Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Aa-chew! Sniffle, Sniffle...Where did that week go?

Sitting down to update my blog today, I realized a whole week passed since my last post. But how is this possible? I distinctly recall composing all of those eloquent, entertaining, and inspiring posts in my head? How could it be that they were never published?

Well, I suppose, if anything, you can call me the Queen of Good Intentions.

And if I'm looking to cast blame, I guess it can fall on my new relationship. : )

You see, Mr. Kleenex Box and I have been constant companions this week. We've spent little time a part.

And strangely enough, I've noticed King Charming hasn't resented my new relationship or expressed any jealousy at all. It appears he enjoyed his own fling this week with a box of Kleenex.
You know, those who sneeze together (and cough, and share NyQuil, and watch endless hours of worthless TV together) stay together.

I'm thankful we could sympathize with one another, but our poor house shows major signs of neglect. Almost as bad as my poor neglected blog.

Never fear, though, I'm on the road to recovery, and hoping to recall, if not all of the entertaining, enlightened, and inspiring blog posts from my memory, at least a few salvageable pieces to share with all of you. : )

And today is Wednesday, so I hope you'll hop over to Mommies With Hope's blog for the second installment of the online study for And Then You Were Gone .

(germ free of course)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You're Invited

If you follow me on Facebook and Twitter, you've heard me talk a lot about Mommies With Hope.

Mommies With Hope is a group based in Iowa that supports women who are going through pregnancy, infant, or child loss. I love their heart for hurting women, and their focus on looking to the Bible for real answers.

I'm so honored that they've chosen to study And Then You Were Gone in their hope meetings in Iowa and also on their blog each Wednesday this Fall. The first post is up today, and the blog study is open to everyone, so here is your official invitation to join in the discussion here. I plan on being a part of it myself and hope you'll join me. : )

I had the privilege of meeting Teske Drake, the founder of Mommies With Hope, in 2009 at the She Speaks conference in North Carolina, and I know you are going to love her!

Many of you reading my blog are not struggling with pregnancy loss, but do know people who are or have in the past, and want to know how to help. Reading the book will help you understand better how to help, and this online study would be a great place for you to send your friends for support.

I'm excited to see what God has planned for this study this Fall and so humbled and grateful to see Him using our story.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Thank You, Mr. Hemingway

Several times this past week, I've seriously regretted letting anyone know I was attempting to write a novel.

What was I thinking?

Why did I go public with this dream of mine?

To be perfectly honest, the scenes I've been writing lately have stunk, and I don't like that feeling.

But as I continue studying and learning from other writers, I've discovered an important truth:

They are supposed to stink!

I know this because Hemingway told me so. : )

He had some sage advice for fledgling writers like me. He said:

"All first drafts are poop."

Well, he didn't say it quite that delicately, but you get the point.

I needed that wisdom because the perfectionist in me wants to quit when the writing isn't perfect. It is quite possible that these scenes I'm writing now will be chopped during editing, but I have to keep telling myself there will never be a polished final draft if I don't pull the story out of me first.

It takes courage to keep moving forward even when you wonder if you really have what it takes. I may find in the end that I don't, but I will never know if I don't take the risk of following after the dream and trusting that once the story is out there, I'll be able to fix what's wrong.

I better get off the computer and get some housework done, so when Prince Charming's nap time rolls around I'll be able to get back to work on Chapter Four. I've got to get my two main characters to meet so they can get to the business of falling in love already. : )

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My New Find: Chalk Markers

I just arrived home from my first ever trip to the wonderful world of Hobby Lobby. Oh my goodness, I'm afraid I could easily spend a million dollars in that place! I think my eyes are still a little glassed over.

For the past few years, I've followed blogs of southern women who sang the praises of Hobby Lobby, and assumed it was a southern store that wasn't available here out west. But one day a few weeks ago we were happily driving down the road when I suddenly screamed, "We have a Hobby Lobby!!!" Good thing my husband is a professional driver and didn't swerve off the road. For some reason though, he wasn't willing to stop and go inside that day. : )

So today, I finally made my way back with a 40% off coupon in hand and was not disappointed.

My Favorite Find of the Day:

Both Nester from The Nesting Place and Shannon at Bless Our Nest recommended these chalk markers on their blogs, and I'm so excited about my little purchase.

Remember last year when I transformed this silver tray from the thrift shop into a chalkboard?
I've loved having it on display in my living room, but the chalk has been a frustration for me. I couldn't hold the chalk right to have nice handwriting, and it kept smudging and looking messy. The chalk marker writes like a marker and can be washed off with a wet rag.

Take a look at the before and after pictures:



Anyone else been bit by the Fall craftiness/home decorating bug yet? : )

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Life Piled on Life"

Our town recently hosted a hot air balloon rally, and each morning on our way to school that week, the kids and I would see the balloons.

We pretended our minivan had magically transformed into a hot air balloon and the other balloons were escorting us to school.

The girls' backpacks served as parachutes as they leaped from the van onto the sidewalk below.

I've always thought hot air balloons were magical and loved our early morning show.

Then on Saturday, we got to see the balloons up close at the park for a night glow. It was beautiful!

When we arrived, all of the balloons were deflated and waiting to be filled.

Watching them inflate, I was reminded of a line from Tennyson I read recently:

"Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'

Gleams that untravell'd world, whose margins fades

Forever and forever when I move.

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,

To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!

As tho' to breathe were life,
Life piled on life..."

I felt their pain and heard them sigh,

"How dull it is to pause, to make an end. To rust unburnish'd, not to shine in use!"

But then they were filled!

And they glowed!

And they were no longer dull.

It reminded me of how important it is for me to be filled, too. When my life feels deflated, and I don't feel special enough, I need to remember it isn't more doing that I need, just more filling.

Thank you, Lord, for making the ordinary extraordinary when it is filled with you.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sledding in September?

I'm not sure if this is going to win me the "Mother of the Year" award, but they sure are having fun. : )

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Progress Report and A Few Teasers About My Novel

I've had an ongoing love affair with books my whole life. It's probably quite natural that I've also always dreamed of writing novels.

I come from a long line of story lovers, and I inherited the gene that makes me excited just to walk in a library and smell it. Only book lovers know what libraries smell like.

I'm that girl who will open old books and stick my nose in them just to inhale the scent and the anticipation of escaping into a new world.

I blame this nerdiness on genes I inherited, but for a long time I was convinced that I did not, however, inherit the talent to create my own story. So I shelved the dream.

I remember all of the long list of character names I used to write as a little girl, or the countless cheesy first chapters that got filed in a drawer, an old spiral notebook, or the garbage can. The dream got shoved away, too, but was always there.

But recently, I've picked up that old dream and dusted it off. I'm still not sure if I've got what it takes, but I'm so in love with my characters and so excited about what I'm learning.

A whole new world has been opened for me as I realize that yes, writing is an art form, but it is also a craft that can be studied and learned. I feel like I'm back in college taking the best course ever! I'm eating up books and blogs and anything else I can get my hands on about writing.

And amazingly enough, I've broken the first chapter barrier. : )

Here's my progress report:

Three Chapters and 12.364 words completed in my first draft.

What's Your Book About?

I'm not telling yet. : )

But, since my lovely cousin Katy asked for it, I'll give you a little teaser:

What do you do when the hounds of heaven are loosed
and you are the prey?

Here's a little more:

It also includes two other loves of mine: Football and Eastern Washington

That's all for now...I have a few more minutes to write before bed time. : )