Sunday, December 4, 2011

I dreamed last night that I escaped into the heating and air duct of a large building to get away from an exploding room. Why you ask was the room exploding? Because two security bad guys  threw bombs into the room then locked me in to protect the secrets I had just uncovered in said room.

It's a good thing it was a dream. I mean, first, I doubt there would have been enough time to even get the panel off of the duct before the explosion. Second, what if in real life the panel was like the ones in my apartment? About the size of a piece of paper from a legal pad. Third, would that even work? I mean, would the explosion stay in the room or would it follow a person into the duct? Also, I'm a big girl. I've really put on the poundage since my youngest child was born 6 years ago. I would have gotten stuck in there like those idiots who try to climb down chimneys either because they want to rob the place or they forgot their house key. Yes, I actually read recently where some man forgot his house key and tried to get into his house by climbing down his chimney. He got stuck and had to be rescued.

I guess it's a good thing you don't have to do research for a dream. You just take them as they are. For instance, I came out of the ducts right into a huge family reunion. I got caught between two relatives who don't get along. I was terrified there would be a fight and was praying they would be civil.

Yes, boys and girls, I can handle homicidal security guards, lethal explosions, and confined places. However, the very thought of fighting relatives fills my heart with fear and dread.

Don' you wish your dreams were as exciting as mine? My real life adventure last night wasn't nearly so novel. It consisted of discussing which brand of toilet paper was best with an employee at Wal-Mart. I told her my husband likes Scott best. It's just soft enough and lasts longer than any other brand we've tried. Right now it is in sale, so it's also the cheapest. It's on "roll back."

Yes, my life is exciting.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Crazy People and Kids Who Live With Them

He had a Kool-Aid stain on his T-shirt. That's the second thing I noticed about the guy who rang my doorbell last night looking for his grandchildren. The first thing that registered with me was intelligent blue eyes and neat gray hair. I think that is why my eyes kept being drawn to the Kool-Aid stain. His attire of stained tee and checkered shorts didn't seem to line up with his articulate and charming manner.

He thanked us for keeping his two small grandchildren last evening after their mother was taken away in an ambulance. We were happy to help. Michael (the 4 yr old who I had mistakenly called Matthew for a good hour when I first met him) kept saying, "My Mama is gonna be just fine. She's gonna be just fine." His sister, tiny and beautiful 6 yr old Amber, was a bit harder to understand. She has a speech impediment, so I called her Emma for the first hour. I have no excuse beyond my own hearing for calling Michael by the wrong name.

I felt so badly for the babies.

I had went to play rehearsal at church yesterday afternoon. I wanted to stay for service, but Shawn has been hurting worse than usual lately. I knew that if I had taken the kids with me to rehearsal and stayed for church, he would have tagged along no matter how badly he was hurting. So, I had left the kids with him during rehearsal and decided not to attend the service. I know I seriously missed out on a good one, too.

On my way home I saw a Mustang in the ditch on the side of the road. The emergency lights were blinking, and I noticed three people walking up the road. It was a family. Mom, Dad, and 5 yr old boy. They were trying to walk to the nearest gas station...which seemed to me to be a long ways away. I picked them up and drove them. Now, normally I don't pick up strangers. I would dare say that I would not have picked them up if they had not had the little boy with them. It's not that I don't care, but we live in dangerous times. I knew I was taking a chance even with them having a kid. However, I felt that giving them a ride was the right thing to do. I would sure want someone to help me, and indeed there have been times when strangers went out of their way to give me a hand.

So, I get home, and my husband meets me at the van. He tells me that our neighbor across the way has collapsed. Her direct neighbor, an Arkansas Highway Patrol Officer, is with her. He is keeping an eye on her until the ambulance gets there. Her children are running around the court yard. The 4 yr old boy, who I later learn is Michael, has on wet shorts. I have to run to get him out of the street once and then continue to keep telling him not to go to the parking lot. The little girl, Amber, is running and playing. Their mom is propped up against the wall just inside her front door.

I go over and let her know who I am and ask if she needs anything. I let the our Patrol Officer neighbor know that if he needs me for anything to just let me know. I have to get in my own home to get dinner going. I found out that she called her boyfriend (not the kid's dad and not her husband...just some guy she lives with) to let him know what happened. Only, this guy is not leaving work. He has no intentions of coming home. The EMT's get there and decide she needs to go to the hospital. We still don't know what is going on. Is it diabetes? Is it anything to do with blood sugar? Who knows? They wheel her out and ask if I would care for the children because there is no one to leave them with.

I say yes. Sure. Anything to help. I bring them inside after I watch the officer close up the lady's apartment. The first thing I do is find some of Ben's old clothes to change the wet boy. I take his soiled clothes (no underwear by the way, just a pair of shorts) and put them in a plastic bag. I get him some clean undies and a pair of jeans that fit him perfectly. Only, now my kid's bathroom is stinking something fierce. The poor little guy has on no socks. His feet are black and smelly from sweating in shoes with no socks. I don't understand parents who let their kids run around like that.

After I got him taken care of, I looked out and noticed their front door was open. Now I saw the officer close it up, so I was wondering who was over there. My husband was gone to the store to get some butter, so I called my older girl (9 yr old, Riley) to keep an eye on the kids for a minute and stay out of the kitchen. I  jogged over to their apt. just as the lady's boyfriend came out the door. Come to find out, my husband had went to the guy's job and told him there was an ambulance at his house. There were two little kids with no care giver there for them, and he was going to man up and take care of his responsibilities. He told the guy he was coming home. Period.

Well, the guy gave me some song and dance about how they weren't his kids. How he had a huge fight with the lady that day and she had beat him up. How he had tried to get her to eat all day and she refused. He said he was so upset he walked to work, and he got threatened that he might get fired for being late. Now that he had to leave work to deal with this, he just knew she was going to get him fired. I got the feeling he was never even going to let me know he was there. I think he was going to just go back to work and not even look for those babies. I could be wrong, but that is the feeling I got.

He was saying he was going to have to take the kids to work with him. The guy works at our town McDonald's. How did he think he was going to work around grease and fryers with little kids in tow? Stupid. I decided to keep them home with me. Around this time, Shawn got back. When he found out I was going to watch them he got annoyed. He was not upset we were keeping the kids. He was angry this guy was shirking his duties. I told him I didn't trust the guy to care for them.

On a side note, I HATE the McDonald's here in my town. It is filthy. It has horrible service. My kids saw a lady go to the restroom and then go back to work without washing her hands. That was the LAST time we were customers there. Then last night when my husband went and told this guy there was an emergency some other manager or supervisor up there was in the background smarting off how she was leaving at 8 pm and he better not leave...blah, blah, blah. What a piece of work. Such a lowlife. I am not a fan of that place.
I will say this also. If that guy gets fired, it won't be because he was late once or had an emergency and had to leave work. Life doesn't generally work like that. I am sure if they are so quick to threaten firing, it will be after lots of experience of bad work from this guy.

The funny thing is that this guy is twice my husband's size, but my husband brought his butt home. Of course the guy left again, but he told me he would get a hold of the woman's parents to come get the kids.

