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Sarah at Christmas

Friday, June 8, 2018

Sarah at the North Pole


In six months, Santa will be here, but I'm thinking about him today.

I'm writing a Christmas story and it's due in August. Sarah, my haphazard angel is helping Santa, his wife, and elves. I'm having a lot of fun this hot June thinking snow, North Pole and Santa.

In this scene, Sarah watches the elves at work.


Red Berry proved himself as a real gentleman. Tall for an elf, and with a shock of red hair, he was affable in his long green coat and leggings. Sarah liked him right from the get-go. He insisted the group call him Berry but that Mona elf refused. Was she a meanie or what? She insisted on calling him Red or Red Berry.  Berry supervised the conveyor belt of toys. Did a good job, too, at least in Sarah’s limited opinion.

But Hap was Sarah’s favorite. Mona had nicknamed him Haphazard. Like Sarah, Hap was clumsy, fell down often, spoke phrases incorrectly, and made a mess of his work. Mona had made fun of him for dressing improperly. He’d come into the workshop  earlier with his coat on backward. And then he’d goofed at the assembly table. Everyone laughed themselves silly when he attached legs on a baby doll where arms were supposed to be. Sarah had chuckled at the odd-looking doll—legs protruding straight out of arm sockets, and hands where feet should be, but she’d been ashamed of her mirth. She wasn’t laughing at Hap, just at the odd creation. Nevertheless, she knew how he must feel. Her dyslexia caused humans and angels to be unkind to her. Sarah resolved to befriend Hap if she could.

When Sarah's Christmas story is published at holiday time, I hope you'll read it. It's a fantasy designed to give you a giggle.

In the meantime, how about reading another Sarah book? You'll find them on Amazon and other fine online book sellers.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Silly Questions and Crazy Answers



Conversation between a visitor and guide at Yellowstone National Park.

First time female visitor: "Where did all those big rocks come from?
Guide: "The glaciers brought them down.
Visitor: "I don't see the glaciers. Where are they?"
The weary guide replied, "They went back for more rocks."

I hope the young lady took the guides remark in stride and laughed.  

I'm a curious person and I know some of my questions have offended my listener. 

One person took my inquiry wrong and didn't speak to me for weeks. I didn't know until much later how my question was internalized.  By the way, she interpreted it all wrong. I asked  about one thing, she took the question to mean something else.

No doubt I've had times when I appeared uninformed with my question. 

On other occasions, I must have sounded loony.

Sometimes my questions entertained listeners.

My point to all this?

Ask questions anyway. Curiosity teaches, and who knows? Maybe the responses and reactions you receive will show up in your next book.

Wouldn't you love to know which one of my books has a scene where a friend misunderstands a question and causes a ruckus?  If you find it, let me know. 




Sunday, June 3, 2018

Rejection


Writer: Can you suggest a way to make my story better?
Editor:  Yes. A match. Burn it.
Ha ha ha.  

That cruel joke would not be funny to me, and fortunately no one has ever said that to me, but I did have many rejections in my early days as a writer. Oh, they didn't sound nasty, just a thanks, but no thanks kind of letter. 

I always wished the author of the rejection letter had given me clues as to why he/she didn't like my manuscript. I longed for suggestions. How to fix it? What was wrong? Dialogue? Characters? Plot?


Famous people have been rejected. After an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry, Elvis was told he'd never make it and should go back to driving a truck.

Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper job in Kansas City and told he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas."



Stephen King's book, Carrie, received thirty rejections. He threw the book into the trash but his wife dug it out and argued to try again. 

Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. Coaches thought he couldn't play.


Babe Ruth was the Home run King. He was also the Strike Out King. He once said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”




If you've had rejection, you are too. And who hasn't?  Maybe you felt rejected by parents, or a husband, or a friend. Perhaps you've been fired from a job. I imagine we've all felt discarded at one time or another, but we're not the first or the last to be rejected. Buck up. There's hope. 

The rejection of my first book has put me in good company, right? And it does you, as well, for any abandonment you experience.


Choices was the original name, but the book became Mattie's Choice. I wrote it eight years ago and submitted it to countless publishers before Pelican Book Group/Prism Imprint picked it up. https://pelicanbookgroup.com/ I was pleased, no thrilled, when they decided to publish it. They had a book already titled Choices, so I changed the name to Mattie's Choice, but the book is really about all the character's choices, not just Mattie's. 


A young girl, Mattie, makes a choice and goes against her parent's wishes. What choices do the parents then make? Jesse, Mattie's husband, chooses a surprising lifestyle, what does Mattie do about it? Mattie's sister-in-law decides to turn against society's norm. How does the family react to that? 


In life, we made choices and react to choices made by others. 





I hope my story somehow gives you courage to keep trying. Rejection hurts, but it's not the end of the story. 



Thursday, May 31, 2018

Hot Times in Houston.


Remember those snow days in Houston?

We had an unusual winter in 2018 with two snow days. 
The wet, white stuff doesn't last long. 
Two hours max and it was gone.  It was nice while we had it.

Now look at the outside temp today, May 31, 2018




We're having a hot time in the old HTown tonight.

The Astros won.
Their bats were hot.

I went to bed. Couldn't sleep. 
It was hot.

Hubby went to the bank today to take care of church business. Several people on the former approved list who take care of bank business are no longer with us. The officials said one of them had to be present to verify the two new names being added.

