Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
In my opinion, that attitude comes from a lack of parental attention and low standards set by those in authority over children during their formative years.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I'll keep you posted!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Last week, I submitted two stories to Heavenly Humor for the Cat Lover's Soul. The title of the first one is The Great Escape. It details a very recent adventure of my two indoor kitties, Pixie and Feathers, as they escaped during the night, or early morning hours, through a hole in the floor of my husband's renovation project. I was certain that one would be selected since it flowed so easily for me.The second submission, Silhouette on the Shade, is about my first cat Sammy. I always refer to him as "my first love." He was a sweet black and white male cat who stole my heart when I was eighteen years old. My best friend, Mary Ellen Couette, gave him to me as a graduation gift. The story relates Sammy's signal to me when he was ready to come in for the night. I struggled with this story, due to the many years that have passed since the event. But with the help of my editor, Kat Hechenback, all the words and ideas fell into place.
I received an e-mail from Barbour Publishing the next day, requesting to include "Silhouette on the Shade" in the book that will be released in March 2010.
Thank you, Kat!!
With the sale of Romeow and Juliecat to Chicken Soup for the Soul What I Learned from the Cat (now available at Amazon - but, sadly, not on shelves at Barnes & Nobles), I am now considered a free-lance writer. Buddy Chastain, author of The Game (a good mystery/thriller set in Atlanta, GA), told me when you get your first dollar for writing, you are considered an author.
As I continue submitting stories to anthologies or magazines, my confidence is building enough to submit my novel, Obedient Heart, once again to agents and/or publishers. Tyndale House said it's a good story (happy dance!), but my hook wasn't strong enough (sad shuffle). God gave me the story to write, and it will be published...in His time.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
- Parable #1: The Sower - Preaching the Gospel with various results.
- Parable #2: Wheat & Tares - Difficult to distinguish saved from unsaved within professing Christendom.
- Parable #3: Mustard Seed - Christendom will experience great numerical and geographic expansion from humble beginnings.
- Parable #4: Yeast in Dough - Christendom will experience internal corruption throughout the age with increasing apostasy.
- Parable #5: Hidden Treasure - Israel will remain in unbelief only to be converted in the end.
- Parable #6: Pearl of Great Price - Co-existence of righteous and wicked to be separated at the age's conclusion.
- Parable #7: The Dragnet - Good fish kept, and bad fish cast away.
- Parable #8: Householder - Old treasures to new treasures. New truth must be considered with Old Testament revelation to comprehend the totality of God's kingdom agenda.
Characteristic #2: A Massive New Testament Subject - Matt 13:33, Acts 20:29-31, all the Pauline letters, the general letters of the New Testament (Jude, Hebrews, Peter, 1 John), and Revelation all warn against lapsing back into apostasy.
Characteristic #3: It Impacts Every Major Doctrine - The faith (1 Tim 4:1), God (Jude 4), Christ & His death (2 Peter 2:1), Christ's return (2 Peter 3:3-4), Sound Doctrine (2 Tim 4:3-4), Resurrection (2 Tim 2:16-18), and God as creator (2 Peter 3:5) will all be challenged, or are now being challenged, by the predorists.
Characteristic #4: Apostasy is Internal - Acts 20:29-31. It will come from within the church, along with "savage wolves." Paul warned about this night and day with tears. Jude 4 says they "crept in unnoticed." Look for them in pulpits, Christian schools, Christian books, and magazines. They won't wear signs on their backs that read: I'M A FALSE TEACHER - FOLLOW ME.
Characteristic #5: It Knows No Limits - Exodus 32:1-10 (Aaron), Judg. 18:30 (Jonathan). Even those we least expect will become useful tools for the enemy's apostasy. We can see this in the Rules of Harvard, Est. 1636. Christian belief was once a rule for admittance to this university. Now it's a deterrent. Rev. 2:45 says Christ will take away the lamp stand. In other words, He'll remove His light from among them.
Characteristic #6: It Can Happen Quickly - The ice can melt beneath our feet. In Gal. 1:6, Paul was amazed at how soon the Galatians abandoned the doctrine of free grace. In Exodus 32:8, the Israelites turned away from God within forty days. When Rev. 2:4-5 was written only thirty-five years had passed before the Ephesus defected on their relationship with Christ.
