First Line Friday is something every reader can participate in. Pick up a book near you. Type the first line in the comments, along with the title of the book and the author. Then check out the books other readers have featured in the comments on this blog. You might find a book you would like to read simply by reading the first line.

The book I’m featuring today is At Your Request by Jen Turano.

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“Miss Wilhelmina Radcliff was reluctantly coming to the unfortunate conclusion that there were absolutely no perks to be had when one obtained the unenviable title of wallflower.” 

Now it’s your turn. Place your first line in the comments and then check out some more bloggers who participate in First Line Friday. Just click on the link below.

 

First Line Friday is something every reader can participate in. Pick up a book near you. Type the first line in the comments, along with the title of the book and the author. Then check out the books other readers have featured in the comments on this blog. You might find a book you would like to read simply by reading the first line.

The book I’m featuring today is The Christmas Journey by Winnie Griggs.

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November 1892, Knotty Pine, Texas

“Hey!” The reedy voice coming from inside Wylie’s Livery and Bridle Shop thrummed with outrage. 

Now it’s your turn. Place your first line in the comments and then check out some more bloggers who participate in First Line Friday. Just click on the link below.

 

 

First Line Friday is something every reader can participate in. Pick up a book near you. Type the first line in the comments, along with the title of the book and the author. Then check out the books other readers have featured in the comments on this blog. You might find a book you would like to read simply by reading the first line.

The book I’m featuring today is one of my favorites, Sophie’s Heart by Lori Wick. This ebook is currently on sale for only $3.99.

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“The dark-haired woman walked from the tall stone building, her coat pulled close against an early frost. It felt good to be headed home, and even better to know that tomorrow was Sunday, a day off.”

Now it’s your turn. Place your first line in the comments and then check out some more bloggers who participate in First Line Friday. Just click on the link below.

 

 

“Writing is a combination of intangible creative fantasy and appallingly hard work.” ~Anthony Powell

workstation-336369_1920The creative fantasy aspect of writing is fun. There is no denying it. Unfortunately, most of writing is a lot of hard work. There are probably a hundred things I would rather do sometimes than tap away at my keyboard. The dishwasher needs to be emptied. The grass needs mowing. The trash needs to go out. My nails need polishing. A warm bath sounds nice right about now. I wonder what’s new on Facebook. The excuses for procrastination from writing range from legitimate to pathetic. And yet, the discipline of writing produces an amazing sense of accomplishment.

“Finish. The difference between being a writer and being a person of talent is the discipline it takes to apply the seat of your pants to the seat of your chair and finish. Don’t talk about doing it. Do it. Finish.” ~E.L. Konigsburg

There is no trick to learning to be disciplined. You know as well as I do that discipline is simply getting the job done. No more excuses or distractions. Do the job until is is finished.

So I’m not going to waste any more of your time with a long blog post. Sit down in your favorite chair and start writing. If you don’t know what to write, write anyway. The flow will come. It’s okay to start writing even if you don’t know what it is exactly that you want to say. The words will come as you begin writing, and they may even take you somewhere you could not have seen before putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.

Just start writing. That’s what I’m going to do just as soon as I make a hot tea, take the dog out, and empty my dryer.  😉

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I just got home from watching The Man Who Invented Christmas. It was spectacular! As a fiction writer, I especially enjoyed watching Charles Dickens go through the various stages of writing. From staring at a blank sheet of paper, to procrastinating, to brainstorming for names of characters, and, finally, to where the characters come to life in the author’s mind and they begin to write their own stories. Yet the author remains in control of the book. I liked how the movie perfectly illustrated the frustration of interruptions to a writer. I know fiction authors will get much enjoyment from this film, but it’s not exclusively for their enjoyment. I attended the cinema tonight with eight other people. I was the only fiction writer amongst them. Yet they loved it, too!

Having watched A Christmas Carol during the Christmas season for many years, I know many of the lines by heart. It was simply entertaining and stirring to see the story behind the writing of the book. The writers, actors, and directors of this film did a superb job. The film was both amusing and heartwarming. In the same way that A Christmas Carol pulls at the heartstrings, so does The Man Who Invented Christmas. So if you’re looking for a clean, wholesome, feel-good movie for the holidays, I highly recommend this one.

For an excellent review (written and video) of The Man Who Invented Christmas, click here.

 

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“The more I come to recognize my story’s place in God’s grander Story, my once-bewildered questions are turning to psalms of thanksgiving at the wonder that I have been included in what He is doing.”  ~ Gloria Gaither

THANK YOU to all of you who have encouraged me this year with my writing. Thank you for the wonderful reviews, speaking opportunities, words of encouragement, and for taking the time to read what I have written. This new venture I’m on is amazing because of all of you!

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I’m especially grateful for my husband and children, who have been supportive all along the way. And I’m tickled pink to have become a grandmother this year!! There is nothing like it!

Finally, I am blessed beyond measure by the comments from my readers who have said they have received spiritual encouragement while reading my novel and/or reading my blog. I agree with Gloria Gaither in her quote above. I’m so glad to be included in what He is doing. I am eternally grateful for how He continues working in me. Jesus doesn’t give up on me because of my weaknesses. Instead, He encourages, strengthens, helps, and keeps me. Any accomplishment in my life is all due to His amazing love and grace toward me.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!!!!

