Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Frost of a New Day

Good morning everyone.

As I sit here sipping my morning coffee and looking out the various windows around me a light chill sweeps through me.

No. Its not the temperature inside...a perfect 71.

Frost covers the roof-tops all around the lake so I know its a little nippy outside. According to my iPhone it's 37 degrees this morning. Those of us who have a place to call home, with a roof over our heads and warm covers to snuggle up in at night on our soft (or hard) beds, are so blessed. This is the time of year its roughest on people who have to live on the streets or in their vehicles. I'm not sure what made me think of this, this morning, because I try to stay positive and share all the blessings from God--which I know are many. But I think this morning God is telling me to remind all of us that we are blessed to be a blessing. So if you see someone not as blessed as you, or someone you can give a hand to, or money to, or a coat to, or whatever you can do, listen to the Spirit inside of you and do what He tells you to do. We are blessed to be a blessing. The great thing about that is when God opens a door for us to bless others, we are blessed again. What a loop to be in!!

Well this week our lives have been busy again, but this time its been with unpacking...getting our house in order, so the house can become our home. It's about to come to completion. We have one more room (my soon to be workout room) with boxes of stuff (I don't know what all could be in those boxes) to unpack. We'll take care of that, one box at a time.

Yesterday I got my new office in order...well almost. I've unpacked all but about 5 of the boxes, ordered a new desk, and organized the room. The desk will be in tomorrow and then I'll be able to finish it. I've been writing at the dinning room table or the coffee table which is wonderful...Thank God for my lap top. When my office is complete I'll enjoy paying bills (sort of) and writing in there. My desk will allow me to enjoy the view outside of two windows while I write or whatever I deem important at the time. Those windows I do not plan on putting up coverings or window dressings. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Any suggestions? Feel free to share. Maybe I'll go with some sheer type of covering so I can continue to enjoy outside. Of course, right now the whole house has NO WINDOW dressings. It makes my husband and I think twice about how we are dressed before walking around the house. But the window coverings have been ordered and bought so by this time next week I believe my windows will be dressed as well. :-)

I'm going to be adding pictures today...if I can figure this out. I've taken several with my iPhone and downloaded them on my laptop, but now I have to figure out how to get to them so I can post them on this blog.

I do believe I am getting the knack of this. I'm only putting two of the many pictures I have taken, but this will give you an idea of our new home and the bountiful blessings we are receiving. I noticed in all the pictures, I forgot to take one of the front view of the house and the ones I've taken of the lake don't do it justice. 

This morning a gaggle of geese or ducks or whatever they were, instead of flying past, they dipped down and played in the water for awhile. I guess what is cold for us isn't as cold for them. There were 17 altogether. Not sure how many are in a gaggle, but these birds usually fly over in the mornings in a V form. Until today, they've never stopped to my knowledge. It's really cool watching them play. 

There is another big bird, a tall brown one, we've named him/her Tutu. He comes and pulls a fish out for breakfast and then takes his time eating it. Our cat, Kali, would give anything to get out there and mess with the big thing...or at least she acts like she would. So tough behind the glass watching at a distance, but we always say she portrays the true meaning of scaredy cat. A slight unexpected movement in the house (like the dropping of ice by the ice maker) and she runs for her life. BIG SCAREDY CAT. We enjoy her immensely.

As you could see in the first picture, our tree is up. No bulbs on it yet, just lights, but I've started wrapping presents. With the blessings we've been given, it is so great to give to others. Don't get me wrong. It's always great to give to others...but after all we've received it's a huge blessing to be giving to others. Isn't that what Christmas is all about? Giving? He gave us the greatest gift of all...His Son. Now we celebrate every year by giving to others. I hope y'all have a very blessed Christmas this year!!

BTW (text talk for by-the-way), as busy as we've been these past few weeks, it has caught up with Scott. Even though everyone tells him not to do anything, he can't just sit and watch others do it for him, so of course he has helped as much as his lungs would allow. Apparently he helped a little too much and he has been very run down this week. A cold set in several days ago. In fact on Thanksgiving night he had 99.7 fever. That's not much to most, but a lung cancer survivor who's immune system isn't as strong as it used to be and lungs damaged more than a little, colds can turn into pneumonia quickly. If his fever gets to 100.5 we are to go straight to the hospital. But thank you, Lord, his temperature never got higher. Of course from that day forward Scott rested and stayed inside taking better care of himself and hoping to get better. Finally Monday we got a hold of his doctor and she ordered him medicine. Now he is taking it and in a few days we hope he will be shaking this cold that is trying to keep him down. Keep him in your prayers. Thanks!! :-)

One more thing before we move on to the tip for the week, I found out, even though very few people have clicked to follow me, my blogs are being read all the way over in England. 