So, there were were. We fed all the kids dinner and put in a video for them to watch. It was playing in the background while all the kids played with toys. These two children were no trouble at all. They were well-behaved. They were polite. Sweet. I sure felt badly that they had to go through this. Not just being worried about their mom. The fact that these "adults" had had a physical fight in front of them earlier in the day. The fact that this guy was so stupid and uncaring that he couldn't be bothered to leave his stupid job to come care for them. The fact that neither had any problem leaving the most precious things in their pathetic lives to complete strangers.

I talked to Shawn and told him I felt like we needed to notify authorities. I think that someone needs to know what went on. I am not convinced that this lady didn't do the whole thing on purpose to get attention. If she has blood sugar issues, it is her own fault she refused to eat (according to the bf). And I tend to think it was partly as "woe is me" scenario.

Shawn had just dialed his Dad's number (who is a foster parent here in Arkansas) to ask who we should call, when our doorbell rang. I opened the door to find a charming older gentleman who was looking for his grandchildren. We spoke for a little bit. He said he thinks they will be able to bring their daughter home. I still don't know what was wrong with her. He told us that the kids have been through a lot. The little girl had come home from a visit with their father with a big bruise on her face. He piped up and told me she got to have an x-ray. This sweetie pie is 6 years old, but she is tiny. Everything about her is tiny. The thought of someone hitting her little face is just horrible. He told us that Child Protective Services are already investigating the father over suspected abuse.

Now, I am wondering if they will also investigate the mother and the arrangements there. I sure hope so. I am very concerned for them. Please keep these kids in your prayers. If they have a good mom, and the bf is full of it, I hope that comes out. But if they are no better off with her than with their dad, I pray they get put with people who will care for them and love them. We are not going to just forget and ignore. I believe that someone should look into that situation.

Meeting the Grandfather made us feel a little bit better, but still, something odd is going on. Of course, we would not want to say awful things about people with no proof. We would not want to assume the worst, but I think we saw a lot of red flags. I believe abusive people are like cock roaches. If you see one or two roaches, you can bet thousands more scurry for cover when the lights come on and hide in the walls out of sight. If people will show you dirty laundry like we saw last night, can we be sure they are being honest and that they are telling everything? Do we want to take that chance? If they will show that much (and that is plenty of cause for concern), how much more are they hiding?

There are way too many creeps calling themselves Mommy and Daddy in this world.

Friday, September 30, 2011

One More Thing That Will Keep Me From Writing...If I Let It!

So. I had never heard of Spotify before I happened to see a post on facebook about it. Now, I admit that I have been known to spend too much time on However, it wasn't a constant thing. Well...I am now officially hooked on Spotify. I've made half a dozen playlists in the last day. It is so user-friendly and seems to have...well, any track you could possibly want to hear!!

 Who knew that Scott Grimes was such a great singer?? Do you remember him? Cute red-headed child actor from the 80's? He's awesome. I love his song Livin' On The Run. And Hide is great too. I am seriously digging this guy. He has a sort of Bryan Adams meets Rick Springfield kind of sound. Love him.

Well, as great as Spotify is...and it is...I see how it can be yet one more time-sucker. I already spend too much time on Facebook and blogger. Although, my time here is not as much writing my own blog as reading other blogs. I don't know what I am so afraid of. It's getting to the point that a blank screen or sheet of paper just terrifies me. And so one more day passes without writing a word.

I know one thing is for sure. If I don't put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard with focus every day, I am an idiot and a loser. Christmas is coming. Ereaders are now under a hundred bucks. It is time!! If ever there was a time to get all the stories and people and visions in my head into book and short stories, it is NOW! I have so many people with all of their baggage and challenges wandering around in my head, it is almost as though I have this whole alternate family up there in my brain. And just like my flesh and blood family, it takes all kinds. They are all different and quirky in their own ways. I have the overachievers and the slackers. I have the heroes and the villains. I think we all have the potential to be any of them depending not only on our own choices but also on the cards that life deals us.

I just want to make sense of them. I want to paint them with truth and boldness. I want to make you see them...really know them. Maybe that is what is so scary. I am afraid that I won't do them justice.

I must fish or cut bait. I will definitely have my Spotify playlists on while I type. I can't think of a better way to daydream than to music.

Seriously, I am loving me some Scott Grimes!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Exhausted and Hoping

I started a new job about a week ago. On one hand, I am excited and grateful. My family needs that extra money. It just is what it is. I am like everyone else just trying to make a way for me and my family. On the other hand, it's a big adjustment. I have to get up between 5 and 5:30 in the morning. I am seriously not used to that. I have to focus on my work and pretty much nothing else for 8 hours a day. That's hard. But you do what you have to do. I like the job. It's not glamorous, but it is a good fit for my skill set.

I am learning how to manage my time better. There is so much I want to do that I don't know how to make time for. I still want to write. I still want to learn more about the Bible and how to study it. I have thought long and hard about taking some Bible school classes. No time for that now. I don't know how or if I will find time to write. I want to lose 60 lbs. I need to make time to exercise. I just don't know how I will fit any of that in. I just stay tired.

I do have something I think will be a lot of fun coming up. I am going to be a part of my church's Christmas production this year. I am looking forward to that. I am glad to have something I can look forward to.

I pray my husband's doctor will get his pain under control. It is wicked and destructive to his life and our whole family. It's rough.

But I know this. I know God has us firmly in His hands. He has ordered our steps and He is good and faithful!!! So, life is pretty good all in all. It's got its trials and its difficulties, but that is all part of being human.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mid-Summer News

This summer is flying by. June was fun and busy, but July has  been boring. It's been too hot to do much of anything, and we have been too broke to go hunting for fun activities. The kids are pretty good about not whining too much. Summer is not over. There is plenty of time to find some fun and educational adventures to get caught up in.

Today is Ben's birthday. He turns 6. He is my baby. My daughter, Riley, had her birthday in May, and Shelby celebrated her 7th birthday in June. We have one more birthday to celebrate this summer. Our oldest girl, Grace, turns 15 in August. There is a lot to celebrate in the summer time. I am just grateful that Ben got to celebrate his big day at home and not in the hospital.

Yesterday we were out running errands in Searcy (Arkansas) when Riley started whining that she had to use the restroom. Ben was heading into the men's room when he slipped in a puddle of water in the hallway of the restaurant where we had stopped to let them go. Man! That kid's feet went over his head, and he knocked his head on the tile floor...HARD! He started screaming and crying. He had a huge goose egg on the back of his head. I felt better about that, because I had heard before that if there is swelling on the outside of the head it means there is probably no swelling on the inside of the head. Good news, right?

I told him to look at me so I could take a gander at his pupils. It really seemed like one of his pupils was reacting faster than the other one. That startled me. We jumped back in the van and ran to the closest medical facility. It was an urgent care center close to the restaurant. I thought the place was to be used as overflow or an alternative to the emergency room. They refused to see him. For one thing my husband was not with us, and he had the his social security card in his wallet. For another thing they called his primary care doctor, and they told us to bring him over there. My husband, Shawn, was at an appointment. We were supposed to pick him up, so I had to interrupt his appointment to tell him Ben had an accident.

