About Me

My photo

Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Scribbles and Scrambles - Random Lessons from 2006

I'd like to share a few lessons I've learned this year.

First, I'm glad I'm teachable. Life would get a little stale if I just rode the big floating ball we call earth.

No longer a closet Pollyanna, I will look for the compliment in any statement directed toward me. Example...I found "you look like a deranged elf" endearing because it was preceeded with "you look adorable." Crazy? Perhaps.

Visits to Nannyland have refreshed a perspective I've lost now that my kids have gotten older. I tend to take life for granted and forget:
Sometimes all you need is a good nap.
That good music is designed for dancing.
Emotions are best expressed.
Some books and songs require belly laughs.
Walking is one step at a time, one foot in front of the other, and learned gradually.

Nike's catch phrase, "just do it" rings true in writing. Plugging away and being persistant has made writing easier and the end result less nasty. ( I may be deluding myself - please refrain from contrary comments until after the changing of the new year.)

I hope your 2007 is a year full of God's blessings, learning and moments that inspire dancing. And French Press coffee.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Scribbles and Scrambles - Blog Pays Off

Who says Bl0gs are useless?

I’ll have you know that “Scrambled Dregs” has paid off big-time.

Several months ago I whined about auto-drip coffee being forever ruined after my palette found French Press.

Fast forward to the annual-post-Thanksgiving-dinner-family-name-drawing-for-Christmas-gifts event. (Yes, it’s a cumbersome title – we thought about A.P.T.D.F.N.D.C.G.E but we just couldn’t sell the concept to the majority…something to do with turkey induced lethargy, I think.) My aunt who reads my blog and remembered the whining-about-French-Press-coffee post, drew my name and… gifted me with an 8-cup French Press. Thanks, sweet, sweet auntie. (This is one of the same aunts who took me to bright blue Mt Crash-a-lot in Colorado. In hindsight posting the French Press whines followed by the four part visit to Mt. Humilation was a brilliant marketing ploy. Of course this only works for family members who’ve somehow had a hand in scarring you and who read your blog.

Hope your Christmas was a French Press kind of day.

In the near future I think I’ll be sharing some family lore – the stories that crop up every time we get together.

Heads in my freezer, dead trikes, things like that.

Maybe I’ll start my campaign for a Blackberry soon, too. My cousin/nephew and I had a discussion over some excellent ideas for blog posts and in all the frivolity I forgot the darn topics, maybe they’ll come to me, they were funny enough to spew organic jelly while laughing over them. If I had a Blackberry that would never have happened (the forgetting, not the snort/spewing.)

So how guilty do you feel over Mt. Marked-For-Life, aunties?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Scribbles and Scrambles - Why I Believe....

So many songs about a baby who was born in a manger, wouldn't it be nice if it was true? That Baby Jesus really did exist and came to bring peace, we need some peace in this messed up world. Innocence is a lacking commodity, too...and truth, well, we've replaced that with drama.

Pondering the birth of a baby, I want to share my thoughts on why I believe, why I've bet the whole farm on the far-fetched story of a baby born to a virgin, long, long ago.

Why do I believe in Jesus? Why do I a 40-something adult still cling to a story that others have dismissed as easily as Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy?

Is it because I grew up in a “Christian” home and have spent countless hours becoming inchurchiated?

Fair question.

As a child I panicked at the idea that Jesus might come back and take my mom and dad and leave me behind. So it seemed logical that I should do what it took to go with them should the rapture occur. And honestly, it’s a no-brainer, heaven or hell? I’ll pick heaven. Fate sealed, life taken care of.

But then, as I grew-up, survived the teen years, got married, began raising my children, dealing with mortgages, insurance, dentists and the ravages of sin, I faced another menu of choices.

For awhile I chose to step away from the church. Because I felt unworthy to even wear the name of Christ, I shed Him, as if I changed my clothes. Life as a modern woman, as defined by Cosmo, beckoned. The church had disillusioned me.

Deep down though, I hoped that Jesus would maybe recognize me as the little girl who had rededicated her life to Him a thousand times.

