Monday, June 30, 2008

Serials and Scenarios - Linda Hall

I haven't read Shadows at the Window, yet. But Linda is the author of one of my favorite books from last year. Black Ice would be a nice cool read for a hot summer day....

Linda was kind enough to answer the Dregs questions even though she wasn't able to at the time of my review of Black Ice.

Award winning author Linda Hall has written twelve novels and seven nonfiction books. She has also worked as a freelance writer, news reporter and feature writer for a daily newspaper.

From an early age, she was a lover of stories. As a child she would walk home from school and make up stories, most of which didn't get written down. She also read book after book far into the night. She still enjoys reading, and probably reads a novel a week.

Growing up in New Jersey, her love of the ocean was nurtured during many trips to the shore. When she's not writing she and she and her husband enjoy sailing the St. John River system and the coast of Maine in their 28 foot sailboat, Gypsy Rover II. She invites her readers to her website.

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

Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote. I like the fact that this woman ‘of a certain age’ is classy and independent and smart and a successful mystery writer. I want to be her.

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

My question would be for Charles Dickens and for his book, A Tale of Two Cities. Mr. Dickens, how did you come up with such a great opening sentence?

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

I find I get my best writing done in coffee shops writing long hand on unlined sheets of scrap paper with colorful fine point Sharpies.
Back before I wrote novels I was a journalist and when I trained, reporters learned shorthand. So, I write my drafts in a large scrawly shorthand that I must transcribe to the computer just as soon as I get back to my office before I can’t read them anymore.

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

In Margaret Atwood’s novel Cat’s Eye, I wanted to meet Elaine’s elusive friend Cordelia at the end. I felt cheated. We never get to meet this person who had such a prominent part in the story, but I guess that was the point! I’m still a great Margaret Atwood fan however, and have read everything she has written, and own most of her books - even though they infuriate me sometimes.

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

In one of his books, Robert Parker describes someone as looking simply “like a sunflower.” It was so much better than going on and on about his wild yellow hair sticking up all over the place and his long, lanky bent-over body. When I’m tempted to go on and on and on with my descriptions, I think of Robert Parker and try to paint a word picture a different way.

If you were assured of writing a best-seller, what genre would it be?

I think I would write exactly what I’m writing now – romantic suspense stories and thrillers. If I had the time I might write a pirate story.

What period of history intrigues you the most?

The times of the swash bucklers. “Argh, argh, matey.” I’m intrigued by life aboard sailing vessels, especially the old square riggers.

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.)

I would write an epic and very long novel set on an old square rigged sailing ship. There would be more women aboard than in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, simply because there usually were more women aboard. There would be shipwrecks on desert islands and hurling, brutal seas and long periods of becalmed scorching suns. There would be starvation and sickness, but also times of great music and joy. Babies would be born on board, (It’s where we get the expression ‘son of a gun’), and others would die, their bodies committed to the sea. There would be mystery and betrayal and pirates and of course, romance.
The ocean is really our last frontier. It is entirely uncontrollable. I would love to capture that in a book – having the sea itself be like a character rather than merely the setting. You better stop me before I turn this simple answer into a full-fledged proposal!

What makes you feel alive?

Sitting beside the ocean, mountain biking over rough terrain in the sun, drinking coffee with friends, sitting outdoors and listening to a good live blues band.

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

Probably through pain. That seems to be how I learn best. That seems to be how God reaches me and teaches me. It’s where most of my story ideas come – pain.

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

Aside from the Bible, the book I would take would be the entire works of C.S. Lewis. I read all of his books a long time ago, and need to re-read them.

Music – Something acoustic and bluesy – Maybe my entire Bonnie Raitt collection.

Food – Wine Gums or Peach Fuzzies.

Person? My husband of 36 years. We’ve done a lot of traveling together and I can’t imagine anyone I would rather go on a long trip with.

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.

I’d like to go to Europe. I would like to travel through three specific counties - Spain, because I think the language and culture are beautiful; France, because I think the language and culture are beautiful; and Italy because I think the language and culture are beautiful.

Favorite season and why?

I like the fall. Here in the eastern part of Canada where I live it’s the most beautiful season with the fall colors. And because of the tempering influence of the Atlantic ocean, our falls are long and warm. The only downside of fall is that winter follows in its wake.

Favorite book setting and why?

It has to be the ocean. I hope I don’t end up boring my readers, but all my books seem to be set near or on the ocean.

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

‘I stayed up all night reading your book.’ I love it when readers tell me that. It shows me that I’ve done my job, that I’ve achieved suspense on my pages.

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

I would spend that time with my family. I have two grown children and three grandchildren, and of course my husband.

What is your favorite word?

Ubiquitous. I just think it sounds cool as it rolls off the tongue.

What word annoys you more than any other?

Utilize. It sounds weird and entirely unnecessary when we have the perfectly good word – use.

Super power you’d love to borrow for awhile?

Years ago I read a set of children’s stories to my kid. They were The Magic Bicycle series by John Bibee and published by InterVarsity. In one of the books is a pair of glasses and when you put them on you are suddenly able see all the angels who surround you. You are witness to the great battle going on in behalf of you. At times when I’m feeling particularly abandoned and alone, I think it would be neat to catch a glimpse of what God is doing behind the scenes concerning me. I would like to borrow those glasses, even for just a few minutes.

Favorite chore

Ironing. Seriously. I enjoy ironing. I find it relaxing and I use my ironing time to watch all the episodes of Law and Order that I’ve taped through the week. I especially like ironing cloth napkins because you can get the crease so perfectly straight.

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

Scuba diving. My husband scuba dives and on trips to warm and reefy waters, I snorkel along the top while he dives way under. I’m afraid of trusting my entire ability to breath to this tank strapped to my back. It’s unnatural, I tell him. Also, I ‘almost’ tried clearing my ears in preparation for even learning this sport, and stopped because I thought clearing my ears might hurt. I simply couldn't get myself to do that. And if you can’t do that simple thing, you can’t dive. FYI – clearing your ears involves holding your nose and gently breathing out through your nose until your ears pop. Yikes, even writing that down is giving me the willies.

