Really Great Unfinisher

>> Sunday, May 30, 2010

Today I worked on my bedroom.  I rearranged what I could.  Also, I carved out a little reading/writing nook in the corner.  Hope to use it lots this summer.  I emptied the bed but have messes to clean up this week.  I have to figure out where to put all my books and papers....  Yikes.  Sure do have lots.

Today in church, Greg told us he's been reading his Bible in a 90 day plan and is really enjoying it.  Since that was one of my major goals for the summer, that seemed to be the perfect plan for me to adopt.  Day 1 was reading Genesis, chapters 1-16.  It didn't take long at all and I enjoyed it.  I'm reading from The Message and really like that.

I'm posting this because I need accountability.  Big time.  I'm a really great starter but a horrible finisher.  Well, that's not exactly true.  Usually I don't finish at all.  I am a great unfinisher and I need to correct that character flaw.

Here's what I read this evening, day 1 of my 90 days or less:

God created the heavens and the earth and all in it and was very pleased.

God created man and woman who soon sinned and ruined their opportunity to live in THE PERFECT place.

God got disgusted with man and his evil ways and decided to destroy them but he found favor with Noah and his family.   

In faith, Noah built an ark, to the specifications that God gave him.  In faith that boarded that ark and for the very first time ever, they say rain, lots of rain.

God gave man a promise that He would never destroy the earth like that again.

Man filled up the earth again and a man named Abraham was born.  God promised to make him into a great nation.

Sarai, his wife, gave up on God's promise and gave him a son through her Egyptian maid.  She soon saw the flaw in that plan and was horrible to Hagar.  When Hagar ran away, after getting pregnant with Abram's child, God spoke to her and said she would have a son named Ishmael.

That's chapter's 1 - 16 in a nutshell.  I love to read Genesis.  The house is quiet.  Ryan and Jim went to see Iron Man 2 and Nik's in St. Louis with his girlfriend's family.  I think I'll keep on reading.  Anyone want to join me?


Easy Street

>> Saturday, May 29, 2010

Today while driving down some weird off-streets with Jim in Bloomington, I happened to see a street named Easy Street. That was funny enough but then I saw a dead end sign. Hilarious but isn't that true? I immediately started humming the Easy Street song from Annie:)

We all want to find Easy Street, honestly? Right? As we mature, we find out there is no such thing. The Bible talks about it, too:

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."  Matthew 7:13
Sometimes we want to go along with the crowd.  Fit in with THE group.  The cliques.  We might think it's an easier way to get around but remember the consequences:  it could lead to destruction.  Easy Street and dead end road most certainly do go together.  I bet the person that named that street had a sense of humor.  He sure made my day:)

 Another thing I learned today.  I tried out my new Mr. Coffee Espresso machine for the first time.  I waited and waited for it to start working and finally I messed with the knob and realized it wasn't all the way turned.  When I fixed that it started spitting the shots out fine.  Woo!  Anyway, I added caramel to the top after I had a good portion on the bottom already and oh my goodness - it was WAYYY too sweet.  I learned that too much of a good thing is NOT a good thing:)

I bought a bag of coffee for the very first time in my life yesterday AND I ground it.  I picked out a chocoately flavored one.  Mmmmm.  Practice makes perfect, is what I hear, so I will keep on practicing until I can make the perfect latte, maybe even better than the ones Mari makes me.  Well...maybe not THAT good but close, considering she is my teacher in all things coffee:)

This is Mari. I've hijacked Laury's blog. Shh... she doesn't know it yet.

Two years ago, July '08 to be exact, I announced to all our coffee loving online friends that I was going to introduce our naive Midwestern friend that seriously needed out of the box in her Starbucks. On our very first full day together, we met with my daughter, Melissa. This is the series of photos she captured:

OK...she has her first latte in hand! Does she look excited? No?

She's nervous and says her first time is scary. hmmm

Mari: Well.....?

Laury: It tastes

ROFL! Ya think?

Wooboy...she's a keeper, folks! Yes she is.
And now she thinks she will out do me in latte-land.
I laugh so hard my face hurts!


Happy Memorial Day! 


