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Showing posts from December, 2015

Goodbye and God Be With You

It's rather fitting that some things come to a close on this day -- the last day of the year.

I submitted my last entry into the Rooglewood contest this morning.  I can hardly believe it took me until the day of the deadline to send it in because I'm usually earlier than that.  And, even with the extra time I took, I still felt a little bit like maybe I could have done better if I had more time.

But there was no feeling of regret when I hit "send."  Mostly it was just a prayer that Rooglewood would hear the heart of the message when they read it and that maybe, if I win, they could help me bring the full potential out of my little story.  And there was also a feeling, after working on these stories for more than six months, that it felt good to close that chapter and move on to the next one.

I did it.  I wrote them.  And I'm really proud of them.

Last year, the act of hitting "send" on my contest entry catapulted me into an anticipatory state.  I coul…

From the Archives: the Duke of Northumber: 3

From the Archives: the Duke of Northumber: 2

While I'm Gone...

Hello, dear readers and friends!  I am very much enjoying my holiday break from blogging, but I wanted to pop in and tell you how much I appreciate you.  And I also wanted to give you something to read, in case you were bored.  It's from my archives, but many of you are newer to the blog so you know nothing about the Duke of Northumber.
     The Duke of Northumber is a horrible villain in one of my stories, and I became so fascinated with his backstory that I had to write little scenes from his life.  And I posted these scenes on my blog a little over a year ago.
     So, if you want to know who the Duke of Northumber was and how he turned from a sweet little boy into a cruel man, start here:

Wrapping Up

No, I'm not talking about Christmas presents.

I'm talking about the stories for the Rooglewood contest.  In two days is the deadline for turning in your submission forms -- so if they haven't already been sent in, you have 2 days to get them postmarked and on their way.

I finished my drafts and some edits on all of my stories earlier in the fall.  Then I got terribly overwhelmed and decided to hide and pretend that there were no stories waiting for me on my computer.  I was like the little frilled lizard on The Rescuers Down Under, with my hands over my ears, dancing around singing, "Dadabaduba, dadabaduba, I can't hear you!"

Which, as cowardly as it sounds, was probably a good thing.  Because, essentially, I was taking the recommended break so that I could come back with fresh eyes.  I just didn't know that's what I was doing.  I thought I was procrastinating.

But then, last Tuesday, I sat down and read through AAM.  With a big gulp, I decided that i…

The Mental Ward - To Jefferson Park Avenue (32)

Emery and Beth burst out of the door and into a narrow alleyway.  Emery grabbed Beth's hand and started running, winding her way through the streets.  Dingy buildings toward over them, and they dodged fences and trash cans as they ran.       They made it several blocks before Emery slowed down.  Beth was gasping for breath, and they were both tired.      Emery looked worriedly at Beth.  "We still have a long way to go.  Do you think you can make it?"      Beth closed her eyes.  Her face was pale and sweaty.  But she nodded.      A truck rattled down the road by them. Then it stopped and backed up.  Emery shifted her weight uneasily.        The driver leaned out the window.  "You kids need a ride?"  His eyes focused on Beth and he frowned.  "What are you wearing?  A nightgown?"       "Yes," Beth said.  She walked around the truck and climbed into the back of it.      "I guess we would appreciate a ride."  Emery hesitantly fol…

Bethlehem Walk Tapestry

Hi!  I just wanted to show you the tapestry that we wove on the ancient-style loom last week.  Isn't it beautiful?

The Mental Ward -- Brave or Stupid (31)

The man froze when he saw them, and Emery gasped, throwing her arm out as if to shield Beth.  For a moment, no one moved.      The man's eyes roved over them.  Little by little, his shoulders relaxed, and he reached up to run his fingers over his thick, white beard.  Suddenly, he started cackling.  "Hehehe!  If one of you is insane, it's the bigger one."  He shook his head at Emery, an amused twinkle in his eye.  "Hehehe!  You got guts, young lady, sneaking her out!  Half the city will be after you!  Hehehe!  But you gave them the slip, didn't you?  Hehehe!"  His shoulders bounced with each chuckle and he was clearly enjoying what he considered a good joke.  Suddenly he stopped and grew somewhat serious, placing a finger over his lips.  "Shhh, now.  There's too many people this direction."  He jerked a thumb over his shoulder.  "But if you go the other way, and take the first hallway on your left, and then the second door on you…


Ta-da!  I just submitted my AAM manuscript to Rooglewood Press for their 5MS contest.  Although, at the moment, I feel less like "ta-da" and more like...