Characteristic #7: It is Satanically Energized - Paul reminds us in 2 Cor. 11:3 how easily the serpent led Eve away from the simplicity of God's truth. In 1 Tim 4:1: "Some will depart from the faith, heeding deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons..." Satan's agenda is to cause the fall of the Christian church. He knows the three functions of the church are to 1) Glorify God, 2) Edify the saints, and 3) Evangelize the lost. He's satisfied to hinder even one of those functions.
Characteristic #8: It is Destructive - Acts 20:29 offers a graphic imagery to describe how destructive apostasy is to our church.
Characteristic #9: It Makes Life Difficult for the Man of God - The genuine article, the true man of God will be discredited by the "savage wolves." We must be cautious of the strategy of the mega churches popping up about us. Does the church lose its spirit for God to bring in the spirit of the world? 2 Tim 3:2-4, 12-13.
Characteristic #10: It Impacts Those Who Have Not Taken Preventative Measures - The pooling of ignorance just feels better than the hard truth. The strong current of apostasy pulls us in the wrong direction. If we take a passive stance, then we allow ourselves to be drawn away from the truth. Riding the current of apostasy is not like shooting the rapids. It's never that obvious. Even the true man of God can slip into that easy flow. When we're pulled away from the truth, we must call for help, aggressively move to the shoreline, use tools God gave us to thwart the river's torrent. Our tools are commands of the New Testament:
- Study God's word (2 Tim. 2:15, 3:17).
- Test all things using discernment (1 Thess. 5:21).
- Renew the mind (Rom. 12:2). Don't conform to the easy flowing trend, but transform through the intake of divine truth.
- Put on the full armor of God (Eph.6).
- Contend earnestly for the faith--and truth (Jude 3). Know what you believe and why you believe it.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
- How exciting to know that friends across the U.S. are reading my story! Former co-worker Tina Castillo put this photo on her Facebook page and sent it to me, with a notation, "Look what I just picked up!" She's now in Dayton, OH attending law school. She gave me a coffee mug covered with images of cats. And how timely...she presented it to me the same day I received the e-mail from Chicken Soup stating they were considering my story. What a blessing to know others share in my joy.
- The book signing idea seems to be dwindling. With Tom working on home renovations, it's doubtful I'll be able to have a signing at my house. I'd hoped to have something on September 28th, since my office was closed that day, but instead spent twelve hours working on the White Rose Publishing novella. On the evening if 26th, I discovered the story was five thousand words short of the contest rules and had little time to fix it. My real estate renewal exam was also due on September 30th--the same deadline as Hearts Crossing. Yikes! I felt a wee bit under pressure that week. I submitted the novella on September 29th, passed my real estate exam on September 30th, and still had to go to work on October 1st. Tired, but relieved that all my obligations were completed.
- I'm sure I can come up with more stories about Sammy, Mandi, Sebastian, Squeakette, Pixie, and Feathers. How many cat-lover books are there, anyway? Or maybe I'll write about my wonderful husband, who has been so supportive of my writing endeavors. And, of course, being paid gives me more credibility with Tom. B-)
- Or maybe I'll get back to Obedient Heart. Jack McGowan and Jennifer Ryaan have been waiting patiently inside my computer for me to come back to them. The acquisitions editor at Tyndale House said she liked the story, but it didn't have a strong enough hook to sell it to her marketing personnel. Would she have appreciated it if I'd sent her a fishing hook with a gummy worm on it? Hmmm....maybe not.
- Until next posting....May God richly bless you!
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Fears, like vampires, can't live in the light. When we expose them to our trust in Christ, they scamper away, seeking their dark hiding places.
Max explains that there's a difference between prudence and paranoia. Prudence being caution, but paranoia being the obsessive side of our fear. Example: Prudence washes with soap. Paranoia avoids all human contact. Christ warned that things will get worse, but admonished us not to be alarmed. We can trust in Him to carry us through any calamity.
