Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I'm blessed by you all and want to wish you a very, merry Christmas. I've been slow on blogging this fall, but I'm a blogger at heart and will do better in the New Year.
When I submitted the rewrites Monday morning for the first book I'm doing with a country music artist, I literally had no energy, words or emotion left. That book took it all. But my editor and I are very pleased with it. She more than me, so I'm thrilled. A writer is too close to their work by the the final version.
Artist has been a gracious and fun partner.
As we end this year with uncertainty in our financial market, going into a New Year with a new president of whom who know so little, I'm comforted to know God is not surprised or caught off guard. He's well aware and even better, in control.
We cannot judge our future successes or opportunities by the world, but by Him. He can make a road way in the wilderness, a river in the desert. Keep your heart and mind on Him, and be comforted by His peace.
As people fear the world and it's economy, we have such a great opportunity to touch them with the Light within us, the hope we have in a living, loving Lord.
I recently had a non Christian reader tell me she felt such hope after reading "Love Starts With Elle." How great to spread the love and fragrance of Jesus across the country to a woman I've never met.
God has a plan and destiny for all of us. In Matthew 16, Jesus said to Peter, "I give you the keys to the Kingdom." Wow! Jesus HAS GIVEN us the keys to His Kingdom. He's given us His robes of righteousness. What are we doing in pauper clothes? Worry, doubt, fear, pain from the past, hopelessness.
Let's put on Jesus and His righteousness. He has such great love and desire for us, not only to fellowship face to face, but to walk out the destiny He's had in mind since the foundation of the world.
Think of when you held your first child. Didn't you dream? She's going to be a prima ballerina, or a prize winning scientist. Or, he's going to be the next Babe Ruth, or a best selling author.
Jesus has those same dreams and plans for us. Better yet, He is able to bring them about! I'm not talking about digging around our own souls and presenting to Him a product of our selfish ambition. I'm talking about standing before him, arms wide, head back, eyes closed, heart toward Him and saying, "You are so good, so good, I can trust you with my life and destiny. What do you have for me to do. I'll do it."
He'll hear you, answer and launch you on an amazing journey.
Don't be afraid of being hidden, or to be seated at a table in the back. Jesus cannot resist a humble, unoffended heart.
Let's commit to seek Him wholeheartedly in '09. Be unoffended by friends, family, church, government. But seek Him.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
It's not snowing outside, but I'm getting in the Christmas spirit. Of course, the last time it "snowed" in central Florida was '89 and I-75 turned into a parking lot.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
The Face by Angela Hunt.
Compelling characterization is the driving force behind this enthralling story of hope . . . Hunt (The Elevator) fuels the completely engrossing story with dual present-tense narration by the two women. Readers are drawn into their lives, sharing their joy and fear as they approach a fulfilling and surprising climax. A touch of suspense adds to the powerful themes of second chances and new beginnings. (Nov.) --Publishers Weekly
Publisher's Weekly Interview with Angela Hunt about THE FACE:
--Sarah Sims, the main character is a victim of Treacher-Collins syndrome, a rare disease that causes severe facial defects. Sarah literally has no discernible face. Her disease is a vehicle for plot development. Did you have any personal connection with this disease or specific reasons for highlighting it in your novel?
Last year I watched a special on the Discovery Channel about a real little girl born with Treacher-Collins. She's still preschool age, but I was so touched by her plight and all she has had to go through to have a functioning face. A novelist naturally asks, "What if?" and so I found myself wondering what might happen if someone like this young girl had the same condition . . . and the story bloomed in my head. I'm also fascinated by the power of beauty, so the story gave me an opportunity to juxtapose the two conditions--beauty and facelessness.
--Like your last novel, The Elevator, The Face is also written in alternating perspectives and in the present tense. Most novels use third person or an omniscient narrator, and this choice is definitely unconventional. How do you feel that adds to the story and/or the reader’s enjoyment of the book?
I like present tense because it adds an immediacy to the story--plus, unlike a past tense narrator who obviously survived to tell the tale, you're never quite sure if the present tense narrator is going to make it through. I struggled a long time with the question of protagonist--was it Sarah's story or Renee's? And then I realized the story belongs to both of them.
