From-the-blog


Courage to Hang Tough

Sometimes, in light of world events, we find it necessary to pause---to step back from the craziness of evil and process the senselessness of it all. Some people rail and bemoan injustice while others seek solitude and retreat to their quiet places. Because we're human, each of us grieves differently. We act and react in ways that are, perhaps, inherent to our nature or maybe, because of the circumstance, we respond in ways we wouldn't otherwise. Regarding the solitude-seekers, we're pretty consistent. It's not that we minimize life's cruelties. In fact, it's the opposite. Quiet places are necessary to gain perspective. Our temperament demands a respite from the noise. When we care for us, we can better serve others. As you may have guessed, I'm no wilting flower. I love to rise to a good challenge, meet new goals, and blaze fresh trails. In fact, sometimes my heart is three steps ahead of my head. That can be good or it can be a
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Courage to Hang Tough

In Celebration of Mothers

Recently, a memory surfaced as I watched a little girl tug her mother's hand. Nothing out of the ordinary, really, but something about the bond between mother and daughter moved me. Blue eyes, bright with adoration, lingered on Mom. Mom laughed and the pair shared a knowing look---one of those silent, happy exchanges between parent and child. A love language uniquely their own. Perhaps, the sixty-second interplay triggered my reverie with the past. The carefree innocence of the five-year-old, completely smitten with the world around her and oblivious to life's cruelties, reminded me of myself at that age. Even her mother---her carriage and countenance---bore an uncanny resemblance to my own mama. She had the same quiet strength. Patience. A sharp mind. Quick wit. Maturity well beyond her years. I treasured those qualities then---just as I do today, and though the decades-old incident still wounds (if I allow), I'm a stronger woman because of it. This is the story... When I was about five, I accompanied my mama
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In Celebration of Mothers

Good News Calls for Chocolate

Ohh, my goodness. After the torrential downpours and record flooding the Ozarks had over the past week, it's time for some good news. Combine good news with chocolate cake and we have a party! You may remember, I scaled back on blogging over the past month, as I craved some much-needed R&R. I continued writing during that time, too, so blogging's had to take a back seat. As you know, when faced with blog content or manuscripts, my works-in-progress will always win hands-down. In the past, I juggled writing and blogging and a social media presence, but in recent months, especially, I've sensed my body telling me to slow down. Wonder Woman, I'm not, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. (Though...those satin tights are pretty awesome.) Now...for the good news. Recently, I was notified that I double semi-finaled in the 2017 American Christian Fiction Writer's (ACFW) Genesis Contest! Believe me, that phone call was so much fun. Like last year (when I semi-finaled, and later,
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Good News Calls for Chocolate

Our Friends… For a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime

Friends. The word makes me smile. Besides family, friends are life's greatest blessings. Sometimes, friendships are borne out of mutual circumstance---for a reason. Sometimes, friendships are brief, but no less meaningful, and last for a season. Still, other friendships---those that begin as tiny, fragile seeds only to burst forth in full bloom---hijack our hearts for a lifetime. Whether they exist for a reason, a season, or a lifetime, friends enrich our lives and color our world. They make us laugh. Cry. Think. Reach. Believe. Love. Grow. Many years ago, a dear friend and I met at our favorite bookstore to talk about books, writing, and what was new in each other’s lives. We scoped out small, quiet niches in the coffee shop section, ordered delicious cups of tea, and spent hours savoring not only the tea but also each other’s company. We valued our time together. In addition, I helped Debbie* through a rough patch. Though she was a little older than I, our friendship was one of those rare, immediate connections I was certain would
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Our Friends… For a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime

The Stories That Move Us

Last week I met a friend for lunch. We talked writing, stories, and ordinary life. That's the great thing about friendship. We can bounce around all over the map and our friends still "get us." Take Julia, for instance. Julia's a fun soul. God's girl and a deep thinker, she rattles my comfort zones. As in---challenges me to step beyond them. Yes, she's helpful like that. (If you missed our 2016 ACFW adventure, get the scoop in last September's newsletter. Scroll to Sometimes, the Best Adventures are the Unexpected Detours. Don't forget to sign up for future newsletter updates so you won't miss new content!) Now---back to our recent conversation. A snippet of it went something like this: "Writing rules have their place. I mean, who wants to wade through poor grammar and crummy execution?" I savored a bite of my turkey panini and washed it down with a swig of iced tea. "The thing is, sometimes, I can look past mechanics when
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The Stories That Move Us

Meet Cindy

A hopeless romantic, wife, mother, lover of the Ozarks, and passionate follower of Jesus. And that’s just for starters…
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