December 12, 2009

Merry Christmas from the Eides!

We hope this finds you and your loved ones doing well and in good health.

The Eide Scoop: We are feeling a little light this Christmas. Shane (24) recently spent a couple years in Ireland to help plant a church, and a year of ministry training in Phoenix before that. Then last September, he tossed a couple suitcases in the trunk of his Corolla to go on a multi-state road trip, found a job in Dallas, TX, and never came back. We aren’t sure how long he’ll stay in Dallas, but since he told his sister she could have his bedroom, we suspect this latest flight out of the nest is permanent.

It took Janae (17) about 30 minutes to box up the rest of Shane’s stuff, haul it downstairs, and enlist her brother and her BFFs to help repaint the room and move her stuff in. The walls are now aglow with fluorescent dancing silhouettes. In addition to painting and dancing, Janae is wrapping up her senior year at Sandy High with a 3.9gpa, working part-time at a local preschool, preparing herself (and her parents) for college, and hanging with friends. She and her boyfriend Matt run a weekly bible-study fun night called “Jesus Night.” They offer a time of worship, bible study & discussion and games, and finish off with a crazy fun activity as an alternative to the typical teen weekend partying. “Jesus Night” has been a big hit with their high school friends.

Ben (22) is taking time off after his first year of college and is training full time in martial arts. He’s getting really good; he earned his yellow belt last year and will test soon for his green. When he’s not training, he helps out by teaching the kid’s class. Ben is hoping to get into law enforcement, and we think he’s very well suited for it. Ben also keeps the kids in Children’s Church in line and entertained with his puppetry skills, one his many amazing gifts.

Dan continues to use his God-given gifts and do what he does best: to provide for his family and friends in the ways that count the most. He works hard to take care of us all, both materially and spiritually. He not only gives of his time and talents with family, he also works with boys at Royal Rangers, sharing his fatherly wisdom and guidance with the next generation of good men. Dan loves to study the bible, fish, and search on Craig’s list for a killer deal on whatever anyone needs. Dan is the man if you need prayer, a word of sound biblical advice, a fishing buddy, a job, or a car.

Camille is working on adjusting to her baby girl graduating from high school, managing a home and the church office, and being a novelist/writer. She signed with a Christian literary agency last spring on a novel that piqued the interest of a couple Christian publishers, but is currently (still) undergoing revisions. The revising work has been slow going, but this work has been an important learning process. When the novel is finished to her agent’s liking, we will put together a proposal and submit it to publishers. We’ll keep you posted if you want to follow the publishing journey and celebrate with us if we get a contract, or if you’d just like to read the finished product. Camille looks forward to resuming work on her second book soon.

We would like to leave you with this thought for Christmas: This earthly life, from birth to death, is just a prologue, the opening scene of an eternal story in which the ending is only the beginning—a glorious beginning for those who belong to the resplendent Hero.

"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."[John 8:12]

May Jesus be the Light that shines in every dark place.

Merry Christmas to you and Happy New Year!

September 2, 2009

I Could Use That Epidural Right About Now

I seriously question my mental stability. I’m either slipping into early stages of dementia or I’m just totally lame. I just realized that, aside from vanishing from blogdom for more than 2 months without explanation (my apologies), I somehow failed to announce that I SIGNED WITH A LITERARY AGENT ! ! !


Talk about anti-climaxification.

Let me bring you up to speed: my novel, Love Worth Fire, was one of 3 finaling novels in the Mt Hermon/Zondervan First Novel Competition. I did post about the outcome of that, I’m almost absolutely positive. Though my story did not win the contract for publication, it got the notice of editors and that was an incredible honor.

So that was last April, and at that time, my Prospective Agent had the manuscript but had not finished reading it. I suspect spring fever or that pure thin Rocky Mountain air got her feeling a little extra gutsy because she offered me and my sweet, feel-good love story representation anyway.

Although the novel had shown some promise at Zondervan, she wanted to help get it in the best possible shape before we submit it to publishers. So while she finished her read through and carved out—er compiled notes for revision, I kept busy with stuff like planning novel #2, waiting, getting my motorcycle endorsement and going hog-shopping. (Hey, there are a few exceptions to the no shopping rule.)

