December 6, 2020
Christmastime is one of my favorite times of year as for a lot of people. I love the decorations, the celebrations with friends and family and the overall happiness of the season. I know for some this time is not so happy. For some, it can be lonely and even dismal. But this time isn’t about Santa Clause and Christmas trees, Black Friday sales and Television specials. The real Reason for this season is Jesus. We gather together to celebrate His birth. His miraculous birth (Luke 2:1-20). He came into this world to experience the trials we go through and the hardness in this life. He came to be a sacrifice for us and die for our sins, being our Savior when He rose on the third day (John 3:16). You see, Jesus is the Gift…to the world…from our Heavenly Father. Let us not forget His birthday and give Jesus thanks for His love to the world. And even if you don’t have family or many friends, you do have a Friend in the Lord Jesus. May His Spirit comfort you.
October 10, 2020
Autumn is my favorite season! I adore the leaves as they change, the crisp air and the scents of the season. My husband and boys know that I love candles, especially pumpkin, apple, cinnamon, vanilla and occasionally balsam. But then that is more for Christmastime, right?!
Living in Michigan, our Fall usually starts in mid-September with cooler temps. By late September, hoodies & boots along with jeans come out to replace shorts and sandals. Colorful scarves add to our fashion as we walk and play in all the leaves after making a big pile in the yard. My kitchen smells wonderful with pumpkin and apple desserts and muffins and pancakes. Cinnamon biscuits with a vanilla glaze are a favorite along with a stout cup of coffee. My Dad makes the best Pecan Waffles and he always makes them special for me when we get a chance to visit him and my step-mama, Jean, in Tennessee. And, of course, I love to make sweet breads, cobblers and pies. Oh, the pies!
I’m not a big fan of winter, but Autumn is such a beautiful gift from God that comes to us before we endure the cold. I just love this time of year, with all the warmth of family despite the cool air outside. Our fireplace will be put to good use very soon, adding to the warmth quite literally, as well as figuratively, where you can be sure to find me enjoying a good book when I’m not writing my own.
As our boys were growing up, I used have a few days in the Fall that I considered perfect. Usually on a Saturday in late Autumn, Christmas music was already playing on the radio even though it was still November. I was already baking Christmas cookies early so I could store the batches in the freezer. Sometimes, I would bake as many as six to nine different kinds in one day. So, I was pretty much in the kitchen all day, cooking supper as well. There was college football on the TV in the family room as my husband rooted for his beloved Tennessee Vols. Our sons were playing together in their bedroom or downstairs in the playroom or…outside. Usually the kitchen would get warm enough that I would pop open the window over the sink. An extra little blessing would be to have snow flurries come down as I was cooking (I didn’t mind the snow when I was baking). I could see the flurries, smell the wonderful spices, taste the fruits of my labor, hear the Christmas music and football in the background and pat (touch) the cheek of my boys as they each came in for a warm treat and some hot chocolate. I had all five senses rocking and it was fabulous. I’m thankful for those wonderful memories. And don’t be surprised if you see some of those memories mirrored in my books as they are published.
PKs & Army Brats
September 3, 2020
I have often felt, as a pastor’s kid (aka PK), that I could understand Army brats. We have a lot in common with move after move after move. Growing up as an only child, I did get the attention of my parents exclusively and that was cool. No vying for attention, no getting picked on by older siblings and more presents at birthday and Christmas.
However, growing up without siblings, and moving a lot, meant being lonely. Especially since I was painfully shy. Born in the great state of Tennessee, we moved to Arizona just before I started school. The kids in my neighborhood expressed how much they enjoyed hearing me talk, only to discover they were making fun of my southern drawl behind my back. After that, I spoke very little and listened to them. Mimicking their speech, I couldn’t be made fun of anymore. This continued on when I moved to California and Illinois. Just before my 12th birthday, we moved back to Tennessee, to my glorious surprise and excitement. Back to the same little town we had lived before. Back to where both sets of grandparents lived.
During those years of moving around, we had one stint of 5 moves in 13 months. Yes, really! I kid you not. I went to 7 different schools from Kindergarten to high school graduation. I lived in a shell of shyness until my Junior year of high school. Thank God for the good friends at church and in my various neighborhoods He put in my life and the teacher in my Junior year that made the difference in bringing me out of that shell. Ms. Payne you rock!! For my teacher friends out there, “You Go!! Make that difference in your students!!”
I understand Army brats and other PKs and the hardships of moving. God bless you all out there who have had to restart and restart and restart…again in new places. God’s got your back and He won’t let you down. Think of it as an adventure. A chance to see our beautiful country in all its glory. Or to see the world. May God bless you today.
Hey, just updated my site. Now I have a Daily Verse Tab under the main menu. And…the menu option list has changed, as well, and is now a drop down menu.
I hope the Daily Verses will be an encouragement to each and every one who reads them. God is good!!
My First Blog
This is my very first blog. As I sit here pondering what I might say, of course, my mind goes blank. It happens, right? I think, though, since I am having a lot of “First” moments lately, I’ll talk about those.
I attended my first ever writers’ conference in July. The Northwestern Christian Writers Conference was held virtually this year. It was so helpful, giving me a wealth of information on which to research and apply to my books. I have made contacts with other authors, that I hope will become lifelong writing friends as we work on our craft. Julie Klassen, a renowned Regency author and one of my favorite authors, was the person kind enough to tell me about the conference. With her suggestion, I decided to overcome my shyness and jump into this Author World and I’m so glad that I did. Thank you Julie for the encouragement.
I had my first time face-to-face interview with an editor of a publishing company. She was kind and patient as I took off on a tangent and asked questions I’m quite sure she has answered a hundred times before. I didn’t get to pitch a book to her, but the interview was very helpful and engaging as to what I should expect the next time. And then, I plan to pitch, for sure.
With the help of my middle son, Derek, I have my first website. That should be quite obvious since you are reading this blog. But without his help, my website would not be here. So thank you, thank you son.
Lastly, I hope my next “first” is signing a contract for one of my books to be published. I have one at a publisher to be considered and another one I’m getting polished up and finalized to be presented to an agent or editor in short order.
It’s an exciting time in my life and my husband and sons are all backing me up 100% and that means so much to me. God is always first in my life. But my family is a close second. When you read my books I hope you will see my love of God and family shining through in every story.
Until the next time, may the Lord bless you!