Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Your Blogging Type is Artistic and Passionate
You see your blog as the ultimate personal expression - and work hard to make it great.
One moment you may be working on a new dramatic design for your blog...
And the next, you're passionately writing about your pet causes.
Your blog is very important - and you're careful about who you share it with.

Call me copycat, but I got this off another author's blog, and thought it was kinda neat. They got me pegged on this one! Only four questions, so I doubt it's scientifically accurate. But my topics vary, and they're about things I care about. I'm not careful about who I share it with--hey, it's the Web. But I'm careful about what I share. Gotta watch those rants, ya know?

I'm up to my armpits in index cards. Busy writing time ahead!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Lotsa Life

What happened to our vacation?? Over already and we're back in the thick of it. Redoing our daughter's room, back at work, activities for church--oh yeah, and writing! My novella isn't so bad as I was afraid. I think I might learn to like self-editing after all. It's the second guessing myself I don't like. Did I overlook something? Do I think it flows well when really it's drivel? Did I forget to add an important element? Once this puppy's turned in, that's that!

Oh. And, add to the above the fact that I'm working on my web site. It's posted now, and I'm kinda proud of what's up there: Except my links to fiction and non-fiction don't work. Huh. The folks at the Surpass on-line community have been so helpful to this newbie. I'm glad to say my links to e-mail and my blog work, that and returning to the home page. I think I like my design. Couldn't just get something out of the box, but had to make up my own based on certain sites I like. I like complicated, but not when my links don't work. Hopefully my learning curve will accelerate and I'll be totally live!

We said goodbye to Paul today. My "nephew," 18, has left for the Marines and bootcamp. I'm beyond proud of this young man. I pray he'll enjoy his first dive into the world and still stay true to how he's been raised. Of course the next 13 weeks will be the toughest of his life. But he'll get through it. He's got a solid Foundation. I pray my kids do, as they follow in his footsteps. Not to the Marines, but into the big adventure of life.

Gotta run and see how the carpet's coming up in Hannah's room.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


Wow, I'm tired. Great vacation, though. My hubby built bridges with his dad, and we enjoyed the Tennessee weather. Of course we got the aftermath of Dennis, which actually was not bad. It rained the whole day. While we were away, it also rained every night. I can't complain. We arrived back in the Texas heat today.

I stayed up late Friday (reading, so I wasn't tortured) doing laundry, which now has to be all rewashed. CJ were the only two adults who didn't smoke where we visited. Blech-blech-blech!!!

I had a delicious introduction to chocolate gravy served over biscuits for breakfast. Yum-yum-yum. I came home with a recipe too. It's a deep South thing, and made my Yankee roots go, "We never heard about this up north!"

We walked the battlefields of Shiloh, beautiful and a little sad. I think if you stand quietly enough, you can still hear the muskets firing. CJ and I walked a couple of cemeteries, and found many of his relatives. We're going to research the names and dates to piece together a family tree. I think he fits a little better in his skin now, knowing where he's from, since he never grew up with his dad and hadn't seen him in 15 years. The kids groan every time we pass a cemetery now. "Please, no more!"

On the way home, we stopped in Little Rock where we met my writing buddy Robin Miller for supper at Denny's. It was so cool to see someone in person who speaks the same language I do. The hour we had went too quickly. (Sorry, Robin!!) We probably could have sat and yacked all night.

I heard from some new characters, too, and I hope I can listen to their stories one day. I arrive home to a stack of work for the writing life:
1. Anthology draft edits before sending to critique buddies.
2. Another proposal that needs a few changes before sending to editor.
3. A NEW proposal I'm working on--deadline creeping up on me!
4. Another look at my WIP, a suspense, that I'm sending for my ACFW critique in September. I'm a bit nervous about this one. I had to drop it for a bit to work on the anthology. Now I'm ready to tackle it again, and I'm wondering if it'll be up to par for this critiquer. They're big in the business and I don't want to botch this opportunity.
5. My fantasy story, long sitting on the shelf.

I haven't even checked the work computer for e-mail. Talk about jumping in with both feet!

But I'm home again, tired yet happy. My kitty's mad at me for being away for a week. I figure she'll get over it. Soon. Sometimes the best part about going on vacation is coming home again.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Out of the Mulligrubs

Wow, what a downer post last night. Sorry, folks. This is one slice of life you don't really want to serve when guests come. It's the kind of stuff you dig out of the fridge at 2:00 a.m. when you wake up and need to eat something. I'd much rather pull out the cheesecake or chocolate fudge cake to serve up to y'all with a good round of strong coffee.

Anyway! I'm out of the land of the Mulligrubs tonight. Thanks, Robin, Camy--I know you're friends and I appreciate you, even though we don't get to chat a lot. The writer's world can be a lonely one. Last night I ended up in the ACFW chat room and actually got acquainted with another writer, plus another friend logged on. So it was nice. We do need each other. Maybe friendships don't turn out the way we expect, but there's a lot to be said for accepting the gifts God gives to us through people. There's also a lot to be said for recognizing gifts when they're right in front of us.