At this point Ben is just not acting like himself. He is crying that his head hurts and just acting lethargic. We get to his Dr's office, and are made to wait. And wait. The whole time I am thinking that if there really is something serious with his head, they sure don't seem to care. They finally take us back only to make us wait some more. Ben just leaning against me telling me he is tired and that his stomach hurts. The Dr comes in and looks him over. He seems pretty concerned. He said Ben really whacked his head hard and he thinks he needs a CT scan. He said the last time it happened the kid had fractured his skull. Not exactly a comforting thought.

They told us to take Ben to the hospital a couple of blocks over and go through admissions. They said they would be expecting us. Shawn doesn't handle this kind of thing very well. At this point he is being very vocal to pretty much everyone that he is angry we are waiting and no one is making sure Ben is alright. I am going back and forth between thinking he is fine because his eyes actually look normal now and he has not passed out or anything close and being afraid because he is acting so sleepy and keeps complaining he feels sick. I am not a doctor. I don't know how much is normal and what we should be concerned about. No one is telling us anything because no one seems to care enough to actually look at him.

We waited quite awhile before they took us to admissions. They had not received the orders for the CT scan. They called while I was there and was told they were faxed over. They told the clinic to fax them again. The whole time my son is laying in my lap like he can't sit up straight. He tells us he is going to throw up. So the admissions clerk hands me a trash can, and my son starts vomiting into it. So, he is crying and puking and scaring the snot out of me, and the admissions clerk only cares if our phone number is correct in the system.Shawn and I both wanted to scream at someone. We didn't. We were polite, but we were being treated like we were just stupid.

Finally, they took us up to X-ray for the CT scan. Still no orders. We were told to sit and wait. We kept having to wake Ben as he kept dozing off. He did not throw up again. Thank God. Finally, the orders came in and they took him back for his first ever CT scan. I am 38, and although I have had an MRI on my brain, I have never had a CT scan. He was a trooper. We waited a little bit longer for the results. The nurse (I guess she was a nurse. I am not sure) came back and told us that his results were fine and we could go home. We were relieved, but still didn't understand why Ben was acting so strangely.

Let me tell you, the exact minute that nurse told us he was alright, Ben perked up and started acting like himself again. It was startling and downright embarrassing. I discovered something about my son that I did not know before. He is very much like his maternal Grandmother. He is astonishingly like my mother. The moment he thinks he might be hurt he goes into stress and fear mode. He starts exhibiting the symptoms...until a Dr. tells him he is alright. Then all stress and anxiety leaves and so do the symptoms. In short, I think my boy is a bit of a hypochondriac. I think he is vulnerable to suggestion. The fact that Shawn and I were concerned about him being sleepy made him more sleepy. The fact that we asked if he felt queasy...he started feeling queasy just from asking him once...until he made himself ill.

We are just grateful he is alright. The goose egg went down over night, and he is very much himself today. In fact, he just came in the room to ask me when I was going to start on his birthday cheesecake. He wants cheesecake instead of chocolate cake. He also requested rainbow sherbet instead of ice cream this year. He sure is a great boy, and we are so humbled and grateful to be assigned as his parents. We learned not to ask him leading questions when he is hurt because he will take on the symptoms. Oops.

Here is just a funny side note. On the way to Searcy yesterday I was teasing with Ben. I told him, "You sure are a handsome fellow. I feel sorry for all those teen girls when you get to be a teenager, because they are all going to want to date you because you are sooooo handsome." I was playing around with my boy. Well, without missing a beat, he replies, "I know it. Even my dentist in Cabot is already in love with me. She tells me all the time." Well, now. Maybe I should scale back the teasing. Don't want some guy with the big head walking around the house. ;-)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Amazon is a trip!

Well, I noticed on Smashwords that my short story, Shattering Inside, was sampled often, but no one was buying. I had sold a few on Kindle (a few in the US and a few in the UK), but neither of my stories is doing great. I decided to just make the Shattering story free. I kept The Prisoner at $.99. I set it to free on Smashwords and Kindle followed suit. I was actually considering taking Shattering Inside down completely. I am still considering changing The Prisoner's title and cover art (and the description), and I am also considering another revision. We'll see.

Well, the other day I had a lady at church come up to me out of the blue and tell me that she had gotten both stories and really enjoyed them. I appreciated that. The way I figure it, if she had really hated the stories she would have just kept the news to herself. You know, she didn't have to go out of her way to tell me she had bought the stories and liked them both. So, I thought I might keep them up awhile longer.

Then something interesting happened. I checked my stats and Shattering Inside had been downloaded over 800 times in a day. As of this afternoon it has been downloaded over 2000 times. It was ranked at #130 in the entire Free Kindle Store last Thursday (that ranking has dropped off a lot since), and even today it was still ranked at #9 in the Kindle Short Fiction category.  It got up to #13 in the Kindle Contemporary Fiction category.  Someone also reviewed the story. The person gave the story 4 stars and wrote a nice review. They pointed out some issues with the story that I totally agree with. Maybe I should rewrite that one too. Not sure.

Anyway, I thought that was interesting. I was selling one here and two there before. Now it is free and the numbers are climbing. I would love to actually make a living with my writing. But I must admit it still feels kind of nice that people are reading my work and enjoying it.

But the question begs an answer: Can you have a "bestseller" if the product is free?? As of right now, I am ranked #9 in the Kindle Bestseller Short Fiction category. For free ebooks. And overall, I still think that is pretty cool.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

New Cover

Well, I will be publishing my story "Swagger" on Kindle and Smashwords next month. I am thinking of using this for my cover. What do you think?

Swagger tells the tale of a young man who hitches a ride with a group of college students and leaves 4 corpses behind him just a couple of hours later. The next morning he hitches a ride with a couple on vacation in an RV.

I hope you enjoy the cover and the story.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I Love CurrClick!!

Wow. As a homeschooling parent there is a constant fear that I am not doing enough or that my kids could fall behind. It's a huge responsibility to take on. It is up to me and my husband to make sure that our children are well-rounded and educated people. It is up to us to make sure that they are ready for college when the time comes.

Well, since we began the homeschool journey, we have come across hundreds of sites dedicated to helping the homeschool family. It's amazing. I am thinking about compiling a list of the ones that I like the best and then featuring one each week here on my blog.

Today I want to focus on I am SUPER impressed with this website. They offer a gigantic inventory of curriculum. Guys, this site is not just for homeschoolers. This site is for anyone who wants to enhance their child's education. There are lots of fun stuff on this page. I have to laugh at myself sometimes because I get excited when I find something really cool.

To top it off, a lot of the curriculum is FREE!!! That's right. I didn't make a typo...I said FREE! And it is not junk either. It's GREAT STUFF!!!!

Out of all the educational sites that I have found thus far, I would dare say that I use Currclick more than any other. If you are not using this amazing resource, you are missing out. Just saying.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

I Am Officially an Author on Kindle

Well, it's time to set out on a new adventure. I am nervous, but I feel the time to put up or shut up has arrived. I have uploaded a short story on both Kindle and Smashwords. It will NOT be my last.  I am starting with short stories so that I can have a presence in the ebook world while I work on a novel to put up. I would be fibbing if I said I wasn't nervous. I am. There is nothing I have wanted more in my life than to write and have people read what I've written. I don't pretend to write great literature that will change the world. I just want to write something that can help the average person focus on something other than the leaky sink in the kitchen or whether their children will need braces. I aim for fun and maybe some adventure. I do admit to throwing some drama into the mix on occasion...okay, I use drama almost as heavily as I use spices in my chili. I am who I am after all.