It's always a bit of a leap of faith to let a story go.
But it feels good to send it, too.  I hope it fairs well.  I'm sending my submission application forms for the other two stories to Rooglewood tomorrow, and I'm going to try to have both of them ready to go by December 20th.
Godspeed, my little stories....

The Mental Ward - I've Got You (30)

"I've got you."  Beth grasped Emery's shoulder and gave it a tug.      Emery climbed on the neighboring roof.  She glanced back at the makeshift bridge with a shudder.  "How did you walk across that board?  I thought I was going to fall, the whole distance across."      Beth shrugged and looked around the empty roof.  "Now what?"      Emery took a deep breath.  "Now we get you home."      The two girls found the door leading down into the building.  It was open, and Emery silently breathed a prayer of gratitude.  Beth followed her down the steps and they made it to bottom of several flights without detection.  Emery tested the door at the base of the stairs.  It was open.      "Shhh," Emery whispered as she pulled the door open and stepped out into a carpeted stairway.  "Okay.  The coast is clear."      But just Beth stepped out behind her, a man appeared at the end of the hallway.

Bethlehem Walk 2015

Hi, so this week is an awesome week because this week is Bethlehem Walk.  Every year, over 300 people from many different churches in the area participate in a reenactment of the reason we celebrate Christmas.

Welcome to Bethlehem...

Travelers walk through a city of Bethlehem, set up with period shops, like a tapestry shop, candle shop, blacksmith, carpenter, tunic shop, spice shop, basket shop, meat shop, bakery, and so much more.

And, as you walk through, you hear about the oppression of the people as well as the hope for the Messiah.  You will even hear "rumors," such as the story of Zacharias and Elizabeth having a baby in their old age.

And then you walk through some scenes from the story: The Inn, the shepherds' field, the manger, the wise men, the dedication at the temple, the sermons and miracles, the cross, the tomb, and then thinking about what you are going to do now that you have heard this story.  At the end is hot chocolate and cookies and people available…

The Mental Ward -- The Bridge to Freedom (29)

Emery eased open the heavy door and scanned the roof.  It was empty.  "Coast is clear.  Come on, Beth."      Beth followed her onto the flat roof of the asylum.  "Why aren't they guarding this door?"      "Because they think it is locked securely.  Thanks to this control box in my hands, they knew they couldn't get in this way and so they assume we can't get out."  Emery crept along the roof, keeping low.  To her left hung a clothesline where she had once dried asylum laundry.  To her right was the low wall that encircled the roof.      As she had hoped, the crowd of people milling around the asylum had gathered at the temporary police base set up in front of the building.  The locked doors had lured them all into a sense of security, and the excitement of the forces entering the building had everyone's attention.  Emery set the box down on the roof and switched open the doors to the fifth floor, including the doors to Beastly's …

NANO Recovery Month

Hello, my friends!

  How many of you did Nano this year?
    How did it go?
      What's next?
        I want to know.
          I've never done Nano
            -- at least not yet --
              but you have my respect & admiration,
                and I want to hear all about it.

COVER REVEAL: Resist by Emily Ann Putzke

I am thrilled that today, I have the honor of participating in the cover reveal for Emily Ann Putzke's new novel: Resist.  I have been following her blog for some time, and I have to say that I am pretty excited about this book.  But don't just take my word for it.  Read about it for yourself!

Resist Synopsis:
Munich, Germany 1942—Hans Scholl never intended to get his younger sister involved in an underground resistance. When Sophie Scholl finds out, she insists on joining Hans and his close friends in writing and distributing anti-Nazi leaflets entitled, The White Rose. The young university students call out to the German people, begging them to not allow their consciences to become dormant, but to resist their tyrannical leader and corrupt government. Hans knows the consequences for their actions—execution for committing high treason—but firm in his convictions, he’s prepared to lose his life for a righteous cause. Based on a true story, Hans, Sophie and all the members of The…