No religious guilt for me, just an honest relationship where I refused to pray for help or guidance because I couldn’t muster the gratitude to thank Him for giving me my breath or children or roof over my head. No guilt, true, but hollowness leeched into my soul.

Then the growing babies in my care began to ask questions about the deeper things of life, like what happens when we die. I then looked at the church as an educator for them. We’d go every once in awhile. Kind of like childhood immunizations. Satisfied that I took care of securing their souls, I continued to live as I had been, embracing life.

Who knew that what I embraced wasn’t life at all but slow death by poisoning?

One night, after the same old fight over the same old thing where Rob spoke unintelligible words and accused me of the same, I gave up. I told God I was through doing it my way and asked Him to teach me His.

He steered me back to Jesus.

Jesus freaks people out. He did 2,000ish years ago and still does today. Most preachers don’t spend a lot of time preaching on Jesus’ words because they are too simple and too costly. But Jesus boiled it all down for us. Love the Lord your God with all your mind, soul, strength and heart and your neighbor as yourself.

Love and brutal honesty were His trademark and expectation for those who followed Him. He enraged the religious. He spoke in stories and examples and He embraced the ugly and sin-sick.
C.S. Lewis pointed out (paraphrased) that Jesus either spoke the truth and is who He claimed to be, was a liar, or a lunatic along the lines of a man who might claim to be a poached egg.

Sometimes I find myself getting discouraged. I hate the games that are played in religious circles. I chafe at those who are selfish or mean yet call themselves followers of Christ. I’ve even pondered giving up, questioned if Jesus really is the ONLY way, truth and life.

But the strange thing is that when I get there, I picture a scenario that happened a long time ago. Jesus plunged into unpopularity. He’d been feeding and loving the people and then He introduced the concept of their commitment to Him. Too hard, too much, too painful, the people left.

His disciples stood near Him. I imagine they had the sour taste of disappointment in their mouths. Would a few have been angry? What a stupid thing to do in the middle of a flourishing ministry. Jesus asked the disciples. “Are you going to leave Me, too?”

Peter, who was prone to passionate outbursts, spoke. “Where else can we go? You have the words of life.”

I have to agree. I’ve looked under rocks, in buildings, Googled, searched, studied and have found nothing else that offers the words of life. Instead, I’ve unearthed a whole lot of nicely wrapped death.

That is why I believe in Jesus. Not religion. Not what other people tell me about Jesus. But Jesus Himself.

I believe Jesus is the Son of God, the Promised One, the Messiah, born to a virgin. I believe He lived without sin and became my Passover lamb and my scapegoat on a cross. I believe He died, was sealed in a tomb and that He rose again. His words fill me, because He is the Word and He has placed a part of Himself into me, just like God did when Mary’s womb was filled. I believe Jesus will return for me as He promised. I believe I will see Him on His white horse and on His thigh will be written King of kings and Lord of lords.

What else can I believe? He has the words of life. He is the Word of Life.

Merry CHRISTmas. May you come to know the Prince of Peace intimately......

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Scribbles and Scrambles - My Momma Drops By With a Poem

Here's a treat for you. My mom, the rhyming maniac, has managed to write a poem using the words Superman underwear and squat. And it even has a higher purpose than entertainment. sigh. Well. I did write that incredible Die, Cricket, Die poem a few months ago. (She will not be amused that I tied the two poems together - but it's my blog.)

Mom's Poem (Catchy Title Huh?)

T’was the week before Christmas,
And wouldn’t you know,
I was not nearly ready,
Nor had we had snow.

The stockings we’d found
In the basement, it’s true.
We’d shopped and had purchased
Some gifts (far too few).

The dinner plans, finally,
Were now taking shape.
(work schedules, conflicts, the dishes we’d make).

I longed for the days of the
Fisher-Price stuff, when
Delighting the children
Was never too tough.

A squeaky toy here,
A baby doll there,
Some books, new pjs,
Superman underwear.

Today it’s electronics
About which I know squat,
(except for a few things
my children have taught.)

But in all this confusion
We treasure so dear,
There’s really but one reason
For this time of year.

We stop in the night
To ponder the star,
That light that drew wise men
Who came from afar.