The Prisoner tells the story of Ellen Foley. Ellen has given up on life. She is severely depressed. She hasn't left her home in months. One morning Ellen decides enough is enough and plans to end her own life. However, an escaped convict name Sonny D breaks into her home, and she must decide if she really wants to die or if life is worth trying for.

You can find The Prisoner on both Kindle and Smashwords. Please go to

Get your copy as soon as it goes live!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Freaks On The Roads

They is some freaks out on the roads, y'all!!!

Seriously, I took my daughter to her Dad today for his weekend visit, and once again I see how many horribly bad drivers there are out there. Today is a beautiful Saturday, and we all know the crazies come out of the woodwork on pretty days. There was this one guy in a white van that had me praying for safety...for me and my kid as well as everyone else on the road...including his stupid self. This guy was straddling the center line. He would weave over to the right lane and then drift back into the left lane. Then he would just drive for awhile right down the center.

Finally, he got over and I was able to pass him. I tried to get around him quickly because I knew he would just drift back over anytime. As I passed him I took a good look. The dude's just chillin'. He's got one hand on the wheel and his left arm is resting next to the window. He doesn't look like he has a care in the world. Also, keep in mind that he is doing between 60 and 65 mph on the freeway. The speed limit is 70 and most on the road are doing 10 or 20 over that.

He had gotten into the right-hand lane right behind a truck pulling an empty trailer. As soon as I was almost parallel to the trailer, this cat veers back into my lane. At this point he is right on my tail. I thought he was going to clip me for a moment. I sped up and he slowed down. Way down. I looked back every few seconds in my rear view mirror and he was getting further and further behind me...still straddling the center line or drifting back and forth between lanes. I even saw him weave in between a few cars in his drifting. Of course, I thought how there is never a cop around when you need there should just be thousands of police officers on patrol of that highway. I was praying for everyone he might come in contact with...I was also praying that he would get pulled over and checked out.

It's amazing to me how driver's licenses are handed out all willy nilly. I want to address some very bad driving habits that a lot of people have. Of course, please keep in mind that most of the following is written a bit smart alecky and tongue in cheek. It's not exactly the raving vent it seems...though I do tend to believe what I say. I have a destination in mind.

First off, there is a breed I like to call "Road Bullies." These are the people who don't believe speed limits apply to them. That is just a stupid law they should not have to obey. I confess I tend to drive about 5 miles over the speed limit. I've been known to up that to 10 over if there is someone behind me tailgating. I get so annoyed by the people who will blow by going 85 to 95 mph (or FASTER) on the freeway. They weave in and out of traffic and shoot the gaps. They think everyone should get out of their way because they own the road.

They are the ones who will drive right up on your butt and glare because you dare to be in their lane. Well, guess what, Buddy? I am not getting over for you. I find these people to be arrogant jerks. These are the creeps who will see a sign that plainly states that the left lane ends in 1/2 a mile and to merge right, but they don't think that means them. So they speed along until the lane ends then they turn on their signals and force their way in front of some poor sap who actually obeyed the traffic signs. I am convinced these are the people who will cut in line at the grocery store or in the lunch line at school. People who just think they are special and should be allowed to do as they please. Rude. Arrogant. Jerks.

As you can probably tell, I can't stand people who drive that way. They make me very very angry. I've been known to slow down to a ridiculous speed just to tick them off. Well, in fairness I did that once when I was in my early 20's. I'm a bit more mature than that now. Now I try to keep my temper and ignore them.

Then at the other end of the spectrum, there are those people who will pull out in front of you, causing you to hit your brakes so you don't hit them...then they will proceed to drive 10 or 15 mph under the speed limit. These people are pure frustration Nothing like getting behind a crawler for 10 miles.

I figure most of us will fall into one of the above categories at some point. I guess we can all be stupid at times. I think my problem is that I hate to drive. It's not really driving I hate, but I despise traffic. My husband tells me that traffic is a hot button for me. I get so irritated so fast. I don't do stupid things...except the above confession of slowing down on purpose. I don't make a habit of that. One person caught me on a day when I was very young and not in the mood to take any mess. I don't advise being petty and immature like that. I sure don't recommend it to a Christian who ought to act better. I made a mistake and feel pretty silly about it.

I think God has grown me a lot in that area. Though, I still get pretty annoyed. I still get impatient. However, I don't shout and cuss...and I've been known to do both. One time when I was backslidden and not living for the Lord like I should, I got so mad merging on the freeway one day that I dropped the F-bomb right in front of my Grandma!!!

Oh, I was ashamed. I giggled at first. Not because I thought it was funny but because I was embarrassed. I said, "I said a bad word."

Grandma said, "Yep. You did."

I said, "I'm sorry, Grandma." She replied, "Well, you ought not to talk that way."

That was all that was said. She didn't lecture me or yell at me. But I knew she was disappointed in me. That hurt.

I'm not sitting here saying that I am a perfect driver. But I do think that I am a good driver. I will tell you though, when I first got my license I was a mess. First off, I am shocked I passed the driving test.

I ran a stop sign with the police officer in the car with me! He says, "There was a stop sign back there."
I said, "Didn't I stop?" He goes, "Nope. You rolled through." Oops. He got on to me a couple of times telling me to stay in my lane. I said, "But we're in a parking lot." He said, "Go to Wal-Mart and see if you don't have a right lane and a wrong lane." Yet, he passed me.

That first week of driving was a doozy. One day I was driving down a narrow street and another car dared to come toward me in the opposite lane. I was afraid I was too far over, so I went to the right. I hit a big rock and went airborn. I landed on someone's mailbox...just crushed it. Oops. That first week my rear view mirror fell off. I managed to back into not one but two cars in that same week.

Well, I am a much better driver now. I follow the law (although I do confess to driving about 5 mph over the husband actually drives the limit. I think he is the only person I know who does). I've never been in another accident outside that first week with a license, and I am considerate of other people. I teased earlier that I won't get over for a road bully. I won't either if they are acting ugly or if the traffic on the other lane is too heavy, but I was just teasing. I usually will get over and let them pass. I don't believe in antagonizing someone and deliberately making them mad. I try not to do that. I do obey the traffic signs. I would never drive up to the end of a lane and force my way and cut in line. That is rude.

The bottom line is that the roads are dangerous. There are bad drivers and good drivers having bad days. After all, the ones driving those cars and trucks and vans and SUVs are a bunch of human beings. We all know that when you get those human beings involved things won't always go smoothly or good. We are just imperfect. So, be careful on the roads and try to be considerate of others, and please obey the laws. They are in place for very good reasons.

All that being said, I have been thinking for awhile about a road bully who cuts off one of those frustrating slow drivers in traffic. The story is called Facing Dawn and it will be part of a short story collection this spring. The collection is called Swagger and will be up on Kindle toward the end of May.

