Friday, December 30, 2011

The New Year

We are about to close out 2011 and begin 2012. How has 2011 been for you? It's been an all right year for me. My family has had a lot of things go on, but right now we are all doing well. The biggest thing is the grands are growing up too fast.

I don't go in for New Year's resolutions. I've tried them for years and never completed any of them. My plans are to finish the book I am working on, and try to get an agent for it. That's been my plans for a long time. I did finish my first novel and almost finished the second when I decided to go a different route. I'm enjoying this book more, and it's easier to write.

Looking back on last years, I've seen a lot of prayers answered. Sandi Rog is doing better. She seems to feel better, and that is a blessing. I know she enjoyed this Christmas better than last year. My prayer is for her to continue to improve this year and beat cancer.

I've had two surgeries and have come through both of them well. My knees are so strong now. I feel like I could walk for miles. My hernia surgery is doing better. I've had some congestion in my head and chest. Coughing does not feel good, but it is better right now.

My son-in-law came through his last heart surgery well. He is feeling so much better, and we are so thankful. His voice was stronger after the surgery than it was the last time. I feel he's on the road to improvement. God answered our prayers for his surgery to be a success.

I pray that we all are healthy and strong next year. Positive attitudes are the best. Keep looking for the bright side of everything. May God bless you all.

Monday, December 26, 2011

SUMMER OF PROMISE

Product DetailsBefore Christmas, I finished reading Summer of Promise, by Amanda Cabot. Here is what the back cover says:

Though she had planned to spend the summer in Vermont with her sweetheart, Abigail Harding cannot dismiss her concerns over her older sister. Charlotte's letters have been uncharacteristically melancholy, and her claims that nothing is wrong ring false, so Abigail heads West to Wyoming. The endless prairie seems monotonous, but when her stagecoach is attacked, Wyoming promises to be anything but boring. Luckily, the heroics of another passenger, Lieutenant Ethan Bowles, save the day. 

When circumstances--and perhaps a bit of matchmaking--put Abigail and Ethan together, there's certainly attraction. But Abigail is planning to marry another man and return to life in Vermont as soon as she is finished attending to her sister. And Ethan loves his life in the Army and the wilds of Wyoming. When summer ends, will Abigail go back East? Or will she fall in love with this rugged land herself?

Book 1 of the new Westward Winds series, Summer of Promise is a tale of following your heart to unexpected places. Readers will enjoy Amanda Cabot's passionate characters and vibrant setting in the beautiful high prairie.


I won't comment of a book that I have not read. I thank Revell for sending this book to be before it releases. The release date in January 1, 2012. Truly, this is Amanda's best book yet. I look at the story, depth of the characters, and action in a book I read. This had all of this, including a dog, Puddles. There is a mystery that winds through the book, and I was captivated by it. The description of Fort Laramie was wonderful. I'm anxious to see it, but I did see it through Amanda's eyes. 


You will not regret reading this book. Thanks Amanda for letting me read this early. Loved it!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas

This will be my last post until after Christmas. We will have our Christmas tomorrow, Thursday. We all have to make allowances when there are in-laws to be considered.

My presents are all wrapped, except one. I'll wrap it in the morning. The turkey is thawing, and cooking will begin this afternoon. I've already completed some, but I have a lot more to do. The house smells like fruitcake and all kinds of goodies.

This year I'm making Dressing Balls. I have a very good dressing recipe. I've always made it in a pan, but this year I'm rolling it in balls and baking them. They are so crispy done that way. I think my family will enjoy them.

I get almost as excited as a small child. I love to sit back and watch the expressions on the faces of the children. It takes me back to my Christmas.

We always had a cedar tree when I was growing up. They were so hard to decorate, and I always had cedar stuck in my hands. It smelled so good. That's what I associate with Christmas.

I love being with my family. As the children get older, we don't get a chance to get together very much. There's always band, soccer, flag core, or something to keep us from all getting together. We do get busier as our children get older. I remember the days, and it's coming back to haunt me. Christmas is different, we always get together for Christmas.

My wish for all of you is a Very Merry Christmas. I'll be back on Monday, I hope, so enjoy the Holiday and don't eat too much.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Friday and Christmas Programs

Friday, my hubby and I attended two Christmas Programs at the elementary school my son's children attend. This is our third year to attend and each year seems to get better. I was so amazed the first year we attended at the talent the music teacher had. The children seemed to love her, and her music ability was so good.

The second year, last year, was even better. Her programs would rival a college production. Of course, to see the three grandchildren perform made it even better. The children paid attention to her and seemed to enjoy what they were doing.

This year, it was even better. The upper grades, three through five, played musical instruments. Our fourth grade granddaughter really got into the music. Each note she hit on the xylophone, she bounced. They did a dance while the teachers corrected a problem with the sound system. It was so good, and the children enjoyed it. I watched our oldest grandson as he and a boy partner did some amazing tricks.

This was all at 9:00 a.m.. We returned at 1:30 to a filled gym. This was grades k through 2, and every parent, grandparent, aunt, and uncle was there. People were standing in the back of the gym. This was also an outstanding performance.

The children sang in this program. Our youngest got into his song, and it was fun to watch him smile and sing. It was a great program. I have no idea how the music teacher comes up with so many different ideas each year. They are always new and fresh.

This is a small elementary school in the county we live in. I think it must be one of the best around. As we came home after the last program, we talked about how the children loved the principal. When I was in school, we were scared to death of our principal. He did not interact with us at all. That was the second principal we had in that school. The first one was wonderful. He loved children and would come to our rooms and tell us stories. I'll never forget that. I'm glad the teachers and principals are changing. It makes learning more fun.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A BEAUTIFUL AREA


We live in a beautiful part of the country. In fact, every part of the country is beautiful, not just Western Kentucky. We do have a good diversity that I have not been accustomed to in the past. The mountains of Tennessee are beautiful, and I enjoyed watching them change, but I'm enjoying learning more about Kentucky.


The eagles are returning. My husband and a friend go out eagle watching several times a week. These birds are magnificent. I had never seen any until last year, and I couldn't wait for them to return this year. We watch their nests and have seen little heads pop up. Mother Eagle is really careful with her babies, and we don't get very close.

Last year we watched them soar over the interstate. What a sight! I wonder if people on the highway knew what they were seeing. They didn't seem to notice them at all, but I enjoyed them.

My husband got me involved with eagle watching to get me out of the house after my last knee surgery. At first I didn't feel like going, but I pushed myself, and I am so glad I did. They are so beautiful when they soared. Now, I'm read to go back.

I wanted to show you this picture of a eagle with a white spot. Our friend took this Monday when they went eagle watching. I hope you enjoy it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

HACKED

Last Friday my email was hacked. These were good hackers. They knew what they were doing. They had all my emails transferred to them to a new email address, kathycretsingerr@yahoo.com. That is not my yahoo email address, and they spelled my name wrong. Our preacher wrote to my real address to see if I was all right. They even answered him and told him I needed the money.

It took me almost three hours with AT&T to get this straightened out. When we found out they had all my emails transferred to them, we fixed the problem. I knew I should be getting more emails that morning. One friend had called and asked if I was all right. She was to email me the letter sent to her. I never got it, so I knew there were problems.