It beckons us still
To consider this birth.
This wondrous, unfathomed gift
To the earth.

The Redeemer who came
In the humblest of ways,
Wrapped, in the manger –
The Ancient of Days.

To purchase His treasure
From the bondage of sin.
He came for your heart.
Won’t you please let Him in?

Phyllis A. Griffith

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Scribbles and Scrambles - Christmas Dreadlines

Sugar plums and roasting chestnuts are the things that are supposed to come to mind when the Christmas season is upon us.

I wouldn’t know a roasted chestnut from a plum pudding.
And sugar plums -- are they anything like sugar beets or a sugar high?

Instead, foremost in my mind intermingling with the Christmas fa-la-la-la-la tunes, come the ghosts of this year past.

First -- the mother ghost -- what I coulda, woulda, shoulda but dinna --haunts me. After she sufficiently whips me about the head and shoulders, enter Mr. Debt to rear his hoary head. He manages to transcend time and become the ghostest with the mostest -- present, past and future rolled into one big headache. The writing wraith beckons, sure, but is easily ignored.

The absolute worst of all is the ghost of Christmas Ritual.

I’ll explain. I have Christmas Eve festivities at my home. In a moment of weakness, years ago, I agreed to my mother’s suggestion to host the family dinner. The tradition has not left me, nigh these two decades. The easiest year, was the one I spent in the emergency room with my eight-year-old. His injury wasn't hideous and when we returned the house was clean and food bubbled in the oven, thanks to my husband and my mom. But for months afterward I found things in odd places.

This experience may have intensified the ritual for me.

I have Martha Stewart dreams but live a Phyllis Diller life. In other words, I want candlight to glint and delicious smells to waft, and these do not occur naturally. Martha’s grand ideas must be kept waiting until I give in to the “company’s coming ritual”.

Defined, the ritual is the compulsion to clean the cupboards and closets so the clutter of my life has a proper home. Therefore, my December 24th gala often becomes a crushing Christmas dreadline.

This year I think I may buy lots of candles for my Christmas Eve celebration. And if my guests cooperate and promise to squint even the dusty things will glint. If the candles are scented I believe I could pull off the fine art of entertaining under pressure. Worse case scenario, a thousand open flames may take care of the clutter once and for all.

Wishing you organized closets and cupboards for 2007.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Scribbles and Scrambles - Thoughts on Buddy.

If you are an “Elf” hater, don’t read any further. Okay, you can but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I love “Elf” – the movie. Generally speaking elves scare me. Situations such as the baking elf phenomena or the “you’ll shoot your eye out!” elves on “A Christmas Story” force me to classify them as close mutant cousins to clowns.

But Buddy the Elf – ah – he’s in a whole different kind of category.

I suppose with my sense of humor it could be because Buddy finds himself in many hilarious painful situations. My girls and I watched “Elf” last night. We rewound the taxi scene at least three times and the star hanging scene twice, just so we could laugh longer.

Yes, I’m afraid I’ve passed the mutant “laugh at all pratfalls” gene to my children. Sigh. Why didn’t they get the “Oh my goodness. Are you okay?” gene from my husband’s polite family? Oops. I digress.

Maybe I like Buddy the Elf because he’s just so sweet. I know he drinks syrup by the gallon, but that’s not the source of sweetness. Buddy is the ultimate Pollyanna (Paulyanna). Even when he despairs of being a proper elf and labels himself a “cotton-headed ninnymuggins” he still wants to be all he can be and hopes that there is something out there that is his to accomplish.

I want to be a Buddy. I want to see the potential and good and seek to make it even better. I want to live life without being self-conscious and concerned about the thoughts my behavior will generate in others. I want to see the world as shiny and exciting…each cup of coffee might be the “world’s best” in a wonderland where people leave gifts everywhere. I’d like to see the good but hidden gifts in others and encourage them to use them because they make the world a better place, while being thoughtful enough to warn them to watch for speeding cabs. I want to respond “yeah! He’s coming? Oh, Goody!” when I think about Jesus returning for me. Yes. That was Buddy’s response to Santa. So shouldn’t my response to Jesus be even stronger?

