave a comment along with your spam-free email address (sherrinda (at) gmail (dot) com). You will not be entered if your email is not given. Drawing will be held Friday, December 24. Merry Christmas!

*Waterbrook Multnomah provided a copy of this book for my honest review.

December 13, 2010

Regifting At Your Own Risk

I went to a party last night where you regifted something you have been given, or you brought something nice from your home to give to someone else. What was interesting was someone opened up a present that I had bought for a different party last week! Someone regifted a gift that I bought. It made me feel...weird.

At first I was kinda sad that someone didn't like what I had bought for the party, but then I realized something. Not everyone has the same taste as me. And not everyone needs--or wants--the same things as I do. It is just a matter of taste and/or a matter of need.

It got me to thinking about books and how subjective reviews can be. I have read scathing reviews about books that I absolutely loved. And I have also read glowing reviews of books that I thought were duds. So often it is a matter of personal taste. What we like and what we don't like.

This gives me hope that someday when I get ready to put my stuff out there, there will be somebody who will like what I write--eventually. Some won't like it, of course, but at some point, someone might like my story and possibly give me a chance. Who knows? It's a nice thought though.

Do you regift? Does it bother you to think that someone has regifted something you have given them?

December 06, 2010

December Time Stealer

We all love Christmas, but many of us don't care for the busyness of December. There are parties to attend, parties to plan, presents to shop for, presents to wrap. There are basketball games (if you have tall sons like me), concessions to sell at, and tournaments to drive to. There are cookies to bake, candy to make, stockings to stuff, and houses to decorate. It's a busy time.

So when to you find time to write? If you work outside the home like me, you either get up a little early or stay up a little late. But with life so busy, my energy lags and I want to do neither. I think sometimes we have to give ourselves permission to not be quite as productive as we would really like.

It's okay to only write 500 or 250 words instead of our 1000 a day plan. It's okay to edit only a few pages instead of a chapter a day. Give yourselves some slack. It's only for a season, and January will come before you know it and present you with time to rest and recharge. Your fingers will fly across the keyboard with all the renewed energy!

Enjoy the season of God's love and gift of His Son.

December 03, 2010

Road Trip

I'm going on my first road trip with my daughter today. We are going to Houston to see friends and I am excited.  Not only do I get to spend some fun time with my daughter, I get to see a special friend of mine. This friend is one who can make me laugh like no other, and I'm hoping to get a start on six-pack abs with all the abdominal exercise I'm sure to get giggling and belly laughing.

I got an email from my friend and she is so excited I'm coming that she booked us pedicures! Ah, sweet indulgence. She wanted to know what kind of snacks I like and told me to bring comfy jammies for late night talks. I get to go to church with her and see friends I haven't seen in so long. It will be a piece of heaven, I'm sure. 

There's something special about reconnecting. Remembering the nuances of another's personality. Recollecting memories shared. Rekindling the friendship. I was thinking about this as I opened up my first manuscript that I had set aside this summer. I haven't finished revising it--embarrassing to admit--and grew tired of it. But after pulling it out, I felt the old love returning. That whisper of familiarity called me close and breathed in a longing to see this story to completion, edits and all. 

I am hoping to begin edits soon and get it ready to enter into the land of rejection. It's part of the journey and I'm getting ready for that next bend in the journey. 

What have you been rekindling lately? 

December 02, 2010

Operation: Encourage Casey Herringshaw

It is Pay It Forward time! I have a dear online friend and fellow Alley Cat who has encouraged, supported, and taught me so much. I'd like to honor her and give a shout out to Casey Herringshaw.

Casey is an encourager and on her blog Operation: Encourage An Author she ministers to authors by highlighting their work and praying over them. What a ministry!

Her personal blog, Writing For Christ is about her journey in writing and life and gives voice to the wonderful person she is. Of course, she is a contributor at The Writer's Alley and has much to offer regarding the craft of writing. She is wise beyond her years.

If you've been touched in anyway by Casey, encouraged by her, learned from her, or just think she's the cutest thing ever, please leave a comment and let her know.

Casey, I love you and think you are God's beautiful handmaiden, sent to do His work with grace and beauty. Thank you for sharing your gift of encouragement to so many and being a tool for God's kingdom.


November 29, 2010

What I Learned From NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, will end tomorrow at midnight. While many are having celebratory posts about winning with the awesome word count of 50,000, I am not celebrating in that way. I am celebrating the fact that, with the exception of two days, I wrote every day. It may have only been 200 words, but I sat down and wrote. That's huge for me, and that's worth celebrating.

