Monday, September 29, 2014

Life In 100 Words Or Less -Sweetie Pie

It's lovely to be someone's Sweetie Pie. That's an endearment my mother uses for me these days. I love being her Sweetie Pie.

Her life is imperfect, but she chooses to see its blessings. And when her aged hands cradle my face and she smiles at me I feel as if I'm bathing in the sunlight of love.

January 9th she'll be ninety, and I'm overwhelmed at the thought. I never expected to have my mother for so many years. I cry over God's gift.

How amazing to be her Sweetie Pie. Are you someone's Sweetie Pie? Whose?

Grace and peace to you from God,


Monday, September 22, 2014

The Journey - Fight On

The last year has been a time of getting up off the mat and continuing to fight, pushing forward, refusing to give up, and trusting God with my choices. 

I wrote and launched the revised The Journey of Eleven Moons, created a new book, Where Eagles Soar, and started another called To Dance With Dolphins. And I did all the other things people do, plus stood up to my ongoing battle with pain.

My recent release, Where Eagles Soar, was the most difficult writing project I've ever done. There was so much to learn - memoir writing is not fiction, and fiction is what I know how to write. I worked on this project independently, which means I had to maneuver through the publishing process without a partner, though I did have kind friends who were willing to answer my endless list of questions. More than once I was ready to give up. I cried some and prayed a lot. In the end, I managed to reach the finish line ... kind of. The job continues as I do my best to introduce this incredible story and its courageous heroine to the world.

Why? I had a purpose - fulfill God's will. 

I think Lily and her story helped me find courage. She grew up in the midst of unrelenting hardship and survived because she didn't give up. She's still that way. I've watched her push through physical and emotional pain, disappointment, adversity, and fear. But her faith remains strong. I admit that sometimes I've thought she ought to be easier on herself, rest more and not push so hard. But those decisions are hers, not mine. I stand back and admire God's work in her.

So, how do we know when to keep pushing toward a goal, to dig down for more strength or to cry uncle and let it all go? How do we know the difference between God's call and our own?

I don't think we always know. But God is full of grace. 

After my accident in 1991 I slipped into what felt like a bottomless pit of depression. After months of doctor visits and physical therapy I learned I'd never be the person I'd once been and that pain would be a constant companion. It was the Lord who reached down and lifted me out of that pit. And it was his promise to walk with me that helped me move forward. I've pushed on, sometimes when resting would have been best. And I've rested when I should have worked harder. In the end, the Lord has used it all.

There have been times in my life when I just couldn't keep on keeping on. How about you? Have you had to just let go? In those times when you felt you had no more to give, were you able to dig down and find strength and courage to push forward? 

How did you do it? What was your greatest help? And how did you feel on those occasions when you knew it was time to simply rest?

Grace and peace to you from God,


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured on Lena Nelson Dooley's Blog

While I'm out researching my new book project I still have friends doing their part to get the word out on my most recent release - Where Eagles Soar.

Thank you Lena Nelson Dooley! 

Lena is featuring me on her blog today. She got me to talking about things like - how I came to Christ, my most embarrassing moment (still blushing), and my new book.

Stop in, leave a comment and you'll have a chance to win a free book!

I'm going to be traipsing through San Francisco today, but I'll be checking in from time to time and responding to your questions.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Journey - Brokenhearted?

Reach out to the Brokenhearted. 

I dedicated my new book, Where Eagles Soar, to the brokenhearted. There are so many. And we need one another.

My heart and mind have been with those who suffer. It's quite possible Lily's memoir has something to do with that. I think of all the years she spent in the Alaskan wilderness and all the people who crossed her path who didn't help, but could have. However, not everyone turned their backs. There was - a neighbor who swooped in and saved her, soldiers who came alongside to offer kindness, their skills, and strong backs, even a man who was just driving by in a truck who rescued her from certain death, and a new friend in a new world who gave her a chance at a new start.

Would we have been one of these? So many in our communities suffer. Do we know them? The one's who need a ride to the grocery story or to church, the child who lives with physical or verbal abuse, the elderly who are locked away from the world who need to know they are still valuable, and the ones who are hungry or depressed. Is there something we can do to help? Are we willing to love the way Jesus asked us to love?  His love is faithful. His love is unconditional. It endures forever.

We can't do what God asks if we look away. 

How do we find the strength and courage to make a difference? I've been inspired by great books like The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boon, Or Tim Hansel's You Gotta Keep On Dancing,  and Same Kind of different Just Like Me written by Denver Moore and Lynn Vincent. Lily Sanders memoir, Where Eagles Soar is one that makes me look. Read your Bible. It is our guidebook to truth and inspiration. 

So, where do we begin? How do we help? Meeting needs - pay a power bill, fill a gas tank, provide food for empty bellies, give a smile and a kind word or loving arms that hold and a shoulder to catch someone else's tears. It might mean a call to a counselor or for county assistance. And sometimes we call in law enforcement. 

We do what is needed. 

Sitting back and waiting for something to get better rarely ends in positive results.

We cannot be afraid to see with open eyes, to see the truth.