Grammatical pet peeve…sound off.

I hate it when people write alot when they really mean a lot. I want to scream at them – it’s two words!

Societal pet peeve…sound off.

Too loud music in concerts. My husband and I love to attend live concerts, but I can’t tell you the number of times in recent years we’ve had to get up and walk out. The music itself might be wonderful, but when it physically thumps in your chest and leaves your ears ringing for days it’s just not pleasant. Movie theaters are even too loud these days. Even some churches are. Do I sound like an old fogy?

Well, maybe I am. : )

Friday, June 27, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ Mary Connealy

As promised, Mary Connealy dropped in for a spell. In one of her creative offerings she gives us a sneak peek at a scene from Calico Canyon. One name is changed for protection (or creative license). Go to Wednesday's review if you want to read her first chapter...

Without further ado, here ya go pardners. Thanks, Mary.

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

Ma Ingalls from the Little House books. It seemed like she did the work of a team of oxen while everyone else got to star in the books. I really live a quiet life. :)

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

I’d like to ask Thomas Jefferson what he thinks of what America has become, so much fear and cowardice, so much desire to be taken care of and have all of life’s bumps and bruises taken away by a nanny state government, in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

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

I daydream the next scene every night when I’m in bed. I write from beginning to end of the book with very little detailed plotting but a good idea of the story I want to tell. I write 1000 words a day five days a week or more…less isn’t allowed.

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

I’d have Atticus Finch get his client off somehow in To Kill a Mockingbird. I think that could have happened and there’d still have been a great story.

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

Red is good. Black on a bad day. I think I’d like to be pink…sparkly pink (do they have crayons with sparkles because they should).

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

Purple cow. A practical animal with some flash. Like a giraffe and an iguana aren’t unusual enough without the weird color.

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

My favorite line in any book is from To Kill a Mockingbird. I’m not sure I should even say what it is, I’ll abbreviate the questionable language…and I can’t quote it exactly.

Atticus had a client executed and he’d felt so bad that he quit representing criminals at trial, but (and here’s the line to the best of my memory) ‘Atticus couldn’t persuade his client that ‘the SOB had it coming to him’ was a good enough defense in a murder trial.’

My next favorite exchange is the chapter ending hook in a Julie Garwood novel.

A Scottish Laird marries an English Maiden at the king’s command. Neither of them is happy about it. The end of one chapter has the hero saying to his friend,

‘Don’t worry, she’ll settle in.”

Chapter Eight

She started four wars the first week.

That’s the kind of humor and surprise that makes a person read the next chapter to see what is going to happen, just for the fun of that hook. And if you can get a reader to look forward to starting the next chapter, they’re hooked.

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.

It would have to be a romantic comedy because I can’t seem to write anything else. I think the historical western is my most natural voice, although I’ve got a series of cozy mysteries coming out that are so fun I’d like to write more of those. I guess I’ll stick with the genre Petticoat Ranch and Calico Canyon are in. I’ve got a lot of that style coming from Barbour and I’d like them to be best sellers.

What period of history intrigues you the most?

Cowboys. 1880. Once cars come into it, it changes for me, the feeling that brings. Nothing at all wrong with it, I just don’t long for that style. I’m right where I want to be.

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.)

I’ve got some books written that are contemporary romantic-comedy suspense and I’d like to get them published someday. But I’m very happy with westerns.

What makes you feel alive?

Contemporary Christian Music that really touches me and turns a car ride into worship My children at home, a great book.

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

I love humor. That’s what I want in any part of life. When a book surprises me into tears I love that. Usually self-sacrifice – especially a woman for her children – gets me. But I don’t like a book that sets itself up to be a tear-jerker from the beginning. I don’t like to cry when I read.

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.

The Colorado Rockies. I’d just like to go out into the mountains, rent a cabin and sit and look around at natural beauty. I’ve see the Rockies twice but I want more time.

Favorite season and why?

Summer. My kids come home a lot and we go boating on the Missouri River and it’s wonderful. Great setting. My kids are such fun people.

Favorite book setting and why?

I read contemporary, suspenseful romantic comedy mostly but historical is okay, too if it’s suspenseful romantic comedy. If they’re sassing each other and falling in love while they’re running for their lives, then I’m happy.

Super power you'd love to borrow for awhile?

I’d love to fly. How cool would that be.

Favorite chore –

I love to cook and I don’t do it much anymore because the kids are grown and my husband and I need to eat low-fat, low-cal, light meals. But I love cooking, especially baking, but a whole meal is great, really tender roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy. Cream Puffs or Apple Crisp or Lemon Meringue Pie. You can see I don’t need to eat like that much.

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

I used to want to do all of those things (well, not running with scissors, that just irresponsible) But sky diving, I really wanted to do that when I was a kid. No more. I knew someone who’s chute didn’t open right. He survived but yikes! Nope, no high risk terror for me. I’ll just read about it instead.

Grammatical pet peeve…sound off.

I don’t mind slang but I think everyone ought to have good command of the English language that they can go to in a pinch.

Pick any of the following and have fun with it.

Pick a Genre - Describe a kiss….

Suspense – lots of yanking and swooping.

Thriller – a kiss in the dark that moves you when it shouldn’t

Romance – sweet, slow, you both see it coming and don’t even think of stopping it…even though you should.

Historical – Common sense says he’s the husband and he has his rights. But you never expected to enjoy ‘his rights’ so much.

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

Gina sat upright from where she lounged on the sofa, reading. Her book hit the floor and skidded across the golden oak. “Who’s there?”

She hadn’t heard a thing, but that scent, she’d smelled it before. Michael.

He stepped into her den—his den—drawing on his pipe. He’d always fit the perfect style of the college profession, tweed sports coat with leather elbow patches, short styled hair, that blasted smelly pipe.

