About Me

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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.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ A Quick Note to Say...




Hope you didn't get too many boxes like this for Christmas.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Fudge Induced Rambling


With a thud, Santa crashed through the chimney. (It would definitely require Santa magic to get through our chimney...which may or may not be here next Christmas....In case you are following our on-going construction saga, Rob is tearing out the ceiling around said chimney today...)

But I digress.

Did he visit you as well? Santa, not Rob.

We gave books as gifts and opened several more. New C.S. Lewis works will take up residence on our shelves, a monster coffee table book about American history now lives here, and even a Max Lucado I haven't read before.

Speaking of books, I'm thinking through my favorites, gearing up for a Top of 2008 list. And I'm reading bits and pieces of books I've started or promised to read for review.

Stay tuned for updates.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Okay. A little tacky but...still. Gotta give it points for amusement value....


HOLIDAY CHEER

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Favorites ~ No Eye.....



I LOVE this song. I first heard it on a cassette tape...remember those... and I may have worn the tape out.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Super Cinema Saturday ~ Fred Claus




My Review:

It's hard to compete with nostalgic classics like A Christmas Story and pure childish fun like Elf. Many have failed.


Fred Claus. Well, Fred nearly pulls it off. Enough for me to purchase the movie and make it a must watch at least once during the Christmas season. Vince Vaughn plays a sarcastic screw-up, and fans of his or sarcastic screw-ups are sure to find Fred Claus appealing.

Of course there are the sappy and yeah-right moments that make the movie a warm, fuzzy family movie. Cheesiness happens, but really, in the North Pole you gotta expect some sugar and/or cheese. There are a few off-color comments and/or double entendres but it is pretty clean overall.


The most amusing theme is the sibling rivalry. Nicholas (Giamatti) is a saint of course, and Fred, well, he's the older and forgotten brother, which requires a few laugh-out-loud counseling sessions. Several "cameo" appearances make the movie fun for adults and will likely keep them engaged if Vaughn isn't enough to do so. The kids will love the whole North Pole fun and frivolity.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Favorites ~ Breath of Heaven



I think sign language is so graceful and I love that I found this version of a favorite song.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Favorites... A Different Angle


Birdie brought this amusing website to my attention. I may the only person in the world who's not been there, they have over a billion page views. : ) But better late than never.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ Living Rich for Less ~ Ellie Kay



I haven't read Living Rich for Less, yet. I'm going to be honest...sometimes facing money issues is the last thing I want to do. But in today's climate, and with my current checking account balance, wisdom with money is a must.

I also haven't read more than excerpts from Ellie Kay's books and articles/comments. But what I've read has been spot-on in the common sense department and usually couched with humor. That said, I'm a fan of what I have read.

But don't take my word for it, click on the book cover and check out some of the mini-articles she's posted on Amazon. The one regarding purchasing gift cards might save you some grief and more than pay for the book should you want to purchase. Here's Ellie's website for more money wisdom.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ Michelle Griep ~ E-Mace-i-pated.





I introduced you to Michelle on Friday. But today it Gallimore's birthday. Happy Birthday to you...etc. Michelle shares her thoughts via the standard Dregs ?'s. And a little bit more from me, too.


Fiction character you would most like to be or most identify with and why?

I always wanted to be Lt. Uhura on Star Trek because her uniform is pretty sweet, she gets to wear a funky ear piece, and she never had a bad hair day in her life.


If you could ask any person, living or dead, a random question -- what question would you ask of whom?

I’d ask Mr. Rogers about the whole sweater and sneaker attire…was that really your idea or your mother’s?


Some out there in writing land have strange rituals. Share yours.

It involves blood letting and small mammals, which I’m pretty sure is illegal in most of the contiguous United States. Good thing I live in the state of confusion (sorry, couldn’t resist).



If you could change something in any novel, what would you change about it and why?

I’ll be stepping on some toes here, but personally I’d cut a dinner party or two out of Sense & Sensibility.


What crayon in the box describes you on a good day? Bad day? Which one do you aspire to be?

I’m a marker girl myself, so I’m not really up on crayon colors.


Pick one…..Pink iguana, purple cow, periwinkle giraffe. Which one and why? Can be negative or positive.

Not touching that with a ten-foot pole.



Favorite turn of phrase or word picture, in literature or movie.

Classic: Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries. (from Monte Python and the Holy Grail)

Most Recent: The sun stretched its rays further and stronger, like a thousand lances determined to strike a strong blow and leave a red mark. (from In the Shadow of Lions by Ginger Garrett)


If you were assured of writing a best-seller, what genre would it be? Give us a sliver of information, a characteristic or glimpse of a scene.

Time travel – I love to throw myself into history, and of course I’m always the heroine. Naturally there’d be an unbelievably muscular hero who’s a warrior with a big heart that’s completely devoted to the heroine. And sorry, Fabio would NOT be on the cover.


What period of history intrigues you the most?

Medieval


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.)