Hello Janet! Nice to have you reading my pages. I hope you enjoy and continue to stay with us. We love having you. I love having you connected. 

Everyone, feel free to become a follower by clicking on "follow" or by just continuing to read weekly. Feel free to comment on the blog comment part itself, or keep doing as you have by sending emails and notes behind the scene. But I'd love to have your comments where all can see and maybe we all start feeling connected.

So enough chit-chat from me on day-to-day living!! 

Writing tip of the week:

Known authors who sell millions of books don't have to worry about hooking you on the first page, but newer authors and want-to-be-soon published authors have to stick to the beginning to get that hook line in there. My suggestion to you is look back at some of your favorite books. Read the first line, the first paragraph and see what hooked you. This was something drummed into my head at the various conferences I've attended over the years.

Looking back at my 4 published novels in the order of release, I believe my first paragraph did what I tried to accomplish. Hook the reader by making him/her ask them self questions. Let's see.

Grace, a Gift of Love -- 
Finally she was there. Was Dena Lewis crazy for coming to a place she didn't know? She had to least a little bit, she told herself. 

All in God's Time --
With elbows resting on her desktop, Meagan rubbed her hands together as she released a long sigh. "I have to do it," she said aloud, "one more time."

Be Not Afraid --
A scream pierced the darkness outside the office. Samantha Cain's head popped up as she glared out the big window. She froze. Her heart pounded as an icy chill slid slowly down her back.

Passion from the Heart --
"Over my dead body!" A deep harsh voice cut through the air like a knife.

Hopefully with the first paragraph of each of my books, the reader asked him or her self questions. In the first novel, Grace, a Gift of Love, where was this girl Dena? And why would she have to be crazy to be there? Hopefully those 2 questions made the reader want to read more. In the second novel, All in God's Time, the reader could see Meagan was pushing herself to do something, but what? And why was she sounding so low? What was going on in her life? The third book, Be Not Afraid, by the first sentence the reader knew something bad had just happened. And reading the 1st paragraph the reader knew fear had hit Samantha Cain full force. Where was she? Who screamed? What is going on? Why doesn't she get out of there quickly? In Passion from the Heart, the 4th book, I was hoping the 1st line grabbed peoples attention. Over my dead body...oh. What was this all about? And the voice -- deep, harsh...cutting like a knife. Who was this person speaking too? Why are they being threatened?

Again, check out some of your favorites, and then reread what you're writing. See if you grab the readers attention in the first paragraph. Remember, there are help books in the library that tell you about hooking your reader. I hope my little tip today has you thinking about your latest manuscript. Get fired up and go see what you can do to turn it up a notch. Keep up the good work. Keep on writing.

And keep on reading my blog. When you're finished go to my web-site and read the first chapter of any of my books you've missed. Maybe that will entice you to go to and order one you don't have. Remember Be Not Afraid is the first in the Samantha Cain series and book 2 will be coming out in the middle of 2012...Testimony of Innocence. I hope you find you'll want to stay with me through the entire series. Tell a friend, tell a neighbor, tell a loved one. Thanks for being my friend. 

Take care and God bless you. He wants to, you know. 

Like it says in John 10:10 The thief comes but to steal, kill, and destroy. I come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.

Talk to you next week!


  1. Your house looks gorgeous! But I simply can't believe you found the time, energy or desire to put up your tree already. Wow, you must love xmas as much as I do!! I just love the beautiful lights, the xmas smells, the music, the spirit. I just have to have those things to get into the mood. Anyway, glad to see you are making headway in the unpacking! Hope your hubby didn't end up suffering for working too hard!

    Your tip about making sure you grab the reader with the first paragraph is so true. I'm one of those that won't buy the book if the beginning doesnt grab me in. I'm a very slow reader and the book has to keep my attention or I will put it down and move to the next. I always, ALWAYS try to have a great beginning paragraph even though I only write children's picture books. So I believe your tip is a great refresher and all writers need to remember it!

  2. Thanks Allyn for your encouragement on my writing tip. If you can think of anything I could talk about to help new authors let me know. BTW I hope you won that contest. Your story on the Squashed Pumpkin was adorable. I love the way you write.

  3. What a delightful read. I could just imagine myself at your home...looking out your window. Love the geese and the big bird story especially. Poor Kali, what a tease for her..but what entertainment for ya'll. :)

    Love you!