Monday, August 13, 2018

Going Home Again With Christopher Robin

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I had the great pleasure this weekend of seeing Christopher Robin, the movie. It was a special girls day out with my daughters and we had a lot of fun. The movie is precious and I admit to shedding a few tears. The plot follows Christopher Robin as he has grown up and lost his sense of imagination, only to be reunited with his old stuffed bear friend, Winnie the Pooh.  The voices were spot on, and we all agreed that no one else in the entire world could have been the voice of Eeyore but Brad Garrett.

 Veteran voice actor Jim Cummings doubles as Winne the Pooh and Tigger and does a wonderful job. Personally, I prefer Sterling Holloway, the original voice of Pooh,  long gone but forever in my memory.The movie is an extension of the Disney franchise, thus the use of the music my kids grew up on.

This is a true fantasy for me in that Christopher Robin gets to truly "go home again." He finds everything the same, only he has changed. The truth is what we've heard since Thomas Wolfe's novel coined the phrase, "You Can't Go Home Again,"  meaning  that nothing is ever the same. I've experienced that to the point of sadness, penning a poem called My Home No Longer Remembers Me.

I thought about it again last night as I watched one of my granddaughters play in a piece of furniture I purchased for all their shoes to go in when they visit. She is small enough to fit inside with the lid closed. I remembered that my grandfather's house had a shoe closet at the bottom of a shelf. I used to play in there. I visited as an adult and was shocked at how small it was. How did I ever fit? Not just places, but people, too. Visiting home and seeing folks that remember me, but don't necessarily remember the connection. I know I'm not alone in this, but watching Christopher Robin made me nostalgic.

Go see it, you'll love it. What's the hardest part about "going home" for you?

Friday, July 27, 2018

Encouragement from Linda Yezak


Several years ago, I attended a writers conference at a Baptist university in Texas. The town may be small, the college may be small, but the speaker and guest list included some heavy-hitters in my field. In visiting with these authors, aside from attending their classes, I couldn’t help being a bit star-struck and more than a bit jealous.

Although I enjoyed every minute of the conference and the entire experience of spending a couple of days with peers, talking of the one thing we all have in common, I came home under a cloud of sadness. I want God to use me like He apparently does those other authors. I want to be a tool for Him, to glorify Him, to help others realize how precious He is.

But I write mostly romance. Fun little stories intended to entertain.

Self-doubt is a wicked thing. It steals your confidence, leaves you questioning your very worth as a person sometimes. In the days following the conference, I spent quite a bit of time in prayer, everything from is my work worthy, Lord? to am I being arrogant to want more? to am I even doing what You want me to do?

Then, I saw this, from a dear sister in Christ:

Feeding the Poor

Feeding both body and spirit—complimenting someone, listening, caring, writing stories that feed the heart and mind with God’s love.

See that? “Writing stories that feed the heart and mind with God’s love” is feeding the poor, both in body and in spirit.

Authors of Christian romance pen not just stories about love between a man and a woman. We write about a love that is to be treasured and based on more than physical attraction. We write about hope and forgiveness and second chances and first loves and last loves and long-lasting, till death do we part love. We provide a glimpse of what the marital relationship should be according to God’s greatest scheme and gift—a God-centered relationship of loving and being loved in return.

There’s far more to it, of course, but really—how can you beat that?

So, let me introduce myself: I am Linda Yezak, blessed to be an author of Christian Romance.




Bio:

Over twenty years ago, after a decade of life as a "single-again," author Linda Yezak rediscovered God's love and forgiveness when He allowed her a second chance at marital happiness. She is now living her greatest romance with her husband in a forest in East Texas. After such an amazing blessing, she chooses to trumpet God's gift of second chances in the books she writes. Linda's novels are heart-warming hallmarks of love, forgiveness, and new beginnings.

Links:

            Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/GivetheLadyaRide
Twitter: @LindaYezak
            Goodreads: http://dld.bz/dSPmg
777 Peppermint Place: http://lindayezak.com
            Amazon: http://dld.bz/LindaWYezakAmazon

Linda is offering a giveaway prize to one lucky entrant! As pictured, the prize includes a signed print version of the series, a 16-ounce Christian cowboy mug, a horseshoe picture frame, a Ph. 4:13 stretch bracelet, a cute set of magnetic page markers, and a Texas Rubiks cube just for fun. All you have to do to enter is to leave a comment.