To my delight, there is a Discussion Guide in the back of the book. This makes a great tool for the Professional Women's Bible Study that I attend every Friday morning before work. I'll certainly recommend it to Grace, our study leader.
FEARLESS by Max Lucado gets five big stars in my review of this excellent reminder to put our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, and kick our "hell-hatched, joy-stealing" anxieties to the curb!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Travis Clark asks his best friend, "Am I the only career criminal who has never broken the law?" Faced with a student's accusations, he must contend with a past indiscretion that has come to haunt him.
Bailey St. John thought she'd finally found the man of her dreams. But her image of Travis is dashed as her best friend, watching the news report, asks, "Bailey, is your new beau a perv?"
More to come! B-)
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Let me explain how I came to have this treasure of a book. I wanted to donate Christian romance novels to the teens at a farm for wayward girls. As I searched stores, looking for publishers such as Zondervan, Harvest House, Tyndale, and Thomas Nelson, I came across The Mill House. I opened it and read the first paragraph of the prologue.
"Oh wow," I said to myself, "I'm not giving this one away!" I had to find out why an elderly lady would sit on a log in the pouring rain-wearing her nightgown, robe, and slippers, clutching shards of stained glass from a bombed-out church in her hands. Without giving away the ending, let me just say that pondering on the "what-ifs" of life will undoubtedly send us spiraling into the pit of despair. We must remember what the apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:12-14: Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
I'm glad I kept this book for myself. The Mill House also provided a good historical perspective of that time period. Now that I've finished it, I plan to loan it to my friend May, a Liverpuddlian who spent her childhood in an English orphan home during WWII.
As much as I enjoyed this book, I know it would never pass our FWA critique group. Paul uses speaker attributes other than "said" or "asked." A big no-no according to our faciliator. Other authors have instructed the same thing. "Don't be afraid of the word 'said.'" He also uses those pesky "ly" adverbs I've been told to remove from my novel. And--GASP!--he uses a prologue. I happen to like them, even though other writers debate whether or not we should use them. My mentors have told me that, since I have one in Obedient Heart, the first chapter should carry the tension of the prologue forward. I've seen prologues in other novels (Firestorm by Jeannette Windle comes to mind) that have nothing to do with Chapter One, and they work well. But I do digress. Yes...I'd like a little cheese with my whine. 8-(
Whatever FWA no-nos Paul McCusker did in his novel, The Mill House, they aren't worth arguing about. It's a good story, well-told and well-written from start to finish. Drop whatever you're doing right now and buy this book. Or borrow my copy...but you'll have to wait in line.
And if you happen to visit Great Britain, say hello to Lainey, Nicholas, Elaine, and Adam for me!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
REVELATION: THE FINAL PHASE OF CHRIST’S REDEMPTIVE PROGRAM Andy Woods, Ph.D. candidate, attorney, theologian and author, once again blessed us with his teaching. In two short hours on Sunday, April 19, 2009, Andy gave us an overview of the Book of Revelation. “Revelation? In two hours?” you might ask. Yep. And if anyone can do it, Andy Woods can (and did). His seminary thesis was used for a chapter in End Times Controversy. The Second Coming Under Attack, and he contributed to The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy. His credentials speak for themselves—and with authority. An important note on this mystifying book is that it is not the revelation of the Apostle John. It is the revelation of Jesus Christ to the Apostle John . The passage in Daniel 9:27 is the basement of this world’s future, and Revelation is the ceiling. John adds more detail to Daniel’s structure. The Chain of Communication is from God the Father to Christ to the angel to John to the book to the pastor to the listener. This isn’t like the game of gossip where the comment whispered by the first person becomes radically different by the time the last person recites it. These words have been carefully and painstakingly written down. In this overview, Andy gave us the structure, in my opinion, of a three-act play: § Act I: The Things Which You (John) Have Seen (Chapter 1) § Act II: The Things Which Are (Chapters 2-3) § Act III: The Things Which Will Take Place After These Things (Chapters 4-22) The first act begins with the prologue in Chapter One that offers the blessing to us who hear this prophecy and heed its admonitions. Then John, being held captive on Patmos for preaching the Word, is compelled