Facing Dawn is the story of a lady with a lot on her mind. She cuts off the wrong guy. A guy who is sick and tired of being passive and kicked around. She doesn't give the incident a second thought. She has no idea that she has set off a reaction in him that will be violent and dogged. Look for it this spring. I hope you will enjoy the story.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Summer, Oh Summer! Where Art Thou?

The weather in Arkansas the last few weeks has been great. Highs in the 70's. Sunshine! It was awesome. Well, this week my family took a couple of days and headed up to Branson. I checked the weather for days before we left and it called for highs in the low 60's with lots of sun. However, weather down here has a way of laughing in your face.

The sunny day in the 60's became overcast in the 40's. Cold and miserable! So, we hightailed it back to Arkansas expecting partly cloudy skies with highs in the 60's. We got gloom and temps in the 50's. Today it is cold and wet. It's raining and not going to get very warm today. So all that sunshine and pretty weather was wonderful while it lasted. It was a tease and a taste of the warm spring yet to come.

I'm a summer girl myself. I love heat. But I am seriously wanting more warm spring weather. I think that since we cut our holiday off early that we will try again when the sun peeks back out. This time we might head for one of our many state parks here in Arkansas. We'll get a nice cozy cabin with a mountain view and cook out on the grill. We will watch the sunset over the valley while the kids play outside. Then we can play a board game or two before bed. Something fun and relaxing.

We got season passes to Silver Dollar City, so we hope to make the 4 hour drive to Branson often this year. We are going to try to get to as many of their festivals as possible...but not so often that we get sick of the place. If we just go three times this year, the season passes are well worth the investment. Our favorite thing is the Old Time Christmas Festival, but I've wanted to go to the Bluegrass and BBQ festival and the Southern Gospel event for years. I'm looking forward to it a lot. If I can get past all the walking and the crowds. Man! That place is crowded!!!

No matter what we do...whether we are at a crowded theme park, at a noisy and crowded Branson show, or hiking at one of our state parks and picnicking on hot dogs at the playground, my family loves to get out in the warm fresh air. After the long and dreary winter we've had, I think we are all looking forward this even more this year than ever before.

So come on Summer!! Or at least, please come to stay warm Spring days! Winter needs to go bye bye!!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Review of Dead Space by Lee Goldberg

Let me preface this review by saying that I am a huge fan of Lee Goldberg. Love him. Love him. Love him. He was the executive producer of Diagnosis Murder (an older television program that my husband and I thoroughly enjoy), and he wrote all of the tie in books for Diagnosis Murder. He has written episodes of some of my fave TV shows such as Psych and Monk, and he also writes all of the tie in books for Monk. He has written many of those books and still has more on the way. I devour his Monk and Diagnosis Murder books. I can't get enough of them. This is really saying something. I think the only other tie in book I have EVER read (outside of Lee's) was the book based on the movie The Karate Kid back when I was like 12. Tie in books are not usually my thing. However, Lee develops characters so well that it not only feels as though I am catching up with old friends, it feels as though I am getting to know my friends on a much deeper level than ever before. Yes, I know that is corny, but it is what it is. I want to feel like the characters I have grown to care about are my friends. I would never read a book or watch a TV show if I were not somehow emotionally invested in the characters. What would be the point?

I also read Lee's blog, A Writer's Life, almost religiously. I have learned a lot from him, and I have no shame in admitting that I have a deep fear of ending up in his "The Mail I Get" section. Trust me. No one wants to end up in that section. He really knows how shine a spotlight on stupidity.

So, when I started reading Lee's book, Dead Space (also known as Beyond The Beyond), I was looking forward to it. Lee has a marvelous sense of humor, and the book promised lots of laughs. His Monk books are hilarious in places, and I know that whatever Lee Goldberg puts out is going to be entertaining. Period.

That being said, don't assume that if you like his other work that you will love Dead Space. You might. You might not. I tend to be one of those old-fashioned folk who can not abide profanity and graphic sex in the books I read. Some of that is the conviction of my faith, and some of that is just plain personal preference. If you are sensitive to cussing and sex, this may not be the book for you.

However, if the worse thing someone says about your writing is that there was too much language and sex...well, that's a good thing. I mean, I have nothing derogatory to say about Lee's writing ability. This was a fun and fast-paced story. I laughed out loud several times. The book is hilarious. It is a satire on the fans of shows such as Star Trek. It tells the story of how a new television network wants to bring back an old 60's Sci-Fi show (obviously based on Star Trek or shows like it), but the network wants to revamp the show and play to a younger, hipper audience. This doesn't sit well with a few homicidal fans...and a very nutso former star of the show. Chaos ensues, and it is up to former cop, ex-television star and current studio security, Charlie Willis. I love this character, by the way. He is just really cool.

It is up to Charlie to find the killer(s) before anyone else (including himself) is knocked off. It's a fun read. There are a ton of 90's references (since the original version of the book, Beyond The Beyond, came out in the 90's), but the book is not dated. It just seems like a retro book set in the 90's. I loved the 90's pop culture references. It was fun to think...oh, wow, I forgot about her!

I recommend this book to anyone who loves Star Trek or other 60's and 70's Sci-Fi favorites...if you can get past the language and sometimes graphic and very crude references to sex. I personally could not. It's not my thing. Like I said, if the only bad thing you can say about a book is that the author has a dirty mouth, then you just have to ask yourself what is alright with you. The story is funny and a lot of fun. The characters are a hoot. But I give fair warning that there is a lot of profanity and crude Some of us care about that kind of thing, and some of us don't give a flying fig newton one way or the other.

I still love Lee Goldberg, but I might stick with the tie in books. Still, Charlie Willis rocks.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I Miss Me!!!

Sometimes I have this unsettling feeling that I don't know myself any longer. The person I was seems so deeply buried inside myself that I wonder if I will ever be real again. It's not just about the weight. Though, fifty extra pounds has a way of making one unrecognizable when looking in a mirror. The 37 year old woman with age lines beginning to dominate her once youthful face no longer looks like me. The weight makes that issue so much worse than it might otherwise be.

But it goes beyond weight. I can remember having a self confidence that bordered on arrogance. Although, I would never have considered myself an arrogant person. In fact, I detest people so full of themselves that they must automatically be the smartest person in the room. I can't stand people like that. I want nothing to do with them. Snobbery has never been a part of my personality. But confidence was. I was sure of myself in just about every area. At least in regards to intelligence and talent. Now, I am rarely sure of myself or my instincts. I begin to wonder if I have an inkling of talent...a speck of intelligence.

I've changed in another way. I've never been overly patient, but sometimes I feel almost mean. Like I have to hold back from being ugly to some people. I just don't have a lot of tolerance. Not like before. I've changed in other ways too. Ways more personal than I would divulge in a blog. Yet it's there. I don't know why these changes happened.

There are some changes that I welcome. Changes that God has made in me. Ways He has grown me and molded me. Those changes are the ones I want. But I don't think it was His will for me to ever think that I am unintelligent or ugly or a hack. That I can't write and was foolish to ever think I could. I know those messages are not from Him. Yet, I hear them over and over.

