Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

Belief and faith. Oh, and bad drivers.



I know this really awesome, nice looking guy (my husband) who works in the scientific research field. He's a forestry scientist and he is kinda smart. He also enjoys a good debate or two.
Quite a few scientists define themselves as atheists, or people who do not believe in a higher being, or deity.

Notice, I did not say they do not have faith.
  
To my mind, anyone who has trust in something, has faith.
I have faith in gravity, that the sun will rise in the morning and that one day, I will see Spring.

Wait just a second!!!

THAT faith is being tested! It's March 31st, and as I write this, my husband and 2 older sons are digging our driveway and front walkway out from yet another ice storm. In preparation for another snow storm. WAHHHH!!!

Ahem, sorry. what was I saying? Oh, right, faith.

Many people say they're "spiritual beings". Okay.
Many people say "I believe in a higher power, just not God."
And some people say they only believe in what they can see and feel.

Okay.

But let ask me them , and you, this...

If I can't see a yellow line down the middle of the road, but I know there's supposed to be two lanes, what makes me keep driving? What keeps me from refusing to leave my driveway?
Why do I risk my life driving thousands of pounds of steel, rubber, electronics and fuel down a road if there is no visible line???



Author photo.


Faith.

Pure and simple.

Faith that the other people who are doing the same thing as I am, believe the same thing as I do.

"I'll stay on my side, you stay on yours."

Trust.  Belief.  Faith.

Trust that the logical process of abiding by the appropriate standards will be met. Belief that the other drivers can actually drive. Faith that I don't need to see the line to know it is there.


Yes, that is entirely simplistic. But think about it now, in terms of the Christian faith...NOT the set of rules handed down by overly pious and hypocritical people who leave tracts instead of tips, or who rage at someone for wearing a tattoo, yet they wear more make-up than 4 super models.

A living, healthy faith should not make us judgmental, but seekers of justice. It should not give us the right to point our fingers at the wrongs of others, but wrap our hands around the hurts of those who need us.
And we should be known by our love, not our loud condemnations.

We should never have to use words to proclaim our belief in Jesus, but hopefully, those around us should be speechless at the obvious love we have for them and wonder why we're so different.


Like my friend Ian.  
 
And his friend Willian. Yes, with an N.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I think I'm done...for now...plus Snowiccane 2014.

Annnnnnd.....

I finished Round One of the re-Write to take my first book from the category of historical romance to the more applicable historical fiction. In a hist/rom, the focus is the romance, in historical fiction, the story is the focus and the romance is secondary.

I want to do justice to a time in history that is simply shameful. I do not care what the 'why' was. There is no reason ANYONE should gather up one group of people and march them 450 miles to where they can be controlled and "trained" to be subservient to their captors.

Back in 1864, that was official government policy. 

In 2014, that's called ethnic cleansing. Or, genocide.

Therefore, NOT romance novel material.



Sooooo, yeah, I re-worked it.
My editorial superhero,
Amy Drown http://www.amydrown.com
is going over the re-write, so when she's done, I'll crack open the file and see what magic she has wrought.

Seriously, if you're a writer and prepping your work to pitch or query? You NEED to hire her, she is BRILLIANT!!!

My agent suggested I have my manuscript edited by a professional, and I've read Amy's work, and frankly, I trust her 200%.    

I'm nearly giddy waiting to see what she thinks.

But don't quote me, I may change my mind and want to hurl. It's a mood thing.







And then there's....


this.


 
 
 
 
 
 
We're almost at the top of the L in 'blizzard'.


180 kph /100 mph winds.
White outs.
And it's March 26th???


Seriously though, pray that no one dies in this.



And on that perky note!

Take care, and have a calm, snow-free day !





That's just the good manners talking...I HATE WINTER!!!!





I open my sunscreen to smell the beach smell, then go shovel my sidewalk.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Book Review of The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn




I read Lori Benton's Burning Sky last summer. I LOVED LOVED LOVED it!!!




And a few weeks ago, I read ....









I knew she was working on TPOTL (I am not typing that title over and over) and was squirming and wriggling to get my sweaty little palms on it. And then one day, there she was, in my mailbox. Ahhhhh!!

I shut down my work for the day and read the entire book in 7 hours. I did stop for tea and chocolate, I'm not that insane...

So?

5 Dairy Milks out of 5.

I mean, WOW.

Lori Benton knows how to build and build and build and then you are freaking out because the phone DARED to ring and AHHHHH!!!

What is up with that??? Stupid phone!

So, sweet Tamsen lives with her mother and her not exactly Pa Walton-esque step-father. When things go awry, Tamsen manages to find herself in the care of two strangers. One is as mysterious as they come, the other is insufferable and arrogant and umm, fan yourselves...

One of the things I love about Lori Benton's writing is that she's an artist, like, an actual wildlife artist. So she knows the value of intricate details and the perfect phrase in the perfect spot. She weaves and stitches and pulls it all together and by the last page, you'll want to drop from happy exhaustion. Kind of like shopping with your supermodel friends and everything YOU LIKED fit, it was all 90% off and then you got 100% off coupon for the shoe store.

Tamsen is not a wilting, frail flower. Jesse is umm, has an , umm, horse, I think...Cade needs a wife and is the epitome of dedication...

Lori's use of an historical event as a character in and of itself is masterful, as is her occasional one-two 'life ain't pretty' punch to shake up the reader and draw us further into the story and make us even more emotionally involved.

I adored this book. It's quite a departure from Burning Sky, but it's as lush and rich as the Appalachians on a hot summer day.

Lori Benton could write a grocery list and make it an epic.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd the winner of the Winter Blues draw is...........




First, we load all the names of the entries into my gorgeous 'Women's Chaco' fancy riding hat from Sombrero Sucre....
That Argentine/Bolivian wool felt hat is hat made. A beautiful piece of craftsmanship.

NO WAY is this part of the prize...








Then my handsome assistant Zachary will scramble the names for a few seconds....








Then he unfolds the name.....





Can anyone read that????






Congratulations to our winner!!!!


The lovely, amazing Joyce Chandler!!!!

Facebook message me your address my dear, and I'll send the goodies out by the end of the week.