The Lord came willingly to this earth to teach us His Father's truth and then to die on our behalf. He offered us new life. He is a lifeline, but he asks us to throw that line to others. Are you offering a life line to the people around you?

Toss it, then pull that dear one to safety. You'll have a friend for life. And a cheerful heart to carry you through life's storms. 

Grace and peace to you from God,


Monday, September 08, 2014

World Blog Tour

Hi there.

My dear friend and writing buddy, Ann Shorey, invited me to join
the World Blog Tour. Ann and I met years ago at an OCW Summer
Writing Conference. She was a student in one of my writing classes, and it was clear she was a gifted writer. We are now part of the same critique group and Ann can always be counted on for insights that make my writing better.

ANN SHOREY has been a full-time writer for over twenty years. Her writing has appeared in Chicken Soup for the Grandma's Soul, and in the Adams Media Cup of Comfort series. She made her fiction debut with The Edge of Light, Book One in the At Home in Beldon Grove series for Revell. Her latest releases include Love's Sweet Beginning, the third book in the Sisters at Heart series, and a novella in the Sincerely Yours collection, also from Revell. She's tempted to thank Peet's French roast coffee and Dove chocolates when she writes the acknowledgments for her books.
     She may be contacted through her website, or find her on Facebook at

Last week Ann posted on the blog tour. Make sure to stop in at and see what she has to say about her place in the writing world and what her writing life looks like.

As part of the tour, each writer was given four questions - the same four questinos. Here's how I answered mine.

  • What are you working on?      
     I'm in the midst of a book launch, my first non-fiction memoir. It's the most difficult project I've ever done. Memoir writing was a whole new beast for me. It took a great deal of time to master then I put in hundreds of hours of research and story writing.The woman who lived this tale grew up in the Alaskan wilderness in the 1940's and 50's. Her father taught her how to hunt, work as a hunting guide and run a trap line. He also taught her all about brutality. But she had a sweet mother and the Great White God who loved her.

     I'm also working on my first contemporary novel. - a story about lost hopes and dreams, friendships and a special journey that helps my beloved characters reclaim their dreams.

     This is a season of change and discovery for me.

  • How does your work differ from others in its genre?
     We each have our own path to follow. 

     I choose tales that confront difficult issues. People are imperfect and I strive to present the truth about real people and God's workings in their lives. The destination is not to end a tale by tying it all up in a pretty bow, but to bring it to a satisfying conclusion that motivates, causes one to think, and maybe even cry a little.

  • Why do you write what you do?    

My favorite books are about people who overcome the odds. Life isn't easy. When I write I want to entertain, but I also hope to encourage readers to not give up, to hang onto hope, to push forward and believe they are valuable ... because they are.

  • How does your writing process work?  

I need a map, so to speak. When an idea for a story drops into my mind I usually know where it will end, but how to get to its destination requires tools. I begin with research, lots of it, then I create a story arc, a detailed outline, character outlines and timelines.

Even though I have a plan when I begin writing a story my characters have been known to wander off and lead me down unexpected paths. I love it when they reveal a deeper meaning of a story than I had intended in  the beginning. Some of my best ideas come from wayward characters. I love traipsing after them.

Thanks so much for spending time with me. Now it's my turn to hand off the blog tour baton to Janice Hanna Thompson. If you haven't met her yet, you're going to love her. She is multi-talented and a lot of fun. 

Janice is an award-winning author who also writes under the pseudonym Janice Hanna. 

She got her start in the industry writing screenplays and musical comedies for the stage. Janice has published over ninety books for the Christian market, crossing genre lines to write cozy mysteries, historicals, romances, nonfiction books, devotionals, children's books and more. She particularly enjoys writing light-hearted, comedic tales because she enjoys making readers laugh. In addition, she enjoys public speaking and mentoring young writers.

Janice formerly served as Vice-President of CAN (Christian Authors Network) and was named the 2008 Mentor of the year for ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). She was thrilled to be named the 2010 Barbour/Heartsong Author of the Year, with three books on the top ten list for that house. Janice is active in her local writing group, where she regularly teaches on the craft of writing.

Her online course, "Becoming a Successful Frelance Writer" ( has been helpful to many who want to earn a living with their writing.

Janice is passionate about her faith and does all she can to share the joy of the Lord with others, which is why she particularly enjoys writing. Her tagline, "Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever Afters!" sums up her take on life.

She lives in Spring, Texas, where she leads a rich life with her family, a host of writing friends, and two mischievous dachshunds. She does her best to keep the Lord at the center of it all. You can find out more about Janice at or

Make sure to continue on to Janice's blog to find out more about this inspiring author.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Life in 100 Words or Less - Running the Race

Little things can bring joy.

I had a cardiac stress test today. I was nervous. I'm in poor condition.  With a glance at my cane and learning about my bad knee, neuropathy in my feet, and bad back the tech suggested a chemical test. 

Nope. I was determined. 

I’m wired up. Ready. Start walking. Not bad. Speed and incline increase. Still okay. Incline angled up again, speed increased. I push on, sucking oxygen.

I didn’t give up! I worked it!

We got the readings needed. All looks good. I'm stoked! 

A little thing ... maybe. But there’s a smile on my face and in my heart.

Grace and peace to you from God,