Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014

What does Ray Charles have to do with it?

Remember how I said I'd lost my voice?

I fell in January and landed on my chin, and snapped my head back. And from that moment on, I couldn't sing.

At first, it was I could barely open my mouth. It took a month or more for the swelling in my jaw to go down enough to speak properly.

Even my teeth hurt. I'm amazed they didn't crack into pieces.

So, about a month ago, I was singing in church, but very few of my "I can do this in my sleep" notes were there. Well, I did have a wicked head cold. 


But wasn't I over that?

So, one day, when I was out doing my momming, I tried doing what I ALWAYS do when I'm alone in my van. I sing.

Well, I couldn't. I couldn't hit a single note with ANY amount of control or volume. I was devastated. I've been singing since I was a kid. I've sung in choirs, in small groups, I've done solos, you name it. 

And yeah, I might sound a bit vain, but the ONE thing I knew I could do sort of okay? I could hit those ridiculously high notes that only one other person at our church could hit.  Almost every choir I've been in, I was the go-to girl for the ultra high notes. 

And yes, I knew it, too. But one is always humbled when one blows one of those notes in rehearsal. Because when you sing that high and you blow it?

You fall really far.


Suffice it to say, I grieved the loss of my voice. It broke my heart to be completely unable to sing. I couldn't even stand to be IN church when they were singing. I actually walked out yesterday because it was so heartbreaking to be in a place where hundreds of voices were raised in song and praise, and I couldn't do it.

Yesterday at church, we had a guest.

Her name is Sheila Charles.

Sheila Raye Charles. 

And this is her daddy.

Her voice?

Her mike was barely on. She didn't even need it!! WHAT a VOICE!! Serious POWER!!!!

And after church, I NEEDED to speak with her. I needed to tell her how deeply she blessed me. 

So I waited, and waited, and finally did the unCanadian thing of interrupting someone because John and the kids were waiting...

I told her she'd blessed me and I'd lost my voice and hers blew me away. She hugged me and said "D'you mind if I touch you?"

I am Canadian. A Baptist by birth. A Wesleyan by membership. 


The next thing I knew, she gently pulled away my scarf and had her hand ON MY THROAT.

She prayed for healing, and that my doubt would disappear.

And Redheads? That girl is NOT shy.

So, after she was done bringing down the sky with her prayers, I thanked her, hugged her and walked out to the van and poof, back into mom mode.

Last night, I went to a "Bolivian coffeehouse" at a neighbouring church to hear a team speak about their recent trip to Bolivia. I told a few friends about my loss, but as I was doing so? I felt a leading to shut up.

On the drive home, I thought, "Okay Lord...did You?"

I put in a CD and...


I let it rip!!!


Friday, April 25, 2014

Fred, Ginger and my week in a nutshell...

Okay, fine, it's not the actual shell of a nut...but you get it.

Suffice it to say, it was a week, and now it's almost over.


But...before we say bonne weekend, let's do a thankful list, shall we?

My youngest is not as sick as he was on Wednesday morning, his fever is gone, and he's up and around.

The visit to the emergency room was free.
We were in and out in less than 40 minutes.

My iPod works.

My laptop works.

Spring is coming. By the laws of  planetary alignment and the fact that it IS Fall in Australia, we WILL get Spring.

We have hot water.

My husband is awesome.


I know where the chocolate is. Muahahahaha!

And let's not forget the Ginger Rogers Theory of Life. 

"You can do it, even if you're the one doing it in high heels, backwards, and some guy is singing to you." 

And best of all?

God knows exactly what is going on., even if I don't.

Friday, April 18, 2014

So Fair a Lady-Amber Awesomesauce and her SLIGHT technical problems!!!

Have you ever wondered, "Wow, what I really need is to lose an insane amount of sleep, be a nervous wreck, AND pray for fake people?"

Then Amber Perry's 'So Fair A Lady' is the book for YOU!!

Here's the cover...

Ain't it purty???

And here's my review....

Eliza and Kitty Campbell are in royal trouble.
Their father is dead, their future is unsure, and they are knee deep in the midst of political turmoil that might tear them apart. But never fear, Samuel Martin is here. And there. And everywhere.
Thomas Watson is in royal trouble too, but the kind that gets you dead. The kind that Samuel Martin seems to have far too much skill at, and far too frightening for a young man alone.
Thomas Watson’s friend and mentor, Robert Campbell, was a spy for the Sons of Liberty, and his secrets have thrown his two daughters into a realm of intrigue, danger and certain death. Thomas must save them, and many others, and yet who can he trust? Where can he hide two women? And how far must he go before his actions are unforgivable?
Amber Perry sent me a copy of So Fair A Lady…and robbed me of sleep!!!
I was stressed, nervous, and had to take frequent chocolate breaks just to cope with Thomas and Eliza’s perils and problems! The story starts at a hard place and just plunges the reader down the waterfall, then out through the rapids, swirls through the white water than BAM, you’re down another chute!
I am a huge fan of Laura Frantz, Lori Benton and Tamara Leigh, and now? Amber Perry! I would HIGHLY recommend So Fair A Lady if you want to squirm, swoon and pray for the characters!
An excellent read, and seriously, you can sleep tomorrow night, right?