“Hi, Gina. I’m back. I put the milk in the fridge.”

“What? What milk?”

“The milk you sent me out in the rain for. Why aren’t you cooking? I thought it was an emergency.”

Gina rose slowly to her feet, staring at him, half expecting him to vanish, or grow fangs and attack. What else did dead people, walking around, do? “Michael—”

“What honey?” His smile seemed confused but it was him.

All the love and hate Gina had tried to bury came roaring back. “Where have you been?”

His smile faded and his eyes narrowed. “At the store, like I just said.”

Shaking her head, Gina felt her field of vision narrow and wondered if she was going to faint. She tried to back away but the ancient couch Michael had chosen stopped her.

“What’s the matter?” He came closer. Gina knew, if he touched her, she’d start screaming.

“You look like you’ve seen a ghost. Why are you looking at me that way?”

“B—because,” her voice broke and she wasn’t sure she could go on, but she had to. What was going on? Clearing her throat she said, “Because you went out for milk two years ago and you never came back.”

At that second, Liam began crying, up from his nap.

Michael’s eyes sharpened and focused on Gina’s stomach. He dropped his pipe and something else, something fragile and glass which smashed into so many pieces Gina couldn’t tell what it was. Micheal was in her face in two long strides. Laying his hand on her flat stomach he said, “You were eight months pregnant when I left…fifteen minutes ago!”

Pick one of the "story starters" below and give us a sample of your voice.

A crack broke the stillness as Terri tugged on the frozen door.

“I can’t be out here alone with you wearing a nightgown.” Terri clutched the blankets until her fingers hurt, thinking of the scandal of it all. She hurried to the frozen door and tugged. “It’s not proper.”

Daniel’s fair skin turned an alarming shade of pink as he stared at her. “I’ll bet it wasn’t proper of us to sleep together either.”

Terri turned back to Daniel just as a crack broke the stillness from outside and the door swung open.

“It most certainly was not.” The deep voice from behind hit them at the same instant the cold did.

They all turned to face Parson Roscoe.

The boys wheeled fully around. Daniel sat up. Terri clutched the blankets to her chest and looked into the startled eyes of the kindly parson and, just behind him, his gentle-hearted wife, Isabelle.

“Parson, it’s not what it looks like,” Terri said.

“Oh thank heavens,” Mrs. Roscoe said. “Because it looks like you and Daniel spent the night together in this cave.”

“Then it is exactly what it looks like,” John said into a silence more frozen than Terri had been last night.

“Well yes,” Daniel said. “We did spend the night together, but—”

“Daniel,” Terri gasped in horror.

Daniel looked away from the parson, his skin now fully flaming red. “Well, we did. Do you want me to add lying to the parson in on top of having you in bed. . I mean, sleeping together. . .I mean having you here without your clothes. . .I mean. . .” Daniel lapsed into silence.

“Pa brung her home to be our ma, but he tried her out for the night and he decided to return her,” Mark said.

Parson Roscoe stepped fully into the cave. “Both of you stand side by side before me immediately.”

Daniel turned and stood straight as a soldier a single, lithe movement.

“In front of the children, Terri? I’m shocked.” Mrs. Roscoe came in and shut the door behind her. The plump woman clutched her hands together in front of her chest as if desperate to get away and spend an hour in prayer just to wash the shock out of her mind.

Terri backed away until she was side by side with Daniel, fumbling with the blankets. There were too many of them to hold. She tried to drop a few of them and managed to drop them all. She caught at them and almost fell forward trying to keep herself covered.

Daniel caught her before she pitched over on top of him.

Every bone in Terri’s body hurt. Every breath cut across her chest like a knife. Her arms and legs were so stiff she wanted to cry out with pain.

“We saw the broken window in your room.” The parson produced his Bible from his coat pocket.

Terri remembered now. She’d fallen out of her window. No, she’d jumped out of her window.

“The whole town is up in arms about what happened to you, Terri.” Mrs. Roscoe crossed the room, all three steps wide, and rested her hand on Terri’s shoulder. “Search parties have been out all night.”

“Someone mentioned Daniel being in town yesterday afternoon.” The parson took up the story. “We offered to ride out and see if he knew of your whereabouts. Now I see you must have. . .uh. . settled your differences and. . .uh. . .decided to. . .”

Terri could see the parson striving to be diplomatic when faced with the very worst possible sort of evidence of immoral behavior between two adults.

“Plan an elopement.” Mrs. Roscoe’s kind eyes found Terri and the intertwined hands begged Terri to go along with this wild stab at respectability.

“No, no, oh, no,” Daniel said. “We didn’t plan no elopement. I don’t want to marry the schoolmarm. Sure, we slept together. That doesn’t mean—”

“What’s ’lopement, Pa. Is that like an antelope?” John asked. “Are we gonna eat venison ’stead of dumb old steak all the time?”

“No, it’s like an envelope, stupid,” Abe sneered. “The parson wants to know if we’ve got any letters to mail.”

“We don’t rightly know how to fetch a letter around, Parson,” Ike said. “We haven’t had much schoolin’.”

“And what we’ve had isn’t much better ’n nothin’,” Mark added, “ ’cuz Miss Calhoun was a mighty poor excuse for a schoolmarm.”

Terri turned on Mark. “I was not a poor excuse for a schoolmarm, you little—”

“Do not tell me, Daniel Reeves,”—the parson stopped Terri from grabbing Mark by stepping past the boys and the table until he stood toe-to-toe with Daniel—“that you expect to keep this young lady, a respectable woman from this town and a member of my flock, out at your home overnight and not do the right thing.”

“Right thing?” Terri forgot about Mark as she saw Daniel’s Adam’s apple bob up and down as he gulped.

Terri waited for the floor to swallow her up. If God really loved her, He’d just strike her dead right this minute. Then she thought of Parrish. If he found her married, would that negate any legal claim he had on her as her adoptive father?

Terri looked from Daniel Reeves and his multitude of sons to her future if Parrish caught up with her, something it now seemed inevitable he’d do.