Believe. Sing. Embrace. Spread a little joy and cheer while you interact with others this weekend. And watch out for the yellow ones because they don’t stop.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Scribbles and Scrambles -Livin' It

A patient of mine convicted me today.

I hate that.

He didn’t really convict me but what he said did which is even worse because I didn’t get to respond with an “ouch” and recoil so he had to carry guilt around all day.

I called his name and asked him how he was doing. One of those mindless, polite conversations where you expect the person to respond, “good, and you?”

He responded. “Livin’ the dream.”

I laughed. Sarcasm and dry delivery happen to be a couple of my favorite things.

But then his answer swirled around in my thoughts and I began to wrestle with them. Why do I not consider my life to be “livin’ the dream?”

I am. Really.

For starters, I live in the land of the free and home of the brave – the land of opportunity. I understand the concept of fun money, own a microwave and take indoor plumbing for granted about a hundred times a day.

My husband and I though flirting with the abyss early on didn’t plunge over. Our family is intact and a source of joy. Our son is married and doing well. Our middle daughter is delightful, and our baby is growing and learning and turning into a terrific human being.

We have a roof over our heads. And when tidied up and with low light it’s a wonderful place to live. As long as we keep the senile cat away from the open flame of a candle or keep the candle away from dust bunnies, that is.

So why did the comment trigger a snort?

Granted, the sound of foreclosures and the crashing waves of our dying rental business is an albatross we’ll carry a few more years. Chronic pain from the arthritis that has attacked my active husband remains a concern. And the unknown future of our three children is something we take often to the Lord.

But the bottom line is…I am living the dream. No matter what happens here, I have hope in God’s promises. I’m living beyond the dream. I’m livin’ blessed.

I hope you are, too.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Scribbles and Scrambles - Fa-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha...La-La-La-La

Why is it I laugh at inappropriate times? Is my brain so malformed or twisted that I find the less-than-humorous hysterically funny?

For the record, I don’t laugh at truly horrific things. Never would I laugh at war footage, or car accidents with casualties, or pictures of orphans and/or mistreated animals. These things can dredge up deep emotional responses resulting in weeping.

I tend to tear up at the slightest emotional cue. The Christmas Shoes. Yep. It gets me, even though I’ve heard the song a thousand times. Sentimental commercials force a tear, too. I can’t enjoy a movie with a hint of emotional upheaval without my family watching me for signs of weeping rather than the touching moment on the screen.

But most other things are fair game.

For example, I was just reminded of a special Christmas moment that still makes me laugh 18 years later. Most mothers would not appreciate a wrestling match underneath the Christmas tree, the ones I know, anyway. Chances are, even fewer mothers would take a picture of their children fighting under the tree. So what does it say about me that I have a scrapbook page showing the progression of my two oldest children, at ages one and three, struggling to possess the same book? Starting with frustrated, red faces and ending with a headlock pin, in full color? Probably something the psych blog down the street needs to deal with.

Or is it scary that one of my favorite pictures is of our son while he sobs on a wooden reindeer? In my defense…he loved Rudolph. We were visiting my Grandma in Missouri, and Jordan wouldn’t leave the red-nosed planter alone…until I wanted a picture for our Christmas cards. Then he cried. So what’s a mom to do? Snap a picture, of course, if you’re a mom like me.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Scribbles and Scrambles - Scientific Poll...Vote Today!

Hmmm. I see some sort of connection here. Sue’s most vivid memory is her childhood car crash and then comes Janet with a story about her mishap.

Brace yourselves.

I, too, experienced this phenomenon.

Now, it could be a coincidence that we all three share this type of event and that we write.

Or maybe there is something to it. Could it be we each suffered a specific type of brain burp while rolling around – or flying out of – the backseat? And the result of the brain burp is the compulsion to write. Sue claims it, I know I’ve got it, and Janet…well, she even pens poems about writing.

My incident involved a trip to the hospital. My mom drove, lest you think that my dad, Pat might have a finger in all of this. I occupied the back seat of said hurtling car.

