Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Georgia On Her Mind - Four Stars!

Romantic Times BookClub Magazine gave "Georgia On Her Mind" a 4 star review. Four stars means compelling, page turner.

The complete review will be in the August edition.

AND, my copies of the book arrived today. Woo hoo!! I read parts of it. Not bad, not bad. ;)

Celebrating today. Now, back to my regularly scheduled writing.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Frog Appeal

Friday morning I sluff off to the bathroom at 5:15 a.m. to wash up and dress for a Spinning class. At the sink, I was my face, brush my teeth, put in my contacts.

I wiggle into my bike shorts and pull a pair of clean socks out of the laundry basket then turn around to find... what? A thin, wet, black blob on the counter top.

Leaning to look, I wonder for a split second... Did I miss? I mean, the toilet is a good three feet away, and a foot lower, but ... it is 5:15 a.m.

Naw, couldn't be, I didn't "sit" this morning.

The cat? No, he's too fat to jump up.

I tear off a wad of toilet paper to clean it up. Maybe it's a weird bug or something. I sniff. Ew, it's poo all right.

How'd it get there? And when?

I kiss Tony goodbye, mentioning to odd poo find, and fumble in the dark out to the kitchen.

After Spinning, I shower at the gym and go up to church for prayer. When I walk in, Tony gestures to me.

"Guess what I found this morning on the wall behind my dresser?"


"A big frog." He holds up his fist to indicate the size.

"Oh my gosh, you're kidding! One of the pool (er, water bowl) frogs. How'd it get inside?"

Tony shrugs. "Can you imagine if he'd jumped on you in the middle of the night when you went to the bathroom?"

A picture pops in my head, and I start laughing so hard, I have to bury my face in my jacket so as not to disturb prayer.

I can see it now, screaming and leaping, scaring the wits out of everyone. Jack and Pal probably getting into a fight.

Can you imagine? Tony put the frog outside, and told him to stay out. "We have a cat, you know." But I think the frog could've taken Red, I really do.

Diva NashVegas - Writing and rewriting away on Diva. God is good. Spent most of Friday and this morning reading Lost In NashVegas galleys. Good book.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Trust in God

The other night Tony and I met my good friends Colleen Coble and Diann Hunt at the Orlando airport, along with their wonderful husbands, Dave and Jim. We drove them to their hotel to begin their RV Book Tour, but first dined at Tony Romas. Yum.

During dinner, we got to talking about how each couple met, and I said, "Tony and I had a very weird beginning, too long to tell."

Colleen said, "Let's hear it." So, I gave the abbreviated version.

We met in the winter of '88, both of us 27. I was working for Harris, just launching my on-the-road career, and Tony was the Singles and Youth Pastor.

Between my travels, we finally went on a date in March of '88. I liked him well enough, but wasn't sure he was the one, until God told me. Now I ask, who wants to be the weird single girl who thinks God has told her the handsome single pastor is her husband?

Meanwhile, Tony felt the Lord telling him we were just going to be friends. Any initial attraction he felt toward me in the beginning was gone.

We survived an awkward first year, and talked about our relationship after my company Christmas dinner. I knew he just wanted to be friends, and we were on our way already to becoming best friends, but he didn't know exactly what God continued to speak to me for a year.

We sat in his old blue Oldsmobile until midnight talking. I confessed God told me we were going to get married. He didn't flinch, didn't freak, didn't run and hide under his bed. He trusted my relationship with God enough to know I'd hear Him when He wanted to correct me and tell me we were just to be friends.

Disclaimer: Please do not try this at home. Not recommended.

In fact, we both trusted each other to hear God. The fact we were hearing different things puzzled us.

For three years we were friends. We tried to date a few times, tried to break off our relationship all together, but always ended right back together being best friends. We ministered together, hung out almost every night at my apartment with my roommate(s).

Then another woman entered the picture and while Tony didn't go out with her, spending time with her was the catalyst for him to go to God with a serious intent: Is Rachel my wife? One of our good friends was praying for him and with him although I knew nothing of it.

God spoke to Tony. Rachel's the one. Great, he said. Still don't have the hots for her. Something most couples like to have when they get married.

