Saturday, February 22, 2014

Freedom Realized

     The latest book I have been working on has been way out of my comfort zone. I know the Lord wanted it written, but I felt resistant. It is Book III of the Nashville Series and deals with one of the characters who ended up in prison. I thought I could move on without telling the rest of her story, but I was wrong. The readers requested that I not end her story with the prison sentence. Doing research on prison life and life after prison is somewhat depressing to me so I had to press on.
      I almost fell into the trap of putting a title I thought would catch the most attention, but again, the Lord dealt with my heart. I thought “Jailbird” would be perfect and catchy, but the more I thought about it, the more I knew it wasn’t right. It might wound someone who was trying to begin a new life, like the character I was writing about.
     As I chatted with another author friend, she confirmed what I was thinking. I began to think about the message I wanted this book to convey. The title was clear as day, “Restored”. God will restore the years the locusts have eaten. He restored the prodigal son and the lost soul who calls out to Him.
     I began writing and was reminded of a dream a famous author said he had of a prison. He was in the prison and felt hopeless and afraid. All of a sudden, he realized that there were no locks on the jail cells. Any of the prisoners could leave whenever they wished. He walked out of his cell and began to tell the other prisoners that they were free. Some listened to him, but most believed they had no choice but to stay in prison.
     Isn’t that what God did for us through Jesus Christ? He took the locks off the doors and offers us freedom. We just have to believe him and walk out of our cell and live a life out of the cell of sin and into the freedom of Salvation. Restoration and Freedom are such wonderful words. Thank God that is what He offers to mankind.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

News About "Jailbird"

Well, 11 books are now available with my name as the author. I still can hardly believe it. Right now I am working on #12. If you ordered "The Restless Kansas Wind", there is a page that lists all the titles. I have #12 listed under the title, "Jailbird". Since the first 55 copies were printed, I have changed the title to "Restored". The reasoning behind that decision was the negativity "Jailbird" portrayed. There were also come friends who pointed out the fact that a jailbird was someone who spent a lot of their life in prison. Debbie, our character in this book, was sentenced to one year of prison.

Our son, Marlin, of MarOmega Designs, is working on the cover for "Restored" right now. I have already written 4000 words on "Restored". If you have been following my emails, you will remember that I am doing an experiment with this book to try to gather in a few more readers. The trend in publishing is to release 'episodes' while writing a book. The plan is to release Episode 1 after 10,000 words are written and edited in e-book format. Episode 2 would come after the next 10,000 words and so on. After the entire book is written, all the episodes will be joined together and released as a print book and as an e-book novel.

The idea behind this is that a lot of people don't like t commit to the time it takes to read an entire book. They do purchase short stories and episode type books. If they like the writing, they might purchase a novel. If not, they haven't lost much time or money on trying out a new author.

If you are like me, you like to read and ENTIRE book and not have to wait for the next portion. If that is how you like to read, just wait until the entire novel is released to purchase it. I think this will help me get the books written in a more timely manner. (I hope.)

"Restored" is taking form and living in my imagination. I have reached out to several friends who understand or minister to inmates so that I get an accurate picture of the life of a prisoner. I don't want to write it from the vantage point of a movie watcher. I want to know the real story.

Now, most of the action of this book doesn't take place in prison, but the experience colors Debbie's life. (You know it would.) Pray for me as I attempt to put an interesting and heartfelt story together so that it brings understanding and hope for the readers.

I will let you know when Episode 1 is ready. (just in case you want to see how it looks.)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Two of My Favorite Fellows

Here is the Hubs and Eli. Terry is my living billboard. He wears shirts with the covers of my books all the time. This one is out dated because I had a new cover developed for "Elk's Resolve". Eli loves his blankie and still is attached to his thumb. What a kid!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Trial and Error with Melting Old Crayons into New Crayons

Youngest granddaughter received a heart-shaped multi-colored crayon for Valentine's Day. She was excited and wanted to make some of her own. Meme got out her plastic forms and we took the paper off some old crayons and broke them up into the forms.

There surely were a lot of old broken crayons to use. When we put the plastic forms with the pieces in the microwave, the microwave shut down and had to be reset. Hmmm must be something in the crayons!
We took the crayon pieces out of the plastic forms and put them into my mini cupcake pans. We turned the oven to 400 degrees and waited for it to preheat before we put them inside. I set the timer for 5 minutes. When I removed them from the oven they were melted and looked a little like Koolaide. I put them on the top of the range and we waited until they completely cooled off. (about 20 to 30 minutes)
  I didn't know if they would come out easily, so I put about an inch of really hot water in the sink and placed the pans in it.

Some of them came out just by pressing and some of them had to come out with the help of a sharp knife along the edge.

Look at that proud, happy face and those fun multi-colored crayon discs.

She colored and colored all day. I would say it was a success.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

I Only THOUGHT Babysitting Would Be Easier with Terry's Help!

Terry joined us last night. This morning it has been crazy! He won't settle down. How do you make a grown man settle down? If you know, please tell me. They have been doing this move for about an hour. At least this is one of the more mild moves. I didn't film the other stuff they have been up to. They are now jumping off of things into Bop Paw's arms. Oh dear.