At the end of June, I received my first 10 page Editorial Revision Letter which listed (ahem) a bunch of revisions. Not the kind you can knock off with a quick snip, a stitch, slap on a Band-Aid and you’re back in the game, kiddo, but the knock you out with an obscene amount of drugs, blood transfusions, post-op therapy kind.

DON’T get me wrong: this is phenomenal! It’s a tremendous opportunity, a rare gift. It’s just kind of crazy hard. Mainly because my name is Camille and I’m a nose-bleeding perfectionist. We’re not talking about changing Emily’s hair color. We’re talking dig down, get into her skin and feel what she feels, infuse her with my emotions and help you, O wise reader, to feel what she and I feel. All throughout the story. That’s some work.

I won’t bore you with the details of how this never-satisfied perfectionist writer is managing the task. I’ll blog about it more soon and share what the process is teaching me. Not just about writing, but about me and how my demented brain processes this process.

I will say that this task is starting to feel like one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. And to those of you who have also given birth 3 times, I hope that tells you something.

June 20, 2009

BORN TO RIDE (or at least licensed to . . .)

Congratulate me - I passed my motorcycle endorsement test! WOOHOO!! All three of us passed today, to our collective relief.

Since my husband, son and I took an intense weekend riding course 6 weeks ago and missed passing the skills portion of our test by a measly point or two, we've been practicing to take the test again. After all the time and money and sweat and serious trauma that went into taking this course, (remind me to tell you the story of the unfortunately ripped out rainpants sometime) the pressure to get it right was wearing on us all, and hanging over my swiftly graying head. I haven't felt this kind of on the spot pressure since we had to learn Disco in 8th grade P.E. (Yes, they made us hardcore rockers do it too. NOT pretty.)

This morning as I prayed and tried to mentally prepare for this test, I came across a verse in today's One Year Bible Reading. Psalm 138:3 says,
"As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength."

Oh boy. The Lord is faithful and attentive even when I am not. After I've studied, practiced and done my best to accomplish the task before me, he answers my prayers for help. He sends his peace and his strength, and brings skills or knowledge to my mind when I need it. I am reminded of his goodness and faithfulness. I am strengthened for today, and encouraged for tomorrow.

See what God can do even with the simplest things? And you thought it was just a silly motorcycle test.

May 30, 2009

Motorcycle Mania Update

Okay - an update on finding me a new bike: NO way I'm buying a Rebel. They're cute, but about as useful as a Hasbro Big Wheel on the freeway. Actually, they ARE a Hasbro Big Wheel on the freeway.

We've looked at dozens of bikes, spent time and gas driving miles from home, tested, kicked tires, choked, throttled, straddled, kicked some more and found bikes that were either not in great shape, or were too high priced. I was about to give up, but yesterday a long-time-no-see friend callled and said he was selling his 1987 Kawasaki 454 LTD. I tested one of those already and it wasn't in great shape, definitely not worth $1800 asking price. So I didn't have much hope I'd like this 22 year old bike. But my friend's asking price was too good to pass up, so we figured we had to at least look.

Well, this bike may be 'mature', but it's the best running, most well kept bike of all the ones we looked at, and FAR cheaper. It had been garaged since last fall and needed a new battery, which he installed the day we came to look. He rode it once. When we fired it up, that baby idled with the smoothest purr you've ever heard. It is a real sweet bike. And a perfect fit for me in height, weight, straddle width, the works. We said we'd take it. AND our friend said he would deliver it, saving us the headache of strapping it down in the truck (we are not endorsed and are good, law-abiding citizens).

At least he SAID he was going to deliver it . . . He said he and his wife want to take one last ride on it, so he will bring it sometime this weekend. Then, after a little more catching up chit chat, he said, yeah, I'll bring it by first part of next week. Hmm. I'm really hoping he doesn't change his mind. I was bummed that I can't get out there on it this weekend and start practicing for my endorsement test (June 20), but oh well. I'll squeeze in some riding every chance I can.