The Lord is so gracious. He is truly in command of all things. Even our emotions. By now we were 31, and committed 3.5 years to our relationship. In the mean time, I'd fallen in love with him. My heart was layed open and bare, carefully entrusted to the Lord.

Tony told the Lord he'd marry me without the "feelings," but he thought it'd be better for me if he did. The Lord gave Tony a date in August. While he didn't know what the Lord was going to do on that day, he surmised it had something to do with me.

I threw a kink in the works by being out of town that weekend, driving home my Indiana and Kentucky vacation. But the next day...

The church was having a picnic and I stopped by on my way back into town to say Hi. Tony was carrying the trash to the bin and when he turned to wave hello, God opened up his eyes and his heart. All the feelings he needed to ask a woman to marry him slammed him.

Freaked me out. Who is the affectionate guy?

We were engaged two months later and got married the following March, four years and a day after our first date in '88.

Often I wonder why God took us on such a journey? To build a friendship and foundation? Yes. To teach me to be patient, to trust and wait on Him. To know His voice and be confident even when the circumstances don't line up. Most definitely yes. To completely trust my heart to Him. You tell me.

I'd hoped to never apply that lesson again in my life, but I realize I do every day. With writing, with Fire Dweller, with relationships.

The best part is knowing how intimately acquainted He is with all of our ways - even our emotions.

Grace and Peace.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Do not fear

This has been my verse lately. Isaiah 41:13.

"For I am the Lord your God who upholds your right hand.
Who says to you, "Do not fear, I will help you."

This is His promise to me for Diva NashVegas. I'm so very glad!!!


Isn't typing fun? I love to type. I don't think I'd be a writer today if it weren't for computers, and back spacing.

Although, true confession here, I was a terrible typist in college and (laugh) after I graduated I flew to NY City job hunting.

I stayed with my Uncle Phil and Aunt Carol. They had a beautiful home outside the city, New Rochelle. Those of you who watch the old Dick Van Dyke shows recognize that name.

Every day, I road the train into the city and wander the streets, looking for a job. Like it might just fall out of the sky and hit me on the head.

I applied at a publishing house and a PR firm. This was part of my application: typing test. Laugh out loud. I typed 40 words a minute with like 10 errors. Yeah, not quite what they were looking for. But I didn't want to type for someone else, I wanted to type for me.

Two words come to mind when I remember that week: tears and fun. I had a great time with my aunt and uncle, and my cousin, but what a horrible week career wise. I was so lost and desperate to find God's will for me. To get that big corporate job. This was the '80s and I was bamboozled by the Yuppy movement. That God, He delivered me.

NYC wasn't for me. Not God's will. But I had to walk through the NY wilderness to realize.

I went home to Tallahassee and got a part-time job at a TV station running the teleprompter and finally, wooo, being promoted to camera woman.

The hours were bad, the pay horrible, but I had decided this. I wouldn't go back to my old job at Publix. I'd worked there for 10 years, and been very, very blessed by them, I knew I couldn't go back to what I always knew. I couldn't choose the safe route.

And, if they hired me on full time, I couldn't look for another job. I'd more or less be saying, this is my chosen career.

So, I worked some stupid jobs before God opened the door to move to Melbourne and work for Harris.

Almost twenty years later, here I am. My decision to look forward, and not behind, propelled me into the calling God had for me. To meet and marry Tony, to fall in love with teens, to learn how to be a worship leader, to become a writer, to be a part of this city's spiritual destiny.

Press forward. Don't look behind. The High Calling is in front of us.


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Being an American

I was thinking on my way home from the gym (remind me to tell you about lady who came in 20 minutes late and wasted another 5 minutes mucking with the peddle strap. Just peddle. Your foot won't fall out. We're stationary.)

What was I saying... Oh yeah, on the way home I was thinking about being in Australia sixteen years ago. I flew Down Under twice, February and May.

I loved the people and the country, but the thing I loved the most was when people would say to me, "You're an American, aren't you?"

I felt honored and proud, even tall when I said, "Yes." It was like being the cool kid! The same was true when I went to Spain, Venezuela, Ireland, and Mexico.

The pride was not about arrogance, but about marveling that I was able to say I'm a citizen of the greatest nation on earth. Sorta like being a Roman in Rome's heyday. Or Greece when she ruled the earth.

