Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Narnia, etc.

I finally finished reading the Chronicles of Narnia. I had read The Lion, the Witch, and the wardrobe years ago, and even had it in mind to read them to my children when I was home-schooling them in the last millennium. Now two are out of high school and the third doesn’t have far to go. So that didn’t quite work out the way I wanted it to. And now there are fantastic movies of two of them. I’m looking forward to the other movies coming out.

So I committed to “reading” all the books. You may wonder why reading is in quotation marks. Well, like a lot of people, I find it hard to find time to read. There is so much that needs to be done in keeping the house clean, well, cleanish, and children, and husband, and writing, and crafts, and book club, and church, and volunteering, and life. It is really hard to fit in an activity like reading.

I love to read. It was not always so. I am dyslexic and reading was always a chore that literally gave me a headache. I was a slow reader and comprehension didn’t come easy. So I didn’t read if I didn’t have to. Then the world of reading opened up to me. And now I love reading and I love books. Which is a good thing since I’m a writer.

Anyway, with such a busy life finding time to read is challenging and some times quite difficult with people and phones interrupting. I checked out a “book” from the library that our book club was reading for the next month. Did you catch the quotes around book? I checked out the book on CD. I popped the first CD into the player in my car and listened to it as a drove to and from and across town during the week. I found that all that wasted time I spend driving in the car is now put to good use. I don’t feel that driving is a waste of time anymore and being stuck in traffic is a good thing. Instead of being mad that I’m only going 10 on the highway, I think, I’ll get to hear more of this book. I can pop a CD in my player at home while I clean or sew.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love to read real books that I hold in my hands, but this way I get to enjoy so many more books. I encourage you to checkout books on CD.

So back to Narnia. I decided that I wanted to read all the books before all the movies came out and it made reading them a moot point. Well, I just finished The Last Battle. What a satisfying ending to the series. I enjoyed each of the books, but I’d have to say that The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Last Battle were my two favorites. One because it was the first glimpse into the world of Narnia. The first of anything is usually the best. And then The Last Battle had such a satisfying ending. I don’t want to say too much as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, who was like me and hadn’t read them all yet.

If you have not read all the Narnia books, go back and read them. You are never too old to enjoy a good book. And pick up a book on CD and listen to it in your car or while you are working around the house.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Shortcomings or Weaknesses

So here is my point to ponder:

When do you know that something in your life is a shortcoming that you can't do anything about and accept it? Or is it a weakness you need to work on to strengthen it?

I bought this Inspirational Thoughts book Grace for the Moment Vol. II by Max Lucado. There is one for each day of the year. I love reading Max’s books. The Lord really speaks to me through his writing.

So the inspirational thought for January 1st is titled “Packed for a Purpose.” It starts out this way, “You were born prepacked. God looked at your entire life, determined your assignment, and gave you the tools to do the job.”

I believe this wholeheartedly. God knew everything tool I would need for the job he set before me. So how do I know if the tool I’m looking for is even in my toolbox? I look for a tool I’m sure is there but no matter how hard I look I can’t find it. Other times, I’m sure that the tool isn’t there and I don’t bother to look, then if I had only opened the toolbox I would have found it right on top.

If I don’t have a tool in my toolbox, I can accept that. I am dyslexic and embrace it with loving arms. I didn’t know I was dyslexic until my oldest was in third grade and I had him tested. As I read books on dyslexia, it was like looking in a mirror. I was learning so much about myself. Until then, I just thought I was stupid. So though I am dyslexic, which comes with a boatload of shortcomings, I can accept it. I have found that I have been equipped with other tools to help me compensate. If you ask me just what those tools are, I couldn’t really tell you. You see, I can’t see into your toolbox to know how my tools differ from yours, I just know they do.

The Inspirational thought ends with this line, “God packed you on purpose for a purpose.”

God did NOT make a mistake when He knit me together in my mother’s womb nor did He with you.

I need to figure out what things are shortcomings and accept them and not dwell on not being able to do some things, like carry a tune. And I need to recognize my weaknesses, hold onto them and grow stronger for them and strengthen them.

I am weak but He is strong.

I have a purpose; shortcomings, weaknesses, and all. :-D

Friday, January 23, 2009

Novella

As promised, I’m going to try something different on Fridays. I’m going to post chapters of a novella I wrote years ago. I’m editing it as I go so that you can read a chapter each week. I have broken it into single scene chapters. The story is called Faithful, a historical romance set in North Central Colorado in 1892. Here is a teaser to get you started, then I’ll make a new post with the first chapter in it.