And because Amber is more gorgeous, and brilliant, and talented...umm, than she is umm, aware of itty bitty tiny weensy details....

So Fair A Lady is on sale on Amazon....NOW.

Go over to her blog and she'll tell you the's kinda



Oh, and guess who the cover model is????

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I'm taking a leave of absence...

From NOT whining.


See how I italised and boldeded that?

So, about the whining...

Insert a moment of pouting n-n-n-n-now...

Actually, for most of today. 

I just did not do a thing.

And yes, that is me. 
And I have a pet unicorn.

Oh wait. I read. 

And I made the minions supper.

Ever have those days where you just think...nope...I refuse to be a grown-up? Where, or, pardonez moi, grammar police, in which, you just decide, yup, it's recess. ALL DAY. 

And you can hear the inner voices telling you to do all kinds of things, that you SHOULD be're done.

Done like toast.

And you NEED to do nothing.

Not because you are frazzled, but so you won't get frazzled.

So remember to take a day and CHILL....

To relax...

To breathe...

To take a mini-vacation.

don't hate me this is my photo...


 Go back at it!!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Do an update...


Quite a few people we know are going through very difficult circumstances. 
One of the families from #4's winter hockey team (as opposed to spring hockey team) is dealing with cancer. He's a tough guy, but I pray for them often. Who wouldn't?

Some are dealing with addictions, and no matter what, DO NOT EVER tell their loved ones to pray harder. Just tell those family members who are watching a loved one implode that you will stand beside them as best you can. 

Some are dealing with varying levels of incurable pain. I can relate to that. All too well.

But one thing I did NOT anticipate has hit me hard enough...

That I'm actually scared. 

Now, followers of Christ aren't supposed to succumb to fear. We're not to hang back from battle, but to run IN to the fray. To fight hard because we know our King is beside us, and we know He will win.

But...I realized something this past week.

I have lost something very precious to me. 

And I cannot simply find a new one.

I have had this treasure almost my entire life. It is part of what makes me, me. No, it's not the most amazing or powerful or stunning, but it's mine, and I've been told I do all right on occasion. And as my friend Suzanne pointed out, it is how I worship.

Since my fall in January, the one in which my snapped neck backwards?

I have lost my singing voice.

And for a person who sang the highest of the high notes? Who was happiest in the key of F? Who sang the Hallelujah Chorus for fun?

And until I see a doctor or two, I feel like part of me is trapped.

Most importantly, I need to give this over to God. And wait on Him.

What else can I do?

Update: I see my doctor next Tuesday. 
I sure hope he sends me to an ENT.
That's 'ear, nose and throat' specialist. Not a big talking tree. Although, that would be kinda cool.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Authentic Jennifer , but no fake Native Americans.

Now, I'm going out on a limb here and tossing out an idea.

How authentic does a writer need to be? I'll give you some ideas, and you tell me what you think.

In Courting Morrow Little, a masterpiece, MASTERPIECE, in how to ratchet up the tension and exhaust the reader, Laura Frantz takes an Oglala Lakota leader from the 1800's and moves him to the Shawnee in Kentucky in the 1700's. 

THAT doesn't faze me at all. He was still the same man, in essence, and the respect given his character versus the real man was identical. 

Moving people back and forth through history is done all the time, in film and other books. It is an accepted literary vehicle for telling a story. 

In fiction, especially sci-fi and fantasy, cultures are made up all the time. Hello, Pandora? That film had an indigenous culture that was well created, and well written. 

But recently, I read a book, no names, nuh uh, not going there... that bothered me.  REALLY bothered me.

A LOT!!!

The story itself was lovely.

But the author made up a tribe. 

Read that again.


Now, given the research that was done in regards to the historical era, clothing, politics, and even the type of horse drawn conveyance, WHY did the writer make up a tribe?

To me, and only to ME, (pulling the personal opinion card) IF there is an indication that there existed an actual settlement or settlements of a group of individuals that collectively made up an established culture or people group, why the sam hill does somebody take the un-necessary step of making up a tribe?????

TO ME, that is the same as calling a tribe or nation "The Comanchesiouxs". Or the "Scottirish."

See? You'd be annoyed too.

Later that same day...

I just did an informal poll on Facebook. And for ME, it comes down to this:

If I am going to tell a story, tell it with as much truth as possible. 

And if that means spending a year doing research and reading as much as possible, then I do it.

It's easier to rest from work, than to back track and explain laziness.  

*I*, me, Jennifer, cannot let my work out the door, after having been blessed by some truly amazing and gracious Navajo friends who helped me get this far in my research, only to have their ancestors become a fairy tale.

Tosca Lee said "fiction is the lie that tells the truth". That is the essence of a fiction writer's call.

But, I refuse to dilute the truth by adding un-needed, intentional lies to a story that aims to set straight a record of wrongs so heinous, it's almost unbelievable. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

I'm kinda stuck in...

The Weird Zone...

I am pretty much done the first book.
Now I wait for my uber-editor to go through it, then I do the revisions and send it to my agent.

But that means Book Two is calling.

But...I'm having a hard time diving in. Which is weird. Really weird. I've been itching to get going on this book for ages, and now?

It's so bad, I thought of cleaning my fridge instead of writing.

Read that again...


Okay, leave me your advice for cranking up the energy to get going...