The email sent out stated that I was in London, England and had been mugged. All my cash, credit cards, and my cell phone had been stolen, and I had been hit in the back of the head with a pistol. I needed $2,000 to pay my bills. Thankfully, most people called me to see if I was okay. One friend said since I had been hurting so bad previously that she wanted my medicine, if I felt like going to London. Most people said they knew that was not my writing. They had small i's and didn't put the commas where they needed to be. I don't do that, even in my emails.

My advice to you is to never use the same password for all of your accounts. I have different ones for credit cards, banking, facebook, and email accounts. I am so thankful that I did that. I changed all that were alike. I now love facebook. They contacted me that someone had tried to access my account. They even sent a map and noted where they were from. Africa.

I feel I was violated. It was the same feeling I had when our house was almost robbed. It's a horrible feeling, but now I can laugh about it.

So, I can say I am back home from London. Don't send money! The best thing, I have talked to people I have not talked to in years. That's one way God turned lemons to lemonade.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Historical Writing

From the time I was in the third grade, I knew I loved history. The town I grew up in was full of history. It is the second oldest town in the state of Tennessee and has the oldest courthouse in the state still being used as a courthouse. The name of the town is Rogersville. It's nestled in the hills and mountains of eastern Tennessee.Aside from being the second oldest town, it also had another famous event. Davy Crockett's grandparents were massacred and buried there. I grew up with a lot of history around me.

Also, my father and grandmother were storytellers. My grandmother was raised in the coal mining towns in Southwest Virginia and Southeast Kentucky. Her father was a sheriff and had many interesting stories to hand down. Before I was in high school, I knew about the people from different countries and their customs. I had a fascinating childhood.

Do you have stories from your family that you put in your writing? I found a picture of my grandparents and one of their children. In the picture was a bunch of turkeys. I asked my aunt about it before she died. She said they raised turkeys to buy their shoes for the winter. With six children, that was a lot of shoes.

Things like this is what makes stories interesting. The little tidbits can change a story and make it more interesting. Since I am writing historical books, I look for these things. There is a turn of the century museum close to us. So far I have not been in it, but I'm dying to go. Mostly because I'm writing a book set in the early 1900's. The house is decorated for Christmas now. I would love to see it. I need to pry my husband away and go before the end of the year. It is famous because a president visited it. I want to see the furnishings and the decorations. Maybe I can go one day next week. I'll let you know if I do.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Is Getting Closer

Christmas is getting closer, and I'm not ready. My shopping is finished and most of it wrapped, but I have not decorated one thing. There is not one sprig of green in my house. There is a reason.
I have encountered a complication from the hernia surgery. I probably bore you all with this, but it helps me to write about it. It is very discouraging. After the surgery, I developed a (kind of) blister at the place where the hernia was. It is large, very large and filled with fluid. The site of the removal of the hernia is irritated, inside, that is. The scar is fine, it's just my insides. My doctor says I am healing slowly.
The good news is, no surgery! The bad news is, I have to live with it for a while. I have trouble walking, standing, and bending. The pain is very sharp. My husband had said I'd probably milk this for a year or eighteen months. His prediction may be right. If I am not better is six months, I have to return to the doctor. Not good! The best part is Tylenol helps.
What do I do in a situation like this? I can write, sew, read, play games, or anything where I do not have to bend over while sitting. Writing is good. I can do that, but not as much as I used to do. It still hurts sometimes when I sit.
My husband has been very good to help me. I haven't mopped the floor since the surgery. I do need to hogtie him and get the decorations put up. Maybe I will feel better then.
During all this, my son-in-law had to have heart surgery. He has a-fib, and his heart was racing constantly, which messes up his pacemaker. When they went in, they accidentally punctured his artery. The doctor was wise enough to back out. He clotted well, and they got all the imaging they needed. The doctor will repeat the surgery on December 27. His name is Ron Turpin and we would appreciate prayers for him and his doctor.
Changing the subject to something good. My novel is coming along well. I'm almost one-third finished. That's pretty good considering all we have been through. I have to thank two author friends of mine, Susan Page Davis and Sandra Robbins, for their encouragement. Love you girls! Sometimes I don't know what I would do without these friends.
Here's hoping your week will be good. Continue to stay on the Good List. Santa will be here before long. By the way, I live with Santa.

Monday, November 28, 2011

YAHSHUA'S BRIDGE

Saturday evening I read the last word in this book. From Thursday on, I couldn't put it down. If you are interested in reading about the first Century Christians, you will love this book. Let me warn you, it is graphic. It didn't bother me, but I can read blood and guts. Can't stand to see it, but I can read it.

Sandi has a wonderful way of placing you in the middle of the scene. I could feel the lions and the gladiators as they attacked the characters. The book humbled me to think of the way early Christians were tormented and killed. We take our freedom of worship for granted. It was very dear to them.

While I was reading this, I wondered if I would deny Christ in order to live. I want to think I wouldn't, but if I were to face a lion or a gladiator, would my faith be strong enough? I loved the way Sandi included that part in her book.

She will probably tell you this is not a love story, but it is. It is filled with love, and hate. It is powerful in that way.

One thing the book impressed on me is how the Christians were persecuted all over the known world. I hadn't thought about that, but thought it was a Roman thing. The history in this book is so good and accurate. I'm not an expert on that time period, but I feel I have learned enough to see the correctness in Sandi's writing. I do recommend this book. If nothing else, it will make you appreciate your Christianity.

As far as I know, Sandi remains in Arizona receiving treatment for her cancer. The last I heard, she was very tired. Please remember her in prayers. This is going to be a trying time for her and her family. DeWard Publishing, the publisher of this book, is again setting aside $1 of each book sold for her use. The treatment is very expensive. She and her family have suffered much during the last year. Pray for her recovery, if it is God's will.

Friday, November 18, 2011

THANKSGIVING

I just finished writing my blog forchristiangirls.org. It was about Thanksgiving, so while I'm still in that frame of mind, I thought I would do this one.

What is your favorite thing about Thanksgiving? Mine is being with family. We will be with half of our family this year. Although, I'll miss my son and his family, I'm looking forward to spending time with my daughter's family and her husband's family. I'm not going for the food, it's all right, but I doubt if I'll eat as much as normal.

What do you remember about Thanksgiving as a child? It was the day we killed hogs. Oh, yes, we celebrated that way. Everyone got up early and worked until nightfall. Our meal was in the evening, and it was liver and lights. I've never found out what the lights were, but apparently they were part of the hog. They were boiled and a gravy added. The liver was always good, but I never ate the lights.

One thing that has stuck in my mind is the lard making. My grandmother had a large kitchen table and the men would bring out tubs of fat. She would cut it up in cubes to get ready to render. The kitchen floor had settled and went downhill. It would be so greasy by the end of the day that my sister and I would slide down it. My grandmother scolded us for that, but it was fun.