As of today, I have written 30,012 words. That's about 1000 words a day, which is what Mary Connealy aims for daily. I'm in great company, aren't I? But more than that, I have learned a few things during this NaNoWriMo month.

  1. November is the worst month for literary abandon. Seriously, whoever decided that NaNoWriMo should be during the month of Thanksgiving was crazy. Between baking, family time, and napping, it really dipped into my writing time.
  2. I write best in the mornings. While this is a good thing to find out, it's also a bad thing. It's good to know that I am clear headed in the mornings and the word count grows exponentially, but it's bad in that I have to get up at 4:30 a.m. in order to write for an hour and get a quiet time with the Lord. (I work full time and have to be at work at 7:15 a.m.) Now that in itself is not too bad, but the problem comes when I get home and am like a zombie, trying to put food on the table and do laundry while wearing some heavy duty Cranky Pants. Trying to be creative is almost impossible.
  3. I need a detailed outline in order to write fast. I had worked on my plot for my NaNo story and had the major Acts and the basic goals and conflicts ready. But I floundered when it came to fleshing it out on a day to day basis. I had to spend time to think of upcoming scenes in order for my fingers to fly over the keyboard and get them on the screen. 
  4. I have a very loud internal editor. Very loud. I could be writing away, happy to be getting the words down, when all of a sudden a loud, snarky voice told me it was all drivel. I had plot holes. I had missing characters. I had no setting description. I had -ly adverbs. Blah, blah, blah... I tried using ear muffs...not helpful.
  5. I am too old to stay up late and write. I used to stay up late, well past midnight, lost in another world between the pages of a great book. But no more. I conk out before 11 p.m. every night. Actually, 10:30 p.m. is doing good these days. No, if I'm going to write, it's gotta be before 10 p.m. (and my writing is not as good as my morning writing.)
  6. NaNo is a great tool to get you back in a writing routine. There's nothing like accountability to keep you on track, and there's nothing like doing something for 30 days to get you in a good routine. 
So there is my NaNo Adventure for 2010. I'm glad I tried it, and I am proud of myself for getting as far as I did. It's another step on my writing journey, and an interesting one at that!

What goals have you set for yourself that you have met recently? Or have failed, but are happy with anyway?

November 23, 2010

Another Top Ten List For Writers

My post at The Writer's Alley is a Top Ten List of ways to increase your word count during the holidays. Check it out and add to the list. I'd love to get some new ideas.

November 22, 2010

Writing Woes & NaNo Foes

My 2 sisters, being silly carving the turkey a few years ago!
I really shouldn't have used such a downer title, because there are good things going on in my writing life. But...I am woefully behind on my NaNo goal. We are talking 10,000 words behind. It will be near to impossible for me to accomplish the 50,000 word goal by December 1, but I'm okay with that.

For me, NaNo was about jumping in and getting back into the habit of writing every day. To find a good schedule for me as a full time working mother. I've missed two days all month and have written about 25,000 words so far. That's not too shabby.

I like my WIP, but am seeing that I have skimped on the story. I've been writing fast and leaving out good details, good character development, and good setting description. And I totally left out a minor character that was going to introduce some good conflict later on. Yikes! Yeah, I can go back and fix it all, but I sure wish it wasn't going to be so difficult to do so.

All in all, I am okay with everything. I'm doing Thanksgiving at my house for the first time this week. We are talking just my family. My oldest son and his wife, plus her mother, are coming. Also my second son who lives part time in a neighboring town. I get to do the cooking. I get to be....SHERRINDA IN CHARGE!  Squeee...I'm excited.

But that means more work for me and less writing time. But again, that's okay. I tend to be a rule follower and really want to win NaNo, but I'm ignoring the Pharisaical-rule loving-tendency and am just going with the flow. I'm writing every day and that is AWESOME!

Will any of you be writing during the holidays? If so, how are you going to manage it?

Happy Thanksgiving! May you have as much fun with your family as I have with mine! (Pay no attention to my goofy sisters from a couple of Thanksgivings ago in the picture above. They are such fun, even after all these years!)

November 12, 2010

Winners & NaNo-ing

So it's Friday and this week has been difficult to get good word count in. I think the time change has factored in, in that I am so tired at night and then get up really early. I haven't caught up in my sleep, I suppose. I've had things to do several nights this week, which has also contributed to my lack of word count, but you know, sometimes life is just more important than words on a page.