The more posts you comment on during my tour, the better the chance you have of winning the drawing! If you'd like to play along, the next blog to check is on Monday, July 23, where she is being interviewed by author Sarah Ruut. And to check her blog for links to past posts,

The winner will be announced Monday, August 6, on Linda's blog, 777 Peppermint Place.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Things We Do For Love

I've always loved all kinds of music. My college and early career pursuits were in classical music, and I'd prayed on and off for years for an opportunity to participate in that again. I've been teaching piano, choir, and voice for over thirty years, and served in church music all my life. I'd thought about starting a group here in my home town. Last fall, my prayers were answered. Enter the Chorus of the Big Bend, led by a talented young man, Alex Cordero.

I love it! Alex has gathered a group of enthusiasts, young and not so young, who all have some kind of musical background. The music has challenged us, inspired us, and we hope the same for our community. I jumped in with both feet, but forgot something.  I'm not as young as I used to be.

Image may contain: ocean, bridge, sky, text, outdoor and waterI'd forgotten that my blood pressure issues make it hard for me to stand for long periods of time, and my knees don't like it either. Ah, I long now for the days when I could stand and sing for hours on our worship team, or a for a whole concert. I remember singing in operas that included kneeling, walking around, standing.

No more just learning the music. Before rehearsal, and especially before a concert, there is a rather involved preparation. It doesn't always get done before a rehearsal because I go straight from work, but I do my best.

1. Pray
2. Stay off my feet as much as possible.
3. Drink a lot of water
4.. No eating after lunchtime (digestion effects my blood pressure).

5. Take blood pressure medicine 2 hours before rehearsal/concert.

6. Take 2 Aleve and a packet of EmergenC or a Baobab tea an hour before.

7. Rub pain stuff into knees.

8. Drop some peppermint oil into my necklace oil infuser. Seems to help if I start feeling wonky.

9. Pray.

80 pounds lost has helped a great deal, and I'm still losing. But either way, I don't mind the preparations, because I love what we're doing. Besides the music, it's been great to be with people that I've known for a long time, but never really spent much time with. The camaraderie building in the group is encouraging. The men don't mind lending a helping a hand to those needing a help up stairs. Grateful thanks to Chris Alexander who installed a rail on the side of the stage.

We have a concert tonight, and I'm really looking forward to it. I've arranged to get off work early so I can be fully prepared to do my best. But essentially, when we're singing, I'm not young or old, feeble or strong, just a human connecting with music, my community, and my Lord.


If you're local, come on out. I know you'll love it.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Savannah Lacy - Part 2

The book I always recommend (and never shut up about) is Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, which is the same book that finally convinced me and gave me the courage to write Torn . The layers of that book were unending, and I remember that as I read a bit of the main character’s development, I thought, “I want to write like that.” The way Bardugo describes the setting was  immersive,
and I decided that I wanted to be able to do that, too.

Another book series I drew a lot of inspiration from is the Summoner trilogy by Taran Matharu. I’m still working on it, but I want to be able to add humor like his, and express that, even while my characters are committing crimes and going on a wild chase, they’re still just teenagers.

I got alot of ideas from Pinterest. In fact, that’s how I came up with all of my characters (so far) with the exception of two, Key, and Tarek. I’ve also still got dozens of backups saved on my phone. I took posts to get a visual of the characters, then typed out stories in notes on my phone.

Here’s a little bit of the first chapter of Torn :

He let death touch the man, let him feel it’s arms wrap him in a sheet of terror, numbing him. He knew his reputation would hurt if he allowed the man to die. Did he deserve to die? Ambrose hadn’t confirmed it, so he assumed that saving Kahn was his only option, though he knew that to be false. Ambrose could always refuse to heal his patients and claim they were beyond his aid. That was the only luxury he couldn’t afford, the son of the third flushest family in Kamen.

Ambrose swept over the last thirty minutes of the night. A man, likely in his early twenties stood in a market on the outskirts of Scosh. A crazed woman, appearing to be on the verge of starvation, begged Kahn to spare some food. Prices were high, and Kahn had a business to run, so he blatantly declined. The woman pleaded to no avail, and when he turned her away for the last time, she pulled a knife on him, took the home-grown fruit he was selling, and ran. The Vektor caught her within a couple of jagged sprints.

