Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Churches


Churches. 
Small. Large. Cathedrals. City. Country





I love churches and I collect them, and I own many replicas. Some are birdhouses, others are Christmas ornaments, a few are knickknacks scattered about my house.


Our little country church used to look like this. Traditional. I loved the steeple. Steeples were put on churches so that people could find the location and attend. Steeples pointed the way to God. Alas. The steeple is gone now.


We had a traditional setting, but it began to change. I wish I could say our church was changing to meet the needs of the time, and that's true. Sort of.

Many of our sweet congregation have gone to their eternal home and it became necessary to sell our buildings and land. The new church that bought our facilities  remodeled the facilities. We continue to meet in their accommodations that were once ours, but boy! Is there a difference. 

We move our traditional furniture each Sunday to a platform that is draped in black.



Here we are on a Sunday morning.

When the new church meets, they use the black background for strobe lights and smoke machines. They change the look for their worship. 


Here they are

These two churches meeting in the same facility at different times and each has a unique styles of worship. 

It doesn't look like the same place, does it? It's amazing. Seriously. They are super talented with technology. Visual aids lend themselves to illustrating a sermon topic. 

Isn't it wonderful how God uses distinctive types of reverence to make Himself known to us?

Which do you prefer? Traditional? Small? Mega? 

The important thing is to find the place that suits you.




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. 



Sarah: A Mission of Love

Sarah: Laney's Angel

Sarah at Christmas