Below I've listed the winner of Second Chance Brides by Vicki McDough, but really, there are two winners this week. I feel like I am a winner for having written EVERY day for the past two weeks. That is huge for me and a habit I've been develop for quite some time. That's the real reason I joined NaNo--to get into a good habit of daily writing. Thirty days to make a good habit, right? Well NaNo, you are  my inspiration this month. Thanks for giving me success in The Daily Write.


Winner of Vicki McDonough's Second Chance Bride is:



November 08, 2010

Second Chance Brides Review & Giveaway

Second Chance Brides by Vicki McDonough is a lovely sweet romance that picks up where The Anonymous Bride left off. Shannon O'Neal and Leah Bennett are stranded in Lookout, Texas after they came as mail order brides for the same man...the Marshall. The Marshall has chosen and married Rachel, a woman from his past, leaving Shannon and Leah without a husband and no where to go.

Ordered by the Marshall to pay for the ladies room and board, the Corbett brothers organize Saturday socials to provide opportunity for the ladies to meet and marry nice gentlemen. Sometimes plans go according to plan, and then, sometimes they don't.

Vicki McDonough writes a delightful tale of love's journey and the importance of trusting God. She weaves in conflict and romantic tension beautifully, and takes you to a satisfying end.

If you would like a chance to get your hands of this book, please leave your name and email address to be entered for the drawing. Winner will be announced Friday, November 12.
***Void where prohibited. Only U.S. citizens may enter. (sorry)

November 05, 2010

NaNo Update

I was hoping to have a book review to share with you, along with a giveaway, but was not to be. Not with NaNo upon me. I have been reading a chapter every night, so maybe Monday I will have it for you. (Second Chance Brides by Vicki McDonough)

Now for my NaNo Update: I've been getting up early, like 4-4:30 a.m. early, and it is really hard. I am so sleepy by 8 p.m. that it is difficult to function. I've been writing every day, but haven't always met my daily count. I took a comp day Wednesday and wrote about 2500 words. Not a whole lot really, considering I had the whole day, but I did some ground work that took up time. I began using yWriter to help me organize my WIP and am really liking it and it's features. It took me awhile to figure it out, but once I did, I got excited. I think it's going to keep me accountable.

I haven't reached my word count in order to stay current, but I am hoping this weekend will prove beneficial. No Halloween or Fall Fest to keep me away from the laptop.

As for my current word count, look to the right at my NaNo Word Counter to see how far I've come. I'd post it here, but I'm about to write some more and it wouldn't be accurate by the time you read this.

Have a great weekend and Happy Writing!

November 01, 2010

And It Begins...

Today is the start of NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month. The month of writing 50,000 words. The month of insanity. By the time you read this, I will have already begun my NaNo Journey. My plan is to get up at 4:00 a.m. every morning to accomplish the necessary 1667 words per day. We shall see if I can keep that schedule in place.

You see, I am aging, and I find that I really need a good nights sleep to function in the "nice" zone. Too little sleep and the cranky pants come out.'s to going to bed early and keeping a smile on my face.

Don't be expecting any great blog posts, because it will most likely be updates on my progress. My ups and downs. My plot surprises and writer's  block (gasp...surely not!). My success, for sure! Check out my Word Count Widget in the side bar to check my progress.

Wish me luck! (and alot of stamina and energy!)

***Update: I wrote 1766 words this morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I feel good, I knew that I would, da-na-na-na-na-na-na!!! So good! Now, to keep that good feel all day when I konk out this afternoon. Oh wait...I've got tons of candy to keep me on a sugar high. Just kidding.  ;)

October 29, 2010

What Is Your WPH? (words per hour)

I've been reading From The Inside...Out - discover...create...and publish the novel in you! by Susan May Warren & Rachel Hauck, hoping that I will grasp the whole writing thing before NaNoWriMo next week. May I just say that this workbook is FABULOUS! I think what I like about it is that she takes you through a journey of questions to help you discover what you need to know your characters and plot your book. The questions get you thinking and spur the imagination. Perfect for a beginner writer like me.

Now, she wrote something that kinda floored me, and I wanted to know what your experience is. Here it is:
Let's assume you have 12 weeks to write a 30-chapter book, with approximately 3000 words per chapter. That's 1500 words per scene. That's thirty minutes a page.
Granted, she said not everyone will write at that pace. Some may be faster, some may be slower. I know there are people on Twitter who do the 1000 words per hour challenge and are successful at it (search #1k1hr on Twitter to see who's doing it). But I want to know what YOU do. What is your usual verbiage per hour? What is your WPM?