Daniel or Parrish or death. Those were her only choices.

“Terri!” Parson Roscoe’s voice interrupted her panic.

“I’m thinking!” Weighing her options carefully, she prayed, C’mon, God. Death. I’m ready.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Thoughts of Green

Iowa feels like a jungle -- overgrown with juicy green vegetation, and air so thick with humidity I think I could reach out, grab a low-lying cloud and squeeze enough out of it to fill a bathtub.

Clothes are limp, the blacktopped roads steam in the early morning haze of moisture pregnant air that hovers over us. It is a time to rejoice if you have certain types of hair, and a time to hide if you don't.
Odors further add to the density. Walk by a garbage can and you'll wish you hadn't. But the mint. Oooh, the mint. This is my first year to actually have some growing in my almost garden.

My on-again, off-again best elementary friend had parents who were a bit older than my parents, a bit more on the worldly side and a little more free-flowing with walking around money. They also owned things like cocktail glasses and ice buckets and a membership to the country club. It was like visiting an foreign locale when I hung out with my friend. In my house, I was the oldest of two younger brothers, my friend the youngest of three indulgent brothers. We didn't have dogs, they did. Her mother even talked us into a manners class so we could pick up tips on behaving like ladies.

But I digress.

One of my most powerful memories of time spent with them is mint iced tea. Really. Her mom would brew up sun tea packed with mint leaves and it tasted a little bit like heaven. Turns out my mom has always had a patch of mint in her garden, she just doesn't brew mint sun tea.

Mom sent a flowerpot of mint home with me a few weeks ago, and, well, a week later, my daughter-in-law scored some for me, too. When it rains it pours. And certain rain just tastes a little sweeter.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~Calico Canyon

This week, Christian Fiction Blog Alliance is touring Calico Canyon. (Sounds like a nice place, eh?)

Mary Connealy will be with us on Friday via the Dregs questions. You won't want to miss it especially if you like what you see in the first chapter.

Even if you don't so much go for this genre, you should take a peek.

My Review:

Western/prairie/frontier romance is probably the last genre I'd pick to read. Forgive me if you are a fan. I'm not knocking the category, just sharing that it's not a favorite.

I had an earlier opportunity to read Calico Canyon and I passed. Honestly, I have piles of books to read and if I think I might not like something I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be able to review it with any sort of glow. I don't like investing hours into a story and not being able to write a review with some praise. Then the darn thing showed up in my mailbox. While waiting on a kid and with some time to kill, I opened the cover. If someone can catch me with the first sentence or paragraph, I'm along for the ride.

That said, I so enjoyed Calico Canyon. Mary Connealy is amusing and her characters are charming. She had me in the first scene and I read the story with a smile and even tense concern over the well-being of the characters. Connealy does the genre proud. Though she hasn't converted me completely, I will snatch up her next novel.

This is a great "kick off your shoes" and "set a spell" novel. I recommend it to those who love frontier/western romance, prairie romance and, well, anyone else who might like to read an entertaining,well-written novel.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Why I Love Guys

No, this isn't some awful confession, so no freaking out allowed.

I just really like a man's man. Why? Maybe it's because I miss my little-boy-all-grown-up who used to investigate everything and collect "stuff." Curiosity was his middle name. From the year he "footprinted" toads to mark the growth, to the year he build a rope fort in the treetops, to the year he traveled to Mexico, I have delighted in his love for learning and desire to uncover how things work.

Some of my fondest memories involve wrestling matches between Rob and Jordan. Wrestling matches that rocked the foundation and broke a few odds and ends. At the time I never expected to look back with fondness and longing. Go figure.

I miss my little brothers, too. Maybe "guys" just bring out the kid in me. I didn't have sisters, and as much as I fought with my brothers, I have some great memories. Most of them center around injuries, which you all know has shaped me into the twisted individual I am today.

Rob is a hunter. I hate the idea of him killing Bambi, but I know the act of slogging through the near-virgin woods energizes him. I don't fish either, I'll hold a pole, poke around at things, sure, but I don't long for it. But I love to watch him fish. And work. There is raw beauty in my man as he sweats and subdues his surroundings.

I love the way a man's brain works, linear and to-the-point. Not that this quality hasn't sent me over the edge a time or two, but generally, a guy's mind, when passionate about a subject, is an amazing instrument.

Maybe I love guys because in their live-out loud moments they are scarfing life and embracing who God created them to be. Master of their domain, learning, growing, subduing and righting wrongs. A man in his element is alive and glorious and a thing of beauty.

Don't even get me started on a man who loves God.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Going Green

I'm on a green kick. I've always recycled. And reused, and we are big time garage sales shoppers which really helps a lot, too.

That's one of the things I tell Rob when I brings items home.

A few weeks ago, a friend sent a guilt video about the scourge of plastic bags. It was the final push that inspired my use of the reusable bag. It seems strange to ask the sacker at the grocery store to shove my perishables into a big blue bag decorated with clothing items and girly things, but that's just what I've done, several times. And I do feel a little like I'm saving the world, one small plastic bag at a time.

That is probably the feeling that led me to the flying fish incident today. Or not.

No, I didn't travel to where water meets land and toss fish back into the water. Starfish either. Instead, I dug through a bag of stale snack mix and saved the M&M's.

I'm sure you are all thinking. "Freak!" right about now. Rest assured it gets weirder.

It makes no sense to throw away perfectly good M&M's, especially when one is a fan of chocolate. And salty M&M's are pretty tasty. Don't knock it til you've tried it.

What to do with the Goldfish (am I supposed to add TM to these product names?) and the generic pretzels? Out of the corner of my eye, I spied two very eager recyclers. Tails a wagging, drool a dangling, recycling maniacs.

Hence the flying fish. Yes!

A recycling home run!!!