Whatever I feel like I wanna do! Gosh!


What makes you feel alive?

A cattle prod…don’t ask.


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

Time – I’m a slow learner.


Book, music, person, food you would take with you on a very long trip.

Book: Bible Person: Jesus
Music: Third Day Food: Chocolate


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.

England. I’m an Anglophile at heart.


Favorite season and why?

Autumn because of the amazing colors and the fact that hot chocolate is once again in season.


Favorite book setting and why?

Jane Eyre when she’s walking the misty moor and Rochester appears on a rearing horse. That’s how God most often works in my life. I’m usually walking around in a daze and bam! He appears.


Which compliment related to your writing has meant the most and why?

Actually, I try hard to ignore compliments and criticism (mean-spirited, anyway) because I don’t want to get a big head, nor do I want to have my heart pierced.


What would you do today if you knew you had only a week to live?

Eat lots of chocolate, drink lots of coffee, and tell lots of people about Jesus. Wait a minute…I do that anyway.


What is your favorite word?

Pinworms


What word annoys you more than any other?

Can’t


Superhero you most admire and why?

Underdog. What’s not to love about a pup in a cape?


Super power you'd love to borrow for awhile?

Invisibility


Favorite chore

Cooking


Anything you'd do but don't because of fear of pain? What is it? Ex. Bungee jumping, sky diving, running with scissors.

Stiletto Heels


Grammatical pet peeve…sound off.

Just say no to sentence diagramming.


Societal pet peeve…sound off.

Young men, pull up your pants or spackle that crack. I’ve seen enough boxers in my laundry basket. I do not need to see yours.




And a little bit of pondering from me...as inspired by Gallimore.....


Top Five Uses for a Fictional Raven


by Kelly Klepfer, inspired by Gallimore

5. A prime-time CSI type lackey for collection of DNA or evidence planting. With talons, intelligence and wicked sharp beaks, a raven can plant evidence or borrow evidence. Creativity is required here. If your Stunningly Great American Novel is set in a historical setting, DNA is a moot point. However, never overlook the possible inclusion of an evil wizard or psychotic bad guy to need to collect a lock of hair or a strip of skin.

4. Eye candy. Literally. Okay, this is gross, so close your eyes o' squeamish ones. Ready? Here goes. Carrion birds consider eyes a great delicacy and believe in eating dessert first, if you get my drift.

3. Nothing like a soaring black bird with a wing span equaling the height of a child. Yes. Edgy.

2. Swooping and terrorizing. Do I need to say more? Obviously the bird likes eyes, has an amazing wingspan and can collect DNA. Think about the implications. And Red Riding Hood thought that the wolf was a fright.

And the number one use of a fictional raven: Stalking. Two glossy beady eyes. Awesome sight and smell skills. That's what I'm talking about.

Hope you've gleaned helpful information and sufficient ravenicity to add drama, edge and creepiness to your work-in-progress. Romance and childrens' authors may want to consider the tastes of their readers. You don't want to get letters now do you? Perchance letters delivered by a raven....

The above was inspired by Michelle M. Griep's novel Gallimore. For those of you who are interested in raven antics as specified above, you'll find much satisfaction should you crack open the book. Trust me. Michelle went right for the big dog bird...no prissy little humming or songbirds for her.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ Michelle Griep's Gallimore




I'm stepping slightly away from the Christmas overload at the Dregs.

Today I'm posting a link to my new and improved book trailer for Gal
limore.

I'm also suggesting that you check out author Michelle Griep's website and the Gallimore page at Amazon.

Seriously, this book, Gallimore, cemented our friendship. We discovered, way back when, while ripping each others' words to shreds via our on-line writing critique group that Michelle and I...

a) consider our love language to be mutual...one that involves pratfalls and/or physical noises/pain.


b) that GOOD coffee is a major weakness and pretty much necessary for sustaining life.


c) that as imperfect as we are as moms, we a
ren't completely insane nor all bad.

d) that a friend has nothing to do with miles between but the hearts involved.


e) you can meet great people on the internet, though it it advisable to be pretty sure the person is "great" before dragging innocent children along for a visit.


f) sisters don't always have to come from the same genetic pool or set of parents.


That said. Here's a little piece about Christmas that Michelle wrote up for our reading pleasure (he,he so I kind of departed from the Christmas theme.)

Dieting is for Sissies
by Michelle Griep


Have you wakened from your Thanksgiving tryptophan coma yet? Seriously, it's December, people.

Frankly, we have become a bunch of food wienies. We snarf back a plateful or two of a little turkey then moan our way to the sofa, forced to sit and rest a spell while the game is on. How dare we blame our couch potato status on an innocent amino acid?

If we lived in Europe about 600 years ago, we wouldn't dream of whining about the serious after effects of turkey gluttony. Not at all. For starters we'd probably need to be alert and on our toes. Though the twelve days of Christmas was an implicit time of peace, one could never be certain that the peace wouldn't come after a brutal attack and the loss of a few heads.