After 16 short years would it be the same? What with the war and all, and so much anti-Americanism.

No matter, I love my country. Still a great nation.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

My live, is pretty much, boring

My life is pretty boring. I write, go to the gym, go to church, come home...

A life without chaos is a good life, though I can't blame drama on writing delays. I'm rarely if ever sick. Can't remember the last time I had a cold.

I want to write exciting, funny blogs, but all my creativity is eaten up writing novels. I'd post my political views if I wanted to be a lightning rod for controversy. I don't.

I'd post my of my spiritual insights, but I feel like I'm being preachy or holier-than-thou. So, there you have it, the blog dilemma.

In case you were wondering.

But here's the real questions. Will Tom Cruise really marry Katie Holmes?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Devoted to writing

These days are devoted to writing. Tony is gone, again, until Friday so I'm buckling down to write. I wrote 3,500 today.

Got started late because I had to go to the gym. Really, I had to, then run some errands for Tony. Then do some house cleaning. I don't want to think how long it's been since I mopped and vaccumed.

Tropical storm Alberto is dropping much needed rain on us.

Grace and peace.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Four Days Past

I can't believe it's been four days since I blogged! Yikes. I tried yesterday but Blogger was doing maintenence.

I'm writing as fast as I can on Diva Nashvegas. Getting a late start today, but I had a meeting and took a brief nap. It's awful to write when I'm sleepy, but I might be babying myself too much.

Here's a funny one for you. My publisher sent out an email inviting us to join in a conference call chat during the month of August to discuss Stephen King's book on writing. Great idea, I thought, so I signed up and ran out to buy the book.

Meanwhile, I'm listening to Dolly Parton's autobiography on tape, in my car, driving around. Dolly has this great voice with little Dolly Parton inflections and after a tape and a half, her voice resonnates in my head.

Well, I sit down to read some of the Stephen King book, written in first person, starting out autobiographically and don't you know, he sounds EXACTLY like Dolly Parton.

Stephen King and Dolly Parton - what a combo! I fell asleep reading and had a nightmare. Just kidding on the nightmare part.

Well, I'm half way through Diva and have more words to write than day left to perfect them, so I'm off to work.

Peace out.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Relaxing Day

Relaxing day watching movies: more research. Ray and Almost Famous. We had thunderstorms so it was a perfect lazy around, movie day.

Hung out with Jesus later, then did email and such.

Friday night Fire Dweller we did an unplugged set and it was really good. Of course, we didn't record any of the worship, but a lot of the antiphonal songs were awesome. Stories.

Tony is home from camp and doing well, thought he's really tired from camp stll. He looks cute with his tan and scraggly beard. Though, the camp t-shirt went straight in the trash. Neon green... literally hurts my eyes.

Pals ears are healed. And oh, this is funny. I was on the keyboard singing and worshipping, and Pal came in to join me. I'm singing Javi's song, "Lord, I want to love you more, than I ever have before..."

And Pal joins me. Ahooo, arrgh, arrgh, arrgh, ahooo. Too funny.

Grace and peace.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

This week so far

Writing, thinking, writing, thinking. Good chat Tuesday with my editor over some story points. I was going to run out of runway before the story was finished, so I wanted to delete some ideas. She agreed.

Had a lovely time Monday afternoon at the Sun Shoppe with Mark Mynheir and Davis Bunn. We talked about Davis' shark bit and healing process. He's doing well, praise the Lord, and of course, talked about writing.

Tony is at kid's camp so I've tried to be focsed, but I'm approaching this book with too much intimidation. I'm at peace, most of the time, but it's like I'm afraid I'm geting it all wrong. I'm trying not to compare myself to others who are doing so well, but just focus on my story and my writing.

I've done more research, too, on the record business which gives me ideas but not quite sure yet how to fold them in.

Perhaps you've heard me say how many balls are in the air while creating a story: characterization, timing, pacing, tension, conflict, dialog, theme, structure, style-voice, the writing itself.

"To backstory or not to backstory. To use speaker attributes or not to use speaker attributes. Those are two of the so many questions."

So, I just forget it all and press my fingers to the key and hope that somehow the emotion in my heart and the story in my head somehow makes it to the page.

Grace and peace.