The countdown to vacation has begun. Saturday, 5:00 a.m., we're pulling out for a week. I plan to stop off when we go through Little Rock and say hi to a writing buddy, Robin Miller. We also plan to spend some time in Memphis soakin' up some culture. That, and build some bridges with my husband's father's side of the family. It should be interesting, to say the least.

Until next time... :-)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Is It My Breath?

"The wounds of a friend are faithful, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." This hermit treasures her friends. But there's one person I've tried to reach out to in friendship, and nothing...silence. Does it hurt? Yeah. It stings. We share a common faith, common interests, and common personal battles. I would like to call her friend. At one time, we shared a good friendship. But things have changed. I hear her warmth and humor about other people, and when I send a note, all I hear is silence. She's not my enemy, but is she my friend? At one time, I thought so. Friendships take care and maintenance, and somewhere along the line ours has fizzled. Was it my fault? Was it something I said? Is my walk not deep enough to be her friend?

"He who wants friends must show himself friendly." Which is what I've done. Guess it hasn't worked in this case. I have a Friend, though, who sticks closer than a brother. (And I don't have brothers.) I leaned on Him for a while tonight, and I felt comforted.

If you haven't heard from a friend in a while, why not e-mail them or call and just say hi? It's hard to be friends with someone who only calls or writes when they need something. So give 'em a holler, no strings attached.

I probably have done nothing to offend her or put her off in any way. It's just one of those things, I guess. I hear people talk about the close writer friends they have, and maybe I'm the one who's cut myself off from people. I think most of us feel that way at times, left out on the joke, the fun, the elbow-to-elbow camaraderie. Which is why I need to lean a little more tonight on my Best Friend, who understands me better than even I can--me, who tries not to over-analyze things. He'll remind me once more that it's not about me. Or my breath.

Monday, July 04, 2005

A Quick Update

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
17,697 / 20,000
This is my word count as of the 28th. I'm pleased. The novella's not finished, but I'm happy with the framework I've put in place. I found out the minimum is 18,000 with a maximum of 20,000. I need to flesh out about two to three more scenes. I'm sure I have polishing to do other places. Strengthen verbs, check the emotions, watch for cliches, all the rewriting stuff and editing before I show the rest of the group. Signing off for now....zzz....won a killer Monopoly game tonight with over 13 grand in cash. Have a happy 4th. Thanks to all our troops, past and present. But thank you will never be enough.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Looking in the Mirror

I am not a priss. Not a diva, a hard-to-please, never-satisfied woman who always finds something to complain about. I was never a Bridezilla. I don't think I'm a snob. I try to keep an open mind when meeting people from different backgrounds than mine. I don't assume everyone is like me.

But today, six days before we leave for vacation, I found myself digging into the Web to find out SOMETHING about our destination. We're headed to my hubby's family--dad, stepmom, and assorted siblings, nephews, nieces, cousins, uncles, aunts in a teensy town on the Tennessee River partway between Memphis and Nashville. Our marriage is a nice blend of North & South, and so far I've managed to get him and the kids to Massachusetts with me, yet we've never gone to his dad's side of the family.

At first, I was afraid there was "nothing there." I'm not big on small talk. I can keep it up for only so long, and then I get the urge to do something or talk about something meaningful. So I found out we're going to be near Shiloh Civil War battleground, the Buford Pussey Museum (of "Walking Tall" fame), and the Cherry Mansion. We could also rent canoes, but I don't think my father- and mother-in-law are very outdoorsy. I pictured us sitting around the house all week. Oh, please, not a week of small talk.

I finally felt more reassured when I found the Chamber of Commerce web site and a link to a neat little restaurant called Uptown. They serve Starbuck's and have a "California bistro atmosphere," according to their site. The couple who started the restaurant uprooted themselves from California after falling in love with Savannah and its people. The menu makes my mouth water. I don't think, though, that we could afford to go out to dinner when we're there. I'll settle for down-home barbecue and sweet tea any day, though.

What does this say about me? (See, toldja I'm not big on small talk. I wish I didn't try to analyze things so much, but I've given up on trying to change that part of my personality and just go with it.) I'm not sure. Maybe CJ's stories about his "hillbilly" relatives scared me deep down. I don't know. Maybe I wanted to see that there's culture there, or at least the kind of culture that I can relate to. Does that make me a snob? I sure hope not.

I am looking forward to building bridges with his Dad. The first time I spoke to him on the phone, I couldn't understand the man. He sounds like Boomhauer on "King of the Hill" with a mish-mosh choppy Southern accent. I did hear the regret in his voice, and that makes me think we're definitely going to have more than small talk. CJ was born when his mom was 16. His dad didn't want him or his younger brother (born 18 months later). They divorced not long afterward. CJ lived with his father once for about six months when going through a rebellious phase as a teenager, but never since. We go to visit family and strangers. It's going to be an interesting week. Maybe we can bring some grace with us. God's grace spreads far. After all we've been given, we can share.