We'd also have to make sure we didn't offend the neighborhood wassailers. The savvy Dark Age dweller would make certain to have food, drink and maybe a bit of pocket change for the needy should the singers bearing spiced cider show up at the door. Those most generous received blessings for a fruitful new year. As for the stingy, well, let’s just say they might want to watch their back until the next holiday season.

Finally, people today don't have a clue what a feast truly is. I’m talking massive boar head complete with a rosemary/bay garnish and a mouth stuffed with an apple or festive orange. Think someone possessing a cooked goose is some sort of joke about big trouble? Not during the Middle Ages. It’s more like a slam implying that you had to settle for an ugly fowl while your neighbors served swan or peacock.

Interestingly, the pie we think of over the holidays is pumpkin. Child’s play compared to a knight’s appetite. They didn't mess around with something trivial like a slice a la mode. One keeping up with the Knight Jones’ party featured the Queen Mother of all pies. I wonder if it was called the 12 Days of Christmas Pie as it must have taken nearly that long to eat the 165 pound monstrosity. It also included several reminiscent ingredients like geese, blackbirds and partridges.

Which brings me to my final thought… a few extra pounds around the middle was certainly not cause to sign-up for a lifetime membership at the local Y. If you were fortunate enough to eat well and have the belly to show for it, you were a success.

That being said, I think I’ll have me a few more Christmas cookies.



Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wonder-Full Favorites




I'm not going to get to all my favorite Christmas stuff.

But I'm going to try.

Today I present two of my favorite Christmas books.

We are a book loving family and this has, in part, been fostered by aunts who love books, too.

Each year, Aunt Kathy bought a beautiful book for the kids. And each year we poured over the always vibrant and unique drawings and savored the words that wove fascinating stories.

I don't remember if Aunt Kathy gave us these books, or if we got them through another source, but I do remember that they enveloped us with warmth and memories and a sense of awe from one Christmas to the next Christmas and beyond. These simple stories still reside with us and are opened but every once in awhile, always with smiles and a sliver of wonder.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More, More Favorite Things....



Okay. I'm DONE with Elf scenes. But I had to include the taxi, and voila, this one has it.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

Christmas Favorites -- While You Were Sleeping





Two versions of a favorite Christmas song. But it's a bit bigger than Christmas. Casting Crowns' While You Were Sleeping.

The top version is just the song. The bottom version is the same song but with visuals, some from The Passion of the Christ.



Saturday, December 06, 2008

Super Cinema Saturday ~ Hancock




My Review of Hancock: Viewer warning -- Language, violence, alcohol use. Complete bad boy behavior earning a PG-13 rating.
(There is an unrated version which I'm sure is even more over the top.) But...keep reading for my review.


I knew nothing about the storyline in Hancock other than he was a superhero with a seriously bad attitude. I rented it just because we are compelled to watch all the superhero movies.

What I knew was definitely true. Everyone hates him. His first heroic act in the movie began with a little boy shaking him out of his drunken stupor. He then flew off and created millions of dollars in damage.

In spite of the cursing, which there is quite a bit, and a few scenes of unpleasant violence, and lots of drinking, this movie delivers a great couple of messages. Hancock lets an image consultant help him through the steps of becoming a better superhero and in the process a better man. Ray, Justin Bateman, is a terrific father/family man and friend to Hancock. There are scenes that are downright touching.

A plot twist completely caught me by surprise. (I could've read the box and not been completely surprised, though.)

Hancock is one of the more entertaining and creative superhero movies I've seen. We will be purchasing it for our family DVD library.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ Dark Pursuit ~ B. Collins





Go here to read the first chapter.













Dark Pursuit—A twisting story of murder, betrayal, and eternal choices

Novelist Darell Brooke lived for his title as King of Suspense—until an auto accident left him unable to concentrate. Two years later, reclusive and bitter, he wants one thing: to plot a new novel and regain his reputation.

Kaitlan Sering, his twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, once lived for drugs. After she stole from Darell, he cut her off. Now she’s rebuilding her life. But in Kaitlan’s town two women have been murdered, and she’s about to discover a third. She’s even more shocked to realize the culprit—her boyfriend, Craig, the police chief’s son.

Desperate, Kaitlan flees to her estranged grandfather. For over forty years, Darell Brooke has lived suspense. Surely he’ll devise a plan to trap the cunning Craig.

But can Darell’s muddled mind do it? And—if he tries—with what motivation? For Kaitlan’s plight may be the stunning answer to the elusive plot he seeks...

My Review:



Brandilyn Collins continues to produce multi-dimensional characters and some seriously amped up plots. Every one of her books ends up being my newest favorite Collin's title. Dark Pursuit is no exception.

Her protagonist is a broken man with a broken brain. His granddaughter desperately needs his help. But will he stay awake long enough, will he stay coherent enough to help save her life, or will he hasten her death?