Turkey and dressing was not introduced to me until I went a full day in school. I loved it the first time I ate it, and I still do. Our son-in-law adds ham to our menu. but we still have all the trimmings. It's good when several people prepare different items. I always bring cranberries and dressing. This year I'm adding corn and pineapple casserole. Can't wait for Thursday to come.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Agents

Agents are a blessing and a curse. From my experience so far, they are a curse. I have not found one that  seems to be decent.
What do you look for in an agent? I look for someone honest. I know they're out there, but I seem to find the dishonest. One was sending me a contract, but I never received it. I seemed to fall through the cracks. Then I was promised a contract again, but it never materialized. Aren't we supposed to be honest in ACFW?
Then came the one who was flippant. I didn't like that at all. Why didn't they say, "At this time I can't take your book." That would have been better than the remark they made.
I hear other writers talk about their agents. I know there are wonderful agents that care about their clients. Maybe I'm not ready for an agent yet, but I have in mind what I want. Someone who cares about me and wants to see my business grow. Someone who will encourage me to do my best.
Why do I always find the ones who don't care? I seem to be drawn to the wrong agent. Years ago, my daughter and I did craft shows. We are tole painters, and I lov painting. At one show in Florida, we were in a mall that retired citizens frequented. I am one of those people now, but I don't think I'm as bad as these were. My daughter was going to get something to eat and was leaving me by myself at our booth. As she left, she said, "Mom, don't look up or speak to anyone. Just paint and don't pay attention to anyone who comes by." I tried, but a little ole man came by and kept watching me. Finally I looked up, and he asked me if I could paint his little doggie on his necktie.
When my daughter came back, she said, "I told you not to look up. You always draw these little ole people." She's right. I seem to have a feeling for those less fortunate than myself. I felt sorry for this man. He was alone, and his dog had died.
So, that must be the way I am with agents. Before I send another query out, I'm going to be sure this book is the best it can be. I saw this quote the other day. "When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal."

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Fire in Ember

I loved A Fire In Ember by DiAnn Mills. It came out early in the year, and I hadn't had a chance to read it until lately. I will always pick up a book by DiAnn because she is a wonderful writer and a great friend.

This an interesting book and has many twists and turns. It starts with a young boy about to be hung. Is it a boy or a girl? That is the first twist.

There is so much about the west and Colorado in the book that I read it quickly. This book comes after A Woman Called Sage. I loved that book. Some of the characters are the same.

You know, things go on in this world that I have never thought of. DiAnn has a way with "What if?" That's one thing she has stressed in all of the classes I have attended that she taught. What if someone was trying to buy all the ranches in the area? What if a family wanted to hold on to their land? What if a father was killed and a teenager had to grow up fast? I love the "What iifs?"

There are plenty in this book. From a family who is bent to kill and has no religious training to a girl trying to get out of that mess. Very well worth reading.

This is short. I'm heading out to start some Christmas shopping, then to spend some time with our daughter and her family. Have a good week-end.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lone Star Trail

Monday I said I would let you know what I read while I recovered from surgery. I enjoyed reading Lone Star Trail by Darlene Franklin. Darlene had sent it to me before I entered the hospital, and I was so glad to have something to read when I got home, as if my shelves were bare. No such luck.

This book is the first in the Morgan Family Series. It was definitely a good first book for a series. I'm afraid I read it after I read Captive Trail by Susan Page Davis, but it didn't take me long to get in the grove of this book.

It's the story of German immigrants wanting to start a New Germany in Texas. I knew some of them settled in Texas, but this book tells of the problems they had in a new country. It tells of the hatred the people had against the German's. The love story is so good. It shows how you can overlook something for the one you love. Sometimes we don't pick our love, it happens and that's what I gained from this book.


I enjoyed it so much. I enjoy Darlene's writing. She is a very good author. To insert the story about the Morgan horses was priceless. There will be a total of six of the Morgan Family Series. I know the rest of them will be just as good as these two I have read.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Wonderful Week-end

On Monday it's good to look back on the week-end and think, "Boy, I had a wonderful week-end." Well, I can rightly say that today! I did have a wonderful week-end.

Our week-end started on Friday. My nephew and his wife from Scotland arrived at our house. This was their first time to see it after we moved. Jon and Arlene Galloway live in East Kilbride, Scotland, which is outside of Glasgow. We had not seen Jon in two years and it had been three years since we had seen Arlene.

If you can understand fast Scottish, you're all right. It had been a while since we had had that opportunity, and most of the time, I just nodded. Our son and his family came to supper on Friday night and our daughter and granddaughter came up from Nashville on Saturday.

The best part of the week-end was family. I love having my family around. This was such a special week-end with everyone getting to visit, even if I couldn't understand part of what they said. Everyone enjoyed the difference in words. A stove is a cooker. Arlene and I have very similar refrigerators, which surprised me. American appliances are popular there. It felt empty when everyone left Saturday afternoon.

Saturday night we went to the Senior Banquet at church. It was so good. We have some very talented young folks, and it was good to get to see them perform. The church does this every year, and it is so enjoyable. This is such an active church. Something is going on all the time. I love it, and I'm so thankful God put us here. We had never been is a congregation this active. My daughter says she can't come up to see us, because we are always doing something at church.

To end all this week-end up, my husband preached at a small congregation last night. I enjoyed it so much. Everyone was so nice and friendly. I'm anxious to go back next month and worship with them.

The week-end was wonderful, but I was so tired. I slept yesterday afternoon from 1:30 to 4:00. That's a long afternoon nap for me. I'll be so glad when I stop sleeping so much. Wednesday I hope to tell you about some books I read while I was recovering. Have a wonderful day.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Yahshua's Bridge

Here's the back cover and picture of Sandi Rog's latest release, Yahshua's Bridge. It was released on November 1, 2011. If you remember, Sandi's first book was also released on November 1, 2010, and that was the day she found out she had T-Cell Lymphoma. She has struggled this past year with chemo, radiation, and stem cell transplant. The cancer is sneaky, and it returned in the early fall. She has had radiation and tried an alternate treatment. The treatment seems to be helping her. I talked to her recently and she sounded so strong, much better than before.

With Yahshua's Bridge released, she has much to look forward to. DeWard Publishing is continue to put $1.00 of each sale of the book into a fund to help Sandi and her family. If you order from them during November, you will receive free shipping. That's a good deal with Christmas on it's way. I've already ordered mine, and I'm looking forward to reading the book. Continue to remember Sandi in your prayers. She's a wonderful, strong Christian. Her family is one in a million. They are behind her all the way. Read about her journey at sandirog.blogspot.com.


An amethyst stone draws him to his past. An elusive maiden draws him to his future.

Alexander is born into slavery under an abusive master: a master of his own flesh and blood . . . a man he will never call Father. Determined to break away from his master’s hold, Alexander devises a plan to purchase his freedom. But what’s he to do when he finds himself shipped off in shackles to Egypt, disappearing from the lives of everyone he knows and loves?