I look at this life I live. Knowing it is a world away from the life I dreamed of for myself. For my children. Yet, here we are. Longing for changes that will be good. Longing to see dreams come true and not be crushed.

I realize that life has a way of kicking us in the teeth sometimes. It's just true. I know that since my precious Grandma died over 8 years ago, that life has lost a lot of its shine for me. Losing a loved one has a way of making a person guarded. Of hurting ones faith. I have prayed so many times since she left that God would help my faith be strong because sometimes I am so afraid of the bad things to come. And since she passed, I've since lost my Daddy. The man who raised me. The man I was not as close to as I longed to be. I loved him. I believe he loved me. Yet, I regret all those moments that I spent away from him. All those visits we never had that I can never get back. Our family lost my sweet cousin, Vannessa, just two weeks before Christmas this past year. And I wonder why God let that happen.

I know His ways are not our ways and He is wise. He knows what He is doing. I trust Him. But I still feel wounded and raw. Kicked around and beaten. My faith has changed. Not for the good. I still have faith, but now when I get scared I have to pray, "Lord, help my unbelief." I don't want to ever be in a place where I am unpleasing to God. I love Him more than anything. Still, as life goes on, we just don't see the world as sunny and hopeful like we used to.

And I can't completely blame Grahm's death. Even before she passed away, I was changing. Sinking into myself. I was in a dark place. I have a past. Most people do. My past is pretty sordid. Steeped in sin and depression. I will confess that there were times I longed to die. Wished I could just stop. Stop breathing. Stop living. Stop giving in to the sin that I knew had a very strong hold over my life. So, I can't blame her going home. In a lot of ways, my changing was my fault.

But through all the dark times in my life. Through the sinfulness. The time spent running from the Lord and into many arms of people who never loved me. I never doubted that God loved me. That He had a plan for my life. I never doubted the talents and gifts He had given me. I wasted a lot of time. I knew I was throwing away precious days, but when you are young you think there are lots of days left.

Now, I see nothing but wasted days behind me. Days that I could have done something with my life. I can't even regret all the heartache and bad choices. If had I had made even one small decision differently, would I have my children? Would I have my husband and family?

Still. I miss me. I miss the girl who loved to joke and cut up. The girl who loved to laugh and did not believe in worry. The girl who knew that God would make everything good and okay. I miss the girl who knew at age 11 she was going to be a writer. The girl who could step on a stage and lose herself in someone else...feeling the pain or joy or rage or peace that her character felt and convince others to feel those feelings with her character. I miss being sure that I am talented and intelligent and capable. Absolutely capable.

And sometimes I wonder if she is still hibernating deep inside me. Groggily peering through my eyes, astonished how quickly and completely the world around her has changed, but knowing she is still the same. Deep Deep inside.

I have to believe I still exist on that level. Somehow. I am still here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Excerpt From Getting Paid On Peyton Row

As most of you know, I am currently writing a book. I plan to be completely finished with that book (including edits and revisions and design) by May 29, 2011. I am hoping to have the book up for sale on Kindle, Smashwords, Nook, etc at that time.

So, I wanted to give you just an idea-- a taste-- of what to expect. The characters. The tone. So I am posting an excerpt from the Prologue of the book today. Keep in mind that in the prologue the character of Drew (who is a main character in the story...the hero of the tale really) is only 10 yrs old. He is older in the rest of the book. Spanning from his late teens to about his late 20's.

I hope you will enjoy this sampling, but keep in mind it is a first draft. It's not polished. Feel free to let me know what you think.

Thanks and here goes:

Getting Paid on Peyton Row by Lisa Ahne
(c) 2011 Lisa Ahne

     Drew’s Grandma stood leaning against the counter in the kitchen while Drew sat at the table with his dinner in front of him. Grandma had made fried pork chops, mashed potatoes, and peas. He mixed his peas into his potatoes and hoped Grandma would not be mad at Mama. It was Christmas. Your kids are supposed to come see you at Christmas.

     “What do you want, Carly?” Grandma asked.

     Grandma looked tired. Her short dark hair was just starting to have a sprinkling of gray here and there, but her dark brown eyes aged her. They showed the wear and tear of the day in them. The bags under them seemed to pull her eyes down and created a hooded effect.

     Drew understood how tired his Grandma got. She had not even had a chance to change from the uniform the hotel made her wear to clean the guest rooms. He doubted she had sat down once since she had walked through the door of her house. She was using her annoyed voice, and Drew hoped his mom would understand that Grandma wasn’t mad…just tired.

     “It’s Christmas, Mama. I just wanted to see you and my boy. That’s all.”

     Drew wanted Grandma to believe her, but from the way her lips were pressed together, he didn’t think that was going to happen. His happy feeling was still there. He just wished Grandma would be happy.

    “I thought I could spend the night, and that way I could help cook Christmas dinner with you tomorrow,” Carly said. “Besides, I want to be here when little man opens his presents in the morning.” Drew got excited.

     “Did you bring me some, Mama?”

     Carly fidgeted and picked at her fingernails. Grandma made her get rid of her cigarette when they came in. Grandma didn’t put up with smoking in her house. Carly looked like she wanted to take a drag off that cig. She did not want to look at Drew.

     “I’m sorry, baby,” she said, “I just been broke. Don’t worry, though. I will get you some great presents when tax time rolls around.”

     “I don’t have any money, Carly. I can’t give you anything if that is what you are thinking.”

     “I don’t want your money, Mama.” Carly’s voice became hard. Her eyes, dark brown like her mother’s and her son’s, glared at Grandma. “I told you I just want to be with my family at Christmas. What’s so wrong with that?”

     “Nothing at all,” Grandma replied. “It’s just too bad you don’t feel that way any other time of the year…except when you want something.”

     Grandma stared hard at her daughter. Her weary eyes saw the raw and scabbed over sores on her daughter’s body. She saw the bones jutting beneath the skin, no muscle or fat to hide them. The dirt under the fingernails, the nicotine stains on her fingers, and the oily hair that hadn’t been washed in awhile. She sighed. She was so tired.

     “Fine. You can stay tonight. Go ahead and make you a plate of supper, but you remember what I said.”

     Carly grinned with yellow teeth. “Yes, Mama.”

     Carly was starving and wolfed down the plate of food. Then she disappeared into the bathroom for a long time. She said she needed to take a shower, but she was gone a really long time. When she came out she wasn’t shaking like before. Drew thought she must have been really cold. Grandma didn’t say anything, but she looked especially sad when she told Drew to go to bed.

Well, that is just a taste of Drew's story. I also plan to introduce you to his two best friends, Vinny and Joey, very soon. In the book, Drew's nickname is "The King" or "Wise King"...mostly said in jest, however, Drew does prove to be a very wise leader. His friends also have nicknames. On the football field, no one can touch these guys. All three have promising futures in college sports...perhaps even the NFL. Vincent Cruz is teasingly called "Mr. Beautiful" because of the flocks of girls who are drawn to his good looks, athletic ability, and charm. Joey "Waste 'Em" Wade won't let anyone or anything get in the way of his future. His sole focus in life is a career in the NFL, and he doesn't care who he hurts to get there.
I hope you will think about going on this journey with me. I pray you will enjoy my story of three boys growing up in poverty, who will do anything to get out and have a better life. Getting Paid on Peyton Row.

