Archive | November, 2013

I Remember This One As ‘Green Glass Beads’

20 Nov

When I was little (and still today) my parents had the most amazing hoard of books. I remember sitting on the floor, or curled up in a corner of a couch reading stories, admiring illustrations, pouring over poetry. I remember us all piled on my parents’ bed as mom read The Secret Garden, doing all the different voices. Accents included. I remember dad reading My Side Of The Mountain to us, a chapter at a time, at bedtime. To this day those two books are still among my favorites.

I also remember mom reading a poem about green glass beads to my sisters and me. A little while later, I went on a hunt to see if I could find the poem hidden inside one of the many books stashed throughout the house. I finally found it. The drawings and the words once again captivated me.

Now, I’m all grown up (reluctantly), and I still search for this poem. This time, on YouTube.


Is it any wonder I love reading and writing books and poetry?

It was all around me growing up. Some of our favorite books were those thick books of poems by Shel Silverstein. Especially Where The Sidewalk Ends. Then of course there were the many Calvin and Hobbs books which could take up many hours of a rainy afternoon (so many big words to learn!). Even with all the other books surrounding us, we also found time to simply flip through the pages of random tomes from the encyclopedia collection. All sorts of wonderful things to learn in one of those.

I think most of us four girls memorized a certain poem by our mother. The one I am thinking of was published in a little booklet from her college. It’s about 3 men in a tub…in the sea. It always makes me smile and sometimes even giggle.

Perhaps I’ll ask her to let me put it on here. Although, the more I think about it (and I have been thinking about it for several months) the more I would like to have that poem in the fore matter of my book of bathroom poetry.

Something else to ask her about.  🙂 


An Isolated Birthday

19 Nov

“Matthew, they can’t hear you. So please stop yelling.”

“But, Mamma, Penny said we would all go to the crick together.”

“I know, baby, but sometimes people don’t always remember what they said. She probably just forgot.”

“She didn’t forget.”

“Instead of pouting, how about you and I make some cookies?”

“I don’t want… can I lick the spoon?”

“Tell you what, we’ll leave the eggs for last, and put a couple globs of cookie dough on top of ice cream.”

“Really? Wow!”

“It is your birthday.”


“Don’t look so sad, Matt. You can only get the chicken pox once. We’ll do something really fun next year, okay?”



MMM… Jeff Allen and Celtic Woman

18 Nov

Wow, Monday already.

We’re going to keep it simple today.

First, the mirth!

I love it! “Why don’t you come with me? I’ll get you a Crispy Creme.”



And now the music!


That’s it for me today. If you want more Mirth and Music Monday click on over to ReGi McClain’s blog for another dose. If we’re lucky, there might even be another fun blog post under the top blue froggy on the right side of her blog. Click on that bug-eyed little guy and you will see the links to all the bloggers playing along with our little MMM game.

If you want you can even come play with us. All you have to do is put together a funny and musical blog post, then link up with us at the blue froggy.

Sorry, some of my research for this weeks post was a series of kid humor. So the word Froggy is now tickling my funny bone.


Have a Great Week!


Afternoon Adventures

17 Nov

I can hear him shuffle across the floor as he comes to answer the door. His face breaks into a huge grin when I holler, “Hey, Jay! How’ve you been?”

“Not bad. Not bad. Yourself?”

“No complaints.”

He chuckles with pleasure as I walk over the threshold.  I stop in front of a half covered couch, dropping my coat where he gestures. “Don’t mind the mess, I’ve been unpacking.”

“So you did manage to get to Vegas. How was it?”

“It was a lot of fun. Won twenty bucks at craps, and lost it at the roulette table. The only bad thing about the trip was my nephew’s driving. He gets to talkin’, then suddenly he’s got his knee holding the steering wheel in one place ’cause he’s talkin’ with his hands, too! In a way I’m glad we only go once every six months. Gives me time to recover from all that adrenaline.”

I laugh while pulling the phone out of my purse.

“Let me get you somethin’ to set on.” Pulling a pillow from the end of the couch he sets it on one of the chairs at the dining room table. “Did you need somethin’ to drink or anything?”

“Thank you, Jay, I’m fine.”

“Alright. You need somethin’ you holler, Okay?”

“Will do.”

I wait as he makes his way to the chair a little way around the table from me. With a bit of a grunt he lowers himself into his seat, and says, “Now if I recall correc’ly he had just moved the gear and horses to another place, and was real’ worried about them havin’ his son and the girl.”

“That’s it exactly. Let me find it…” The phone comes to life as I unlock it, and scroll through the apps to the reader. Pressing the image of the book cover the screen changes to the page we had left off last week. “Chapter twelve.”

“Oh, good. Lay it on me.”

Laughing, I begin to read. “There was no blood anywhere on the sand. He felt sure he could have seen it on the white sand if there had been. No blood…no shots…so there probably had been no fight.