And if you ever stop by for a real visit, I promise not to feed you recycled food. Really!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Super Cinema Saturday ~ Bonneville

Product Description

Faced with the decision of a lifetime Arvilla Holden (Jessica Lange) hijacks her two best friends (Kathy Bates Joan Allen) and sets off in a vintage '66 Bonneville convertible across the great American West to deliver her husband s ashes to her step-daughter. What begins as a simple trip will end up becoming a chance to rediscover themselves their friendship the importance of promises - and of living life to the fullest.


Armed with an amazing cast and a sweet story line, Bonneville, hits the road with the sudden death of Arvilla's (Jessica Lange) husband and the demand by his snotty daughter that his ashes be delivered to his memorial ceremony several states away. Arvilla is not ready to give him up and feels a little overwhelmed so her friends insist on flying with her. Plans change enroute and the journey becomes a road trip in Arvilla's classic convertible. Arvilla and her friends discover far more about each other and themselves and begin to glimpse that there is hope even when the summer of life turns into autumn.

A definite girlfriend flick with a more mature angle than the usual offering. Flashes of giddiness, heartfelt conversation, poignant situations, horrible moments and sweet acceptance fill the film. The slower pace and the people along the way, the experiences that cement the friends, and the resolution make for some thought-provoking viewing. Bonneville is squeaky clean and entertaining. After all two Mormon ladies and a recent widow can't get into too much trouble, right?

If you like Hallmark style movies, I think you'll enjoy Bonneville.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ Mike Dellosso

As promised, Mike dropped in for a spell and gave us much for our reading pleasure.

If you like thrillers, don't forget to read the first chapter of The Hunted.

Thanks, Mike.

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

Most like to be: Peter Pevensie, C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. To be High King of such a magical place like Narnia . . . are you kidding?

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

I don’t have a very substantial attention span, one of the reasons I write suspense (keep it moving), so when I write—when I have a solid block of time, that is—I usually write for forty minutes to an hour then need to get up and move. And when I move, man, I move. Put a little Toby Mac or Decemberadio in the old CD player and get my groove on. It’s a good thing I’m normally alone because it ain’t a pretty sight. I’m a snowball through and through and have no rhythm. This’ll go on for maybe fifteen minutes before I dance myself out then I sit my butt back down and I’m good for another hour or so.

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

What color is periwinkle? I’m so terrible with colors. Is it like a blue color? Anyway, I’d go with the iguana because the poor thing is obviously embarrassed and I can empathize with that. I’m a blusher too.

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

Literature: River Rising by Athol Dickson, Reverend Hal Poser says, “Jesus was a nigger.” What a word picture!

Movie: Napoleon Dynamite, Uncle Rico wows us with his wisdom when he says, “You might as well do somethin’ while you’re doin’ nothin’.” I love that. Great stuff.

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.

Actually, it would be in general fiction. I love writing suspense, don’t get me wrong, but we’re talking bestseller here and right now I’m battling cancer and would love to write a book about a guy wading through this valley, trying to find meaning in it all while he touches the lives of others and is, in turn, touched by their lives.

What period of history intrigues you the most?

World War II all the way. The dedication, patriotism, bravery, and courage of our fighting men just awes me. My grandfather was in Italy during the Anzio beach landing and it wasn’t pretty. Those men (and women) sacrificed so much and our world is still reaping the benefits. They are my heroes.

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.)

I would write a novel in the form of an instruction manual. Not really. I would write just what I’m writing now, suspense with a supernatural twist.

What makes you feel alive?

Walking along the rocky coast of Maine, the salty breeze dampening my skin and tangling my hair. The smell of the north ocean, the chop of waves, the sound of water against rock. It’s invigorating.

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

Usually through sentiment. Songs will do it (most anything by Mercy Me, Casting Crowns, Michael W. Smith), as will a Bible verse I’ve read umpteen times but this time it hits just right, you know what I mean?

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

Book: Anything by Dean Koontz. Love him. Not, like, really love him, just love his work.

Music: Toby Mac. I could listen to him over and over.

Person: Dean Koontz. I’d love to pick his brain, delve into that wealth of knowledge.

Food: Hot dogs!

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.

No way the moon, too barren. Weird. Too cold at the north pole. Deep seas? Ain’t gonna happen—ever since watching Jaws. Deserted island? Why? It’s . . . deserted. The holy land would be intriguing but too dangerous for my cowardly taste. I’d love to go to Scotland or Ireland. So . . . green, yeah. I also love sheep . . . and castles.

Favorite season and why?

Definitely autumn. The crisp air gives me life. I could stare at a colorful hillside all day. The memories of childhood plunges into mountains of leaves brings tears to my eyes. Yeah, autumn is fallbulous . . . how corny is that?

Favorite book setting and why?

I’ve never landed one of my stories here (yet) but it’d have to be Maine. The landscape is so raw and rugged. The people so unique. The lifestyle so hard. The dialect, the quirky culture, there’s so much you can do with that combination.

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

This is weird but when someone tells me one of my stories gave them nightmares I count it as a great compliment. That’s so mean, isn’t it? Also, when someone says they couldn’t put the book down. That’s a great thing for any writer to hear. Keep ‘em turnin’ pages!

What criticism has cut the deepest and why?

Fortunately, I haven’t had any deep-cutting criticism. Sure, some folk haven’t been the most enthusiastic about my work or have asked questions like, “Why is this stuff in your head?” or weren’t the most supportive early on but so far, I’ve been blessed. So far . . . I know the day will come when some reader will send me a scathing email about how lousy of a writer I am, how much of a hack, how I’d be better off picking ticks off a moose, and how the paper my book was printed on would serve better as toilet paper. That day will come and I’m sure I’ll be shell-shocked and devastated, but for now . . . I’ll hold my breath.

What is your favorite word?

I love this word Dean Koontz uses a lot in his books: susurration. How cool is that word? Wanna know what it means? Look it up.

What word annoys you more than any other?

Uvula is just a ridiculous word. Who ever came up with that? Also, phlegm, oyster, queue, and most anatomical terms.

Superhero you most admire and why?