And I found a great deal on a brand new helmet on craigslist from a guy in my own neighborhood. I'm just about set!

Here's a stock photo of an '87 Kawasaki 454 LTD (Pre-vulcan). It feels sort of poetic, somehow, to be buying a Kawasaki. My first bike (at age 11) was a Kawasaki 100 street/trail bike.
Ah, the memories.
And the ankle burn scars.


May 15, 2009

Harley for Sale. . .

Yes, I have decided to downsize to a smaller cruiser for now.


Go ahead. Say it.

Camille is a big fat weenie.

Wanna buy a gorgeous 883 Sportster? It's quite the loveliest Big V-Twin you'll ever see, always garaged (um....duh). Well maintained, trickle charge feeder, added chrome (screamin Eagle pipes), a snorting, beefy hunka bike. If you mention this blog post when you call, you'll get a super secret special bloggy discount off the price. Asking $4999. What a steal for a Harley!! (here's a link to the craigslist post & photos)

I took it for a spin (that's sort of a you-feminism) on Mother's Day (between Thai lunch and Star Trek movie) and quickly realized aint NO way I'm practicing a tight cone weave with this bike to pass my endorsement test.

If you buy it, know that you will be promoting marital longevity by helping me and Dan be able to ride together, instead of taking turns like a couple of total dorks. This was a 25th anniversary gift, but let me ask you: how lame is it to celebrate a quarter century of togetherness by taking turns riding alone?


In case you're wondering, I'm looking for a Rebel 250 or 450. That's a Honda if you aren't bike savvy. (And if you are bike savvy---Karla---I already know what you think, but you can say it if you want to. Once.) A Honda Rebel is a smaller cruiser style bike that I might actually be able to pick up if I drop it (weighs about half as much as the Sportster) They look like a mini Harley, if that matters to anyone. Metric-heads (people who ride Japanese bikes and don't know any better) say it's the other way around. Hey, I'm no purist and have no desire to get all childish about this. Harley Davidson will always have a place in my heart. Yes, I will miss the rumble. However, I am no longer the fearless/stupid invincible teen who had never heard of high-side crashes and skin grafts.
I am a gwown up.
My mature ego will not suffer if fellow bikers throw the wrong set of finger signals at me because I'm on a metric. It's cool. I made my peace with Japan.
Here's the '02 Harley:

And here's a 1986 Rebel 250:

Care to comment? Gloves off, of course?

April 20, 2009

My New Novel

I don't have a title for this one yet, working title is My Father's House. Here is the opening page. I'm cautiously and prayerfully excited about this one.
Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy.
Psalm 68:5-6


The Escalade’s brake lights didn’t blink. Not once.

As the sleek new SUV disappeared from sight, Sue Quinn stuffed fists into the pockets of her jeans and bit back a string of words that could have torched every clump of sagebrush in the entire Oregon outback, then turned her attention to the lanky, dark-skinned girl rooted to the bottom step. The kid probably didn’t need to hear what Sue thought of the occupants of the retreating vehicle, the couple who had so proudly signed on as parents and eight months later changed their minds. Like someone changing their mind about a box of cereal in their grocery cart at checkout. Oh, sorry, they’d say to the checker, I guess I don’t want this. Could you put it back?

With a sigh, Sue looked the girl over. Cambodian or maybe Vietnamese, about twelve or thirteen. She would have to rely on her best guess since the girl’s intake paperwork was probably a maze of lies and inconsistencies.

“Well, Jasmine . . . you hungry? Need to use a bathroom?”

The girl continued to stare at the long, empty driveway leading away from Juniper Ranch. The ribbon of dust stirred up by the departing Escalade continued to rise and spread slowly, drifting in the noonday sun, bound to settle, eventually, in another place. A matching pair of Barbie-pink suitcases flanked her feet on either side like bookends, price tags still attached.

Sue blew out a long breath. “All right, let’s get your stuff inside. I’ll give you a hand. We’ll get you all set up in your new room.”