Here are a few endorsements for YAHSHUA’S BRIDGE:

Sandi Rog has done it again. With Yahshua’s Bridge, the sequel to the enjoyable and award-winning The Master’s Wall, Rog proves that her first effort was no fluke: This lady knows how to spin a page-turning adventure that is at once heartwrenching and uplifting. Yahshua’s Bridge has that rare and immensely satisfying quality of being a wonderful story, brilliantly told. ~Robert Liparulo, author of The 13th Tribe, Comes a Horseman and The Dreamhouse Kings

Sandi Rog's novels are sneaky good. She has an excellent understanding of the first century and is able to convey the details of New Testament culture without making it feel like a history lesson. Like her debut novel, Yahshua's Bridge is complex without being confusing and teaches truth without being preachy. With a story that hooks you and encourages you in your own life, Yahshua's Bridge is a fast but engaging read that is sure to please any lover of historical or Biblical fiction. -Alison Strobel, author of Composing Ameliaand many others

In Yahshua’s Bridge I found an amazing novel full of romance and intrigue just as I’ve come to expect from Sandi Rog. Beyond that, I found an epic struggle of good versus evil played out against a backdrop of martyrs, coliseums, and gladiators. This book illustrated to me more than any other novel the fact that life is but a pale illusion and the glorious reality awaiting us in eternity far supersedes any temporary pain or struggles we might face on this earth.  ~ Dina Sleiman, author of Dance of the Dandelion

Yahshua's Bridge is a powerful story about forgiveness and loyalty to the Christian faith. I loved the theme that God loves us enough to allow whatever is necessary to bring about our spiritual good and to produce healing in our lives. Sometimes what He allows makes no sense to us at the time. 

Yahshua's Bridge reminded me of Francine Rivers's Mark of the Lion trilogy in that it was also set during the first century when Christianity was still growing, and when gladiators fought to the death for mere entertainment of Roman citizens. Sandi Rog draws you into the story so deeply that you feel each character's pain and you hurt along with them. Well-written and fast paced, Yahshua's Bridge has the potential to heal hearts and touch many lives because it doesn't soft-step or minimize human suffering. The greater the darkness was, the more the light of Christ shone in this book. I loved it! ~Michelle Suttonauthor of over a dozen inspirational novels.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Interview With Mary Connealy

Thank you Mary for taking the time to answer my feeble questions. I have been a fan of yours since Petticoat Ranch came out. The books keep getting better and better. Since my husband retired, he’s been reading your books.

KA  When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

MC  I wrote my first book when I was twelve. A romance novel of course. I shudder to think what a twelve year old knows about romance. That book is long lost (and no doubt good riddance). I started writing seriously with a goal of publication, a full length romance when my baby went to kindergarten. (for those keeping score at home, that is a gap of about twenty five years.) So honestly I don’t know if I ever exactly wanted to BE a writer, I just AM a writer. I can’t seem to control that.

KA  Are you a plotter or a seat of the pants writer?

MC  I’m going to answer this in an odd way. I think Plotter and Panster is one of those discussions writers have while they’re trying to define something that is just intrinsically difficult to define. I think plotters fly by the seat of their pants quite often, abandon their plots quite often, ignore their early decisions with few qualms when the creative direction changes as they write.


I think writers who say they write by the seat of their pants, do a lot more plotting than they think. After all, you’ve got to have some idea where you’re going when you type Once Upon a Time to begin a book, right? So we all plot and we all (okay, what’s the word ‘pants’?) Anyway, I’m more panster than plotter, but I do some of both.

KA  How do you come up with those crazy things that happen in your books?

MC  A lot of the craziest stuff that happens is the result of a LOT of hard work. Scenes, especially action scenes and comic scenes do NOT spring fully created from my magical fingertips. I write them, then I start revising. Comedy and action particularly are hard work. I do a lousy job on the first draft and each pass I get better. It’s tricky to get action to not stumble, to not include lines that don’t sing, that don’t flow, that grind the action to a halt. So I have to add and cut and polish and build and cut and add some more and it never ever stops getting better. So I accept that the first draft will be slow and awkward, then I start fixing it. The crazy usually isn’t there to begin with, that comes eventually and in bits and pieces.

KA  How does your writing day begin? I am an unscheduled person.

MC  I try to be disciplined about producing and write everyday. But I forgive myself when I fail. I usually spend the morning answering email and working on blog posts like this one. I’m an insomniac so it’s not unusual for me to be writing late at night. Being an insomniac is part of the reason I started writing. Something to do on those long, sleepless nights.

KA  Out of Control was such an interesting book. Was it hard to come up with the plot and setting?

MC  I’ve wanted to write Out of Control almost since the very beginning. I just had a lot of ideas and it was a while before the turn came for my Carlsbad Cavern idea. I visited Carlsbad Cavern years ago, as a young bride, and that place caught my imagination like no where I’d ever been. It’s so beautiful and I was chilled by the danger. Not for us. We were safe in well marked and fenced off trails with good lights and lots of people around. But when I saw it caught my imagination, I mean I could just time travel myself back to the first person who found that cavern. What would it have been like? There are bottomless pits. Ledges everywhere. Places that look like the ground has broken through. It was stone that was thin as glass and it looked like a bubble. What if you walked on it and it cracked and you’d fall forever? You look at stone under your feet and think you’re safe, but it is as fragile and thin as an eggshell. And in the modern, safe Carlsbad, the stones far below are lit up so you could see how far there was to fall. But it is sooooo beautiful the lure would be almost impossible to resist. I wanted to tell that story about the deadly danger and the staggering temptation because of the beauty of it.

KA  The historical books are my favorite. What made you want to write one like The Ten Plagues?

MC   I wrote for ten years before I got my first book published. At the end of that ten years I had twenty finished books on my computer. During those years of writing in mole-like anonymity, I reached a point where I just thought, ‘No one’s going to publish me anyway, I might as well entertain myself.’ And I wrote anything and everything that interested me. Almost all romance, but within that genre I wrote widely. And that includes Ten Plagues. I have about ten more books on my computer in about six more genres and I love them all and would love to see them all in print. Maybe someday.

KA  Do you pattern your characters after actual people?

MC  You know, most people aren’t really crazy enough to sustain a book. Sometimes a person will give me a starting point. In Petticoat Ranch I sort of patterned Sophie’s daughters after my daughters. But only in the most general way. The orderly oldest child, the animal loving soft hearted middle child, the tomboy youngest child. But I had to abandon my real children pretty quickly…to their everlasting relief.

KA  There will be two more in The Kincaid Brides Series, and I have an idea who Ethan will marry. What about Seth?

MC  Oh, you’re gonna love who Seth ends up married to. I’m not telling but you’ll have the general idea by the end of Ethan’s book. I just finished Seth’s story and I just loved it. Of course I tend to love the book I’m working on at the moment so that’s not a really FAIR test. But his wife was so much fun to write. Who is woman enough for crazy Seth Kincaid? Callie can handle him, or die trying…and when I say ‘die’ I’m talking about Seth not Callie. Cuz she puts up with no nonsense. I’m grinning while I type this.

KA  Each writer I know has their own routine and dress when they write. If my hair is combed, I’m happy. What about you, are you fully dressed, pj’s, completely made up, or what?