Batman. He’s just a normal guy, really, no superpowers but his ingenuity and endless pit of money for all his little gadgets and gear. He’s tormented, has tons of angst (that’s another word I love), yet dedicates himself to helping others. That’s a super hero.

Super power you'd love to borrow for awhile?

Flying, of course. Think of all the gas money I’d save.

Favorite chore.

I like raking leaves (because then I can call the kiddos out and watch them swan dive into them).

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

I’m not a risk taker for that very reason . . . pain. But something I don’t do for fear of pain? Ride in the front seat of a car (as driver or passenger) without a seatbelt. I also would never rock climb freestyle. And never swim with great white sharks. That Jaws thing again. And their teeth look like they would hurt. Oh, one more thing—can I give one more? I would never swallow swords.

Societal pet peeve…sound off.

How long do we have here? Public enemy number one? Everyone’s a victim. I once had a guy who had serious anger issues tell me it wasn’t his fault because he had “testosterone rage syndrome.” How lame is that? Don’t want to take responsibility for your mouth or your fists or your lack of honesty or your perverted tendencies? Pick a syndrome, any syndrome. And parents are some of the biggest culprits with the behavior of their children. Poor little Joey can’t help it that he mouths off and throws temper tantrums, he’s the helpless victim of a cruel disorder. Give . . . me . . . a . . . break.


Pick any of the following and have fun with it.

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…..

Man: “Mm-hm . . . okay . . . sure . . . mm-hm . . . six-tenths . . . wow . . . no . . . okay . . . okay . . . okay.”

Woman: “. . . and then she told me it looked too small on me. Can you believe it? I should have told her right there what I thought of her sassy attitude and skinny little waist. How much do you think she eats? If she eats at all. She probably, you know, barfs it up. How else would she keep a tiny little figure like that? It makes me sick, it really does. She’s what, thirty-five? When I was thirty-five I was that small too, well, almost that small. I’m sure I was that small. Wait until she’s in her fifties and we’ll see how tiny her little waist is then. I hope I’m around to tell her her skirt looks too small. I will, too. I hope I’m around for that. I can be sassy to, you know.”

Pick one of the "story starters" below and give us a sample of your voice.

A crack broke the stillness as Terry tugged on the frozen door.

A rush of warm air slipped out through the inch-wide opening and carried with it the metallic smell of blood, burning his nostrils. He gripped the handle tighter and drew in a deep breath, steadying himself for what he knew he would find behind the door.

And what do we have behind door number one?

Despite the below-freezing temperatures outside, a bead of sweat broke from his brow, trickled down the side of his nose and caught on the corner of his nostril.

Reaching one hand around the jamb, Terry felt for the light switch. He didn’t want to enter the room and be alone with it in the dark. No thank you.

There. He flipped the switch and the overhead fluorescent stuttered to life.

From somewhere in the room—the far side?—he heard a low growl, like the gravelly rumble of a V-8 engine, followed by a low, forced moan. Joe. His heart was in his throat. He wanted to slam the door shut and run for his life but couldn’t, he couldn’t leave Joe in there alone with it.

Reaching for the Glock at his hip, he withdrew it and rested his finger on the trigger, holding the pistol shoulder high. This was it. He’d have to be quick. He’d only get one shot to put the thing down. He had to make it count.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Thursday Notes to Self -- and You

Indulge me while I rant.

I work in a medical clinic. My co-workers and I often have to gather information or give patients instructions. Important ones, unless a patient doesn't care if they have to repeat a fasting blood test, etc. etc. We've discovered this out-of-control phenomena wherein a high percentage of patients have a cell phone surgically attached to their head. Or maybe it just seems like it.

My favorite was the day I had a patient positioned in front of the x-ray box, lights off, target in place and the cell phone rang. Patient says, "I have to get that," just as my finger readied to press the button of no return. After what sounded like a life and death important conversation, NOT, we continued. We've posted signs, which people don't read, regarding our policy prohibiting cell phones in our exam rooms.

My three kids all work in people service industries and they say it's a problem there, too. One lady glared daggers at my daughter because she asked for ID with a check payment.

So for the sake of peace and for the love of common sense...could we all make a pact to put down the cell phone when making transactions or interacting with a live person who needs to help us in our activities of daily living? Unless, of course, you are formulating the cure for cancer, solving world hunger or ushering peace into the those situations, I'll gladly wait.

Next thought....

Our son and daughter-in-law were married three years ago yesterday. Whoa! Where did that time go? They are a great couple and we love to be around them. So our gift? Hee,hee,hee, or shall I say gift with strings? A dinner or lunch on us and WITH us. Who needs stinking gift cards?

Last thought...

I hope not, maybe I'll say last thought I'll write about.

I find it extremely cool that people are discovering new authors and great books through book reviews, first chapters and interviews on the Dregs. Today a friend waxed enthusiastically about two books I blogged, ones she has now added to her "to read" list. Several weeks ago another friend told me she bought a book on CD because of my recommendation of the author's work.

Of course, this also stirs my angst... Oh, the crushing responsibility of it all.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~The Hunted

Mike will "visit" the Dregs on Friday. You won't want to miss his Q & A. In the meantime read the first chapter of The Hunted, visit Mike's website and click on the cover to visit the Amazon page for even more reviews and info.

My Review:

Advice to supernatural thriller fans -- pick up The Hunted, sink your teeth into it, and prepare for a wild ride. Debut author Mike Dellosso's prose is solid and descriptive. His characters are well-drawn, distinctive and believable. Twisted and fast-moving, the story delivers plenty of creeps and thrills. Dellosso delivers a solid plot line that intensified in the heart of the book and carried through to the end, no soggy middle here. Issues of faith were handled honestly and with sensitivity.

I whipped through The Hunted often reading "just one more chapter" and am giving it 4 enthusiastic stars. I found The Hunted to be a very well-written, intense first novel and I'm looking forward to reading more from Mike Dellosso.