October 26, 2010

Check This Out....

Romance gotta love 'em. This cover is just plain weird. First, her position in the tree...can we say OUT OF PROPORTION? Then look at the hero's expression. Is that fear? Really...doesn't that just make you want to pick this book up and read it?

I didn't think so.

I've got book covers through the ages posted over at The Writer's Alley today. It took me HOURS to put it together, so go take a look and tell which is your favorite. (Personally, I like the one with the floating heads around the heroine.)

October 22, 2010

Plot In Your Face

As I made the decision to do NaNoWriMo and began plotting, I have been bombarded with great posts on plotting. So I thought I would share these great posts for you to peruse and glean from.

Kaye Dacus: Look What @Sherrinda Made Me Do
A look into Kaye's storyboarding/plotting while she is furiously trying to meet a deadline.

Erica Vetsch: Plotting and Pages
A look into Erica's plotting techniques.

Julia Reffner: Storyboarding for "Plodders" & "Mist Flyers", Storyboarding Part I
Great look into the benefits of storyboarding.

Cindy Wilson: Writing With A Formula (even if you are not a plotter)
A great tool for figuring out your story's main plot.

There are the fun posts I found this week on plotting. I also purchased My Book Therapy's book, From the Inside, create, & publish the novel in you. It is a great tool and very simplistic, and has worksheets to help you think through your story in the development stages. So far, I love this book! I'm hoping it helps this next week as I get this plotting finished for NaNo.

Have a Happy Weekend!

October 18, 2010

I've Jumped Into Insanity

I closed my eyes and jumped over the edge. The edge of insanity. I have joined the thousands who have signed up to participate in National Novel Writing Month, affectionately known as NaNoWriMo. And if you don't already know, November is the month of this blessed insanity.

Yes, I know I work full time; and yes, I know Thanksgiving is a part of the month. But I need a jump start and I thought the challenge of getting 50,000 words written in a month was a perfect way to get going. There is a slight problem in that you have to start from scratch, and I have already written eight pages on my new story. I think I may re-write it at the beginning of November to be in compliance. Do you think that will be okay?

So now, I am working on getting a better outline. (I know, Kaye, I need to quit that and just write, but I think I need to do this....this kick in the backside!) I need some structure so that I can just write and not get stuck thinking of where to go next.

Is anyone else participating? Need a NaNo Buddy? My user name is Sherrinda, so look me up and add me! Or click on the NaNo Badge. It should link you to my NaNo Page.

October 15, 2010

Life As We Know It - The Movie!

Yesterday my coworker and I left work and saw the movie, Life As We Know It. It had been a long day and thought to reward ourselves for holding our snarkiness down to a humane level. And may I say that this movie was a great movie to go to with a girlfriend and unwind.

Katherine Heigel and Josh Duhamel have such great chemistry in this movie and their obvious love for little Sophie is the glue that binds them together.

I found myself analyzing this movie and comparing it to the the Three Act Structure. There is the obvious inciting incident, clear obstacles, and then a major black moment. I'd share them with you, but I'm sure you are all going to see the movie, so I won't spoil it for you!

It really helped me in my own new story. I've thought alot about the black moment and seeing it so clearly in the movie today showed me how to go about it.

And Kaye...I have started my story! I haven't written as much as I have wanted, but I've started and am 2000 words in. (which was a personal goal of write 2000 words a week.)

So go have fun this weekend. Catch a movie and write a page or two on your novel. You will be guaranteed a fabulous time if you do a little of both.

October 11, 2010

Accomplishing Goals

Goals are a funny thing to me. Sometimes I make goals and am fired up to meet those goals. Other times I make goals and fritter away my time and energy on other things and seem to avoid my goals like the plague. I haven't figured out what the difference is yet, but I will.

Last week I made huge goals for myself. Huge for me, that is. My goal at work was to finish inputting all the data from the registration papers (from August). I know it's been six weeks and you probably wonder why it's not done, but when you factor a continual flow of kids coming in and moving out of the school, plus other urgent jobs of mine like report cards, finding dropouts, etc., you get behind in other things. Well I'm happy to say that I met my goal and it feels GREAT. So great that I took Friday off, which allowed me to accomplish another goal of mine.

I was able to write on my new story. So I only got five pages done, but it's a start and sometimes that is the hardest part of the whole book...just getting started. I've now set a weekly goal of 2000 words. I know, it's not a lofty goal, but working full time doesn't give me a lot of extra energy in the evenings.