The rest of the details are sketchy. I’m not sure whether we hit something or experienced a near miss but I do remember a rapid toss to the floor. Not really the floor, more like the bag of groceries residing there. I crushed a package of Oreos.

Somehow I ended up in the emergency room. I don’t know if they thought I may have another grocery item wedged somewhere but a rather cute doctor (okay, even five year old girls notice these things. Hello! Am I right romance readers?) sliced the straps of my new tank top so they could remove it. The adorable tank top that I’d only worn for a few hours.

So how about it writers…any childhood car accidents? Do your part for science, kids.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Serials and Scenarios - Sue Dent - Never Ceese - The Interview.

As promised a look inside the mind of a woman who has written a novel about a werewolf and vampire. Read on, if you dare.
Questions are in red - answers blue....

What is your most vivid childhood memory?

Most vivid . . . hmmmm I suppose the aftermath of going from the backseat to the frontseat, through the windshield and back into the back seat again. That's right, no regulations for seat belts in the good ol' days. I was seven or eight. I just remember my dad jumping out after someone ran a stop sign on a dark and rainy night when we were coming home from church. My mom's legs were cut by glass, my brother bumped his head and my sister had a small cut above her eye. But me . . . well, I got to ride on the stretcher!!! And yes, I remember that as the fun part. I remember looking up at the dark night sky, seeing lightening flash and feeling honored that I was getting all the attention. I have a nice scar on my right arm where it was cut to the bone and one all the way around my head, (which hair does a good job of covering). I could get more vivid but I think that's the mark of a good writer, knowing what your audience can tolerate or even wants to read.

What are you usually writing when you hit the sweet spot (when it feels almost effortless - characters, plot, beginning, end etc.)?

Let's put it this way, if I'm writing and it doesn't feel effortless, I stop writing. I don't think I've ever written when it didn't feel effortless. I write because I can't seem to NOT write. Honestly, it never is a struggle for me to write.

What natural or man-made things inspire your creativity?

Life inspires me. Struggles inspire me. Victory inspires me. Defeat inspires me. God has provided so many opportunities for inspiration. Thunderstorms inspire me. I LOVE them. Oh, and being bored inspires me. I can't stand being bored.

If you could visit any place in the universe where would you go and what would you do?

Wow! Universe. Not that long ago, I probably could have named a specific place. Now, I realize, everywhere you go is pretty much just like where you're at. If I can't do whatever I want to do right where I'm at, there's no point thinking about what I might do if I went somewhere else. I would classify that as wasting time and I don't have enough time left to waste though it is an intriguing question! LOL

What are you doing when you feel most alive?

Writing! Imagine that. Okay, just being creative. And praying!

What song makes you tingle or sing at the top of your lungs?

Right now, Mercy Me's I can only Imagine. And anything my brother Jeff Steele of the The Southern Gospel Wonders, The Steele Family writes and sings!

What movie or novel line resonates with you?

Marty Feldman's phenomenal delivery of this line in Young Frankenstein: "Could be worse. Could be raining." Sorry if it's not Marty Feldman. Too tired to do a google search.

How does something worm its way into your heart? (tears, humor, loss)

After having kids, one who's been through ADEM, just about anything tugs at my heart. Unfairness though. Don't let me catch someone being unfair to someone else!

What movie has impacted you the most and why?

This questions begs for a serious movie but I sincerely can not watch a serious movie. Okay, here's one The Ninth Configuration starring Stacey Keetch.(sp?) I loved the suspense, the brotherly love theme, MAN it was good!!!!

What makes you laugh until you hurt?

My kids trying to scare me! They do this because it's so difficult for them to sneak up on me. They're so predictable! I always no what they're up to. Yet when they finally succeed, they're laughter at seeing me startled is contagious.

Create a scene, a character, some dialogue, micro-fiction, or skeleton plot from two or three of the following items. (a paragraph or two - even a sentence would do.)

A coat-rack with a stocking cap dangling from its arm
has very little chance of doing you much harm.

An unidentifiable antique, the scent of pipe tobacco
Grandpa must be smoking, Grandma thinks he's wacko

Freshly cut grass on my feet, evening dew is forming
A wandering three-year-old enjoys. Summer days are warming

A frizzy-haired seventy year old fiddles with a cell phone
Stainless steel, a distant motor, another day is gone.