Jasmine turned then, eyes almost level with Sue’s. No surprise there. At five foot even, Sue was long accustomed to meeting the older kids eye to eye. She studied the girl’s face. Nothing remarkable, a face some would call plain. Wide nose, small eyes. But no abnormalities, no cleft palate, no physical handicap that Sue could perceive. None of the deformities that usually gave Mr. and Mrs. Disenchanted an excuse to terminate an adoption, which further fueled Sue’s suspicions. Once she had a chance to go through this kid’s original adoption paperwork, she would no doubt find the photo sent by the orphanage to the parents. A photo of a much younger, lighter-skinned, prettier child. The photo they showed off to family, the one that invoked the admiration of friends because they were doing such a charitable thing, bringing an underprivileged child to the US for a better life.

“I no need room.” A frown creased the girl’s brow. “I no . . . I not staying here.”

Sue nodded. How many times had she heard that one? “Well, we can discuss that. Just not here on the front porch. Okay?” She let the question rest on a raised brow, but gave the girl her infamous, Dead Steady Eye-to-Eye.

Jasmine’s frown deepened. Then the tears pooled, turning the dark eyes glittery.

I hate this part. I really do.

A choice four letter bomb rose, but Sue clamped her lips and instead, drew in a lungful of high desert air, reached down and grabbed one of the bags. She motioned toward the door with her head. “This way.” She pushed through the door and marched inside without waiting for the girl. If she looked back, it wouldn’t work. She started up the staircase without hesitation, holding her breath, straining to hear. Fourth step. Sixth. Ninth.

As the temptation to look back reached a cresting point, she heard light footsteps, the soft click of the front door. Sue let out her breath, turned, and gave the girl with the pink suitcase a half-smile.

“C’mon, slowpoke. Follow me.”

March 28, 2009

Book Trailer Buzz? What's that?

I have a really good excuse for not blogging in 2 weeks . . . I've been busy making this mini wee movie. It's a sample book trailer (think movie preview) for my not quite yet published novel, LOVE WORTH FIRE. Have a look and tell me if you think I should give Michael Landon Jr a call. Or if it makes you want to read the book. Or if it just gives you hives.

Yeah, I'm not sure about book trailers. I mean, it seems like a novel idea, (Yes. That was a pun. Clever of you to notice.) but most reading friends I ask have never heard of or seen one. I don't think readers usually go to a publisher's website looking for something to read. They might go to a favorite author's website, but probably won't think of that when they're jonesing for a juicy good book. And what about the authors they haven't heard of?

Hmm. So how are these teeny trailers supposed to get people interested in a book if they're just hanging out politely on some nice, upstanding website? C'mon you writers: we put great gobs of guts & glory into making these mini movie masterpieces, shouldn't we make sure someone sees them? (And should blogger put a ban on aliterations???)

How can we hitch these babies onto something everyone will see? I wonder if Kindle books can handle video clips. Y'know, like previews that come with your DVDs. Just a thought. The wave of the future, baby. Wax your board and c'mon y'all ---let's ride! Let's brainstorm a way to promo the promo. All serious suggestions will be taken seriously.

Here's my mini wee movie.

(Sound on - for those of you who normally turn off your speakers because of the ding dong alerts that distract you while you're being a very serious writer or some other kind of very serious person.)


March 13, 2009

Mount Hermon: Last Minute Chance To Save $

Mount Hermon Christian Writer's Conference, coming up April 3-7 2009, has made a tremendous offer. If you have never been to this conference, and if you register to attend by April 1, and if you mention on your registration form that someone already registered (like me or someone else you know) invited you, you will receive $200 off the price of the conference! The regular cost varies according to your room choice, it ranges from $845 and up, so minus $200 if you take them up on this offer and attend this 5-day conference for $645. This includes EVERYTHING: tuition, materials, accommodations, excellent food, snacks between sessions, and all the editor/agent appointments and high quality workshops, morning tracks and keynote evening sessions you would expect from a professional writer's conference. The morning mentoring tracks are awesome too (10 students-to-1 teacher, intense daily critique sessions) but you need to sign up for those ahead and pay a little extra.