MC  I’m a really low maintenance writer. I don’t have any of those things. (or maybe I do and I’m kidding myself? Subconscious perhaps???) But I can write in a distracting situation. I don’t need music or my favorite tea or utter silence or a muse. I just start writing, if something interrupts I deal with that interruption then go back to writing. Ten broken-up noisy minutes, five unbroken hours. Whatever I can get.

KA  How many books do you write a year?

MC  I can write a 90,000 word book in about three months. I was writing four a year for Barbour. But the pace was making me nervous, and I worried I’d slip up and start falling behind. I’m writing two that length now for Bethany and I’ve got spare time. So in my spare time, I’m writing other books that may or may not ever see the light of day. I know, like it would kill me to talk to a friend or take a walk or something.

KA  Do you have a goal to write so many words a day, week, or month?

MC  My goal is 1000 words a day seven days a week. However if I’ve got revisions or if the publisher sends me pages to rework or galleys to proofread, then those take precedence. I’m working well ahead. For example, Seth’s story, which I’ve already turned in, isn’t due until January 1st. So the pace of 1000 words a day isn’t as urgent as it was with the four books a year situation I had.

KA  Tell us about “the kiss.” It makes for interesting reading, but my husband is driving me crazy each time he reads a book of yours. Is this going to be a trademark of yours?

MC  The kiss, huh? Hmmmm….so I have a trademark kiss? What this brings to mind is my first book, Petticoat Ranch and the fact that one of the standard questions I got from readers was, “How did she get pregnant?” I just censored myself until it was almost undiscoverable the moment they became intimate. But I wanted to be so careful and not offend anyone and not upset my publisher with anything inappropriate. So I asked my editor about it. What’s allowed? How careful do I need to be with … ahem … marital intimacy. He said, “Stop censoring yourself and let me do it. I know when you’ve gone too far.”

So that’s what I’ve done. I’ve relaxed my own censorship (I think I still write really clean stuff, nothing ever graphic) but the kissing can get heated. I trust my editors to tell me when to settle down and behave myself.


Mary, I’m sure my blog readers will find you a very interesting person. Thank you so much. Tell us how to reach you.
Thanks for having me on, Katt.

You can email me at: mary@maryconnealy.com
Or find me online at:
http://www.seekerville.blogspot.com/">Seekerville
http://petticoatsandpistols.com/">Petticoats & Pistols
http://mconnealy.blogspot.com/">My Blog
http://www.maryconnealy.com/">My Website

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Kiss Is A Kiss Is A Kiss

Monday I'll be interviewing Mary Connealy. She's a wonderful writer and one of my top favorites. Lately, I've noticed she has more description of a kiss. Believe me,  I think it is good. Who wants to kiss a card box character? I thought it would be interesting if we discussed a kiss in writing.

Do you remember the first kiss from your spouse? Do you still fill that tingle? Most of us probably do. I remember my feet left the floor, and I thought I was floating. How do you tell that experience in a book?

You have to draw a line between being discreet and being trashy. Think of what goes through your head when you're kissed. I'm sure you don't stand there like a statue, but you are thinking something. Your heart flutters, your knees go weak, the room starts to swirl, his hands entwine in your hair and he draws you closer, we could go on.

I'm not very good at kissing scenes. That's one thing I want to improve on. Let's see how it goes. "Jacob looked into Callie's sky blue eyes and knew he wanted to be with her for the rest of his life. He encircled her with his arms and their lips met. He felt a longing that he had never felt before. He knew he was home with Callie. His stomach felt like there were ten thousand bats in it, all flying at the same time. This was more than he had ever imagined. He didn't want to let her go, but for propriety, he had to."

"Callie saw the love in his eyes as he drew her to him. His lips touched hers, and she began spinning out of control. She wove her fingers in his que and held on for dear life.  Tingles went up and down her spine and she knew she never wanted him to stop. When he released her, she saw a smile she had never seen before. She knew he loved her."

This is my lame attempt to put a little more emotion into the story. Tell me what you think?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Doing Better

Yes, I'm finally doing better. I still don't have a lot of strength, but each day is a little better. Yesterday, I went to church for the first time since the surgery. That's only been two weeks, but I sure have missed my church family. It was good to see everyone, and I protected my belly to keep kids from running into me. There were a few close calls. My youngest grandson came up and hugged me and asked, "How's you belly?"

This has been a good surgery for me. I feel so much better physically. My mental health is still a little slow, but it will return in time. I use search and find puzzles, games, and anything else I can find to jump start my brain. I feel I may be ready to get back to writing before long. I need to, but I'm doing some research during this time, so that is almost like writing.

Today is our yearly apple butter day. We do this each year, and we make it in the old-fashioned way. It is cooked over a fire in an open kettle. It's fun to remember how people had to do things in the past. We do can ours instead of storing it in crocks. People are bringing lunch and some men are already here stirring. The fellowship is worth all the hard work.

I'm not stirring this year, but I'm the one who knows when it comes off. It has to be just right, and it is not easy to know when to take it off. It will be so good this winter to eat.

This little bit of writing has helped. I wrote an article for our ForChristianGirls.org website this morning. I may be able to write more this afternoon or tonight. I want to get some pictures of our gang at ACFW conference posted soon.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Finally, I Feel Like Writing A Little

I came home from the hospital on Monday. The two days stay didn't work. That's okay, there was a lot done and I had complications keeping food down.

Everything seems to be doing well. Pain? Yes. Appetite? No. Walking? Yes. I'm still pretty swollen. My left side is extremely sore and it hurts. The incision in the right side has never hurt.

I'm resting a lot, and I'm thankful this is over. Thanks to everyone for your prayers.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Back From ACFW Conference

American Christian Writers Conference was wonderful. It was in St. Louis, and I had driven through there but never stopped except to eat. We stayed in the Hyatt Regency Hotel. It was so nice, and I truly enjoyed the stay.

I met new friends and renewed acquaintances with friends I have had for several years. The new friends are wonderful, but to be able to talk again to my old friends was even better, except for meeting friends I had talked to via internet.

Books were in abundance. I bought a couple of DiAnn Mills books, and the ACFW always gives us some. I think I came home with eight.  Two of them were presented to me by author friends. I can't wait to get started reading them. I'll have plenty of time over the next few weeks.

Tomorrow I go to the hospital for very serious surgery. I have a hernia on my left side and it has looped around my large and small intestines. This surgery is a must, and the doctor says it is high risk. I feel I have the best doctor. I trust in him completely. I pray that the Lord gives him calm hands.

Am I scared? Yes, but not as much as I thought I would be. I think my husband is more concerned than I am. He won't let me do anything right now but rest. I think I have rested up enough, and I want to do some things around the house, but he says,"no" I can't do anything. Anyway, I won't be on the computer for at least a week. I will try to get back on as soon as I can. It's hard to write in the hospital, so I will be free from the computer for a couple of days.

I have been so blessed to have so many wonderful friends that have prayed for me. Please continue. If you are on my Face Book, my daughter will be updating it. That's about all for now. I'll write again as soon as I can.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Winners of Captive Trail

Two names were drawn for the winner of Captive Trail. Drum roll please... The winners are Regina Merrick and Linda Wagner. I am so happy for these two. Linda, my husband will put yours in the mail Wednesday, after Susan signs it. Susan doesn't know that, yet, but I know she'll be happy to do it. Regina, I'll see you at conference.