The smell of rain, satin pajamas, how could it get much better
Rambling thoughts, a mind that's ripe, someone writes a letter.

Links to Never Ceese and Sue



Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Serials and Scenarios - Sue Dent - Never Ceese

I'm a little bummed.
I declined a couple of books up for review because I had too much on my plate.
"Never Ceese" is one of those books.
How could I have done that? Angst - gnash.

Follow the links to Sue Dent's new book "Never Ceese" and her website and you'll see what I mean.

"Never Ceese":

What about that cover? Shudder.


Horror and/or sci-fi are not my first pick - but a vampire and a werewolf with a underlying redemption theme seems like a must read.

At least Sue jumped on my interview questions and sent me a little piece of her thoughts through cyberspace. I'll post those tomorrow. Ya gotta like someone who doesn't watch serious movies yet writes about characters in bondage to the darkness.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Scribbles and Scrambles - Why I Like Strange People

Strange is a negative word - usually. I prefer it's alternate or secondary definition - - - unique.

A dozen years ago when we bought the Casa Du Remodel Forever (or home as we like to call it) our realtor mentioned several times that we were strange enough to buy the house.

I didn't take that as an insult.

She explained that we were the round peg that fit into the unique round hole that the house offered. Most of the other interested parties had been square pegs. But we had the interest in the house, the ability to see it's potential and the know-how to pull it off. (I'm pretty sure she thought we'd be finished by now. I guess her strange-o-meter was a bit off.)

I have to admit that I love authors who hang out on the strange side of the pool, too. Not strange as in creepy, but strange as in they look at things differently than your average Joe.

I have an interview to share with you in a couple of weeks that fits this profile. I have yet to read the author's book. It's popular enough that they are having trouble getting copies to the reviewers, and I didn't get to his first book.

When I interview I always throw in something that prompts the author to give me a taste of his/her style/voice. This guy did not disappoint. Based on the four or five sentences he tossed out to me, I know I'm going to love his book.

I currently have another book that is next on my stack of books to read. I already cracked the cover and read the first sentence. Wow. I can't wait to dive in.

I love to read meaty writing.

If you haven't read any Christian fiction for a few years, you really need to give it another shot. There are some stellar authors out there.

Scribbles and Scrambles - Why I Like Strange People

Strange is a negative word - usually. I prefer it's alternate or secondary definition - - - unique.

A dozen years ago when we bought the Casa Du Remodel Forever (or home as we like to call it) our realtor mentioned several times that we were strange enough to buy the house.

I didn't take that as an insult.

She explained that we were the round peg that fit into the unique round hole that the house offered. Most of the other interested parties had been square pegs. But we had the interest in the house, the ability to see it's potential and the know-how to pull it off. (I'm pretty sure she thought we'd be finished by now. I guess her strange-o-meter was a bit off.)

I have to admit that I love authors who hang out on the strange side of the pool, too. Not strange as in creepy, but strange as in they look at things differently than your average Joe.

I have an interview to share with you in a couple of weeks that fits this profile. I have yet to read the author's book. It's popular enough that they are having trouble getting copies to the reviewers, and I didn't get to his first book.

When I interview I always throw in something that prompts the author to give me a taste of his/her style/voice. This guy did not disappoint. Based on the four or five sentences he tossed out to me, I know I'm going to love his book.

I currently have another book that is next on my stack of books to read. I already cracked the cover and read the first sentence. Wow. I can't wait to dive in.

I love to read meaty writing.

If you haven't read any Christian fiction for a few years, you really need to give it another shot. There are some stellar authors out there.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Scribbles and Scrambles - Blog Fog

I'm having a little trouble.

I can't focus.

The pressure is mounting.

I must leave my computer soon and I won't be back today.

Argh! Something quippy, inane, clever needs to come to mind. I'm waiting.

Nothing. Oh, plenty of swirling thoughts, but nothing falling into the chute that leads to the creativity pathway.

I think I'm suffering from Blog Fog.

Or Clever Constipation.