Check out the conference here:

But even though it’s a professional conference, the atmosphere is casual, serene and inviting. Mt Hermon is a sprawling, secluded campground nestled into a gorgeous redwood forest and includes scenic hiking/running trails. The evening sessions are awesome, beginning with a sweet time of worship (I love it when hundreds of people from various places and backgrounds worship the Lord together . . . makes me think of what it will be like in heaven). The setting is beautiful, peaceful and inspiring! Of course, the company isn't bad either. You'll meet editors, agents and writers from every facet of the media. I made some great friends with whom I still keep in contact. It really is an awesome conference. I came away from it last year full, excited, changed and inspired.

If you sign up, I or the person you mention will get to share in the savings too. If you have never been to Mt Hermon and you register by APRIL 1 and give the name of the person who invited you, that person will also get $200 off our conference cost. I think this is a huge offer on their part, and certainly makes going to a high quality Christian writer's conference more affordable for us all.

Are you up for it? I had the most amazing time last year. I hope you will consider going with such a huge discount being offered. It is well worth the price! Let me know if you decide to go on my invitation. I would love to see you there.

~Camille Eide

March 4, 2009

I Love It When A God Plan Comes Together. . .

I'm so thrilled - my writing buddy CARLA STEWART (and her agent) signed a two book deal this week, her first publishing contract. Carla is a phenomenal writer! (I know, I'm the writer this blog is supposed to be about, but I just can't help myself)

I can't wait to get my hands on A Dandelion Day coming out in 2010, and the second (yet untitiled) after that.

One of the things I admire about Carla is her love for the Lord, and her humility. Okay, that's two things. But it's a lovely combo, don't you think? I love it when the Lord gently reminds us that we are in His hands, and that all things work together for the good for those who love Him, whose heart's desire is to follow Him. Carla mentioned on her blog that her apprehensions about the future were stilled by remembering that it was God who brought her this far. I love that, as I need to remind myself this same thing regularly. Her comment reminded me of the story of Peter when Jesus called him out of the boat. Peter lost sight of Who had called him and enabled him to walk on water, and he started to sink. I pray my friend will keep her eyes on Jesus, and I know she will.

And when I mentioned the Peter getting out of the boat thing, Carla told me she had been praying in that exact way---that the Lord would let her step out on the water and keep her eyes on Him. What an amazing God we serve! I love the truths in His word that comfort, guide, and correct us. I love it when He confirms our prayers like this, reminding us that He is listening and is intent on helping us as we step out into the unknown, venture into uncharted waters. I believe that when we aim to use our abilities to glorify God, he will move mountains and quell raging seas to help us succeed. How can you not love that!

That's all, I just wanted to rave a little. :-)

February 26, 2009

Love Finds You in Last Chance, A Winning Combo

I just finished reading Love Finds You in Last Chance, California, a new release from Summerside Press by Miralee Ferrell. This is an intriguing story about a young, independent woman who finds herself alone and facing the toughest challenge she's ever known.

Whether or not you're a fan of historical fiction, this story tackles the timeless, universally understood struggle of facing the unknown and discovering the need to reach beyond your own strength to succeed, no matter how strong you are. The characters personalities and the setting are real and engaging. The simple beauty of the old west comes to life, a perfect backdrop for a story that weaves a touch of mystery together with a sweet, budding romance. Definitely a winning combination!
~Camille (who would probably like the idea of riding horses if she didn't have a Harley.)

February 10, 2009

Remember That Zondervan/Mt Hermon Contest?

Ack! I haven't blogged in a while. I've been off pondering deep truths, reading fabulous books, and baking cinnamon rolls.

And processing a most amazing thing.

Remember that publishing contest I entered last fall, the one I had to talk myself into entering? The one that I probably would not have entered if not for the prodding of a coupla writers who, though they are way up to their neatly arched brows in their own business---er, manuscripts, apparently had nothing better to do? The one that I only qualified to enter through a very slim set of 'God is definitely behind this so he must really want me doing this' circumstances?

November 15th was cleaning day. I remember, because for some odd reason, in the middle of cometing the bowl (yes, some of us still use Comet. It's cheap. And yeah, I use bleach too) I decided to check my email. And saw a message saying my sample chapters had semi-finaled in that contest. Woo hoo!