I started reading Captive Trail Saturday. It is so good. I'm enjoying it so much, but I doubt if I will be able to read much before conference.

It's hard to believe we will be leaving soon for conference. Just a few days and the excitement will be strong. I am excited to be going. Not only do I get to see all my friends that I made at the last conference, but I get to make new ones. Besides the classes, and the amount of things we will learn, that is the best part.

I won't be able to write until I get back Sunday, but I will be thinking of wonderful things to write. As soon as I get home, I will be preparing for surgery. I have mixed emotions about it. It is a very serious surgery and a high risk. From all I have heard, I have the best doctor around. I do depend on the Lord to guide his hands.

Another thing that has happened in our family is our oldest granddaughter has broken her leg. The doctor says it looks like a clean break, so hopefully it won't include surgery. There's never a dull moment in our family.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Contest Ends Tomorrow

This will be very short, but the drawing will close at 12:00 midnight tomorrow night. Someone told me they were having trouble posting on the blog. If you have trouble, you can email me at kac@bellsouth.net. I will accept any entries that way.

If your name is drawn, and you will be attending ACFW, I'll bring the book with me. We can meet there, and I'll have Susan sign it. Good luck to everyone. Remember, I have two books to give away.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Drawing Ends Saturday Night

Thanks for the entries so far. I am excited to give these books away. I want to get them mailed out before I leave for ACFW Conference. If you win and are planning to be at the conference, I'll bring it and give it to you there.

What do you think makes a good Indian/Western story?

The setting is important to me. Whether it is a desert type setting or a mountain setting, they are both beautiful, and the setting does a lot to tell the story.

Next, I want believable characters. Strong men and women. They don't have to be handsome men, but that helps. They have to be a character that I can identify with.

The story has to be active. Not monotone. I have to have something that raises my heartbeat. Something exciting. The best books are the ones I think I can't read another word. Then it draws me to pick it up and finish that scary scene.

There has to be an element of Christianity. I want good to win.

I like life stories. I like to kill off someone in a book. I'm getting ready to do that today. This guy is a handsome womanizer, and I want him out of the story. That happens in life, not in mine. In reality, it does happen.

I want a love story. Either they fall in love at first sight, or they hate each other and learn to love each other.

The last challenge is to make this into a good story of around 100,00 thousand words.

Tell me what you think makes a good story. It will go for the drawing of Captive Trail.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Remembering 9/11

What were you doing on September 11 and the days following?

I worked at a newspaper, so we had pretty current news. One of the reporters came in the office where I worked and told us about the planes hitting the Twin Towers. I had been to New York City and seen the towers when they were still standing. In fact, I could see them from my hotel window. Then to hear that they were down was something hard to comprehend.

Our little newspaper kept us updated throughout the day. That afternoon I had a doctor's appointment ,and was told I had the flu, given two shots, and sent home. For the next several days, I was at home and watching it on the news. It's hard to believe that someone hated us so much that they would try to destroy as many people as they could.

It doesn't seem like it has been ten years. My daughter's birthday is today and that's one reason why I remember the date. I always think about it on her birthday.

Off the subject, I'm still running a give-away for Susan Page Davis' book, Captive Trail. Leave a comment and I will be giving two away. Yes, two books! I can run over to Susan's house and have them autographed. Be sure to leave your email address. If I don't have it, I can't get in touch with you.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Captive Trail

I love historical fiction. My favorite author has changed for a number of reasons. The most important is that my husband loves to read Susan Page Davis' books. She is a brilliant author and a wonderful friend. I love to sit down and read her books. I'm reading a novella called Christmas at Barncastle Inn. It is very good. Her book in the first one, and so far, that is the only one I have had a chance to read.

I received two copies of Captive Trail from Moody Publishers Wednesday, for marketing. I have not had a chance to read it yet, but my husband is reading it right now. He likes it. I'm anxious to start, but it will be next week before I can.

Here is the blurb on the back:
A girl has become a woman while in captivity. A stagecoach driver longs to take her home ot the home she barely remembers.
Taabe Waipu flees her Comanche village. Somewhere in southern Texas her real family lies in the white world. For years she's struggled to keep the memories from fading.
Butterfield Overland Main Company driver Ned Bright finds a woman, exhausted and injured, lying in the road. He takes her to a mission run by Ursuline nuns. With hard work, Ned discovers Taabe Waipu's identity. He plans to unite her with her family, but the Comanche have other ideas.
Doubt meets hope,and fear gives way to faith in the Morgan family.

This is a series of six books with six different authors. They are all about the Morgan family. I look forward to reading all six.

To enter you must leave a comment of why you would like the book, with your email address. If you do not leave your email address, you will be disqualified. The contest will run through September 17, 2011. At midnight CDT, the contest will close. The drawings will be random.

If this is like other books of Susan's, you will not be disappointed when you read it. Good luck!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hello Hollywood

I think this was the funniest book I've read of Janice Thompson's. I laughed all through it and loved every minute of it.

If you've read Stars Collide, you'll remember Athena Pappas, the writer for the sitcom. She and Kat, the star of the sitcom, were best friends. All the characters are back in this book, plus a few more. One addition in is particular is Zeus, a Greek Domestic Dog. Never heard of that one, but he makes a big impact in the story.

Another writer joins the writing team, Stephen Cosso. He has a daughter, Brooke, who seems to not be adjusting to the move to L.A. from Veges. Stephen is handsome, witty, and an all around good guy. Sparks fly between Athena and Stephen.

A lot of action fills this book, as well as humor, which is something Janice writes very well. I enjoyed the book very much. Thanks, Janice, for such a good read.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Deep Bible Study


For some time I have wanted to get more depth out of my Bible study. We read the words, but do we study? I felt I was lacking in really studying.

I do study more when I am writing an article for our ForChristianGirls website. I go to the Word and make comparisons of scriptures to use. It is hard to do sometimes, and I feel so unprepared.

A friend of mine put something on Face Book that really hit me in a good way. A way to study, deep study the Bible for the next year. Cindy Colley wrote How to Dig Deep for the Meat of the Word. I was very impressed, and I'm starting a few days early on the September assignment. I think I can do it. If you would like to follow along with me, please feel free to do it. I think we will all benefit.

September

Read through the book of Genesis and write down every promise. 
Read it until you can tell its story in sequence.
Memorize Genesis 3:15 and Genesis 12:2
Understand that the Bible’s theme from Genesis 3:15  forth is “Redemption”. 
Go to cindycolley.blogspot.com, subscribe and read twice weekly this month.

Friday, August 26, 2011

To Have and To Hold

To Have and To Hold is a historical romance by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller. They are two really good writers. Tracie is the Key Note Speaker in September at American Christian Fiction Writers Conference. I'm looking forward to hearing her. I have read several of her books and also several of Judith's.

The setting of this book is an island off the coast of Georgia. It tells of building a resort for the rich, or rather a club for the rich. It's much like Jekyll Island and the history of Jekyll is included in the book. Bridal Veil Island is close to Jekyll, in the book.