to write what he sees. The purpose is to offer comfort to the oppressed churches in Asia Minor and to stimulate them to practice holiness through future reminders of Gods’ conquest and punishment of evil. The message is Christ’s ultimate victory over evil. Act II opens in Chapters Two and Three with praising and rebuking the seven churches. Smyrna and Philadelphia were the only two not to receive rebukes because they were under persecution at the time of the writing. Laodicea was the only church to receive no praise because they had locked Jesus Christ out of their fellowship. (Like many churches today that offer a “feel good” doctrine.) Rev. 3:20 is not an evangelical premise to invite Jesus into your heart. He is knocking at the door of the church that has forgotten who He is and what He has done for them. And Act III represents the entire tribulation period in Chapters Four through the end of the book. The first half of the tribulation sees the Seals and Trumpets judgments, and the Bowl judgments are spread throughout the last half. Grasping the judgments has been the most difficult for me when I attempt a study of this book. Are they concurrent or disconnected? Andy teaches they are telescopic, with chronological progressions that start and stop, perhaps like labor pains (again my assessment) with five non-chronological parenthetical insertions between the sixth and seventh of each. I’ll call them breathers. (Many who have given birth will attest to the need for a breather between labor pains.) Here’s a diagram that helped me: Seals 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Trumpets 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Bowls 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Sorry, the diagram won't work in this format. :-(
Picture (if you'll indulge me) the #1 of the Trumpets falling directly below the #7 of the Seals, then the #1 of the Bowls falling directly below the #7 of the Trumpets. Andy compared the “breathers” to a hiking trip. You’ll always pause at some point on your journey to look back at where you’ve been and forward to where you have yet to go. These insertions are strategically placed between the sixth and seventh judgments, which then usher in the first of the next series of seven. Another prophetic statement we often miss is in the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus states Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. God will instill His will on earth. Revelation 4 depicts God’s role in creation. He has the authority to “recycle” it because He created it. And isn’t it interesting that He begins the destruction with plant life, which was the first living entity He created in Genesis? I regret that this is as far as my note taking could go. I ran out of paper in my little notebook. But no need to fret! You can either purchase a CD of the lesson at Bayside Community Church, or listen to it online at www.baysidecommunitychurch.net/resources.html. May God continue to bless you as you study His word!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I’d like to use that technique as I discuss this novel with you.
The first thing that impressed me on a marketing level was the number of “hooks” the authors presented. On the cover, we read, “She steals more than your heart.” (Interesting) On the back cover: “Let me tell you all I know for sure. My name. Shauna.” (Intriguing) At the bottom of the back cover: “A New Kind of Suspense from Dekker and Healy—Where Heart Pounding meets Heart Warming.” (Inviting) I hadn’t heard of Ted Dekker or Erin Healy before I saw this novel. Any one of the “hooks” would’ve caused me to buy it, along with the synopsis on the back. Having each one build on the other created a sense of necessity within me. I NEEDED to read this book!The only drawback I found was the lack of tags. I realize in some scenes the reader isn’t supposed to know who’s speaking…yet. They’re carefully placed mines to ratchet up the suspense. I’ve seen this technique in The Terror Alliance by Jack Hunter (1980 – an oldie, but goodie). But the scenes where I had to stop reading, go back to the beginning of the dialogue and mentally note: Wayne, Shauna, Wayne, Shauna…, broke the flow and annoyed me. Not enough to make me put the book down, though. The well-told story kept me coming back for more. As Shauna recuperates from her auto accident injuries, the reader is pulled alongside her in the schemes and plots against her. Can one woman really endure all of the trauma she suffers? Yet she finds a ray of hope in a housekeeper and a news reporter hidden away in a small town. This is one book that is not easy to put down. Even when I couldn’t get back to it right away (What do you mean “What’s for supper?” I’m trying to read.) Shauna’s dilemma haunted me. Who could she trust? All the way to the end, I found myself wanting to buckle my seatbelt…even though I always read in bed! I don’t want to give away the ending, but will say the truest “hook” of all was: Where Heart Pounding meets Heart Warming.