Category Archives: Writing Projects

Things I’m working on

Looking Ahead…

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As I think about what’s ahead in 2019, it’s hard not to reflect on the last few years. God has been birthing a change in me and my husband’s life. This started after we vacationed in Ireland and England several years ago. That vacation was a great opportunity for both seeing new sites and connecting with family and friends who live in Europe. We also met a couple who live and work in Galway.

Yet, when we arrived home, it was not where would we go for the next trip that occupied our minds. It troubled my husband (Tom) that there appeared to be so few options for going to church in Tralee, the home of his Irish ancestors. As he pondered the dilemma, God put on his heart that he could do something to change the situation.

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This seemed like a huge white canvas waiting to be painted, with us having no idea of what the picture was supposed to be. Originally, we thought we were supposed to go back in the fall of 2018, but that didn’t happen. When Tom prayed about all this, he felt the response was, “That’s okay, I’ll wait.” We became more earnest about discovering what this mission is supposed to be.

It’s been several years of praying and working through ‘life’ here where we live. The big white canvas contains a few broad sweeping strokes at this time. It is nowhere near a clear image. I laugh because it seems like we get insight and details only as we move forward, putting one foot in-front of the other on a path which leads back to Tralee; on a path which will provide opportunities to share God’s love; to help people understand God’s love is vast and wide and most importantly for them.

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You may ask, how will we accomplish that? Certainly, through prayer and God’s guidance. Tom will work with a pastor in a nearby community, building their small group ministries. We’ll both reach out in Tralee to people both in and out of the church, to help them develop an understanding of God’s love that is deeper than the hurts and hardships previously imposed by governments and the church. This is not a one time in and out mission trip. We expect we’ll spend two to three months a year in Ireland, establishing long-term relationships with people. Currently, it will just be Tom and I, but over time I expect others may take up the mantle and also spend a couple months at a time there.

 

 

You can partner with us, either financially or in prayer. Check out https://www.celticmissions.org/  for more information or to partner with us.

Never Give Up…

…on your dreams

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Recently I heard, “You’re living the dream.” Somehow the statement didn’t ring true for me. Living the dream implies a perfect life with no problems or concerns; and I don’t live a perfect life. In fact, I know no one who does, and my experience has proven that talking about the negative aspects of life doesn’t do much to improve the situation. As I pondered the statement, I realized if I changed the proclamation to “I’m living my dreams” I resonated with this view. My current reality involves seeing many of my old dreams happening. This reality didn’t happen overnight, nor did it happen on my time-schedule. In fact, much of my reality holds dreams I’ve carried for decades upon decades; some are dreams I’d previously abandoned; put on the shelf or assumed I could never accomplish.

I’m astonished when I look back and remember the birth of these dreams and realize they are now part of my life. Those thoughts cause me to smile. Then I overhear people say they have stopped dreaming, and it makes my heart sad. I’ve learned some things require more time to percolate before they come to fruition; some things require more work or effort; and then there’re the elements which come together because of a blessing or gift being bestowed upon you. Those things that are passions within your heart and mind are frequently the things that make your heart beat quicker; they put a bounce in your step; a smile on your face; and are often the things that allow you to realize your life impacts others.

You may have been created to fulfill those aspirations. Hold tight to the ability to dream. Recognize you may need to refine some of your desires or think in a larger time frame. But don’t give up on having dreams.

Are you holding dreams in your heart? Do you have people in your life who encourage you to dream?

 

Fight Back

When it comes to negative thoughts and self-talk, we have to fight back against those things.

Steven Furdick’s book, Crash the Chatterbox may be a good resource if you struggle with this type of negativity.

Furdick wrote the book to help people understand how they can battle the negative thoughts and lies filling their heads and hearts and instead turn to God promises and truth.

I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to others if they will work through the questions in the back.

There are a several statements that stood out to me:

…it’s not just what this chatter says that makes it dangerous. It’s what it keeps us from hearing.

…mistakes are inevitable but disrespect is inexcusable. And ingratitude is more than a misdemeanor.

…gratitude allows us to disconnect discouragement at the power source by choosing to call God good in spite of our situation.

 

The Writer, and Crisis Management

This morning while reading “writing” material, I discovered an article on crisis management and how that affects writers.

Oh, the events in life that affect a writer, and how those same experiences impact creativity or the ability to put words to paper. Perhaps I should say, inability to put words to paper.

As I pondered the article, I realized I can exercise crisis management during those seasons when the words seem to have died. In fact, I recognized unwittingly I was actually doing just that. Instead of working on my next book, I found myself absorbed in other writing. I practiced what I call “mental health” writing. Life itself had presented various writing assignments I needed to complete for marketing a couple up-coming author events.

I don’t know what works for you, but for me, words are the answer to healing, to dealing with a crisis, to life. I can smile, knowing I’ll be back to working on that book project soon.

What do you do when life throws you a curve ball and you feel you’ve lost your creative edge?

 

Feeding Frenzy

… or seasons are changing!