Audrey Cunningham lives on Bridal Veil with her father and feisty Aunt Thora. I loved Aunt Thora and her antics. One of the investors is trying to find a contractor to take over the work of building this fabulous clubhouse. In comes Marshall Graham.

Audrey has one problem. She jumps to conclusions before she has the facts. When Marshall came to the island, she remembered his father was killed in a barroom brawl and her father was present. She assumed Marshall was also a drinking man. That's when the fun begins.

I loved the setting. We had vacationed on Jekyll this summer and the story brought back so many memories. The writing was so clean and good. I couldn't tell what part Judy wrote and what part Tracie wrote. If I know an author well, I can usually tell who writes what. This was so different. It was smooth.

There will be other books coming out about the islands. I'm anxious to read more. Personally, I love the islands and the lighthouses and have visited most of them. This was a lovely book.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Beware!!!

This topic has been on my mind for some time now, so I'll have to address it to get some peace. We all know we have to beware of a lot of things, but there are a few we have to watch in writing.

We all know about ing, ed, ly,  as, such, and my favorite just. I always have too many of them in my sentences, and there is the all time favorite was. I think when I started writing I wrote, "It was just wonderful," or "It was just so pretty," a lot. I don't do that anymore, I think. We all slip back into our old ways if we don't constantly write.

My biggest beware was to listen to people who did not know what they were talking about. I knew practically nothing when I started writing, and I listened to people who thought they knew it all. It slowed me down so much in my writing. I've been guilty of doing the same thing to new writers and I've tried to stop it.

What have I learned? Listen to multi-published authors. Read books on writing. Go to conferences and listen to the speakers. Talk to authors. We have a small writers group and there are two authors in the group. They have been so helpful to me and to the other members of the group. They have helped and encouraged me so much. The rest of us are babes in the group, but they treat us like we are best-sellers.

One thing I have learned with Christian fiction writers, they are as common as an old shoe. There is no pretense with any of them. The successful ones are the most helpful. There is not any stabbing in the back. If we are to show we are Christians, we should act like one. I'm happy to be associated with these men and women.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ransome's Quest

The other day I said "good-bye" to an old friend. At least that is what it felt like when I finished Ransome's Quest. It was a little daunting to know that I wouldn't read anymore about William, Julia, Charlotte, and Ned. They had become such good friends. As all things must come to an end, so they go by the wayside to pick up again and read later. 

As with all of Kaye Dacus' books, I loved this one. This book had more excitement in it, but it had been a while since I had read the other two. There were more surprises and two, no three, kidnappings. A very exciting book!

Kaye did wonderful descriptions of Tierra Dulce and their way of life on the island. Everything was very real, especially Capt. Ned Cochranes lack of self-confidence. I thoroughly enjoyed Charlotte's impetuousness nature and her loyalty. I completely loved Charlotte. 

This was another "can't put down book." Kaye has a way of weaving stories that make you feel good when you finish. Thanks Kaye, for this book, and for being my friend.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My First Interview

I'm not published yet, but Heidi Glick interviewed me anyway. Click onto http://queencityquill.blogspot.com/2011/08/interview-with-kathy-cretsinger.html and read about my writing, my favorite authors, and research.


I will have to say I was surprised when Heidi wrote me. I hadn't expected an interview until published, then in my wildest dreams, thousand of authors would want to interview me. I would be swamped and not have time for anything else, but to answer interview questions. That's a dream and I don't think it will happen that way.


It was an honor and I so appreciate Heidi for braving the waters. Her blog is new and I'm anxious to see more of it in the future. We as writers need to encourage others along the way. I have appreciated all the writers and authors who have done that for me. That is what makes us go on with writing.


Thank you, Heidi for making me feel special. Thanks for the wonderful questions. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

AUTHOR INTERVIEW - GINA HOLMES



Gina Holmes is the bestselling author of Crossing Oceans and the newly released novel, DRY AS RAIN. She's the founder of Novel Rocket, (formerly Novel Journey), a registered nurse,  wife and mother who makes her home in Southern Virginia. You can learn more about her atwww.ginaholmes.com 



Your debut novel hit ECPA, Amazon, PW and CBA bestsellers list (some throughout the span of a year!) For several weeks Crossing Oceans was the #1 free kindle download and then stay in the top hundred for a long time.

Beside the commercial success, your book was a finalist in every major Christian book award, including: Christy, ECPA, Retailer’s Choice, Carol Awards, and won RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice and an INSPY. Does having that kind of success put the pressure on for your second book?

I try not to think too much about it. I didn’t expect that kind of success but am very grateful for it. I had a lot of pressure on me on this releasing novel, not because of the success of the first book, but because, unlike the first, I didn’t have all the time in the world to write it. Some books flow smoothly, this one I had to yank out like a bad tooth. I faced multiple rewrites, some of them pretty major, all while trying to promote my all important first novel. I was still working full time, mothering, running Novel Journey (now Novel Rocket) and all of that, so this was a tough tough book for me to produce.


Tell our readers about your latest release, Dry as Rain:

I'm a really bad pitchman so I'll just repeat the back of the book copy:

Behind every broken vow lies a broken heart.
When Eric and Kyra Yoshida first met, they thought their love would last forever. But like many marriages, theirs has gradually crumbled, one thoughtless comment and misunderstanding at a time, until the ultimate betrayal pushes them beyond reconciliation. Though Eric longs to reunite with Kyra, the only woman he has truly loved, he has no idea how to repair the damage that’s been done.

Then a car accident erases part of Kyra’s memory—including her separation from Eric—and a glimmer of hope rises from the wreckage. Is this a precious opportunity for the fresh start Eric has longed for? Does he even deserve the chance to find forgiveness and win back Kyra’s heart . . . or will the truth blow up in his face, shattering their last hope for happiness? A richly engaging story of betrayal and redemption, Dry as Rain illuminates with striking emotional intensity the surprising truth of what it means to forgive.



You can read the first chapter HERE. 

"Holmes grabs the reader with a unique storyline about infidelity and what it truly means to forgive after betrayal.  By looking at the situation from a different angle, the author provides a great deal of food for thought and contemplation." RT Book Reviews – September, 2011


Library Journal says, "Fans of emotionally packed domestic fiction will love it."

This novel feels so much different than Crossing Oceans. Why did you choose to take such a different path?

I didn’t intend to write something completely different and I think it feels that way because of the characters telling the story. In Crossing Oceans, Jenny was our narrator and she was a melancholy, all woman sort.

In Dry as Rain, we have Eric, who is a man’s man and doesn’t think in flowery language and descriptions so it would have been wrong to write him that way. While both books have a heavy subject matter, Crossing Oceans was much more so. You can’t get heavier than dying, so it was bound to be more emotional, no matter how I wrote the next book.

But, my genre seems to be relational drama which both are and I like to pepper in a quirky cast and that’s true of both books.

You took a lot of chances in this book. First writing first person from a male’s perspective, secondly to have the protagonist someone who does a lot of things that aren’t very Christianly, like cheating on his wife, drinking, lying, etc. Are you afraid this might hurt your sales in the Christian market?