So I'm praying that I can stick to my goal and not avoid it. I can do it. I can. I will. And I will report in at a later date.

Are any of you out there goal setters? Do goals work for you?

October 05, 2010

Winner of Love Remains

The winner of Love Remains by Kaye Dacus is:


Congratulations! I know you will love the book as much as I did!


I'm posting today at The Writer's Alley about the Inner Sanctum. What is the sacred place of creativity?

October 04, 2010

Black Moments

I'm working on a synopsis for my next project, a speculative piece of fiction. I've taken Camy Tang's class on the Synopsis, so I know what to do, yet I am struggling with finding the black moment. You know, the main conflict that throws the main character under the bus. The conflict that takes the hero or heroine to the crossroads where they question, ponder and come to a new knowledge about themselves and their situation.

So why am I struggling? I don't know. Sometimes it's hard to be mean to my characters. In my last book my heroine was beaten (she was dressed as a boy and well, it's medieval times and people brawled back then!) so I suppose I don't really have trouble being mean. But in the contemporary world, you don't always have the physical brutality of earlier eras. You have the politically correct, sanitized world of the 21st century.

Since it's speculative, there is a bit of magic in it (not witches or anything like that), so with that thrown in, it gives a different spin on things for me and it is difficult to spin a plot that weaves the spiritual thread in with the "magical" element. I'm mulling things over and trying out different catastrophic plot points to see what works and what doesn't. So far the "doesn't" is winning out over the "does", but I'll keep trying.

BECAUSE...I am ready to start a new story. This is the week...I feel it. And if it doesn't come to me by the weekend, I'm starting anyway.

Who else has trouble with conflict in their story? Any black moment surprises?

October 01, 2010

Kindle Time!

I am now the extremely proud owner of a Kindle! I know I've shared about my Kindle fund, a collection of dollar bills from my birthday and the Amazon gift cards I've earned while searching the internet through Swagbucks. But I ended up not using my Kindle fund, and here's why:

Tuesday I got to work at 7:15 a.m. and got a migraine at 7:45 a.m. I thought I could take a migraine pill and muddle through the day, but by 8 a.m. I knew there was no way I could stay upright for long. I went home, took some migraine and nausea medicine, and slept until 2:30 p.m. I would have slept longer, but the doorbell rang. I tried to clear my head and went to answer the door, only to find a small Amazon box on my door.

I knew I had not ordered any books, because I was saving my Amazon money for my Kindle. I opened the box and my jaw fell slack. Yes! It was a Kindle! What in the world? Who would have sent me a Kindle? I pulled out the packing slip and in the small print at the bottom was a note from my sweet niece. She sent me a  belated birthday present! Now she is a law student at Pepperdine, so I know she can't have much money, yet she gave anyway.

She is a giver. A generous soul who gives out of love. I am so incredibly humbled and so incredibly blessed!


I have been perusing the free books on Amazon and to my delight have found many classics such as Jane Austen's novels. Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Sense & Sensibility...sigh. Plus, Amazon does free promotional books ever now and then. I was able to download Homespun Bride by Jillian Hart. Even Cami Tang had a free download several months ago that I downloaded for my PC in anticipation of my Kindle.

The Kindle is lightweight and easy to hold. The page looks just like the page of a glare, no back light to hurt the eyes. It is marvelous!

The thought of holding what amounts to a library in my hands is just awesome. It's mind boggling!

And I'm going to be hard pressed to make myself sit in my chair to write instead of pulling out this little doo-dad and read to my heart's content.

So who has an eReader? Who loves it? Who hates it? Who wants one? Who doesn't?

September 27, 2010

Love Remains by Kaye Dacus: Review & Giveaway!

Get a group of matchmaking grandmothers together and you get a some fun, romantic stories! Love Remains is the first book in The Matchmakers series, and Kaye Dacus doesn't disappoint with this one.

Delving into parental verbal abuse, long lost love, and investigations of fraud, Dacus gives us a thoughtful, as well as delightful, look into the lives of Zarah Mitchell and Bobby Patterson. Torn apart a decade ago by forces beyond their control, Zarah and Bobby meet unexpectedly at a church singles function. Even after such a long time, feelings are still raw for both of them and Dacus does a brilliant job in slowly bringing them through a journey of re-discovery of one another. Throw in the conflict of Bobby investigating her and her company for fraud, and you've got great tension and turmoil!

I especially loved Dacus jumping into Bobby's feelings as he struggled with his growing love and his investigation of her. BRILLIANT KAYE! It was good to see older singles who have built great careers still have the feelings of their first loves. It made it so much more romantic, in my mind. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait for the rest of the series!

