Dead Poet’s Society

Today I watched the movie, Dead Poet’s Society. It’d been so long since I’d seen it, I’d pretty much completely forgotten the plot. Being a teacher & also an author who has written a book with an attempted suicide in it, it moved me to tears. So, tonight I’d like to share a poem I sent Dan when we were in college. I was a new Christian and since he didn’t believe in God at the time and very bitter over his father’s death, he mocked me constantly for it. I wrote him poems all the time, but this one actually caused him to think about his life.

Die to self & live for Jesus! Turn to him & you will find, Silent strength deep down inside you,

Courage, hope, & peace of mind.

Take a glance around at all the faces, then look deep inside your heart.

Have you given your life to Jesus? If not, why not start?

Why sit at home on Sunday morning when  you could rejoice within the church pew?

Trust in God to end  your struggles, it’s the best thing you could do!

In each soul a song sings out, ‘who am I & why am I here?’

Some try to run & ignore the cries, when the answer is drawing them near.

Take a deep breath & look around you at all the empty faces.

Then lift each mask & this truth you’ll find, God is in all these places.

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57 Days of Summer

Seriously, where’d summer go? It blew through like the wind and knocked me on my keister! As I returned to work, I realized many asked about our Savannah trip and I said I’d write about it but never did . . . hope it’s worth the wait:)

So my 5 fav things about this Georgia tourist trap are: #1) the history, the beautiful churches, houses (or should I say mansions, haunted ones even!), museums, & hot spots such as Forrest Gump’s bench site & the Andrew Low House (founder of the Girl Scouts) & this leads me to

#2)you can literally walk to any of these attractions in the historic district-they have little squares on every block when your feet are tired so cop a squat and sip a drink -which brings me to

# 3) it’s one of the only US cities left allowing open containers so you can stay cool with lovely frozen fruity beverages (or beer for Dan & for you underages their popular ‘Arnold Palmer’-1/2 sweet tea & 1/2 lemonade) even though it’s hot as Paula Deen’s kitchen .  . . which brings me to

Cheers!!!

#4) Good ole’ country fried home cooking! They were so many restaurants and since we only stayed 2 nights, we didn’t have nearly enough time to eat as much as we’d liked but if we didn’t have the girls w/ us, I think a progressive dinner would’ve been the way to go to solve this problem. If you haven’t ever done one, you need to! I’d start at a nice little bar & have a dirty martini & an appetizer of fried okra, then off to The Lady & Sons for the all u can eat buffet (includin’ plenty o’ fried shrimp & collard greens!), and ending the night muching on some boiled (pronounced ‘balled’) peanuts from a stand off River Street which leads me to

 #5) the night life! We boarded the free ferry to cross the Savannah River to Hutchinson Island & enjoyed lounging around & takin’ pics @ the Westin Harbor Golf & Spa (which if we have enough mula next time, it’s def where we’re stayin!) before coming back to River Street to get some shoppin’ done where I tried out what  I thought was the local lingo with a sympathetic “well bless your heart” spoken to a busy merchant behind the counter when he looked at me and smirked and informed me “we don’t really say that around here, it’s just a stereotype.” And I go, “People have been sayin’ it to me all day.” He says, “Oh, that’s the evil kind, used to mock people. We do use that sometimes.” And I cocked a brow at him and said, “Exactly,” and walked away. Ha! How do you like them apples?!?

Savannah Night

The view of the historic district at night from the Westin Hotel.

Other summer highlights included trip to opening of HP at Universal, my Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants reunion, my writer’s conference, and my sister’s wedding in NC-also many pics on Facebook for that. Well, have a rockin’ school year everyone-Only 303 days left until next summer vacay:)

TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY

I stand corrected from supportive friends . . . these are rantings of an ‘unpublished somebody!’ Can’t wait till those pesky ‘un’ letters come off-does blogging count;)

Some backstory . . . This summer I read the Jay Asher book titled 13 Reasons Why. It’s comparative to my novel, Sarah’s Crossroads, since the boy’s 1st love makes a suicide attempt but luckily in my story, Sarah doesn’t succeed. I found Asher’s book very compelling and highly recommend it. It’ll make you rethink how you treated people in high school.

The book also gave this romance writer’s idea for tonight’s blog . . . wait for it . . . TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY I LOVE MY HUSBAND!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Yup, 13 exclamation marks-just incase you’re wondering I saved you the counting. Although the time it took you to read that sentence is probably longer than the time it would’ve to solve that little mystery, sorry;)

August 8, 1998

This is in honor of our wedding anniversary that’s TODAY! 4, 380 days ago I married my soul-mate. For those of you good at math (‘Bless your heart’ I say with a slight smirk b/c I’m not & thought it was the spawn of Satan in H.S.), you know that translates to 12 years so why is it 13 reasons? B/c in my convoluted thoughts which seem are at an all time high since I became a writer (hey, how am I supposed to keep straight reality & the stuff I make up)-I thought it was 13 yrs-even wrote it in his card! Like I said, I’m not good w/ math, but it’s ok b/c we have been together for 13 yrs, just married for only a dirty dozen:) Soooooo here they are for your entertainment (I hope):

13. He’ll still do & does everything for me . .  makes my business cards, website, reads my novel to look for holes, plays the part of last resort stand-in groomsmen in my sister’s wedding so I don’t have to walk down he aisle alone.