PS: I have redesigned my blog page. What do you think??

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Stops and Starts and High Blood Pressure

Well, we are having yet another snow day here in Arkansas. It's beautiful, but it's messing with my mind! I have a lot on my plate. Stuff I really can't afford to put off. However, thanks to the snow and threats of icy roads, we had to cancel our play rehearsal tonight for Little Women. We are also going to push the opening night of the show back a week due to some of the cast not knowing their lines yet. That is good and bad. The good part is that it does give us another week of rehearsals. The bad part is having to change the established schedule. It means the next show will be late getting the set built and dressed for rehearsals. It just throws everyone off. I will admit that I am a bit relieved at the postponement. We just seriously need the extra time. Even though it feels sadly like a defeat. A lost battle in the war we will win on opening weekend when we put on an amazing production.

I get to stay home with my family tonight. I hope that takes some pressure off of my husband. He has had to keep the kids a lot lately between my working and being at the theater. He is a good sport, but he just doesn't need the added responsibility on top of what he is dealing with physically. When I am here, the kids can bring all of their bickering and begging for snacks and all around demanding natures to me and give him a break!!!

So, my plans for the rest of this day and this evening are going to keep me just as busy as if I had went to rehearsal. I am going to do some more work on the script for the play. I think some trimming may be in order. After that, I hope to get a chapter eeked out for my book. Maybe I will get to cuddle with the hubs and watch some TV or a movie or something later. It will be cool to get to kiss my kids goodnight at bedtime.

If you live in the central Arkansas area, I hope you will make your reservations for Little Women soon. We will be performing the first two weeks in February. Doors open at 6:15. Dinner is served at 6:30 with the show starting at 7:30. Please call 501-941-2266 or go to to make reservations!!

When I get further along in my book, I am going to put up a facebook page for the book and start doing as much promoting as I am able for a release in May.

Enjoy your cold January evening...especially if you are blessed enough to be somewhere warm this winter.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How Much Info Is Too Much Info?

At what point does sharing become over sharing? When does revealing personal issues constitute an invitation for family, friends, and even complete strangers to take inventory and assume the right to give advice, admonish, or judge?

Since I began this blog I have struggled with exactly how much personal information to include. I want to be interesting. I don't want a boring blog. However, I tend to think that if I shared half of what really goes on or some of the trials we experience, I would just be inviting unwanted opinions. No offense, but I don't think that would be a wise thing.

There is a very well known blogger who has laid her heart and her family bare. She has been completely open about the struggles she is facing. The financial hardships. The pain and anger her children are enduring. She is brave. I admire her. She writes one of my favorite blogs. However, she has taken criticism on everything from how many children she chose to give birth to right up to how she spends her money. One person thought they had the right (not sure who gave them this right) to question how she dared to take her girls on a Mommy/ Daughter day out when money is so tight. The gall of that amaze me.

I am not nearly as brave as she is. I will not give all the details of the struggle we currently find ourselves going through. I will be open and honest about our lives and family within reason. I have posted on here the awful pain my husband endures on a daily basis because of a condition in his back. He is no longer able to work. I work some, but even if my job was full time it would not earn enough to support us. The honest, transparent truth is that if not for God and the family and friends He has provided, I honestly don't know what would have happened to my family these past few months. I can't even guarantee that we would not have been homeless. In fact, that has been a very real possibility at times.

But God has not failed us. He has been wonderful to us. He has more than provided for us. We are praying for some changes to happen soon. We are praying for God's intervention both in our finances and in Shawn's health. And we still believe in our God...His ability and His love for us.

So, though I may not share the intimate details of my family at this time, I said all the above to say this: I have decided to blog about my progress in writing my book. To lay it all out there to hold myself accountable. The bottom line is that things need to change for me and for my family. I want to give the writing thing a REAL shot!!

I have wanted this my whole life. I am tired of talking and never doing.

My book is titled Getting Paid on Peyton Row. I have the prologue finished and a pretty good road map of where I want to go. The book will have three parts: Glory Days, Blitzed, and The Rebuilding Season. It is about 3 boyhood friends who grow up impoverished in America. They are looking for a way out of Peyton Row. The poor side of town. It's a story of what lengths these boys will go to in order to change their lives. The obstacles they face along the way. The people they hurt along the way. And the realization of what really matters.

Lots of drama. Some romance. Trust me. It WILL be worth the ride. When I get a bit further along I will create a page for the book on facebook and begin to earnestly promote its May release. I would like to put some sample chapters on Kindle for free to help promote the book. I am not sure if that is a possibility or not. I will see when I get further along.

Please go along with me on this journey. When the book comes out you will be as excited as me.

Thanks to all. God bless you and yours.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Is It Summer Yet?!

Life is crazy right now! I am in the final couple of weeks before we open Little Women at the Cabot Community Theatre. I have a million last minute-small but not too small- overwhelming details to take care of. I am more nervous about this play than any that I actually performed in. I think I have taken for granted EVERY director I have ever worked with. I am too tired to bother even trying to figure if these sentences are grammatically correct.

I am still working for the school district in my town, but I have not been working much. Yet, I have managed to stay busy. I would say these past few months have been some of the busiest I have ever experienced. I am not a person who enjoys a lot of activity. I like a slow and steady pace in life. I hate to be busy. I don't know why I am like that. I just am. I hate to have a busy schedule. I have said it before (a lot actually), and I will say it again. Most people stride through life. I stroll. So a lot of frantic activity just makes me want to find the nearest rock and climb under it.

To top it off, it is winter...the season I hate. I really LOVE every other season. Spring with it's new life and blooming flowers. Summer with it's glorious heat and water fun. Fall with it's crisp air and color explosion. But, guys, I SERIOUSLY HATE winter. I hate it. I miss a ton of church in winter because I don't want to get out. I would hibernate the season away if I were allowed to. This year I am forced to get out. I have Little Women coming up (which I am directing) and then we go right into The Nerd (which I perform in).

The thing I am focusing on most (next to Little Women...that will take up a lot of my energy until it is over) is the book I am writing. I have given myself a deadline of May 29th. The book will be finished, revised, and uploaded to all ebook formats by that time. Now, if I can get it done beforehand, I will. I chose May 29th because, not only is it a realistic goal to meet but it also happens to be my Mom's birthday. I am determined that my life, my husband's life, the lives of my children, and my Mom's life MUST get better. I am tired of struggling. I am fed up with poverty.

Everyone has hard times. Everyone struggles. I know this. I also know that God has always taken care of me and mine and He will continue to do so. I also believe that He wants my very best effort. He wants me to do what I can to help myself.

I just hope and pray that all of you reading this blog, all of my friends and family also, will help me to promote my book and to really get the word out about it when the time comes. I wish I could close myself up at my computer in a comfy cardigan and some sweats with a glass of soda pop beside me and just write, write, write the winter away. I wish I never had to go out for anything and could put all of my energy toward the book. That is my dream. Someday that will be my job.

Man! I hate winter!!! I hate to be cold. Doesn't summer just sound wonderful right now?!?!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's a New Day!