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people-2583943_1920Walking at the mall today, I saw an old man in a wheelchair. There was nothing strange about that, of course, but what caught my attention was the fact that he was using his legs to move the wheelchair. No one was pushing him. His wife walked a few steps ahead of him.

She stopped, turned to him, and said, “Am I going too fast?”

He answered, “No, you’re fine.”

At this point, I was along side of the wife. We caught each others’ eyes, so I smiled and said, “Walking sure has changed, hasn’t it.”

She understood what I meant and smiled at me. “It sure has,” she said. “But would you believe my husband was bedridden for two years and in hospice?” She went on to explain how they had a doctor who would come to their house regularly to check on him. The wife had been caring for him at home on her own. Over time, he improved so much that they finally asked the doctor to stop coming because her husband wanted to go visit his own doctor.

When they arrived at the doctor’s office, his doctor said to the wife, “What have you done to him?”

“What do you mean?” She asked, afraid she’d done something wrong.

The doctor asked, “Did you study medicine?” When she shook her head “no,” he said, “Your husband should never have been able to get out of his bed.” He was amazed at the progress his patient had made.

She continued telling me about the various things she did to help her husband regain his strength. I was deeply touched by the dedication of this woman and the perseverance of this man. They were probably in their late 70s or 80s. He sat somewhat bent forward in his wheelchair, but he would look up and smile at us. One eye only slightly open and the other aged, yet in that wrinkled face I sensed a zest for life. He was not ready to stop living. There was plenty of fight left in him.

He looked at me with a slight smile and said, “They wanted to give me an electric wheelchair, but I wouldn’t hear of it. I can still use my legs.”

Standing their looking at this couple and listening to their story, I longed to ask them about their faith. Do they believe in God? I suspected that they did, but I wasn’t certain. So I asked the wife, “Where did you find the strength to take care of your husband?”

She smiled, pointed her finger upward, and said, “My strength comes from up there.”

I told her,  “I had a feeling you are a praying woman.”

“Oh, yes!” she said.

I was curious to know how long they’d been married.

With a bright smile, she said, “We’ve been married 58 years.”

I told her, “You have stayed faithful to the vows you made to each other for better and for worse. What a wonderful testimony your life is!”

She said, “That’s true. We have. And my husband helped me a few years ago when I had hip surgery.”

I knew I was looking at a love that had endured time, trials, and impossibilities. I saw before me a man whose body was withered, but he didn’t let it stop him. I saw a woman who didn’t complain about all she had to do for him. Instead, she joyfully stated, “I have dedicated my life to helping him get better.” She was obviously proud of her husband and I would venture to say she was his loudest cheerleader, encouraging him every step of the way.

As I was saying goodbye to them, she let me know, “Soon we will go camping again.”

I imagine they will.

 

First Line Friday is something every reader can participate in. Pick up a book near you. Type the first line in the comments, along with the title of the book and the author. Then check out the books other readers have featured in the comments on this blog. You might find a book you would like to read simply by reading the first line.

The book I’m featuring this week is Mail-Order Mommy (Boom Town Brides) by Christine Johnson.

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“Amanda Porter had made her decision, and there was no going back on it now.”

Now it’s your turn. Place your first line in the comments and then check out some more bloggers who participate in First Line Friday. Just click on the link below.

 

 

First Line Friday is something every reader can participate in. Pick up a book near you. Type the first line in the comments, along with the title of the book and the author. Then check out the books other readers have featured in the comments on this blog. You might find a book you would like to read simply by reading the first line.

The book I’m featuring this week is Mail-Order Christmas Brides: Her Christmas Family by Jillian Hart. This is not a new book, but contains two very enjoyable Christmas stories.

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“Tate Winters tipped the brim of his Stetson to cut the glare of the sun, watching as the westbound train squealed to a noisy stop along the depot’s platform.” 

Now it’s your turn. Place your first line in the comments and then check out some more bloggers who participate in First Line Friday. Just click on the link below.

 

Sometimes the nicest thing you can do for yourself is to just get away from it all. Leave the stress behind, change the routine, and stop to smell the roses. Okay, so there are no roses in northern Michigan in November. Still, you know what I mean. It’s nice to sit in a relaxing setting, face a different scenery, and simply laugh together while doing something everyone enjoys — or nothing at all.

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We live in the south-central part of Michigan, so when our kids asked us if we wanted to go north with them for a weekend, we were like, “Yes! Let’s do it!” I found us an adorable condo right on the water about three hours from where we live.  (This photo is from the ad and obviously taken in the summer. But let me tell you, it looks lovely even in late fall.)

Reconnecting with family and sharing special moments, while releasing tension, is so worth it!  Northern Michigan is beautiful no matter what time of year you visit. I highly recommend it.

I’m sitting in the condo as I’m writing this blogpost. Did I mention I love writing? So, of course, it’s one of the things I like to do when I relax. Reclining in a comfortable chair by the floor-to-ceiling windows, I observe a seagull waddling on the beach, into the water, and then out again. Gray clouds cover the sky and blend with the gray of beautiful Lake Charlevoix. What separates the water from the sky is a strip of land with trees in the various colors of fall. It doesn’t matter that its cold and raining outside. Not much bothers us today. We are simply enjoying being together, chatting, laughing, being silly, intermingled with deep thoughts and words of affirmation. It’s times of refreshing like these that inspire us to keep dreaming. When this weekend is over, we will have renewed strength and the will to keep moving forward.

“Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well.” — Louisa May Alcott

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