*            *            *


*The book is a western by Louis L’Amour called Brionne.

Yes, it’s a good one. We read it in six weeks.  🙂

Our next book is going to be The Shadow Riders.

We can’t wait for next week.


My Ignored Hamper – a Poem

16 Nov


This was the first of my poems to be put on my blog. It’s been a while, and I now have more of a following. A following which most likely has not cruised back quite that far in my blog post list.

So here it is again. 

(mostly because I really like it.  …Aaand because I’m being lazy tonight.)


My Ignored Hamper

The clothes they have shed?From the September 27th photo shoot Sample 2

On the floor looking dead

Ignoring the hamper

To the tub they do scamper

Their clothes in a heap

Into bubbles they leap

When they’re asleep

I’ll let my tea steep

It’ll take just a minute

To put the clothes in it

But for now I’ll enjoy

My two little boys


Yeah, it still makes me smile. 😀

What was your reaction?


The Beloved Daughter is now an Audio Book!

15 Nov

The Beloved Daughter, an inspirational suspense novel by award-winning author Alana Terry, is a story of persecution and triumph set in the oppressive North Korean regime. The audiobook version of Alana’s bestselling debut novel is narrated by Kathy Garver, a four-time Audie award winner and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Motion Picture Council. (You might also recognize Kathy as Cissy from the TV show Family Affair.)

Listen to a sample of Kathy reading from The Beloved Daughter.

The Beloved Daughter

Synopsis: In a small North Korean village, a young girl struggles to survive. It is her father’s faith, not the famine of North Hamyong Province, that most threatens Chung-Cha’s well-being. The Beloved Daughter follows Chung-Cha into one of the most notorious prison camps the contemporary free world has known. Her crime? Being the daughter of a Christian.

Join the giveaway



     *Winner, Women of Faith Writing Contest


     *1st Place, Book Club Network Book of the Month

     *Amazon Bestseller (#5 Christian Suspense)


“…an engaging plot that reads like a story out of today’s headlines…” ~ Women of Faith Writing Contest

“Alana is a master storyteller, and I can’t imagine anyone failing to be
captivated by this harrowing tale
. What we have here is a compelling

story, but it’s also one of great importance.” ~ Brad Francis, Author of The Savvy Demon’s Guide to Godly Living 

“The Beloved Daughter is a beautifully written story that is…both personal and representative of the challenges that many North Koreans still face today.” ~ Sarah Palmer, Rescue Team Coordinator at Liberty in North Korea

“The author does a phenomenal job… HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – but have tissues handy.” ~ Pauline Creeden, Editor AltWit Press

Order your own copy of The Beloved Daughter.

Awesome Prizes!

You don’t want to miss out on the month-long Beloved Daughter audiobook launch party. See the Alana Terry facebook page to get started. Multiple winners every week … Hundreds of $$$-worth in prizes!

ENTER THE DRAWING: In addition to the Facebook party, you can enter the grand prize drawing below for a chance to win a $100 gift card to either Target or Amazon (you choose!), or one of the awesome prizes from the prize gallery (think Christian T-shirts, jewelry, books, CDs, lotions, and more)!




a Rafflecopter giveaway


*            *            *

I don’t know about you, but this sounds like it could be an interesting book. *pun intended*

(Sorry. Couldn’t resist.  😉  )

And seriously, who couldn’t use a hundred dollar gift card to Amazon? I certainly could. Too many books, not enough cash!   🙂

Good Luck, everyone!

That includes Alana.  😀 



Emotions Suck

15 Nov

They really do.

No, I’m not talking about the happy kind. I am talking about the kind that attack you after hearing bad news, or seeing something terrible, or… like losing your job or something. Those kinds of emotions.

They hurt. You feel like you have taken a sucker punch to the gut, and you get dropped into this strange whirlwind state where your thoughts are going so fast you actually can’t think. Sitting in the eye of a hurricane would probably be the best analogy for that moment.

The world rocks, and the only reason you are still standing is because some strange part of your mind has gone into survival mode and plays nursemaid to the rest of your completely incapacitated brain. As you sit in the center of that storm, watching in wide eyed confusion, a piece of your consciousness takes you by the hand and reminds you to breathe, to blink.

This part of your mind is the only thing keeping you from screaming for the rest of your life. This part of your mind is how you can joke a little in the following moments. It’s how you have the ability to call someone to come get you, to remember to put on your coat, and coaches you through each step you take… for I don’t know how long.

These emotions, they are hard to take. They claw at your heart, clench your throat, obliterate your normal thinking pattern.

The next day, you wake up and for a moment everything is fine. Completely normal. Then the fog of sleep lifts, and the memories of that event, that conversation come crashing onto you like a wall of broken bricks.

It’s amazing what can get accomplished by muscle memory. They happen because your body just naturally goes through the motions. You get into the living room and looking down realize that you actually managed to dress yourself. Your shoes even match.