Do they make a pill for this? Should I eat extra fiber?

Okay. I'm taking a deep breath. Don't slap me.

I'll blame it on Monday. Yeah. That's it. Monday. The first Monday in December... after a month long challenge to pull words from my brain for NaNoWriMo. Good excuse.

I did it, by the way. I completed 50,000 words. I may finish the book. I like my characters. I like the story line.

Whew. I feel a little better.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Serials and Scenarios - R.K. aka Randy Mortenson's - Q & A - Landon Snow and the Island of Arcanum

What period of history intrigues you the most and why?

The Reformation--early 16th century. Thinking about Martin Luther in Germany...becoming a monk...everything in church was done in Latin, most people had no idea what was going on, yet they feared God, and the Church manipulated the people by abusing that fear. Indulgences, buying one's way into heaven. And thinking of Martin standing up to the Pope and princes knowing he might die for saying he would not recant his writings which said that God's grace was (gasp) free! And that all Christians are priests. And the Bible should be printed in the common language so that people could read it for themselves. Radical, revolutionary stuff.
So there's that--the Reformation--and then there's the '80s, which also intrigue me. The 1980s that is. What a decade. My formative years. Ferris Bueller and Martin Luther. Two influencers on my life.

Pick one ... Pink iguana, purple cow, periwinkle giraffe.

Which one and why? Can be negative or positive. Purple cow because it makes me think of grape milk. And what would that taste like? And would I like it or not?

Favorite turn of phrase or word picture in literature or movie.
"Houston, we have a problem." Ominous, awesome understatement.

What would you write if there were no rules or barriers? ( - epic novels about characters in the Bible, poetry, greeting cards, plays, movies, instruction manuals, etc.)

Hmm. I don't know. Something gothic, maybe. Or an epic about King David set in modern times. Okay, a gothic epic about David composing his psalms while living in Manhattan. Look out for Saul!

What makes you feel most alive?

latte. And looking at my wife and daughter and son...together. While sipping a latte. Preferably from Caribou Coffee (come to Minnesota or North Dakota for this; it's better than Starbucks. And I like Starbucks.)

How does something worm its way into your heart? Through tears, truth, humor ? other?

Both--the laughing tears, like when your child's being born and you're on emotional overload. Or when you're deeply sympathizing with someone and they say something to make you smile or laugh right through their pain. It feels good and hurts at the same time.

Where would you most like to travel ----- moon, north pole, deep seas, deserted island, the holy land or back to a place from your childhood, somewhere else? ? and why.

Well, I've recently gotten out of the Navy and moved to North Dakota, and this is it. I don't feel like traveling at all right now. Honestly. I'm loving sitting here in the middle of farmland and prairie. In the last ten years I've lived on both U. S. coasts and in Okinawa, Japan and I've traveled to Hong Kong, Australia (twice), New Zealand, Malaysia (twice), Thailand (twice), Singapore (twice), South Korea (twice), the Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Tokyo (4 times), Hawaii and Mexico. I've driven from San Diego to Minnesota and back and from San Diego to Florida and from Florida to North Dakota. I've stayed at least a night in Nashville, Indianapolis, Asheville, NC, Dallas, Yellowstone, near Las Vegas, Idaho, Georgia, Utah, Boston, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Seattle, Los Angeles, Oregon, Arizona, Louisiana, Aspen, Wisconsin, South Dakota...and I don't recall where else. If you ask me again in, say, another decade, I think I might want to visit Norway and Austria. And England. And go on an Alaska cruise.

A man and woman sit at a table in an upscale restaurant. They each have a cell phone to their ear. What are you overhearing? Tell me about this couple?..

"Buy, buy, buy!" he says.
"Sell, sell, sell!" she says.
Four months later, they call off their engagement and part ways. She gets out of the rat race and lives happily ever after.
He goes broke seeking to make his fortune in the stock market.

Love the answers, Randy! I think you might have something with David in Manhattan.
And you gotta love the mind that was influenced by Martin Luther and Ferris Bueller.

In case you didn't check out the book link or Randy's website here they are again.



Happy weekend, all. And remember, if anyone offers you the Norovirus - just say NO!