Saturday, June 07, 2008

My Dad, and an Update

I thank everyone who sent good wishes regarding my dad. He died on May 29 at the age of 89. We all miss him terribly, but we're glad his suffering is over.

In the meantime, I'm writing and preparing for my annual trip to the National Sacred Harp Convention in Birmingham. The convention couldn't come at a better time--I sorely need fellowship and singing to ease my grief.

I'll resume regular postings at the beginning of July. In the meantime, enjoy summer, and don't forget your sunscreen.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Quick Personal Note

I haven't been around much, and I apologize for that. Right now my dad is in ICU and is doing very poorly. I'm home briefly, but will be driving back down there soon--I'm about three hours away.

If you would like to remember us in your prayers, we would really appreciate that.

I hope I will be able to update you on my writing and my life soon.

Thanks for your understanding.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Upcoming Trips

I am definitely going to attend the GA State Sacred Harp Convention. I can't wait to sing with all my friends! This convention is one I always hate to pass up but can't always attend. This year it's on Easter Weekend (and in western GA), so it will be triply sweet to be there.

Yesterday, I finally found a cheap-enough fare to travel to Egypt to see my daughter, who's researching her dissertation until the fall (she has a ten-month fellowship). She lives in Cairo in an apartment with two other young women, and is thriving, from what I can determine. Ancient Egypt is not one of my interests, but it has been my daughter's passion since she was four--a lifelong love for her, and obviously she's doing what she's meant to be doing.

While there, she plans to take me to Luxor, which is where many of the big temples and tombs are. We've talked on the phone about it, and I'm leaving it up to her to make the reservations. Egypt is her place, and in a sense, she'll be the grownup while I visit. I know it means a lot to her for me to visit, so we said, hang the expense, let's do it. My husband will keep the home fires burning while I'm over there.

In the meantime, I'm simply glad the chore of finding a decent airfare is off my plate, so I can write, write, write. And, until I see my daughter again, I have the Ga State to keep me happy.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Winner of the Book of the Day Contest at AI!

Jennifer Tower of Maine won a copy of my book, COVER ME. Congratulations, Jennifer! Your book will go in the mail in the next day or so.


Winner of the "Read an Ebook Week" Contest!

Congratulations to jackie_wisherd! Jackie has won an ebook copy of my novel, "Cover Me", as part of my "Read an Ebook Week" contest. Yay, Jackie!


Friday, February 29, 2008

How "Green" Is Your Reading Material?

I have to say, I never thought about the issue of "green" reading material until I ran across information about Read an eBook Week, which begins this Sunday (March 2-8). As I write ebooks, I really have no excuse not to support Read an eBook Week.

Ebooks are environmentally friendly because they don't require any paper. Did you know that over a third of all books printed are never read? I'm quoting from the Read an eBook web site here: "They are returned to the publisher and end up in landfills."

I was astonished to read that!

So, I am supporting Read an eBook Week, and I hope you do, too. Not only that, I'm giving you an incentive to support it. Simply join my announcements Yahoogroup for a chance to win an ebook copy of my novel COVER ME. (If you're already a member, you're automatically entered.)

That's all you have to do! I'll draw the winner on Sunday, March 9th. Hope to see you on my group, and good luck on winning the book!


Friday, February 22, 2008

Frida Kahlo

Yesterday, I took part of the day off to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I even managed to use public transportation into the city and back without getting lost! Such things aren't as easy for me to deal with as they were when I was twentysomething (or even thirtysomething).

I find Kahlo's work fascinating, disturbing--and beautiful. Her life was one of pain, and she truly turned her sufferings into art. However, this post isn't really about Kahlo, her art, or the exhibit. It's about finding inspiration to do what you love.

Art museums are one of my favorite things. Almost all visual art interests me, and I find that it also inspires my muse, creating ideas and giving me energy to write new stories, or finish old ones. Especially when it's winter, I like to visit a museum in order to recharge and refresh myself. It's almost as good as an indulgent visit to a spa. Scratch that: for me, it's even better.

A friend of mine is devoting an entire year of her life to her art, so if you live in the southern California area, keep an eye on this blog for details about her first California show. I'm not going to give away anything--the concept she's working with knocks my socks off--but you might enjoy her unique artistic style. Simply visit her web site to find out more--my favorite is the mariachi snowmen. At the moment, all she has on the site are her paintings, plus photos of other works, but I know that more will be forthcoming.

Do what you love, do what makes you feel creative and vital, even if it's only during a small part of your week. We all need to create, to take a deep breath now and then, to remember who we really are. Try it.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

One More New Goodie for You

If you enjoy this blog (despite my lack of communication at times), and would like for each new post to arrive in your inbox automatically, as email, then use the new form that appears under my photo. Sometimes technology is wonderful.


New Year, New Challenges, New Stuff, New Life

First, I've added four new items to the blog. I'm a sucker for quotations, so now I feature four different varieties in the right column. Quote of the Day runs above my photo, while below my photo are Art Quote of the Day, Funny Quote of the Day, and Love Quote of the Day. Enjoy.

This new year has had its challenges. My husband's job situation remains uncertain--it has been a source of near-constant stress. Communications with a lot of people in my life are at an all-time low--perhaps there's something to astrology after all? I think Mercury is retrograde right now (i.e., going backwards), and Mercury controls communication--that much, I know. And, my parents are not doing well.

However, the new year has had its joys, too. I couldn't ask for a harder-working muse at the moment--ideas and words have simply been pouring out of me, so instead of blogging, I've been writing stories, which is a Very Good Thing, at least for me (and, ultimately, for you, if you read my work). I've also been exercising more regularly, and eating better. And, saints be praised, I found a part-time job to help our finances that is perfect for me--it pays well, I get to work at home, and it's a high-tech job, so I could not complain, even if I wanted to. :-)

It occurs to me that tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, begins a new year for Christians, sort of. Ash Wednesday offers us a chance to rededicate ourselves to walking the walk, not just talking the talk. In past years, I've given up small pleasures, in order to keep Lent uppermost in my mind--not as a time of deprivation, but as a time of joy, and of fruitful reflection, of waiting. This year, I've decided not to give something up--the reasons are too personal to go into here--but I will be rededicating myself to acting more consistently with my beliefs, and to taking more time for reflection and prayer. I've discovered that going for my walks provides me with an excellent opportunity to talk with God.

An aside to Jeff, who commented on my post regarding Relocating for Singing. Thank you so much for your story--it moved me, and also reminded me why I need to cultivate more patience than I have. Need I add that one of my favorite sayings is, "Grant me patience, Lord, but hurry"?

By the way, Sacred Harp friends, there is a chance that I will be able to attend the GA State this year. (Yes!!!) To be singing Sacred Harp on Easter Sunday, with my friends--now, that's a party I don't want to miss! But, I must have patience, as all ducks are not quite in a row, yet.

Happy Lent,