Hubby said, "Well, since they have all died, you'll have to call either heaven or hell to get them back up here. I'm pretty sure they all in heaven, but if you get a no answer, try the hot place."

Hahahaha. He got his hot point across.

Did you ever see that old move, 
"Some Like It Hot?"

Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemon
played in a comedy, but the movie had nothing to do with the outside temperature.

We use the expression hot and cool interchangeable at times.

The lady is hot.
The lady is cool.

Both expressions intend to convey a like for the lady.

God wants us to be on fire for Him.

He doesn't care for cold snowy people, cool, or lukewarm followers.

He likes fired up servants.

Are we winter or summer disciples?




Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Little is enough


Hymn lyrics by Kittie L. Suffield, 1924
  1. "Does the place you’re called to labor
    Seem so small and little known?
    It is great if God is in it,
    And He’ll not forget His own."

Refrain:
  • "Little is much when God is in it!
    Labor not for wealth or fame;
    There’s a crown, and you can win it,
    If you go in Jesus’ name."



The church we serve is small and it grows tinier day by day.  It used to look like this.  


It looks different today. If you drove by, you wouldn't recognize it as a church. The structure is changed. There is no steeple now.  Inside, we are the same. We are a sweet, country, church.  We are small, but we are family. Super, mega churches are great, too. The most important part of worship is worship. 


Like the structures in Greece, churches in our country are many. You may be confused where to go. What size? Which denomination?
Find your place.
Big or Little.
God is in it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Going Nowhere


I pass this lane to nowhere daily. The land is beautiful, the gate ornamental, the fence lovely, and the bleached path is an eye catcher.   But why is it there? I never see anyone on this path. The gates are always locked. No cattle roam behind it. The lane goes a few feet and literally stops.

It's a scenic wonder.

Pretty with no purpose.  At least none that I can see.

It cost the builder a large amount of money to construct.

I see so many possibilities that could exist behind the gate.

A beautiful home.

A cemetery. 

A tranquil, bicycle park.

A grand entrance to a ranch with horses or other animals.

The lane is too narrow for a car. What did the builder have in mind? Is he finished?  This spot has looked this way for years. Someone keeps it mowed. It looks inviting, but strangers can't get inside.

Are our lives like this?  God constructs us to be beautiful and gives us a path to follow. Do we take the path, or let it remain a lane going to nowhere? We work a little to keep the grass mowed, but we don't serve in other capacities? 

Like the path, our lives are short. Let's endeavor to build a longer path that leads to heaven. Let's bring many with us.








Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Father to the Rescue


We've been discussing Eve's sins and mistakes. Poor lady. She had her sins recorded for history, and now we talk about her. Wouldn't you just hate having your sins written down for all to see and discuss? Me too.

Eve talked too much, was an over eater, and that led to her downfall.

The good news is that God rescued her from shame and forgave her for failure. Oh, sure, she faced consequences, but she witnessed first-hand the resources of a faithful God. 

God isn’t Superman. He’s Super God. He knows our limitations and provides for us.

I was reminded of this yesterday.

As most of you know, our daughter is in an assisted living facility.  The residents are taken twice a month to Walmart to shop. You can’t believe how much they look forward to these outings, especially our daughter. During her well days, she was a gad-about, and she still loves to go places.

At 9:00 AM she called me in convulsive tears. “I can’t go.”

“Why”

“I have no money.”

The facility allows the family to put in $200.00 per month for personal toiletries and various, sundry other items. On this trip, she planned to buy me a Mother’s Day present and card.

Her sweet, little breaking heart in turn broke mine.

I’d been there the day before and had intended to ask the administrator if she needed money in her account. The lady was absent and I couldn’t learn our daughter's balance. Unfortunately, the administration doesn't notify the family when the account nears empty.
She loves Bluebell Moo-llennium ice cream and always buys it on her Walmart trips. I checked her freezer while I was there, and she had 3 half-gallons. I examined all her toiletries and she needed none.  She wanted to buy her mom a present. That’s all.  She probably required about $40.00 for what she had in mind. She had about $30 cash in her purse, but she forgets where it is.

Well……………! I asked a staffer if she could borrow money. NO. Not allowed. I called Walmart and HEB to see if I could buy her a gift card. They both said no. There’s been too much fraud over the phone with gift cards.

I called her back to remind her about the cash in her purse and to suggest she buy one item instead of two. The residents had already left for the trip. My daughter cried. So did I.

A few minutes later, her dad called from his business trip to Houston. He heard my tears and felt the tug of my heart.

He said, “I’ll go there right now. I’ll take her to lunch and then shopping. Tell her I'm coming and I'll be there in an hour."

I called my daughter, and her sadness turned to joy.  She said, “Getting to see my daddy is better than going on the bus with the others.”

“Yes,” I said, “All things work together for good to those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.

I saw an earthly father drop everything take care of his child yesterday. That’s the way God takes care of us. He is mindful of our needs. He often sends a representative to stand in for Him. Other times, He just does it Himself…one way or another, he hears and sees our tears. Sometimes we see Him working on our behalf, but often we don't. When we do, it bring us to our knees with reverence and admiration.

God, the Father took care of Eve in the garden, but He sent an earthy father yesterday to a heartbreaking daughter. My child is also His child.