Afraid? No. Concerned, sure. While I don’t personally have a problem with Eric drinking a beer, the rest I have a problem with too. The thing is Eric’s a nominal Christian at the beginning of the book, lukewarm about his faith like many who call themselves followers of Christ. This is his journey though and he doesn’t end up where he begins. I wanted to tell the story as truthfully as I could and at the end of the day let the chips fall where they may.

What happened to your long time website, Novel Journey?

www.noveljourney.blogspot.com is now www.novelrocket.com You can get to it by either address but we decided on an overhaul because we wanted to drop the blogspot address and just have a dot com. The guy who owned Novel Journey didn’t return our emails to sell so we had to do something a little different. This turned out to be a good thing maybe because we’d been chewing on broadening the site for some time. We’ve got some exciting changes now, the most notable is the addition of “Rocket Pages” a sort of Craig’s List for writers to find the services they need to launch and sustain their career.

What’s going on with you personally?

Well, I’m blissfully married, mom to two, stepmom to three, and owner of 2 dogs and a fish. I bought a guitar and hope to start fiddling with that soon and just writing a lot. Nothing too exciting over here but that’s the way I like it. I’m the happiest I’ve been in my life. I’ve accomplished many of the dreams and goals I’d hoped to and I always tell my husband, if I died today, I’d feel I lived and full and rewarding life. Not that I’m looking to die just yet.

What are you working on now?

I can’t give the title yet as that’s a work in progress but it’s a story very close to my heart. I’m more excited about this one than anything I’ve ever written. Hopefully my publisher agrees and you see it on the stands in the next year or so. That’s really all I can say for now.

Tell us something we don’t know about you.

I’ll tell you a few. I thought I was afraid of heights until I bungee-jumped and loved it. I’d love to skydive for the first time in the next year, white water raft and get at least a little skill on the guitar. My husband is a talented songwriter. My kids are the sweetest in the world, (yes, the world!), and I love to get my hands dirty. That should do it. Thanks for having me!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Screen Savers

My friend told me the other day she had changed her screen saver to orange. The normal blue, which looks like the sky, tires your eyes. I decided to try it and see how it works. It's very simple and anyone can do it.

Go to Control Panel. Hit Personalization, and then Window Color and Appearance. There are several colors to choose from I chose "orange" because it doesn't have an earthy appearance.

I used it for about thirty minutes last night and it rested my eyes. I had a bad headache, so it didn't hurt me any. This morning, the orange is relaxing. Maybe it will help eye strain. If your computer is it the bedroom, it is supposed to help you sleep. I usually turn mine off, so there is no color there.

When  you sit at the computer, you see the little blue strip on the top of your programs. When you change the color, you see whatever color you select. Yellow is a more restful color, and I may change mine to see what happens. It does nothing to the pictures on the screen saver. It makes the screen more user friendly.

I thought I would pass this along. We all need to have less stress at the computer.

Another good hint for getting a good nigh'ts sleep is to sleep in a dark room. I have Roman shades in my bedroom and they are off white. My connecting bath has the same color shades, and there is an outside light outside the bathroom. That gives the room lots of light. To see the clock, I have to sit up in the bed, but beside my bed is a C pap machine with lights, and a weather radio with lights. It doesn't seem to bother me that much. I'm resting better than I have in a long time. If you do have trouble, try these suggestions.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Plans for Today

I was wondering what to write about today, and I'm stuck. I thought I might tell you what I do in a day.

Already, there is a load of clothes in the washer. My husband and grandson #1 have gone fishing, so I am in peace and quiet. No mumbling from the family room, from my husband, and I'm not watching Disney channel with Chet. What are my plans?

Today is Wednesday and first on my list is to prepare for church tonight. We are studying Revelations and I am enjoying it so much. I'll have to stop long enough to study a little before tonight.

Now, daily chores. There are two more loads waiting to be washed and clothes folding to do. When I get tired, I'll do that off and on through the morning.

Writing. I'm critiquing a book for a friend, and she just sent me a chapter. I like to get the chapters back as soon as possible. I need to do that first. My friend is also critiquing my book, and I need to go over the next chapter and send it to her.

My office is in a spare bedroom with a twin bed. The grandchildren have each claimed it as their room. When they spend the night, I can't write, so I am getting ready to move my office to the family room. It is colder in the winter in this room and the family room is warmer. My husband has his office on one end and I hope to put mine at the other.

With this development, I have to clean off my desk. Everyone who has seen my office know what a mess it is. My Bible and date book are usually on the bed and there are papers all round it. My desk at this moment is piled up and it causes me to want to be here less and less. My plan. Clean off the desk as much as I can today. A little each day helps.

When my mother passed away I found a lot of handkerchiefs that we had all had years ago. I pulled out eight that were fairly good, and pretty, to put in a skirt. The skirt has eight gores and a little flare that's sown onto the bottom of each gore. I've put a handkerchief on each flare. I found a pale pink floral at Hancock's in Paducah. If you are ever in Paducah, go by Hancock's at Exit 4. It is so nice to browse the fabric.It's one of my favorite places.

That's about my day, except for cooking. What's happening in your day?

Monday, August 1, 2011

My Special Niece

Friday was my wonderful niece's birthday. I have one sister, and out of her four children, she had one daughter. This little girl, not little now, was born on July 29. It has been my pleasure to be a part of her life. Let me tell you a little about Judy Galloway Meek.

Judy has not had an easy life. She was diagnosed with a kidney disease in her teens. Her kidneys would eventually deteriorate and she would be faced with a transplant. My sister and her husband moved from West Virginia to Columbia, Tennessee and found a wonderful doctor at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. Judy kept the same doctor as she grew up.

Judy married a great man, Charlie Meek, and they began their life together. Judy was told not to conceive by her doctor. She would be endangering her life and her babies. It was a disappointment to her because she wanted to have her own children. Instead they adopted a baby boy, Joseph. He is like our own and graduated from high school this past spring.

Through the years, her kidneys did stop functioning and she was on dialysis and waited for a transplant. She had a match with her brother in Scotland, the only thing wrong was his high blood pressure. He walked many hills, lost weight, and ate the right food, but his blood pressure would not go down enough. We were all devastated. She needed a kidney.

A lady from church told her she had been tested as a donor for a bone marrow transplant, and thought she would be approved as a kidney donor, if they matched. She was a perfect match! The transplant was under way. This woman is a true Christian.

Today Judy is a healthy woman. Her dedication to God during all this has been something we could all learn from. She never turned her back on Him, even in her worse moments. It's hard to face disappointments, but Judy and Charlie helped each other, with God's help. They leaned on the Lord.

At times we forget about God when things are good. We only go to Him when we have bad times. This was a rough time for our family, but we all leaned on the Lord. What else could we do? Right now Judy is an inspiration for so many. She doesn't realize what she does, but she encourages me, in particular, to be more dedicated to God. This is my way of honoring my friend, my niece, and my encouragement. Love you, Judy.

Look at her blog, A Meek Prospective. It's on the top of my right sidebar.