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A Vacation Misadventure

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In the story I am currently writing, I've got a pivotal scene while the characters are on a paddle boat. It brought to mind my own misadventure from my childhood regarding a paddle boat ride gone awry... 

     It all started at Homosassa Springs, Florida.  My family and I were on an extended weekend vacation with our family friends. During the day my sister Beth, and our friend Laurie and I would read our Nancy Drew mysteries as we sat by the pool and would make up “crimes” to solve to pass the time. On the third day over breakfast, they asked us if we wanted to drive over to a marina to rent some paddle boats. What I thought would be just a pleasant afternoon spent on the river turned into something much different. As we pulled into the parking lot Beth, Laurie and I commented to our parents about the island in the middle of the calm blue river. We asked the marina shop owner about the island and he told us there were monkeys that lived on it and that they used to be part of …

Books, wonderful, books

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Books, wonderful, books. My love for them began as I was a child and my mother or father would read Beatrix Potter, Dr. Seuss, and lots of Little Golden Books as well as Bible stories to me and my sister. It's blossomed from then on as my "to be read pile" amasses on my nightstand as evidence.

As a former elementary teacher, it was always a thrill to see what my students were reading. Library day was eagerly awaited as they would get to find a new book to read. The stories they'd share about reading it with a family member were priceless. I was privileged to work for some years with middle school special ed students, the school librarian would do story time with them and it was wonderful to see their eyes light up as she shared the stories. She even had books for their levels in a section of her library, this lady was a first-class gem.

Teaching in Vacation Bible School for some years as well as Sunday School, the biblical stories of Noah, David and Goliath and our …

Just, plain, words

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As I've been writing on my manuscript each word has become singularly more important. In the character world as in real life, words have the power to change the dynamics of a relationship. If used politely, to deepen the bond, if  negatively to shatter it. Writers can choose their words in order to paint a picture in the mind of a reader, letting them glimpse the beautiful city of Paris or feel the mood of a gloomy, dark alley.

This verse strikes me as appropriate for how the rhythm and flow of words affect us all:

"Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body." Proverbs 16:24

When we think of words, the photo above comes to mind as we use our phones to send messages to family and friends. Whether celebrating life's victories and one another's accomplishments or just to catch up. Words matter. On social media, we stay connected, even if far away from one another, through the power of words and pictures.

Actors use everyday, s…

Living with Noah's Ark

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My family and I love animals, we currently have one adorable mutt Thor, a precious cat named Sebastian and a former show bunny named Willow. (Please don't ask, my oldest daughter did FFA in high school, she's now away at college so mom and dad get to take care of her) This is the least amount of pets we've had over the years.

To add to the menagerie, our daughters had a pet frog named Sticky Fingers for ten years, he got lots of car rides on their Barbie cars, which he oddly seemed to like. The youngest worked part time for a veterinarians office during part of her college years and fell in love with guinea pigs. She brought two guinea pig girls home and one day showed up with another one, a boy. She took them all to the doctors to have them fixed. One morning, months later I went into her room and surprise! There were three little pigs next to their mom. Yikes! Thank goodness a co-worker took two for her kids when they were weaned and the others went to her friends.  

I…

Behind the scenes

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Trips to North Carolina dotted my childhood, the Smokey Mountains stirred something within both me and my family souls. Places like Linville Caverns where you could explore dimly lit caves with a guide, and see the unique formations created over time. The setting was something I'd imagine being straight out of a Mark Twain novel. Also the theme park Tweetsie Railroad, with it's gunslinger show. The local actors thrilled the steam train passengers with a wild west show and a later on, you could do a little panning in a mock gold town. My sister and I would eagerly dip our hands into the mud-reddened water to get an errant flake or two.

This love for the beautiful, rolling mountains of North Carolina led me to use it as a setting for a story I am currently writing. It's set in the Smokey Mountains in the fictional city of Briar Creek. The lead characters take their cue from my own life and my families. Job transitions, moves to a new state, testing of faith, they all come …

Peace in the midst of chaos

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As I sat in a traffic jam earlier today, my mind whirred with things I needed to accomplish this weekend before heading back to work on Monday. At the top of the list was writing, followed by laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, and other things needing to be accomplished before the alarm sounds early Monday morning.      

Sometimes, truthfully more often that not, we feel pressured to finish our self-created "to-do lists" in a certain amount of time. Almost a race against our 24 hour clock. As chaos can ensue in trying to squeeze every second out of the day, take hope in knowing that He is there.  Don't let all the busyness of life keep you away from your quiet time so you can rest and recharge. 

Isaiah 26:3 says-"You will will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you."

When things seem to be causing you stress, breathe, pray and remember He is there with you. Relax, rest, and be restored through Him.

Directionally Challenged

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My SUV which has carried me and my family on trips to the beach, mountains, and college visits has lost it's direction. The temperature and compass built into the mirror stands silent.You might think that it's not a problem. For me it is. I can proudly say I belong to the "turn right at the Star bank and then make an immediate left" kind of adventurer. My husband, bless his heart, has tried to get me on road trips to use the usual directions, north, south, etc. Let's just say there were some pregnant pauses in the car a few, ahem, times. Thank the Lord for GPS!

Back to my "lost" car, it's got too many years on it to think of fixing it, perhaps someday it will go to the great car lot in the sky. But for now, the old Tahoe's got to make it at least another 50 to 60 thousand miles. We've got two girls in college, heaven help us, please everyone pray for our sanity. Thank you.

As for needing a compass, thank goodness I've got my wonderful h…