Back Cover:

Zarah Mitchell, who's worked at the Middle Tennessee Historic preservation Commission for more than a decade, is about to face a piece of history that could ruin the life she's built in Nashville: Bobby Patterson--her first love and the reason her father kicked her out fourteen years ago.

Nashville native Bobby Patterson has just returned home after many years away to take a position with the Tennesse Criminal Investigations Unit. His new job: lead a task force investigating potential real estate fraud connected with the Commission.

When Bobby realizes Zarah is part of his investigation, he is tempted to use his grandmother's not-so-subtle setup as a way to learn if Zarah is involved in the fraud.

Zarah, at her grandmother's suggestion, tries to put the pain from the past aside to see if any love remains between her and Bobby. But when she learns he's been investigating her, will she be able to forgive him a second time?

Because I love to share good books, I am giving away a copy of Love Remains. To be considered for the drawing you must give me your spam-free email address in the comment section. Drawing will be held and announced Sunday, October 3.  Due to legalities, only US citizens may enter.

To see Kaye's other books, go HERE.
Kaye's website:

***This book was given to me for review and my honest opinion.***

September 24, 2010


I found a new pair of pants and I've been wearing them for a few weeks now. The Procrasti-Pants. Yes, I've been procrastinating and am getting so frustrated, I could just scream. Actually, my Cranky Pants are wanting to be worn over the Procrasti-Pants, but I am really trying to keep them stuffed in the closet.

I took the month of August off due to massive work hours and moving into a new home. Now that I am settled and ready to jump into a new story, I am doing everything in my power to avoid it.


Really. Why? Why? Why?

Well, I have a feeling I have found the problem. A sweet friend of mine gave me Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont, and I am loving it. I especially enjoyed the chapter on Perfectionism. Listen to what Lamont says about it:
Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a sh**** first draft.....Perfectionism will ruin your writing, blocking inventiveness and playfulness and life force. Perfectionism means that you try desperately not to leave so much mess to clean up.
I think the problem is that I don't want to write a messy book. My first one didn't have much of a detailed plot and there are some major issues with it--so much that I can't bring myself to finish editing it. It is too much work, according to my perfectist's mind. (Don't worry...I will edit it one day soon, but I want to start something new first.)

I want this next book to be less work in the editing phase, so I want to really get it plotted out and know where the story is going. But I think this may be my problem. I am not allowing myself to write a bunch of drivel, but  sometimes drivel is needed to find the gem. Sometimes the great story is in the midst of the pile of mess that you have created.

I'm thinking I need to have a basic plot, know the 3 acts, the disasters and black moment, and just let loose. Maybe that will get me going.

I'm still finding it difficult to find "My Writing Time". It's time to try some different times and what really works for me. Is early better? 4:30am is really early, but maybe that is best for me. Or maybe 9-10 pm. Could that be the sacred hour? I don't know...we shall see.

So what kind of pants are you wearing these days? Happy Pants? Productive Pants? Cranky Pants? Or the dreaded Procrasti-Pants?

P.S.  By the way, I posted about my Three Country Dream Vacation at The Writer's Alley today...complete with pictures!

September 17, 2010

Mind Bender Friday

What do you post about on a day when the biggest conference for Christian writers is beginning? Do you post about how jealous you are? Do you make your post into a pity party? Do you not post at all since most of your readership is most likely at the conference?

Since I need to bend my mind away from the TripleP (personal pity party), I decided to post my Hi-Lo. Hi-Lo is something we do at the dinner table at my house. Everyone goes around the table and says what the highlight of their day was and the low point of their day. It makes for great conversation starters when those teens don't want to talk. So here is my Hi-Lo for the week.

Low: My 7 month old puppy, Titus, had his little surgery yesterday. I dropped him off at a place that does low cost neutering and I...along with about 20 other people...left our precious pets in the hands of doctors that would  give them stitches and a plastic cone collar to wear.....FOR A WEEK! He has been bumping into furniture and whimpering because he can't get to his food bowl very well. Poor baby. I am hoping this helps calm him a bit and eases some of his aggression that he has shown lately.

High: We have had car trouble and I have had to bum rides or walk home from work. A neighbor across the street stopped by and said a lady at his church couldn't drive anymore and wants to give her car away. Did we want it? God used a complete stranger to bless us in a great need that we had. He never ceases to amaze me with His grace and mercy...and His perfect timing!

And now, for your enjoyment...The Cone of Shame from UP!

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