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

Hannah McConnell’s father founded Faithful, CO but didn’t live long enough to realize his dream of building a mountain resort. When the Coughlins from back east buy up the land and steal her father’s dream by building the resort he had planned, Hannah wants nothing to do with any Coughlin. Shortly after the resort is completed, Hannah’s mother’s failing health finally gives in, and Hannah blames the completion of the resort and the Coughlins for her mother’s death.

Gerrit Finnley Coughlin recently inherited his uncle’s bookstore but has no intentions of staying in the Rocky Mountains. He comes to town with plans to sell the bookstore and head back home in the east until...he meets Hannah. Hannah has made it clear she hates any Coughlin and thinks Gerrit is only a Finnley. She doesn’t realize he is not only a Coughlin but the son of the Mr. Coughlin who stole and built her father’s dream. Gerrit doesn’t want to shatter his budding friendship with Hannah, so he doesn’t correct her misconception. Gerrit is intrigued by this outspoken young woman, but knows the moment he tells her he is a Coughlin, she won’t just slip away from him but will run away. Gerrit hopes to change her mind about Coughlins before he tells her his full name.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mom, Kittens, & ???

I’m a little late on this today, but I still made it. I dropped my mom off at the airport this morning. She had been at my house since Dec. 16th. I was sorry she had to go but I was glad that she was heading to my brother’s house for a month. A year ago, my step-dad, who has been my dad since I was five, was in the hospital and then passed away in February. It was quite a blow to me. I struggled for quite some time. So my mom’s visit was to help her over the one-year anniversary of his hospitalization and his passing.
It was good to see her laughing and having a good time. I know that in the back of her mind she was always thinking of Dad and wishing he were here. I know I was. I miss Dad. Still can’t believe he is gone.

On another note, I wanted to let anyone who was curious about the kittens we rescued in May know how they are doing and what became of them.
Snym the all white kitten was adopted by my oldest son. He is 9.5 months old and is as big as a full-grown cat. We believe he is a white Siamese.
Serena, the mom, was adopted out through Dreampower. She was a real sweetie and I miss her.
Tilly, the tri-color calico, was also adopted out through Dreampower. My daughter really misses her.
Rolff, the long-haired white and dark gray, went to PetSmart for a week with Tilly so people could see them and adopt them. I picked them up after a week and we think Rolff was too scared to eat the whole time he was there. Tilly was thin, but Rolff was a little bag of bones. We were afraid that when we held him that he would break. He was so weak he couldn’t eat, so we bottle fed him a couple of days to get his strength back. After that, we couldn’t adopt him out so we let our daughter keep him. He still has a problem with food, but now it is that he eats all the time. He is huge. He is long and wide with a cute little kitten head. He has a thick, very fluffy tail. He trills, squeaks, and talks to us all the time. He is a love!

One last thing, tune in on Friday. I’m hoping to have something special on Fridays that will be ongoing for a few months.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Goals for 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
I figure it is still January, so it's still okay to wish you all a happy new year.
As this new year begins, I have asked the members of my local ACFW chapter to write down their writing goals for the year so I can pray for them throughout the year. I did this last year and enjoyed being able to pray for them.
I asked them to write out three or more writing goals. They needed to be realistic for them, measurable, and within their control. Here are some examples:
Don’t say, “I’m going to get an agent this year,” because you have no control over this. Rather say, “I’m going to send out one proposal a month until I get an agent.” You have control over how many proposals you send out but not if an agent accepts you.
Don’t say, “I’m going to write one book a month this year,” when you haven’t been able to finish one in your lifetime.
Rather say, “I’m going to complete one book this year.” If you complete twelve, great! It is fine to exceed your goals.
Don’t say, “I’m going to write more this year,” because how do you define more? More than what? How much did you write last year?
Rather say, “I’m going to write one page a day or a thousand words a week.” You can measure that.
Other goals you might want to think about putting on your goal list would be to read a certain number of books on the craft of writing, or going to a writer’s conference, or getting into a critique group, or starting one, start a Web site or blog. Stretch yourself.
And if you are not a writer, set other goals for yourself like reading books, or gardening, or volunteering, but do set some goals.
One of my goals for this year is to blog two to three times a week. That will be a stretch for me. I’m hoping once I get in the habit of it, it will come easier.
“Reach for the stars. You may not get there but you will soar higher than if you had never reached at all.”
If you have no goals, any road will get you there. (Or rather nowhere.)
So I challenge you, set some long term and shorter-term goals for the year then focus on meeting them. Even if you don’t reach them all, you will get closer than if you never reached at all.