12. He eats my cooking, the good, the bad, and the ugly and always compliments me (probably for fear of facing my wrath-what can I say? I’ve trained him well).

11. He still keeps Star Wars toys around the house *I actually have a love/hate relationship w/ this one.

Disney Star Wars Weekends

10. He has a Mt. Dew piggy bank on his dresser to put all his change so he can give it to our girls for stickers, tattoos, the crane game, etc.

9. He doesn’t judge me when I eat a whole carton of cookie dough ice cream (I wish I was making this up).

8. He started a Disney pin collection for his 30th birthday.

7. He grows his hair long b/c that’s the way I like it (aren’t artsy people supposed to have long hair anyway). 

6. He’s confident enough in my love for him that he doesn’t get upset when I ignore him for hours while I immerse myself in a good book or in my writing (well, maybe he is upset, it’d be hard to tell w/ Dan).

5. He didn’t break-up w/ me when I told him on our 1st date ‘I love you & have known I’d marry you since I was 14 when the voices in my head told me I would (once again, true story-I’m not being cute here).

4. He’s quiet so I get to talk-A LOT!

3. He always knows what I’m thinking, even when I wish he didn’t (it’s that crazy paranormal side to our relationship-cool aye?!).

2. He makes me laugh w/ his passive aggressive humor.

1. He has ALL the attributes I hope our daughters find in their future husbands.

Going for a walk.

Time for the all-encompassing, ‘awwwwwwwwwwww!’ Now post back–what do you love about your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife . . . your bff if you’re not attached to anyone at the moment (and that’s perfectly OK)! Thanks for reading:):):)

Hello world from an unpublished nobody!

My first blog! I’m soooooo excited (can you hear the ex-cheerleader coming out?)!!! Dunno if anybody will actually want to read this, but I’ll bribe as many people, vampires, werewolves, angels, as I can:):)

So I’d like to share an ephiphany I had at the Romance Writers of America national conference. It was held this past Thursday until late Saturday night and I met many wonderful writers, learned lotsa stuff, stalked top authors, agents and editors, ate way too much ice cream, etc . . . BTW, I’ll leave it up to you to figure out which one of those I was kidding about;)

Me and NY Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong-bff's (HA! What can I say? I'm a writer, I make stuff up:) But my sister Misty is!

Anyways, the whole conference I sorta freaked b/c most of the top agents/editors don’t want young adult inspirational style novels . . . sure Nicholas Sparks can pull it off but an unpublished nobody debuting their first novel that they hope will become a NY Times Bestseller? Yeah, not so much. So I was thinking of how to rework it, and even figured out a way (a pretty good way if I do say so myself) to make it paranormal since that’s what everyone and their grandma is reading right now (mine included).

RWA Conference

Me at the Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando for the Romance Writers of America Conference.

Then in the last session on Saturday (yes, I am hardcore. Wasn’t at the pool, and didn’t miss one workshop opportunity all 3 days), my epiphany came. In the workshop I was previously in, Writing the High-Concept Inspirational with writer Beth Pattillo, she said as a Christian, she became successful AFTER she took the profit motive for herself off the table and wrote the books God led her to write. Her words resonated with me as I sat in the next workshop: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict in the YA Novel. I thought, what are my own goals, motivation, and conflict right now with my book? My goal all along was to write the story of my heart, my motivation being what God has done and continues to do in my life, and my only conflict is all of a sudden losing sight of that admist hanging out with debut authors scoring huge 3-4 book deals for a series.

RWA Conference Awards Dinner

Me and my new fo real b.f.f, author Marisa Cleveland, she will be a NY Times bestseller soon!

God reminded me of Matthew 8 when he healed a man with leprosy. Jesus was already a big deal by that point, having just preached his Sermon on the Mount. Yet, this “untouchable” of society had the courage to approach him and say, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out and responded, “I am willing! Be clean!”  I thought of how I felt like an “untouchable” growing up, b/c of all the difficulties I went through (that’s a blog for another time), but Jesus healed my emotional wounds. That’s why I wrote Sarah’s Crossroads, to use the talent God gave me as a gift to the world to empower the next generation and if I’m not gonna do that, as Beth Pattillo put it, go get a part-time job for extra money b/c it’ll be a helluva lot easier! Ironically, we had Pastor Bob Hulett at our church as a guest speaker from PA today. Guess what his message was about? God writing our stories. HA! Coincidence or not? Once again, you decide:)

Comments, thoughts, questions, anyone??? Use the leave a comment link at the top of the page.