Kahn bled out, but to his good fortune, Ambrose left on an outing. Kahn agreed to pay him a hundred Fytle for his efforts. Ambrose couldn’t deny the greed of this man. Kahn would pay him so much more than the price of an apple to keep his life, yet wouldn’t
spare the apple itself so save the girl from starving.

Thanks for sharing with us, Savannah. Looking forward to seeing your book in print some day. Keep writing! 

Savannah's passion about Six of Crows led me to read it. It's definitely not my genre, but I found it compelling. I'm reading the sequel now, Crooked Kingdom.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Sofi's Bridge by Christine Lindsay



Book Blurb:

Seattle Debutant Sofi Andersson will do everything in her power to protect her sister who is suffering from shock over their father’s death. Charles, the family busy-body, threatens to lock Trina in a sanatorium—a whitewashed term for an insane asylum—so Sofi will rescue her little sister, even if it means running away to the Cascade Mountains with only the new gardener Neil Macpherson to protect them. But in a cabin high in the Cascades, Sofi begins to recognize that the handsome immigrant from Ireland harbors secrets of his own. Can she trust this man whose gentle manner brings such peace to her traumatized sister and such tumult to her own emotions? And can Neil, the gardener, continue to hide from Sofi that he is really Dr. Neil Galloway, a man wanted for murder by the British police? Only an act of faith and love will bridge the distance that separates lies from truth and safety.

Watch this short and vibrant trailer for Sofi’s Bridge   https://youtu.be/Y_istdNP8_Q

Get your Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google, Kobo digitial copy of Sofi’s Bridge here at this one stop https://www.bookbub.com/books/sofi-s-bridge-by-christine-lindsay 

FREE:  First chapter of Sofi’s Bridge   Click HERE


And also this Short Romantic Scene

“Sometimes I think it would be easier,” Sofi said, “if I didn’t feel the urge to use these natural abilities—I think God-given abilities—but to do the more expected tasks of a woman in my social position. Strangely, my father considered it more socially acceptable for my sister to enter yacht races than for me to consider a career.”
Sofi raised her gaze. “But what about you, Neil? With all this talk about life’s purposes and the toil of one’s brow, what are you doing with your life?” The sun nestled between two peaks as she tensed her weight against the sun-warmed granite.
Her natural perfume intoxicated him—not the overpowering colognes of society, but the scent of soap, apples she been paring earlier—stirring the desire to touch her cheek, her hands, her arms. What if he closed the gap between them? How would the softness of her cheek feel against the roughness of his? What would her lips taste like?
His breath quickened.
Sofi’s eyes widened.
He couldn’t tear his gaze from her softly parting mouth. A muscle tapped at the base of her throat.
Had one of them moved closer?
He pulled in a breath. When a man and a woman cared for each other, they should speak the truth. He wanted to tell her about the thrift clinic he’d partnered in for the poor back home. Tell her of the work he’d done in the hospital. If he shared his pride in those accomplishments, he knew her eyes would shine in understanding.
Aye, right, ye fool. Then tell her you left the clinic and your position in Belfast City Hospital, as well as all your patients, to run to Washington State to be a gardener. How could he possibly tell her about the night that stole his life from him, and all with one slash of a knife? He rubbed the pressure between his brows. “Time we were getting back to the cabin.”
“Right. Of course.” In a fluster, she smoothed her shirtwaist. Her eyes that moments ago were shining turned a dull slate. She set her profile to him. “Foolish for the two of us to stand here any longer.”

Drop by Christine Lindsay’s website to see all of her Multi-Award-Winning fiction http://www.christinelindsay.org/p/sofis-bridge.html


Author bio: Irish-born Christine Lindsay is the author of multi-award-winning Christian fiction and non-fiction. Readers describe her writing as gritty yet tender, realistic yet larger than life, with historical detail that collides into the heart of psychological and relationship drama. Christine's books have garnered the ACFW Genesis Award, The Grace Award, Canada’s The Word Guild Award (Twice), the READERS’ CHOICE AWARD, and was a finalist twice for Readers’ Favorite and the Selah Award.  






Friday, April 13, 2018

Guest Katie Clark



Hi Jody! Thank you so much for having me. I’m happy to be visiting with you today.

