July 2011

July 29, 2011 | 0 comments

I have just returned from an annual retreat with a small group of girlfriends – all strong Christians, all writers.  We “pray, play and plot”.   It’s an opportunity for all of us to “talk shop” without boring everyone else around us. Since we’re all writers, we like to talk about writing, the writing life, struggles of writing, what’s happening in publishing, technology (some like to have the latest gadgets) and writing, writing, writing.  We sing.  Sometimes we just can’t help ourselves.  Someone will start and the rest join in and we sound so angelic.  Well, not all of us.  I croaked along.  Others have good, but not fantastic voices. Thankfully, more than half of us are truly gifted and loud enough to drown out any pitiful warbling. 

We are a motley crew of writers; contemporary, historical, suspense, thriller.   We have one gal who is superwoman, writing, relocating a family, parenting, grand-parenting, caring...

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July 22, 2011 | 0 comments

I’m hearing a change from young people lately, and by young, I mean anyone under 45. Some are hanging onto homes by their fingernails and prayer.  Others are clawing their way up out of the dark pit of credit card debt.  And all are disturbed and downright furious to see how our government spends wantonly and keeps asking for the debt ceiling to rise.

Rick and I have been through this grinding mill.  When I graduated from college, I received a dozen “congratulations” letters with credit cards inside.  Oh, goody!! Credit cards mean independence.  Right?  I managed to keep my spending in the realm of “I can pay it off at the end of the month”.  After Rick and I married and bought our first house, we needed lots of things to fix the place up; new stove (to replace the ancient gas range), new refrigerator (to replace the “ice box”), washer and dryer because it took too much time to go to the laundromat with a heap of dirty clothes and a sack of...

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July 17, 2011 | 0 comments

For the last two weeks, I’ve been creating a fictitious northern California town setting for my current story.  I’ve driven all over Sonoma County, taking pictures of buildings and streets, farms and wineries, bridges and old train stations.  I’ve spread all these pictures across a table and drawn out the streets, businesses, town square, and roads into town, blocked out areas for farms, ranches with happy cows and “free range” chickens, hop fields, vineyards, redwoods, the hills and the coast line. 

Well, sort of.   I’m not much of a cartographer or artist.  So my “map” is out of whack, out of proportion, and missing elements that have to be arrowed in.  Since this story will be historical, there are no Starbucks, computer stores, cable companies or cell-phone towers.  I’ve had the pleasure of erasing thousands of acres of vineyards and “replanting” Gravenstein apple orchards.   The hilltops are covered once again with oaks...

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July 8, 2011 | 0 comments

Recently, I was asked to name my favorite authors. This is something I cannot do because my favorite author happens to be whomever I am reading at the moment.  This includes writers who are presenting views diametrically opposed to mine.   And this happened this week when I read a book that included a collection of essays on faith by a gifted general market writer who is a Christian.  She has the rare ability to be both heartbreaking and hilarious at the same time.  She is transparent, sharing the best and worst of herself and her observations on humanity. 

This Christian is firmly pro-choice, pro-euthanasia, admittedly far left, hates-but-manages-to-forgive “Bush” for single-handedly ruining the planet, and uses “fundamental” like a four letter word.   

I am pro-life, against euthanasia, conservative, thankful to Bush for many (but not all) of his decisions, think “global warming” is a money-making hoax that will be disproven...

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