Enough twists and turns will keep readers flipping pages late into the night. Sympathetic characters pull at reader emotions. Fear and horror will keep the Big Honken Chickens's feathers ruffled. Murder, mystery, intertwining stories, power, control and the unknown -- sound intriguing? Oh yeah. Great read from a masterful story teller.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...




There are only so many favorites I can have? Right? We'll see. Let me share a few of my all-time favorite Christmas things/stuff over the next few weeks.

Today I spotlight A Christmas Story. Who can resist Ralphie as a deranged Easter Bunny? Or a Triple Dog Dare?

One of my favorite lines?

"Randy lay there like a slug. It was his only defense." Yes! You'd be surprised (or annoyed) at how often I can use that line in my day to day conversations.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ Robin Jones Gunn






Hey Dreggers...

Robin Jones Gunn dropped by to visit for a spell. It's been awhile since I posted an interview. So enjoy.


Fiction character you would most like to be or most identify with and why?

[Robin Gunn] I’d like to be Ransom from C.S. Lewis’ “Perelandra” because Ransom is transported to Venus and observes another sort of Adam and Eve before their fall. He tastes food not grown on Earth and rides dolphins. He is a character that has stayed in my imagination for decades.


Some out there in writing land have strange rituals. Share yours.

[Robin Gunn] I rise early in the morning when I’m on a tight deadline. Usually 3am. I make a pot of tea in my favorite china tea pot, put on soft music, light a vanilla scented candle, pray and start writing. I’ve been doing this for over twenty years. Not every day, of course, but sometimes 3 or 4 days a week just so I can write unhindered and uninterrupted.


Favorite turn of phrase or word picture, in literature or movie.

[Robin Gunn] I love “As You Wish” from Princess Bride. I even titled one of the Christy and Todd the College Years books, “As You Wish”. For me, the phrase is how I often end my prayers – “as You wish, God, not as I wish”. Isn’t that how Jesus taught us to pray in the Lord’s Prayer with the line, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done”. Also, when Jesus prayed before the crucifixion that “this cup could pass from him” He said, “Not my will but Yours be done”. I think the act of such surrender is critical to ever entering into a true and deep and lasting relationship with our Father God.


What period of history intrigues you the most?

[Robin Gunn] Mid 1800’s, specifically 1840’s to 1860’s.


What makes you feel alive?

[Robin Gunn] First Light on the island of Maui. I’ll attach of photo I took a few weeks ago while our family was camping on Maui. I unzipped the front of the tent just before dawn and quickly crawled out to snap this photo. Then we hiked down the trail and swam in the pools beneath the waterfalls.


Book, music, person, food you would take with you on a very long trip.

[Robin Gunn] My husband. Always love having him near.


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.

[Robin Gunn] Anywhere, anytime. As St. Augustine said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” I want to read it all!


What would you do today if you knew you had only a week to live?

[Robin Gunn] Exactly what I’m doing. I had a number of serious health problems a few years ago and that caused me to start living each day as if it were my last.

Thanks, Robin.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Monday in December Scenes from the Ranch





Meet Hal.

Actually, I don't know what his name is, I just know where he lives.

I guess in honor of Whitetail Deer Season and for want of any other reason to post a deer head on my blog, here he is.


Hal watches over me as I sleep.
He used to wear many ties, but now just leans against the wall.


Squeamish readers should be thrilled that I didn't post the actual movie footage I took of Hal. Didn't know the camera setting was awry. Trust me, the shuddering deer in the flickering light accompanied by the sound of breathing and the pitter patter of dog paws could've shown up in your nightmares.


The last gasp of fall foliage coated in winter's icy grasp.




And if you've followed my E-Bay comforter obsession you may recognize my prize. Yes, the set looks even better than I'd hoped on my very
own bed.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Notes from a Stuffed Turkey



Hope your Thanksgiving was fabulous.

After an overload of turkey and all the trimmings at two different dinners, a quick 5:30 a.m. jaunt to the mall, and the out-with-the-Thanksgiving theme and furniture arrangement, I'm ready to face Christmas.

Thanksgiving high-points....

Lily and Lola didn't bust through the door barriers and snoodle all the guests.

The turkey, only the second one I've ever cooked, was delicious.

We have an abundance of cute babies in the family. It amazes me how many new and improved baby things there are out there. Sheesh. It's a wonder any of us ever survived and thrived without all the gadgets and gizmos.

Conversation was rich with sarcasm and snap and there was some depth of spirituality that has been missing in the past. One of my nephews has recently accepted Christ and I can't tell you what a blessing it is to watch him bloom right before my eyes. Lesson within, never, never, never give up on someone, think you can read them, or second guess God. He uses some amazing skills to capture peoples' hearts. This young man was always quiet and usually sat outside of the inner circle. All of a sudden, he's sharing truth and excitement over the things of God. He was just baptized last week and I cried as he shared his testimony in front of the church. I had no clue that he was even interested in God. Like I said, what a blessing!