·         When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I wrote my first story when I was 7 years old. I can still remember what it was…and actually, there were two stories! One was about an angel, and one was about an animal doctor. When I became serious about writing I was, oh, around 18 or 19, I guess. And then, I got even more serious when I was 25 or 26!
·         How long does it take you to write a book?
It usually takes me a few months—2 or 3. That’s only the actual writing, though. I typically brainstorm and plot for several months before I ever start writing my first page! I’m a definite plotter, when it comes to writing (and OK, let me be honest, I’m a plotter when it comes to EVERYTHING. I really like lists 😊).
·         What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
When I’m writing, I want to only be writing. Period. It’s all I think about. Write, eat, sleep. Repeat. And usually, when I’m drafting, I even dream about my book when I’m sleeping. So I never really take a break!
·         What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Interesting? I’m not very sure there is anything interesting about me at all (I’m not being modest. I’m being absolutely serious). But if you are going to make me dig deep ( 😉 )…let’s see. Interesting writing quirk…I will say that I’m at my MOST inspired when I’m reading other books. When I go through a reading drought, I think I usually go through a writing block, too. I need to be surrounded by inspiration!

KATIE CLARK started reading fantastical stories in grade school and her love for books never died. Today she reads in all genres; her only requirement is an awesome story! She writes inspirational romance for adults as well as young adult speculative fiction, including her YA supernatural novel, Shadowed Eden, and The Enslaved Series. You can connect with her at her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.


The Refected Princess When Princess Roanna Hamilton’s parents arrange a marriage with a prince of Dawson’s Edge—the mysterious and backwards kingdom to the south—Roanna reluctantly agrees, accepting that peace must be put ahead of her lifelong relationship with Prince Benjamin of Lox.

But when Roanna is introduced to Dawson’s royal family, strange mind-bending anomalies are awakened within her, and she discovers the Dawsonian royal family holds secrets of their own. 

Roanna becomes locked in a battle between kingdoms. Rebels wish to eliminate people who possess powerful anomalies. With threats growing daily, Roanna comes to realize the danger she is in—not to mention how her own family, and Benjamin’s, would react if her anomaly was revealed.

Tensions rise when Lox is attacked. If Roanna is to save herself and her future, she must stall her marriage and squelch the growing rebellion—all while discovering how deeply her power runs. But will Prince Benjamin and her family accept her when the truth of her heritage is finally revealed?


Friday, April 6, 2018

Meet Savannah - Part 1

This is 16 year old Savannah Lacy. I have the privilege of tutoring her in writing. It's really one of my favorite hours of the week. Her enthusiasm makes me think of those lyrics "This girl is on fire!"  Savannah has won writing awards from the writer's group in her area, and has been featured in her local newspaper. We have the most fun and inspiring talks about all things writing and books. She's encouraged me to read books that I would never have picked up otherwise. Sometimes I think I'm learning more from her than the other way around. This is a name to watch in the future, so I thought I'd like to host an interview.


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I began writing in 2013, but I had no skill or clue where to go once I had an idea. I wrote a little bit anyway, but gave up on it a few months later. I really got my inspiration to write in the summer of 2015, after I started reading a lot more.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

 I write almost every day, usually starting at 8:00 p.m. and finishing at midnight, however, that's mostly when I write for fun. I write my current work-in-progress, Torn, in the morning from about 10:30-12:30, Sunday through Wednesday. That just seems to be when I get inspired for it.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I have different habits depending on what I'm writing. For example, when writing my work-in-progress, I procrastinate actually writing, but bottle up all my ideas, then write tons in a single setting. For my other story that I'm collaborating to write, I write it all down the moment I think of it, and come up with more possibilities in advance.

Tell us about your current work-in-progress.

I'm writing a book with "Torn" as the working title, about a 15 year-old named Ambrose Emmerick Braeden, who, years after discovering he's adopted, sets out to find his birth parents. The most convenient way to get to them is to join a team of Summoners like himself (people with special abilities of different varieties), who want to go looking for Relics that may not exist, but could enhance their powers. Ambrose discovers he has a younger brother, and to save his brother's life, he must continue on the journey for lost Relics.

Coming soon: Part 2 - Savannah will talk more about Torn, and about the books that she is inspired by and recommends in Young Adult Fantasy Fiction. 

If you'd like to say Hi to Savannah, or have a question, you can comment below. Thanks for stopping by!