Piece by piece thoughts start to return. Fragments, really. Floating in ever so quietly. It might be the next day, it might take significantly longer, but you start to have opinions again. Food preferences, what you want to drink, how you want your eggs.

Don’t rush it. Let your mind come out of hiding in it’s own time. You wouldn’t want to startle it further by expecting too much too fast. If you do, you might not hear from it again for weeks.

Chocolate. Chocolate is good for the soul. I personally believe that if Lonnie had not picked me up with chocolate in his hand I would still not be functional. Sure I looked decent on the outside. Carried on a couple conversations, hugged relatives, gave goodbye kisses to little ones. But that was all being controlled by the nanny brain cells. The rest of my mind was curled up in bed willing the entire experience to be a horrible, horrible nightmare. That didn’t just happen. I didn’t just get told that. Everything is going to be fine, as soon as I figure out how to wake up.

But Lonnie had chocolate. I hadn’t told my husband anything yet, but he had brought me the perfect sanity tool. Besides himself, that is.

I still haven’t let myself get a hug from him. No. No hugs yet from Lonnie. You would need a mop and bucket to clean up after me. There is too much right now. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe the day after that. Maybe.

I will have to process this. Just not right now. Please, not right now.


The Hidden Benefits of Reading

14 Nov

I love to read. Really should be doing more of it, actually.
So here’s a reblog that reiterated that for me, and perhaps inspire you to keep reading (and trying to Be read).

WordServe Water Cooler

I have a confession to make. Sometimes I read in order to avoid writing. There. I said it. I read at stoplights often enough that my children have to point and say, “Green. Green! GREEN!” in increasingly frantic tones, just before the rude non-reader honks come from the cars behind us.

I read while I wait for my children and while I brush my teeth. Just last week, I read on my daily walk. While passing my oldest daughter’s home, I understand that she pointed out the window in disbelief. “Nick!” she called to her husband, “Is that lady really reading while she’s walking?! Oh. It’s my mom. Why am I even surprised?” Once, I even read 43 pages while in the dentist’s chair.

As it turns out, my reading habit might be one of the best things I can do for my writing.

Read to Inspire

We all know…

View original post 492 more words


Writing Advice That Says To Ignore Writing Advice

13 Nov

Here is author Lee Child on his writing process.


Now here’s what I gleaned from watching it a couple times

How Do You Research?

He says he doesn’t research before or while writing.

I am glad to hear that, because I tried to figure out all the details for the poisons, symptoms, what an O.D. death would look like, how the authorities would react to so many deaths in one year, the political structure of a small town, the symbiotic/sympathetic realities of several small communities… You get the point. My brain exploded. My writing came to a screeching halt.

So, no more real research until the first draft is completely finished.


Tell Us About Your Writing Process

He says he just starts on page one and hopes to finish within a few months so it can be published.

I think I may have made something of a mistake when I wrote a very detailed outline. Now it feels the way he described it, as though the story has almost lost it’s fascination for me. The story has already been told. Although, hopefully my characters will continue to let me know their opinions along the way, and that should allow for some interesting twists and turns. Besides, as Stephen King says, if the author is bored, so is the reader. Paraphrasing of course.


Any Tips For Budding Authors?

The book needs to be vibrant and alive…

In my thinking, this means that you really need to listen to what your characters want, pay attention to what they would and wouldn’t do. When you know your characters well enough they often kick up their heels when things get too boring, or if you are trying too hard to cram them into a mold.


His parting advice:

Ignore all advice.

Ha ha ha. Really, I have been wondering if listening to too much advice (ahem, and reading too many articles) is part of my problem. Instead of just getting the story down, powering through the more difficult parts, I started looking for outside thoughts.

It’s my own fault. What is life for if not to learn. Well, I am learning my lesson as I struggle through this first draft.

I guess it’s time to shrug and just dive in. Time to bury myself in the project and not come out until the book is finished.

Hmmm, guess it’s time to dig up my perseverance, for when people tell me I’m not doing it right. For when they say there’s a better way, an easier, faster way. I have tried those. Believe me. Now it’s time for me to just do it my way.

“Oh, good, my way. Thank you, Vizzini.

Which way’s my way?”

*            *            *

Have you had to ignore other people’s well-meaning advice lately?

Is there a project you are currently struggling with?


*Yes, that is a Princess Bride quote.  😀  Just couldn’t resist.



Is It Just Me…?

12 Nov

Is it just me or are the days going a little bit faster this week?

Is it just me or does it feel like last month was July?

Is it just me or is Christmas coming toward us on a bullet train?


Perhaps my perspective on time is a little wonky this year…or decade.


Yup, that would be my luck. Find out how to reverse the aging process and it’s antidote both in the same day. Uh-huh.


But seriously, if you could save time in a bottle who would you choose to spend it on?