Chickens, consider yourselves warned. You may find some scenes to cluck about...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ Deep In the Heart of Trouble

I don't have a review or interview, but here's an opportunity to read the first chapter of Deeanne Gist's new novel. Deep in the Heart of Trouble.

You can drop in at Amazon, read a review here and here, or visit Deeanne's website.

I do look forward to reading Christy Award winning Deeanne's stories.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ Parenting

I read and reviewed this book months ago and posted my review at Amazon. I just haven't gotten around to posting it at the Dregs yet, and now I'm glad I procrastinated.

Apparently someone has gotten hold of this book and sent out an alarm. Read the reviews and you'll understand what I mean.

Here is my review:

Absolutely the most informative parenting book I've ever read.

Regardless of your parenting philosophy, regardless of the age of your kids, I highly recommend you get your hands on a copy.

I have been a long-time Rosemond fan. His common sense "parents need to be the decision makers" advice has saved me headaches over the years. Our children have survived and thrived in spite of an occasional spanking and a heavy consequence here and there. Even though we see success, we are not done yet, and it seems that not all children are identical and what works with one might not work for the others. So, in the midst of kicking my own parenting behind and feeling like a failure, I picked up Parenting by the Book.

Rosemond begins the book with a breakdown of the psychology of parenting. Why do we seek expert opinion? Well, lots of reasons, most having to do with a lack of confidence in how we handle situations with our children. None of us wants to leave a permanent negative mark on our children's developing psyches. But Rosemond, a highly trained psychologist, takes all the conflicting advice, parental guilt, child manipulation and sheds a spotlight on it.

Once the flaws and untruths are revealed, he rebuilds the foundation of child-rearing with care and clarity. Oh, it's not easy. But it's a whole lot easier than what is being sold elsewhere.

Consider yourself warned, though. You need to be very aware that the old-fashioned approach to child-rearing as presented by Rosemond will likely step all over your psychologically in-tune toes. The Biblical components in this book may offend you, also. I loved the fact that Rosemond shared his journey from fringe to faith, other readers may not.

You honestly owe it to yourself to read this book. If you have ever paged through a Consumer Reports before buying anything, consider the value of a child and the value of your own sanity. Beg, borrow, or buy this book.

And I still stand behind it. This is why...we need to know the truth behind the teaching we embrace, don't we? Look at the big debate on evolution vs. creation or and intelligent design. Look at the political arena. I want to at least have the basic facts before making decisions. What mindset is behind the current and recent past child-rearing gurus?

I've been a Rosemond fan for years. Not because I consider my children as "better seen than heard" but because I love them enough to want to help them to have the best possible grip on life. Rosemond considers spanking a tool that occasionally might need to come out of the toolbox. So do I. Much of the Amazon hub-bub is over self-esteem. Rosemond mentions studies that show a high self-esteem in bullies and prisoners (which I've seen elsewhere). I'm all for a child feeling loved and accepted, but a child who has taken center stage in his own mind may find that the fall in later years is something he is ill-prepared to weather. Self-respect is a much greater goal.

I'm not a child-rearing expert on any level, other than the one wherein I have three children who have been spanked, and disciplined in love and are pretty solid citizens. They have also been delighted in, enjoyed, and cherished. Had they been allowed to rule the house, or if their self-esteem had been the primary concern, or if our marriage revolved around them, I don't know that they would have become who they are. And I wouldn't trade one bit of who they are for the emptiness of self-esteem. If you agree with me, go visit the page and vote on whether you find the reviews helpful, then get a hold of the book, read it and write your own review if you feel led.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Super Cinema Saturday ~ Bella

Bella far exceeded my expectations. Because it was promoted by pro-life and religious groups, I wondered if it would be stronger in message and weaker in art.

This film is a slow moving unveiling of wounded characters that are so full of longing, fear and regret that they limp through life with crudely constructed walls to protect their crushed hearts. Does anyone really know either of them? Apparently not.

Nina is terrified and pregnant and newly unemployed. Jose enters the picture as a friend when she needs one the most.

One day plays out but past and future appear throughout the day in memories and conversation. A final scene pulls the film together. Interactions with other characters enrich the film. Not only do we understand Nina and Jose, but we are given glimpses into the choices and relationships of secondary characters.

Fans of quick action movies are going to want to pass. Much of this film is characters talking and doing little else. This is a rich study of the strengths and weaknesses in humanity. The acting is impressive. The story of friendship and grace is powerful.

If you are looking for poignancy and a movie that will make you think, I believe you'll find those qualities in Bella. One scene in particular is heart wrenching and involves a child, so you might want to preview it before letting your young children watch it. Though characters were frustrated and angry in the movie, I was pleased to note, that they expressed themselves without flying F-Bombs.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Small World

I live in a city in Iowa. Really. We have interstates (two intersecting ones to be exact. We also have huge issues with drug traffic because of that connection.) Our Super Wal-Mart has been around for over a dozen years. We have a massive multi-screened theater and DSL. We aren't exactly snooty in the arts arena but we do have a hockey team and pull in some big entertainment names.

Right now you're probably scratching your head and wondering why I'm telling you this.

A tornado ripped through a town just 45 miles away from me. A Boy Scout camp was in progress and four young men lost their lives.

The next day, as stories were shared and shock was expressed, I found that I know four people who are connected to these young men.

My metro area population is half-a-million.

The size of the world never ceases to amaze me.

One young man was homeschooled and his mom belonged to an organization with a friend from church. My daughter works with a woman who's related by marriage to another casualty, a second friend at church used to work with the father of a victim. My co-worker's youth group is home of a young survivor who lost a close friend in the tragedy.

My heart and prayers go out to these families who are so connected in this huge world.
The ripples each of our lives make in that world is humbling.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ Robert Liparulo's Newest

Robert Liparulo has visited the Dregs a few times. That alone makes him a great guy. Here is a link to all his visits. You can visit his website, click on the book covers to visit Amazon and here to read the first chapter of House of Dark Shadows. Suspense lovers of any age are going to want to click and check some things out.