Scott, the Settlers of Catan master still sits on his throne. Three more wins under his belt. Sigh. Which makes me a three-time loser, again!

All said, I am so grateful for my family and my God who never ceases to amaze and humble me. Thank you, Lord.

Now. I'm going to go put my absolutely bee-yo-ti-ful new comforter on my bed. Just arrived and it's way nicer than I expected.

Happy weekend. Here's hoping it's restful, blessed and full of all those leftover Turkey Day treats.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~Ahhhh! That Feels Great


My room is clean and organized. My CLOSETS are clean and organized. Trust me, this is huge. I can breathe, knowing that when my Thanksgiving guests arrive, that a sudden avalanche of junk will not bust down a door and come rolling out over their heads, crushing the very life out of them.

Not only that. I'm good for Christmas Eve, too. I won't have to worry about what lurks within while I think about our guests and festivities. I even, while organizing the gifts I've been collecting throughout the year and the wrapping paper and bags, wrapped some gifts.

I am now enjoying one of my all time favorite movies, Stranger than Fiction, and basking in the knowledge that my inner sanctum is in order.

Twenty-two is feeling better, too. She had a bad bug yesterday and spent some time hugging the waste basket. But she's back in fine form and ready to rumble. Her plans include doing lots of cooking and learning the art of throwing a Thanksgiving dinner party.

So far the rest of us are feeling fine.

My new bedset is even on its way. Suppose it will arrive tomorrow? Either way. I'm ready.

But this gratitude is secondary to the gratitude I feel for the blessing of hearth and home. Both current, with my peeps, and future with my secure knowledge of eternity and what has been promised to me.

Here's wishing you deep satisfaction during your holiday preparations.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Success!


Score!

I got my bed set. I gave E-Bay one more try. Probably because that was the only place I was going to find anything even close to what I wanted for what I wanted to pay.

It was my first choice, too. And I ended up getting it for $6.00 less than I was willing to pay and no shipping.

Right now, I'm a fan again. We'll see what happens next time I have a on-line shopping itch.

And now for another E-Bay moment. One of the older ladies at church, who probably does NOT have a computer, was filling me in on her granddaughters' upcoming baby. Seems this young lady is so anxious for baby that she already has the car seat installed three months before the blessed arrival.

Grandma went on to tell me that her pregnant granddaughter has purchased both boy and girl accessories and has all the nursery furniture installed and is ready to go. I inquired about the boy and girl themes. I was told that the couple doesn't want to know the sex ahead of time and they want to be ready for either gender. But that it was okay. The cost was minimal because her granddaughter bought everything on Baywatch.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Really. So the room is a beach theme?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips




Christian publishing has crossed a barrier with the publication of The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips.

For starters, this story is compelling. Told through the narration of Andy Myers' son. The son he never wanted, I might add. Narration is not my favorite point of view because it tends to lack intimacy. But I connected with the characters in Death and Life. I also love crime fiction and Death and Life is full of cop/legal drama. The writing is creative and easy to read and the story is positively page turning.

I mentioned that Christian publishing has crossed a barrier with this story because the dialogue is peppered with raw language -- think PG-13. I am not super offended by language and am able to watch or read something and not get caught up in coarseness if the story is compelling enough. Death and Life is full of three, four and five letter words that will stomp on sensitive toes.

Interestingly, I've seen a lot of debate in Christian author loops that discusses this issue and the challenge of writing real and raw when the characters are limited to "Aw, shucks, Ma'am." The fact that Stephen Baldwin has opened the door is going to ease things for the storytellers who want to write real if it includes raw. The bottom line consensus in this debate seems to be that story does rule. And in this case, The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips shares a story that is worth reading.


Click here for a taste of the novel.



Thursday, November 20, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ I'm NOT Bitter


Just for the record.

I DIDN'T get the sweet comforter I bid on.

And I missed it by....drum roll........... Wait, let me digress for a moment.

Okay. The Wii I missed by a hundred. That I dealt with by going to a local store and actually finding one on the shelf. Take that E-Bay entrepreneurs.

The items I won were great deals. Three out of twenty and counting. But they were a bit of work. I think we could call it sweat equity. Very stressful watching to make sure someone doesn't swoop in and beat you by a few dollars.

Today was a crazy busy day. I checked once, three hours to go it looked like I still had the winning bid.

Then, I checked my e-mail. The dreaded notice. I lost it by a ....resume drum roll.... a stinking dollar!!!!!

Grrr.

Now I'm determined. And I'm really going to dig deep. Chocolate brown, great-priced comforters/quilts, consider yourself on notice. You are hunted and fair game. Do not make me send Josh after you.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ E-Bay and the Trotting Turkey

















I had never even gone to the iconic and culturally shaping empire known as E-Bay...until the search for something very specific sent me Googling and eventually to the E of the Bay. I am now no longer an E-Bay novice. I've bid, and bid and bid, watched dozens of similar products and purchased three things. I've lost even more. And not just what I was bidding on. I'm talking time, baby. This could become an issue.