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I took this photo was from the dining-room window the other morning. Those are hummingbirds, though, because of the frenzied movements of these birds, one might think they were viewing a beehive. This is the annual feeding frenzy before these little creatures fly south to a warmer climate. If this visual isn’t enough reminder of the changing seasons, the audible increase from the crickets sings the same message. Years ago, an older gentleman told my husband that when the crickets get loud listen carefully for they are singing, “Winter’s coming, winter’s coming.”

I’m sure that’s true, but before it arrives I hope to enjoy autumn – my favorite time of the year. What’s your favorite season?

 

Can you imagine my surprise?

Several years ago, when I started writing what was to become “Dream Glasses,” I wanted to stage much of the story in a Parisian Bakery. My storybook bakery was to be located across the street from a neighborhood park. Using the internet, I found Ble Sucré in the 12th arrondissement met these requirements. The bakery in my book was renowned for making Madeleines.

Can you imagine my surprise when reading news this weekend, I found Ble Sucré identified by Top Chefs as one bakery having the best pastries in Paris? …and the bakery’s best is their Madeleines!

Locations identified in “Dream Glasses” are real Parisian locations. The story is fictional. If you want an armchair trip to Paris and an easy read “Dream Glasses” is your ticket.

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“Dream Glasses” is available on Amazon, both as a Kindle or print format. There are print copies available for sale in Carbondale, CO at Susan Flowers & Artisan Boutique and in Glenwood Springs, CO at the BookTrain.

 

 

The full article “The Best Bakeries in Paris, According to Top Chefs” by Kate Krader & Richard Vines was originally published April 17, 2018.

 

Available soon

Print version of …

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Stumbling upon these stories as my husband and I went through old papers provided rich insight into fascinating family history. As a writer, and a student of life I’m interested in travel and different cultures; people and relationships; natural beauty, creativity and how God works in these various aspects of life. These stories brought together so many of the things important to me and spoke to my soul. I felt I had to share them.

If you want to be notified when the book is available, please go to the “Sign Me Up” option on my blog and enter your information. The print version will be released first. I’m still pondering if this book will be available as a Kindle eBook.

Thank you for your interest!

First Quarter Creativity

I kicked off 2018 by cleaning my art room. I’m not sure if it’s the added organization in the room or simply spending time surrounded by art supplies that generated such a desire to create things. I’ve even been able to share my space and time with a friend creating cards.

Here is a sampling of some cards created during this time…

 

Then I decided to try something different. I have no idea what I’m going to use this for — maybe some day a children’s story.

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What sparks your creativity? Are you willing to share some of the things you are working on?

Angel Encounter

October 30th, an angel blessed me.

I planned to travel home from Huntsville, AL to Grand Junction, CO with a flight transfer in Dallas/Fort Worth. Tom would pick me up about 6:30 P.M. (or something close to that.)

The plane from Huntsville never took off. When my plane landed in Huntsville emergency vehicles, fire trucks and police vehicles met it. The airlines kept delaying the departing flight and rescheduled connecting flights for the passengers. They rescheduled my connecting flights from Dallas, first to Phoenix and onto Grand Junction.

About 5:30 P.M. they canceled the Huntsville to Dallas flight. I could either spend the night in Huntsville and return to fly in the morning or fly to Dallas tonight, then they offered me a morning flight to Aspen. Being closer to home sounded better than starting over tomorrow. I opted to fly to Dallas.

Our flight to Dallas landed after nine P.M. I talked with an American Agent who offered a voucher for a night’s stay in the local Super 8 Hotel. I called the number on the voucher to request a pickup. The waiting area, the last in the pickup zone, was dimly lit.

There were two of us from this Huntsville flight waiting. I called first to schedule our ride and then two more times to figure out when the pickup would happen and could never get an answer when they would arrive. They said; the driver had left; they were experiencing a busy night, and they didn’t know when he would arrive. At that point we had already waited over 45 minutes.

The gentleman I was waiting with said, “I have thousands of points available at Marriott—let me get us each a room.” I protested and his comments were “No worries. I have points to spare.” He called for rooms and said, “We’ll take which ever shuttle shows up first.”

Within seven minutes the Marriott van arrived to pick us up. We got in the shuttle. Thoughts ran through my mind questioning what I was doing. Here I was, in a van heading to a hotel with someone whom I didn’t even know his name. God quickly brought the scripture to mind about how some have entertained angels unaware and peace filled my mind. (En route I received a Dallas phone call. I suspect it was the other hotel. By the time the call came through, an hour had passed since I made the original request for pick up.) We arrived at the hotel. Made arrangements for the morning shuttle, and each went to our rooms.

I had an amazing room; the bed had great pillows. For me, pillows make the difference regarding a good night’s sleep. I took awhile to fall asleep, as I was bone chilled from standing outside so long.

In the morning we met in the breakfast area and took the shuttle to the airport, each of us going to different terminals. I asked if I could get a business card and was told, “No worries.” We said goodbye and wished each other safe travels.

I have no name or contact information to offer a thank you. But I’m appreciative for this angel who waited with me in a dark area in a strange town and then offered me a refreshing place to rest for the night. God provides and cares for his own. I’m grateful!