--The title, The Face, represents more than just what the main character lacks. Faces are revealed and discovered through the course of the story. Why the significance on faces?
Studies have shown that not only do our facial expressions reveal our emotions, but our emotions can be ignited by our facial expressions. In order to be fully human, Sarah not only had to learn how to communicate through a face, but to feel the emotions her face could convey. On a deeper level, her new face represents an emotional and spiritual rebirth. Because she receives a new face, she receives a new future and a new life.
--Because she has been isolated on an island all her life, and her contact with people has been extremely limited, Sarah has turned to old movies for her understanding of situations and emotions of the real world. Her idea of reality is based on things she has seen on the screen. Why movies and not books, or music?
I like movies, old or new. I knew Sarah would want to know about the world outside her cloistered life, and movies were the most direct way for her to visualize things she could never see. By watching films, Sarah thinks she knows the world. She doesn't realize that movies are only an imitation of life.
--There is a fair amount of research that went into this novel, from CIA protocol to extreme medical procedures, all of which seem a bit fantastic but are ultimately true. How important is it to blend fact into your fiction and what does that do for the overall quality of the story? Is research fun for you?
I cut my teeth writing nonfiction and I suffer from rabid curiosity so yes, research is fun for me. Why make something up if it really exists? So I do as much research as I can and travel whenever possible. I spent a week in the Amazon jungle to research one novel, and I visited the Spanish coast for The Face. When I saw an old monastery on an island off the coast of Spain, I knew I'd found the location for Sarah's fortress.
--What comes first for you, building the characters or building the story?
I work with four elements to build a story: plot concept, character, setting, and theme. The plot concept usually shows up first, then the other pieces either fall into line . . . . or I give them a shove.
Thanks Angie for stopping by! I pray great success for you and this book!
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
But we are there because of God speaking to Tony's heart.
The Beatitudes don't end with Matthew 5:12. Jesus continues to speak for another thirty-six verses. In fact, He explains them further and the opposite of living according to His words.
Jesus says this: "Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
This verse challenges me. Does it you? How do we let our light shine? Does it mean I always smile, never disagree, never share my struggles or successes?
Light exposes things, no? If the light of Jesus in me shines, does it not overcome darkness, or expose what's done in darkness.
Walk into a room and flip on a light. Everything his exposed. If the room is neat, we are happy. "How lovely." If the room is a mess, we moan, "Ew, this is a mess."
We've got to come to a place of maturity Church where we can say, "Hmm, this is a mess, let me help you."
Instead, we often feel bad for exposing sin, shut off the light and leave.
Jesus is saying, "Shine! So God can get the glory!" How does He get the glory? People's lives are changed by Him. They are saved and cleaned up, delivered.
Meanwhile, we should walk in a manner worthy of our Savior. Worthy of the Cross He bore for our sins and redemption.
I'm still trying to figure out how to let my light shine. I ask Jesus for understanding, for insight. I want to be a mature believer. I've been saved 41 years. It's time to grow up. ;)
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
"In this sequel to Let Them Eat Cake, Byrd again entertains with descriptions of delectable food and, this time, with exquisite details of France as well. Foodies will delight in this novel, and anyone who adores romance will warm to the story. It's easy to identify with Lexi's struggles in life, because they mirror so much of what everyone experiences, no matter what their age." Romantic Times Book Club Review
Lexi Stuart is risking it all. Saying au revoir to the security of home, her job, and could-be boyfriend Dan, Lexi embarks on a culinary adventure in France to fulfill her life dream of becoming a
As she settles into her new home in the village of Presque le Chateau to study and work in a local bakery, her optimism meets resistance in the seemingly crusty nature of the people and culture around her.
Determined to gain her footing, she finds a church, meets a new friend, and makes the acquaintance of a child named Celine–as well as Celine's attractive, widowed father, Philippe. As Lexi lives her dream, the only thing she has to do is choose from the array in life's patisser ie display window. Lexi discovers that as she leans more on God the choices become a little clearer– and making them, well, c'est la vie!
Bon Appétit is the sequel to this year's , Let Them Eat Cake.
Hungry? Enter to win a gourmet baking basket www.sandrabyrd.com
To purchase book, please visit Amazon.com