On my short cut trip to home I encountered a trotting turkey. Apparently, the little fellow is brave or very, very stupid. Since he hurtled out in front of my van, I'm voting for stupid. You should have seen the drumsticks on that little bugger.

Mouth-watering? Well, that's probably because you didn't see the rest of him. Let's just say childish art work is very flattering compared to the real thing.

Now. I have to get back to E-Bay. I'm bidding on some bedding. Twenty-one hours and five minutes to go. Baby needs that chocolate brown bed-set!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~A Different Kind of Gift


Hands of Hope



These pictures aren't just intriguing photos.


These cards are true gifts that give long, long after they given.



Read about the organization by clicking on the heading above. How did it get it's start? How many children are being helped?


Read about the difference you can make as you shop for Christmas gifts this year by clicking on the photos.



How far can your holiday dollars spread? I challenge you to consider sending some of them across the globe.



I take eggs and clean water for granted. How about you?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Hope is a Town in Minnesota



Okay. Monday rant. Ready?

Shortcuts are all well and good. I'm a big fan of them. I take one to work nearly every day. Which brings me to my rant.

Drivers. If you are taking a route that is a shortcut for you...then play by the rules.

Said shortcut is 25 mph. Not a suggestion! Sure, you save a few minutes because there is near-zero traffic on the winding, winding road that really kind of deserves the 25 mph rating because of wildlife, and did I mention windings?


Getting pulled over by one of the delightful police officers who sometimes pull off into one of the many hiding places decreases the time saved on shortcut. As does an accident because you have your nose buried in the car-in-front-of-you's biz-ness.

For the record, that's my green van you are kissing. And as much as you HOPE the speed limit has changed overnight, let's just say that Hope is a town in Minnesota, and you are sniffing up the wrong bumper.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Apology from a Bad, Bad Blogger




Bad blogger checking in. Sorry for the sporadic and light posting this week.

I'm sure none of you have lost sleep over it...but I still feel bad.


I'd like to reward you with the promise that once I get my act together I'll be back in full force. (Notice I didn't put a time frame on that!)

In the meantime. Here are some autumn scenes for your perusal.




Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Video Feedback



This is the book trailer I cooked up for my friend Michelle.

It's def. not perfect. Whatcha all think? Does it make you want to read the book or throw your computer at my head?

What works, what stinks? Give me some feedback peeps.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Check This OUT....

Welcome to the 1st ever
TitleTrakk.com Blog Tour!


This week we're chatting about:



The Fantastic Fall Giveaway Contest!


Just in time for the holidays, you could win over
$335 worth of books, cds and dvds!

Sponsored by our friends at:


The Grand Prize Winner will receive:

BOOKS:

Whispers of the Bayou by Mindy Starns Clark
Rachel's Secret by BJ Hoff
Beach Dreams by Trish Perry
Playing God by Michelle McKinney Hammond
White Soul by Brandt Dodson
The Legend of the Firefish by George Bryan Polivka
Finding Marie by Susan Paige Davis
The Power of Praying Through the Bible by Stormie Omartian
A Man After God's Own Heart by Jim George
Evidence for Faith 101 by Bruce Bickel & Stan Jantz

CDS:

Wake Up! Wake Up! by Everyday Sunday
Rock What You Got by Superchick
Sunday by Tree63
Houston We Are Go by Newsboys (Live CD/DVD)
Nothing Left To Lose by Mat Kearney
I Am Free Worship Collection
Salvation Station by Newworldson
Not Without Love by Jimmy Needham
Pages by Shane & Shane
Colors and Sounds by Article One

MOVIES:

Love's Unfolding Dream
The Ten Commandments Animated
Between the Walls

But that's not all!
We're giving away even more!


During this blog tour (November 10th - 16th) we'll be drawing 2 winners daily from the contest entries to win an additional free book or cd!

Visit the TitleTrakk.com Contest page today to enter the contest and place yourself in the running to receive the Grand Prize, plus all the daily prizes! Deadline to enter is November 17th.

About TitleTrakk.com:
Founded in 2006 by Tracy & C.J. Darlington, TitleTrakk.com is an interactive website spotlighting Christian books, music & movies. Updated weekly, we feature author and musician interviews, album and book reviews, music videos, movie reviews and interviews, book excerpts, surveys, polls, and fun contests. Learn more: http://www.titletrakk.com/about.htm

Friday, November 07, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ Megan DiMaria Out of Hand

Megan dropped by for a cup o tea. It's a new special kind of tea, cybertea. Go make yourself a mug and join us.

Scroll down for a review of Out of Her Hands and a link to read the first chapter.

Thanks, Megan. It's been fun.

Favorite turn of phrase or word picture, in literature or movie.

I love the last scene in The Family Man when Jack (Nicholas Cage) and Kate (Tea Leoni) are speaking. The audience can’t hear the dialogue as they sit in the airport coffee shop while the snow beats the windows and they lean toward one another in what could be a life-changing conversation. The director left the conclusion of the movie up to interpretation—did they resume their relationship or did they go their separate ways?