Which meant I needed to breathe and send in the FULL MANUSCRIPT. That's just a mouthful, isn't it? Very dense, those words. For me, when I say them now, I can actually feel the combined weight of all the hours, all those late nights pounding at the keyboard, all those prayers of Please God let me get this right. I've come to appreciate the weight of those words.

So I sent my Full Manuscript off to Zondervan in the mail. And that was that. An amazing feat in itself, because rarely is an unpublished writer invited to send an entire manuscript outside of a professional introduction or a face-to-face meeting at a writing conference. Or a thunderous voice from heaven.

So with my sweet little baby sent and gone, I got to work on my overdue reading pile, tossed around ideas for a new novel, and willed the two months to pass so I could get on with my life and my next book. I would read about the contest finalists soon enough, and was very eager to hear who would win the book publishing contract in case it was someone I knew. Because in case you didn't already know, writers are pretty cool people. Most of them anyway. And Christian writers are by far the coolest.

So. If you've been paying attention and are still interested in this story, you can probably imagine how surprised I was to get a telephone call last week from an editor's assitant telling me my novel is a FINALIST. I think I told her I was shocked at least 3 times. I'm pretty sure she laughed at me. I may have even told her I loved her, but I'm not positive on that. I'm sure she gets that all the time.

There are a small number of finalists (and I'm waiting to see the details posted on the web so I can talk!) So, to the 2 others---you know who you are---Congratulations! I'm pleased, proud and humbled to be counted among you.

Which brings me to . . . winning the Contest. One of the finalists will receive a $10k contract to publish their book. The other two will get to say that Zondervan editors read their book and thought it was good enough to consider publishing.

So I guess this is the part where you, Dear Reader, get to read a sample from each of the finalists, pick your favorite, and text your vote to 1-888-I LOVE CHRISTIAN FICTION.

No. Not really.

In honor of Mt Hermon's 40th anniversary, the winner of the Zondervan publishing contract will be announced at the 2009 Mt Hermon Christian Writer's Conference in April.

And, Lord willing, I'll be there.

January 17, 2009


Irony defines me, and therefore the way I write. Yeah, I’m a walking paradox, and if you’re a Christian, you probably are too. Come on, wipe that look off your face. And that oh-so-slight eyeball roll doesn’t get past me—I’ve lived with teenagers.

Writers want to communicate universal truths to which a good majority of readers can relate via The Story, article, blog, journal entry, sermon, whatever. And Christian writers may aim to communicate biblical truths as well. Either way, what we write often reflects the pile of life’s lessons we’ve learned (via the Hard Way for some of us). So we want to write truth, and we want to write real.

Really? But what if our own truth stinks? How truthful do you get as a communicator? I think that being transparent is important if you want to be relevant, credible. But how wide do we crack the door to our soul, how much of the gunk at the bottom of the barrel do we let out as we pour ourselves onto the page? How transparent should you get as a Christian before you cross the line?

Is there a line?

If you’re a Christian, hopefully you’re walking the road to change, becoming more Christ-like, allowing God’s word to shape your thinking, becoming a biblical thinker with the mind of Christ, growing in grace, perfecting your faith. But we humans will always stink of flesh to some degree. Yes, some of us more than others, depending on whose nose you use, but to God I believe the stink is pretty much the same, sort of like the way every landfill smells the same no matter what or how much it holds.

True Christians strive for speech, thoughts, attitudes and behaviors that are pleasing to God. But we make mistakes. Yes, you do. Admit it. If you tell me you never make mistakes, you’re making one now. And sadly, the world sees this apparent duplicity as hypocritical. Which is an unfair judgment call . . . on those who are truly angelic. But as for me, I have to agree. I often feel like a hypocrite, acting nicer than I actually am.