Tomorrow, we turn them over to their other grandmother. Mama and Daddy will come home to some ruined children. lol.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Mother-in-law Challenge

I never set out to be one of those Mother-in-laws who took over and cleaned the house while the kids are gone, but things happen when caring for a two-year-old. This morning Eli brought me a little cup with a little bit of water from the spout on the fridge. I thanked him and he grinned and was very proud of himself.

I heard a suspicious sound coming from the kitchen. He had the dustpan pressed against the spigot and water was flowing on the linoleum over a five foot area. I hurriedly took the dustpan from the chubby little fingers and he ran out of the room crying. Then, I found the Swiffer mop and began mopping up the water.

I mopped the whole kitchen and breakfast nook because there was absolutely so much water to spread out. There is no condemnation as to my sweet daughter-in-law's cleanliness, it's just that when you have that much water to mop up, you mop everything until it is sopped up.

I heard a noise in the master bedroom and ran to check on it. Eli had the pump hand soap and was rubbing his hands together. UK OH....Now I had to chase him all the way to the kitchen. The floor is wet. We slipped and I caught him. I got his hands rinsed off and dried. I ran to the master bedroom and locked that door. Now I know why Maci locks her door when she goes to school. lol

Then I went into the living room and there were orange cracker crumbs all over from the little peanut butter cracker snacks he just had. So we got out the vacuum and got those up. Well, since the vac was out, I finished the rest. As I was doing this I thought of all the times I left my mom with the kiddos and upon returning found the house and her such a wreck, that I wished I had never taken a 'break'. I remember thinking that it would be so nice to have a 'cleaning fairy' show up while I was gone to catch me up.

After watching the kiddos for a few days I understand why we have our children while we are young. I love, love this time with them. I am blessed to be with them and watch them grow. It makes me happy that I can attempt to be a blessing to my son and his sweet wife. I want to do this over and over. I think it is a good thing for a young couple to be able to leave for a few days and come home to their happy children and a clean house. (as clean as it was when they left) Meme has to keep on her toes to make this happen, but I think I am up for it. lol I'll let you know.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Eli Time/Meme Time

Can you tell that Eli is fixin' to get into his sister's DVDs. I had just told him 'no'.
Here, he thinks I may be serious.

Here is where he ignores silly old Meme. Do you notice the salt and pepper all over his mama's table? I didn't either, until I picked up the DVD case and put it away. Sissy is gonna be mad.
This morning in jammies. Sister is already on the way to school. Who says TV is a bad babysitter. It is a Meme lifesaver.

Heaven help us if we lose the blankie and thumb! Curious George to the rescue! It is snowy out and he wanted to play in it. Meme wasn't in the mood. Is that bad? Sissy did go out and get some fresh snow for snow ice cream. It was a good day.
The only thing that could make it better would be if Bop Paw could have taken vacation time to spend the week with us. As it is, he is holding down the fort at home. (Funny, the kid's friends used to call our house 'Fort Littau' because of the square tower above the laundry room.) Anyway, we will be seeing Bop Paw on Sunday one way or the other. It all depends on the snow conditions.
The Daddy called last night to see how I was holding up. lol. Really, the kiddos don't fight, we laugh all the time, and Mama organized a school pick up ride for both morning and night. We also had a great visit with Mam Ma and the uncles. (Cari's mom and brothers) It is a quiet time and very sweet time to actually watch these precious ones grow.
Maci has been reading to me and we have been reviewing spelling words along with all the other homework a first grader has. I have to say, they surely do learn more in first grade these days than we did when I was there. Maci was telling me that she wished we could spend a few weeks together like this because Sierra, Devon, and Zach do in the summer. I think that would be awesome!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

"The Restless Kansas Wind" is Available Now.

I am pleased that the 11th book I have written is now ready for purchase. As you have seen in the previous post, #12 is on the drawing board. I think the readers who enjoy Christian Historical Fiction/Romance will enjoy this book.

I learned a lot of things about the area where I live as I embarked on research for this book. One of the things was that there were Native Americans by the name of 'Kansa' who lived in the Kansas area. Here is a link to a non-fiction book about them:
The meaning of their name is 'Wind People'.

The story takes place in two Kansas towns near me. (Meade and Liberal) Also, we revisit the boom town of Tascosa, Texas. I found it interesting that the residents of Tascosa never thought their town would disappear. If the railroad had only laid track a few miles over, we would go to Tascosa to shop instead of Amarillo. As it is, all that is left of Old Tascosa is a plaque at Cal Farley's Boy's Ranch.

The railroad was a blessing to the panhandle of the tri-state area of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Meade and Liberal grew quickly as it came through. These towns are still thriving today. The people who live here today could truly be referred to as 'Wind People' even though most of us aren't Native American. We have a rich history and deep roots that connect us to this land.

I hope you enjoy reading 'The Restless Kansas Wind'. It is book IV of the Rescued...a Series of Hope batch of books. The next book in this series will be about Doris, a girl from Pueblo, Colorado. Her story is still forming in my mind It will come onto the drawing board after 'Jailbird' (Book III of the Nashville Series). I do plan on publishing the comical stories I tell when I give humorous speeches and also a couple other books that are solo books. (not in a series) We will see how that goes.