Favorite season and why?

I love, love, love summer in Colorado. The climate invites you to spend as much time outdoors as possible. I have a cozy chaise on my patio that is my summer office.


Which compliment related to your writing has meant the most and why?

It’s a toss up between the Romantic Times review of Out of Her Hands which said, “Her realistic portrayal of the characters' lives should endear them to readers and help Christians to feel less alone in their daily trials," and a reader’s comment about Searching for Spice that said, “I closed this book with far greater respect and admiration for my own husband.” It thrills me to know that women identify with my characters and their situations.

Favorite chore:

Cleaning my Cuisinart Grind & Brew coffee maker. It gives me a quick sense of accomplishment, and then I can enjoy a really, really good cup of coffee.

Societal pet peeve…sound off.

It always annoys me when people don’t treat others with the same amount of respect they would demand themselves. Too often I’ve seen people push ahead of children or older people in lines at grocery stores or when they speak to teens with less respect than they would give other adults. Pul-eese!

What makes you feel alive?

Spending time with family and friends. That’s what it’s all about for me.


Unidentifiable antique, the scent of pipe tobacco and the drizzle of rain – make a scene.

The sound ushered Elizabeth back to an afternoon long ago. Donk, donk, donk. The steady drip of rainwater ticked its way down the maze of gutters clinging to the old building. In an instant, old memories placed her in the breakfast nook of Aunt Kathryn’s house while dinner simmered on the stove and fat raindrops danced off the lid of the metal garbage can outside the window.

But she wasn’t in that cozy kitchen chatting with her beloved auntie. She wasn’t ensconced in a home filled with love. She wasn’t enjoying that time when the world was a safe place. Instead she was in Efrem Sawyer’s office while the elderly lawyer scrutinized her through dingy eyeglasses perched on his beak of a nose, beneath shrub-like brows.

The skies wept for her loss. The chiming of a distant clock joined the sad symphony. The old man was patient with her pain. He leaned back, his ancient chair groaning with the effort, and fired up his ever-present pipe. A plume of smoke, thick and fragrant, floated toward the ceiling. Elizabeth reached out to take the object Efrem pushed across his desk toward her. How many times had she carefully dusted this in advance of one of Aunt Kathryn’s dinner parties? And here it sat in her hands, heavy and cold.

(Well that was fun! And it’s so out of genre for me!)


Use this "story starter" and give a sample of your voice: If Alex had known the body of the senator was in the bathtub, she would've taken Jim's offer for coffee.

If Alex had known the body of the senator was in the bathtub, she would've taken Jim's offer for coffee.

But no, she did the responsible thing and went into work on the morning of July 4th, when every other USA-loving American was hanging the stars and strips outside their front door and making red and blue Jell-O molds that would be punctuated with frothy whipped cream.

Her dear husband had even bribed her with breakfast at their favorite café. To think that right now she could be enjoying a walnut scone with her favorite gutsy Sumatra blend, extra hot and black. Instead, here she stood, with her back to that ghastly scene. The vision of Senator Nickel, floating in tepid water and then jerking to life when she let loose an ear-splitting shriek, threatened to forever burn into her retinas.

And the next time the senator asked her to do a favor and fax an important document, she would ring the doorbell—and he had darned well better be on a junket to a Pacific paradise (on the taxpayer’s dime) like he’d said he would be.


BIO:

Megan DiMaria loves to be an encouragement to women as they live out their faith in today’s busy world. Her upbeat personality and deep appreciation for the humor in ordinary moments creates a bond with other women as they laugh and learn that life is an adventure, one not for the weak of heart.

Searching for Spice, Megan’s debut novel about a long-married woman who wants to have an affair—with her husband, released in April 2008. Her second novel, the sequel to Searching for Spice, released in October 2008. Out of Her Hands is about taking life as it comes with all its surprises and challenges. Her son’s dream girl isn’t what she had in mind. Between her family, her job, and her friends, life is moving at warp speed. How will Linda manage when she realizes it’s all out of her hands?

Megan and her husband live in suburban Denver near their adult children. They often travel back to their roots in Long Island, NY to visit family and get their fill of delicious Italian food.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ Out of Her Hands

Read all about Out of Her Hands below. Megan is visiting the Dregs tomorrow. Don't miss out on the first chapter. Click all the links and the book cover.

In this second novel by Megan DiMaria, Linda Revere is back and continuing to struggle with the turmoil of contemporary life. Linda has been praying for her children's future spouses since they were very small. Confident that her prayers will be answered, Linda is not prepared for the young woman her son brings home. But Linda soon learns that while everything she once controlled is out of her hands, God is still in control. Megan uses her trademark humor while dealing with issues to which her readers will relate.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Out Of Her Hands, go HERE and visit Megan's website.