My Review of:


If you are thinking about buying House of Dark Shadows, you may want to go ahead and grab Watcher in the Woods because once you reach... "Not the end" you are going to want book two within reach. These books are quick reads, too. Don't say you haven't been warned if you have to wait for the next book, and don't expect a resolution of the King family problems in book two either. I may have to have a word with Bob or the publisher about possibly speeding up this series.

Robert Liparulo respects the YA genre by refusing to dumb down his storytelling mastery. House of Dark Shadows delivers rich characters, intense action and crisp setting along with a strong vocabulary. Adults are going to love these books as much as the teens they're written for.

Centered around a family that has "no secrets," the story starts with foreboding and provides bang after wham after sucker-punch as the reader discovers one secret after another along with the characters. More questions are left than are answered.

Shadows introduces the King family, all named after royalty, as they are moving from city to country...make that backwoods. Not only does Xander, the 15-year-old point-of-view character have to deal with leaving friends and a girlfriend, his dad is now his principal in the smallest school he's ever attended.

Xander's folks then find a house they fall in love with. Lots of room, and full of character, creepy noises, shadows and odd acoustics. What's not to love?

Xander discovers how very strange the house is as the entire family is plunged into the truth of the secrets.

The intensity of the themes may be too much for younger or easily frightened readers.

My Review of Watcher...

Watcher in the Woods is the continuing story of the King family.

David King, 12-years-old is facing huge traumas while attempting to keep the outside world from destroying his chance of happiness.

Grasping hold of the King family legacy of bravery, David dives into the unknown to save his family at great cost to himself.

From the first word to the final "not the end" I cheered and cringed for the Kings.

I hope the next book releases very soon. This is book two in the series I'm going to recommend regardless of age or gender. I'd also love to see it turned into a movie.

Easily frightened readers might struggle with the intensity, otherwise, this is a powerful story well told.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Serials and Scenarios ~ I Heart Bloomberg

Author Melody Carlson's Website . Click on the book cover to go to the Amazon page.

Book Description:
Kendall's managed to wrangle her grandmother's house-free and clear-except for the rules. No male roommates. But that's ok, with the right ad she'll pull in some girls, their rent and if she's lucky, she won't have to go to work any time soon.

For their part, Anna, Lelani, and Megan all have their reasons for wanting to move in: Anna has got to get out from under her overprotective parents; Lelani can't take another day in her aunt's tiny crackerbox house overflowing with toddlers and Megan needs a place free of her current roommate from Hades.

Though they come with assorted extra baggage filled with broken hearts and dreams, they will discover they also have a vast array of hidden strengths. And they struggle to become the women they want to be, they'll find new hope and maybe even Kendall will learn a thing or two about life, love and the true meaning of friendship.

Sound great? Just click here to read the first chapter.

My Review:

Each character brings a pile of baggage and a box or two of issues as the Bloomberg series begins. Kendall, Megan, Lelani and Anna are strangers who become new intimates. Toes are stepped on, space is invaded and renovation occurs within each character before the book ends. However, there is much room for future character development as the obvious and not so obvious issues barely began to unpack in book one.

There are several chick-lit style scenarios, girlfriend bonding, job shuffling and guy stuff, but the story is told in 3rd person POV through the four different female characters. Because of the style, chick-lit lovers may find it less than satisfying because there is limited intimacy. Fans of Yada-Yada books may enjoy the multi-character format, but there is a limited amount of God talk. It was a quick and enjoyable read, perfect if you want a light serving of drama.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Electrified

I didn't have a camera but I've begged for a few pictures so I can share the amazing sunset/incoming thunderstorm I experienced this evening.

This series of still shots with rainstorm audio will just have to do.

Tonight, the western sky looked exactly like pink Black Hills Gold. Imagine huge cotton balls dipped in liquid rose-gold piled in the sky and then illuminated. The damp grass on the hill below glowed in the unusual light and it danced as the wind picked up.

Lightning began playing tag in the clouds and sneaking down to touch base on the ground far below. As we watched, awed by the immensity of God's powerful creation, the sky darkened into pewter, and opened up in a deluge of cold, fat water drops.

I am always humbled by a tiny display of God's power and creativity. I can't imagine what He has in store in heaven.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Monday's Here....

Don't ask what the world needs.

Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.

Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

Howard Thurman

Another quote from 30 Days to Live. Of course this isn't true if what makes you alive is a selfish thing. But I feel that disclaimers really take away from the quippiness of a profound saying. That said, I'm done adding words.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Super Cinema Saturday ~ National Treasure Two

My Review:

Entertaining and campy with several "yeah right!" moments. Fans of National Treasure should appreciate the same characters as they banter, argue, fight and solve clues.

National Treasure Two takes us to Europe and below ground. Nearly clean fun lacks family unfriendly language and sexual content.

The intensity of the themes -- treasure hunts/hunters, shootings, car chases and skeletons in various degrees of decay might make it a little too much for very sensitive viewers.

If you can suspend disbelief and just go along for the entertainment factor, you'll probably be able to enjoy this quick moving film.

My biggest struggles were with some unrealistic moments between characters, but the interaction is still fun and full of sarcastic dialogue.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Peace In

Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start now and make a brand-new ending.

Carl Bard

First Peter came in handy today.

No, that's not someone's nickname.

It's a book of the Bible with five very packed chapters full of great wisdom.

Did you know that God will give us direction and even wisdom if we'll ask? I asked, and He took me to Peter. Since I've been talking about are a couple from Peter.

1 Peter 2:
9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests,[f] a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 3:11 Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.

I think that sums it up for me. Peace. We've been doing a study at church on the names of God.
Jehovah Shalom means God is my peace. Our pastor says one of the roots of peace is wholeness. I want to be whole and I'm tired of feeling like I'm missing parts and particles of what I need to be someone who looks like Jesus.

Okay, Jehovah Shalom...I need the pieces of peace I'm missing in my life. Help me find it.

Start to a different ending...