Hello Friends. I've been off in LaLa Land for the past several weeks, but I'm back to work now and have lots to report.
First: R&R with my hubby was fabulous. We spent an amazing week in the Olympic Peninsula at a lovely cabin in Grapeview. If you are ever in need of a truly magical spot on God's green earth, look up "One Sweet Retreat" on VRBO.com. More pictures are posted in an earlier blog, but here's one of our last morning where the fog rolled in and it felt like we were the only two people on earth.
Second: Back to work on my novel. I spent quite a bit of time hashing out plot lines while on vacation, and I finally wrote the first five pages late Wednesday night. I took them to my crit group yesterday, and they passed the test. Woo hoo. Five pages down, 300 to go!
Third: Read a couple books over the past few days which I would like to share with you. "Secrets" by Kristen Heitzman was truly great. Takes you on the full emotional journey except at the very end where it feels like she was bumping up against a word count and needed to conclude. It's the first of a three book set, and I'm anxious to read the other two now. I also read Karen Witemeyer's new release "To Win Her Heart". I stayed up all night reading it. It's a retelling of the Prodigal Son story set in the 1800's in a small town in Texas. I was challenged by the perspective of her "older brother" character, Eden, who must overcome the fear of ruining her reputation by loving people outside her Christian circle. It did not take me on the full emotional journey, though, and I found the reactions of certain characters (Eden's parents in particular) unbelievable. The hero has a speech impediment, and it was quite impressive how he went through the entire book without saying words with the "s" sound except at strategic moments (and one place where the author/editor didn't catch it -- but I won't tell you where -- you'll have to read the story and see if you can find it yourself.)
Fourth: It's been a long time since I entered any challenges. My son-in-law's birthday is coming up. I made this card for him before I remembered he is highly allergic to horses. Oh dear! I think I'd better put it in the pile and make him something else. Still, it works as an entry in the the challenges over at Mojo Monday #187 and Can You Say Addicted to Stamps - Forgotten Friday.
Fifth: Got on the scale after coming home. Yeah. Hmmm. The good news is I've begun a daily food diary and am e-mailing it to a friend for accountability.
Sixth (and final): I have been spending time with God in fits and starts. The task of writing a novel worthy of His calling overwhelms me...and it is driving me to my knees, which is where any Christian endeavor should begin. And end. And spend the in-between time. Years ago, I got over feeling guilty if every day didn't start with a long Bible study and prayer time. Instead, I asked God to give me the desire--out of pure love for Him--to know Him. What an answer to prayer to be called to write (regardless of whether I ever get published or not) and have it send me straight to Him in order to accomplish it. For those of you who pray, I would ask you to remember me, and all authors wanting to honor God, when you pray.
Until next time,