My Review:


Megan DiMaria hits the pavement running via the first person point of view of Linda Revere, superwoman and superagitated supermom. Linda is facing huge issues of change and crushed expectations. Even though Linda's POV is the only "voice" we hear, readers get to glimpse enough reality, grit and angst in a large group of players to feel like they are reading a multi-player piece ala Karen Kingsbury or Neta Jackson.

Nikki Arana fans need to look into DiMaria as well. Arana's As I Have Loved You reminded me of Out of Her Hands.

Any issues I have with the story are probably of the stepped on toe variety because the story and the characters are painted in varying shades of reality and it's not altogether flattering. Linda is every woman. I see her in acquaintances and I see her in myself. Nick, Amber, and Emma are all people I know a little too intimately, too. Jerry and Ross add some serious stability to the story especially when things unravel.

Out of Her Hands packs quite a story. Buckle up and prepare to hit all the emotional stops.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Awesome God...















No matter how big my problems seem....

No matter how out of control the world feels...
The Master of the Universe is on His throne.

Click on the cool Hubble telescope shot and you'll find nine other equally cool shots.

Sometimes it feels fabulous to be infinitely small. And to know that even a sparrow doesn't drop without His knowledge.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ Me, Myself and I Am



Book Summary:

A new experience of God comes one question at a time in this fun and provocative journal. Made up entirely of insightful, profound, and occasionally ridiculous questions, Me, Myself, and I AM invites you to open to any page, open yourself to God, and be the author of yourown story.

Questions range from spiritually intriguing—

You overhear God talking about you. What do hear him saying?


to thought-provoking—

You are on a long car trip with a close friend who is not a Christian and the conversation turns to faith. What is your biggest fear about what your friend will ask or say?


to challenging—

Do you believe that all of Jesus’s followers have a responsibility to tell others about him?


to just plain fun—

If your life before you became a Christian were a movie, its title would be:

Animal House

As Good as It Gets

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It’s a Wonderful Life



Me, Myself, and I AM will entertain, inspire, and get you thinking about your spiritual life from brand new angles. Whether you use Me, Myself, and I AM as a reflective tool, a way to start conversations with friends and family, or as a spiritual time capsule to look back on years later, their own words will create a powerful journey of self-discovery.


My Review:

Me, Myself and I Am is a book requiring much from the reader. Besides the clever title and some soul-searching questions and sentence starters, the book is an empty slate.

I'm not great at following through with the meme's that head around the world via the internet. If I was I'd probably love this book. It's a spiritual and personal diary digging deep into the personal journey that has shaped reader beliefs and, by default, the reader.

My 17-year-old daughter fills out every meme she runs across and would really eat this up but my 22-year-old daughter saw the book laying on the kitchen table asked for it and hid it away before her sister discovered it had entered the house.

Some of the areas and topics covered include church, formative beliefs and the history of those, likes and dislikes, personality strengths and weaknesses and prayer personality. Many pages are quick check-lists and multiple choice, others require essay answers. All require thinking.

Introspective readers should find much to like.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Trippin Trip



Things I've done on my trip to Minnesota...

Went to Minnehaha Falls which are currently turned off. Really.

Heard John Piper of Desiring God fame preach.

Shop til I dropped.

Taken pictures for a book trailer for Gallimore...(hmmm, curious?)

Eaten way too much.

Laughed even more.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~Scattered Spooky Moments



Feral, the cat, ate dental floss. How do I know this? Well, it was obvious.
Note: Cats do not care for humans who attempt to tug on something that is hanging from where it shouldn't be. Good news. This too, did pass.

I encountered an elderly person who entertained others mightily and another one who spewed nothing but poisonous complaints.
Note: If I ever become a poisonous complainer over an entertaining treasure put me away and toss the key.

A bad alternator, a misunderstanding, a change-up in plans can make a day seem to last forever.
Note: In the end it can all end up okay.

Sometimes, late at night, after a really long day, things that are typed and posted on blogs don't always make sense.
Note: I've got VERY forgiving readers.

Happy November, everyone.

I'm going to be stretching my comfort zone in Minnesota for a few days. So if you come back Monday and Tuesday, make sure you read all the posts containing the letter o -- nice and long.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Delightful Offspring




My daughter, aka 22, is a deaconess at our church. I'm pretty proud of her. Even though the term deaconess sounds a lot like a team mascot, it's a rough job and it requires much maturity. It can be a thankless position of serving within a church body. Sometimes what is required is way beyond her years and experience.

She runs a book club that is satisfying and plans womens' activities that have been fun and spiritually rich. Like I said, I'm pretty proud of her. Tonight, I attended her Pilates class. She always prepares a devotion and then encourages the very mixed group of ladies through the stretching, whining and groaning.

While she taught, I realized how gifted she is as a teacher, and how many women young and not-so-young respect her. What an amazing blessing it is to see God at work in my children. What a delight it is to see my children seeking God.

It's true. Proverbs 23:24
The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him.(Or a wise daughter.)

Now, if I could just get her to lay off my aching muscles.