I was scrubbing a frying pan in the sink the other day (yes, some of us still use this deadly cooking technique). I was focused, as usual. My husband came by and said he was going outside to work on something and I thought, Take your mind off the scrubbing for a second, Camille, and smile—he’s taking care of stuff. So I switched off the scrubber-woman face, turned and smiled at him before he went out the door. He laughed and said, What’s the fake smile for? Yikes! Was it that bad? I guess it was sort of fake because it didn’t come naturally, but it really was well-meant.

If the world thinks Christians are hypocritical, does that mean we should think and behave and speak only as we are naturally inclined? The Bible says to take our thoughts (and subsequently our words and deeds) captive, meaning check them before they run amok, filter them through the Holy Spirit, test them for being God-honoring, then dispense accordingly. Meaning either let them out with any adjustments needed, or cuff ‘em, march them before the throne of Christ and ask him to book ‘em, take them captive, make them his prisoner. (By his power, not mine . . . a lesson I’m still learning.)

We aren’t trying to fool anyone by filtering out the bad behavior and putting on our best. That would be like offering a guest a taste of everything in the fridge, from the moldy to the fresh, afraid that by not offering them the bad stuff too we are lying and saying ALL our food is good. They don’t care what else is in there as long as what you feed them is good.

God created each of us uniquely different from one another for a unique purpose and for his good pleasure. He desires the best for you, wants to see you grow in the mind and likeness of Christ with his help. But you can still be yourself. I mean, you know, keep working at cleaning out the moldy left-overs and please don't offer those to company, but otherwise, keep it real. God likes who you are because he made you. Just be you.

January 6, 2009


Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. (note that a few numbers are missing, it came to me this way --- I'll assume some were quietly removed because someone got a little too creative and crossed the tasteful line)

The winners are:

1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n..): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

12. Karmageddon: It’s when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, and then the Earth explodes, and it’s a serious bummer.

13. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you

15. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

16. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.

17. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

18. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you’re eating.

I thought they were kinda cute. But I'm bummed - I hadn't heard of this contest. In keeping with the spirit of creativity, let's add our own new words to the list. Post your (tasteful) creation in a comment. I'm thinking.

January 1, 2009

Ten Ways to Open Your Heart to Renewal

Looking to 2009 with hope, thirsting for spiritual refreshing and renewal?

My friend Ginny Jaques, Christian Writer, Teacher and wonderfully wise lady, posted this on her blog today and I'd like to pass it on.
Check out Something About The Joy for her January 1, 2009 post titled Ten Ways to Open Your Heart to Renewal.

Happy New Year! The Best of God's Blessings to you this coming year, and may the Lord surprise you with unexpected treasures as you delight in Him!



I've published three novels and a novella (more about those on my website.) I've been writing all my life, but decided in 2007 to get serious about being published.

I love action movies and Jane Austen. (she’s dead, I know. I found that out when I tried to get her to endorse my novel)

They let me play Bass guitar and sing in a worship band.

I can produce 4 dozen homemade cinnamon rolls in a flash for a crowd of drooling young adults. Or publishing house editors.

I used to have a Harley. Now we have twenty-something kids. Decent trade, really. The window-rattling grumble isn't quite the same, but we are still enjoying the ride.

I am a proud Grammy. Don't even think about taking candy from my babies.

I hate shopping (Yes, I'm aware that I'm a girl)

I've lived in Oregon all my life, spent time in Eugene (Go DUCKS!), Springfield, Reedsport, and Smith River. Which is not really a town, but a river, about 70 miles long, a tributary of the Umpqua River in southwest Oregon.

Although it's not a town, it is a community with a strong sense of pioneer history. It's cool to say you've lived there, especially if you lived there during the days when you had to take a boat to school. No joke! The old farmhouse my grandfather and my mother grew up in still stands, nestled into a narrow, pasture carpeted valley, complete with a swimmin' hole and its own 'crick'. It may turn up in one of my novels.

There's a rumor that my ancestors had a connection with the Mafia back in Sicily. I used to fantasize as a kid about a big black limo with tinted windows pulling up and whisking me away from school. Ahhh. So THAT'S why I'm having so much trouble conjugating my dangling participles now.

NOT RANDOM: I am challenged by the truth and amazed by the grace of God. And it's either in spite of or because of that grace that I hold a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way.