There are times when life just gets away from us. Times when we waste our days and times when we work our lives away. Some days I feel as though I just woke up one morning and my youth had evaporated before my eyes. I wonder where my 20's went. There are days when I look at my babies and wonder where my babies went. They are getting so big, growing up so very fast.

I worry about how I am doing as a mom. My children are home-schooled. Are they where they should be? I lie awake in fear at times that they might be behind their peers in some way. I pray I am raising them in a way that pleases God. That I am teaching them about Him and showing them how to live for Him. I pray that I am not saying or doing anything that could be harmful to them in the long run. Anything at all that could damage the way they think about me, themselves, or God. Being a parent is the scariest thing I have ever done.

Recently our family has been going through the biggest life trial we have had to face to this date. I won't get overly personal, but I will share some. My husband has a condition in the thoracic area of his spine that has been devastating to his life. He is unable to do much of anything that he could a year and a half ago. He has been in constant, horrible pain for over a year now with little to NO relief. He is unable to work any longer. This is a man who has a tremendous work ethic. He prided himself in doing anything and everything he had to do to support his family. He took any honest job and worked any long hours just to provide for his family. I am VERY proud of my husband. At this point in our lives, he is just not physically able to do the things he used to. He has not lifted his children for a hug or a piggy back ride in well over a year.

They can still climb into his lap and hug long as they don't hit the area of his back that is injured. However, he is no longer able to lift them or carry them. He can't wrestle with his son or throw the football with his teen daughter. Those days are gone unless God will touch him and completely heal him. That is our prayer. But we don't decide the when and if. We can only trust and hope. We go by God's timing. He knows what He is doing, and we have to trust Him.

I have recently went back to work. I have been out of the workforce for almost a decade, so when I started sending out this economy...I didn't exactly have people blowing up my phone to give this awful-close to 40-stay-at-home-mom a job. In fact, the only people who called me was Wal-Mart. I lasted less than a month and dealt with constant migraines. Sooo...I went back to substitute teaching. No...I don't exactly love it, but I will do it as long as I have to. We are literally the lowest we have ever been.

However, my kids have never done without. Thanks to good friends and loving family and my AWESOME GOD my children have not only had their needs met but almost every desire. They had the best Christmas of their young lives. God is so good to us.

That brings me to what I really want to say. I look at my babies and I see their childhood flying by. I look at my husband (who just turned 40) and I long to make his life better. I look at myself in the mirror, and I see the lines on my youth almost gone (I'm not ready to claim old age at 37 ;-) ). I see the extra 50 lbs I've gained since my youngest child was born 5 1/2 years ago. And I am terrified that if I don't make some drastic changes NOW that they will never get made. If I don't take the first steps I will never lose the weight and become healthy.

What if I live my whole life and never actually do anything that I dreamed about as a young person?! What if I don't make a future for myself and my husband so that we can know that when we do reach old age that we will have our needs met? I trust God to meet all of my needs and to take care of us, however, I also believe that God expects and demands that I work and pursue goals that will put me where I need to be. I believe in my heart of hearts that God created me to be a writer. That is the profession I believe I am called to. NO, it's not necessarily a ministry. It's definitely not a five-fold ministry...that is not to say that my writing can't be used in a ministerial form. That God can and will use my writing if He so chooses.

I don't know the wherefores and whys. I only know that writing is ingrained in my DNA. It is a HUGE part of WHO I AM! And I have to focus and get serious about that part of my life or I NEVER WILL.

Wow! I really do go on and on, don't I? Let me get to the point: I have a plan. That's a good thing. A plan helps.

Please help me along on this journey. Please encourage and hold me accountable. Tell me off if I appear lazy. Cheer me on during the good days. And above all else, BUY THE BOOK WHEN IT COMES OUT!!

Thanks for being here for me. For letting me vent and think with my keyboard. :-) More details about the book is to come. I have some written. Not a lot. But it's a start. And I have a deadline FIRMLY in place.

Keep an eye out for the details. Until then, have a wonderful week.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Little Women, President Obama, and Birds Falling From The Sky!

Well, the new year surely came in with a bang here in Beebe. Fireworks started around 10 pm and popped until well into the bright and shiny new year. The next morning there were thousands of dead black birds covering about a one mile radius. The carcasses were on roofs, streets, and yards. People could not drive even a few feet without running over hundreds of dead birds.

The report is that more than a thousand (one station is reporting 3,000) blackbirds fell out of the sky to their deaths on New Year's Eve. Environmental agencies were canvassing the Windwood neighborhood of Beebe all Saturday and Sunday cleaning up the mess. Yet, no one knows what caused the birds to just plummet to their demise. Theories have run the gamut from the end of the world to cloud to cloud lightening, to a future earthquake. Is anyone else sighing and shaking their heads right about now?

This is not a new thing. It's happened many times before in history. The most accepted theory thus far (we won't have reports back on whether the birds were poisoned for a few days, but that is believed to be quite unlikely) is that the fireworks from New Year's celebrations startled and confused the birds either into flying too high up where they may have been hit by cloud to cloud lightening or that the confusion caused them to think they were flying upwards when actually they were flying straight into the earth below them.

Either way it is creepy and not something that happens everyday. We actually have a HUGE blackbird population here in town. They are a nuisance on one hand and very cool to see every year on the other hand. The fact that there were about a thousand dead fish about a hundred miles from here also caused a stir in the news. Especially since it happened close to the time the birds died. The news is reporting that the fish died of disease.
Just a few minutes ago a good friend of mine, Lee McLane (who owns and operates The Beebe News here in town) was interviewed by phone by a radio station in Melbourne, Australia. I guess thousands of birds just falling out of the sky is unusual enough to make a lot of people go...Hmmm.

On another note, a couple of my other friends had quite an unusual New Year's day themselves. Imagine you are spending Christmas and New Year's vacationing in Hawaii....I could stop right there and be in paradise. Literally. You are luxuriating on a sunny warm beach when suddenly there is great commotion all around you. You look up to see gobs and gobs of security flooding the beach, and the sitting President of the United States comes with his family to the beach to spend the day.

That is exactly what happened to my friends, Sandy and Wayne Branson. Even if you don't agree with his policies (which neither I nor them do actually) it is still very thrilling to meet the President. President Obama graciously posed for lots of photos with them and their family. Sandy said it was thrilling...but she just wished they weren't in their bathing suits at the time. I am left to wonder if the security detail were wearing black suits with dark sunglasses. Maybe I will ask her.

Lee is running the photo in this week's paper, so I will wait to ask if I can post the pic until they get back from vacation.

In my own news, I am currently directing the Cabot Community Theatre's production of Little Women in Cabot, Arkansas. It is my first attempt to direct, but as I see things slowly coming together, I am getting more and more excited. I didn't know it was possible to feel stark terror and giddy excitement all at the same time.
I hope if you live in the Cabot, Arkansas area that you will come out to the show and give me and the theater as much support as possible. Go to for show dates and prices. :-)

The other big thing in my life right now is some ideas I have for getting my book written and up on the end of May.

There will be more to come on that later. Until then, HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 2011 will have ups and downs...laughter and tragedy...I encourage you all to give yourself and your year to Jesus and see what He can do with it.