Summer, 2010

>> Thursday, May 27, 2010

Friday is the last day of school.  I can't wait.  It's been a long year and I even missed a few months of it.  Every summer I have big plans to get lots done.  This year I'm feeling much better so I need to be really intentional about jumping right into a routine.

I need to clean and organize my house, for sure
Read my Bible
Read other books/review
Blog at least 3 times a week
Read about writing
Actually write! - work on WIPS (works in progress)

Oh, can't forget about exercising and eating good.  I plan on continuing my weight loss that I started right before spring break.  I need to walk and/or ride my bike. 

I also need to be praying about the ministry God has for me.  I dropped so much when I was sick.  I'm ready to get back to work but don't want to jump in blindly but do what God wants me to do.

Now I feel overwhelmed and frustrated because I know I'll start the summer out lazy as I catch up on sleep.

To keep from getting frustrated, I want to remember that God should be number one and He never heaps condemnation on me.  I want to be able to say, at the end of this race,

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."  2 Timothy 4:7 (NIV)

Do you have special goals this summer?  We need to push each other along in this life.  It's so easy to get complacent.  Feel free to ask me what I've been doing or reading...  I would appreciate the accountability.  Summer's coming and I'm so ready!


Daniella, My Love - Friday Fiction

>> Friday, May 21, 2010

Christina is the host of Friday Fiction today.  I'm a bit late but it is still Friday so I'm okay:)   Go visit her blog to read awesome stories written by awesome Christian authors!

This is my story for critique from last week.  It was inspired from a book I was reading called, Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.  It's not a Christian book and there are parts in it that I wouldn't have written but I have to say - oh man, wow, I LOVED this book.  It caught me up in the story line from the very first page.

This entry didn't even make top 40 list but I like it and I hope you do, too.  And I highly recommend this book to my writing friends.  It is wonderful.  Okay, here is my story, silly as it may be:

Daniella, My Love

My boss threw a new assignment at me. I reached out and caught the thing just in time. The rust-colored cover didn’t hold much promise so I put it aside where it got buried under a ton of paperwork.

The book, by day’s end, floated to the top and dashed any plans I had of a mindless evening in front of the television. I walked away from my office grumbling like a teen with homework under his arm.

My job at the Metropolis Daily News consisted of reading books ‘hot off the presses,’ so the cliché goes. My reputation, well known throughout the country, was said to be synonymous with brutality, and the hate emails that rested in my inbox attested to that description. Secretly I feared for my life. Writers are a fickle bunch – unstable, moody. I always wrote it the way I saw it and I declared on numerous occasions that I would never change.

Dinner finished, I couldn’t put it off any longer. I jumped over the couch and landed perfectly, legs sprawled, head rested on the pillow, book in hands. Ready to begin an evening of boredom, I cracked open the object of my disdain: Silhouette of the Breeze by Julio Caraxa. The name reminded me of a telenovela.

By the time I reached page five, or perhaps earlier, I was hooked. The whole novel enraptured me. The ebb and flow of the story, written to perfection, caused me to hold my breath and the next moment laugh in relief. When I came across Spanish words, I repeated them aloud, letting them roll off my tongue, truly a delight to the senses. So much different than so many other books I’d read and reviewed.

It is the book I wished I’d written. It’s me from the inside out. It pulled at my heart, hopelessly entangling me. Page 487 snuck up on me along with the sun that filtered through the blinds. I read the last sentence then closed the book with a sigh. I slapped myself to break the trance and said, “Get a grip, Joe.” I couldn’t go soft, not when a daily column with a by-line stood in my path: my dream job.

Sitting at my computer, I let my fingers wander about the keyboard as if they had a mind of their own. Fifteen minutes later I read through the review and couldn’t believe my eyes. Me, Joe Beaner, gave a book high ratings. I knew my editor would not like that one bit. I prepared my finger to hit the delete button but something stopped me.

The book…called to me. Weird as it sounds, it really did. I closed my eyes and found myself transported to the middle of Barcelona. The sights and smells overwhelmed my senses. I looked to my right and there stood the main character, Daniella. She smiled at me but then, true to plot, the girl and I ran into the nemesis, the evil Femer. Not one to avoid trouble, Daniella stood her ground. I would have fled but her hand held tight to mine.

I relived each scene there on my couch. Never had I been caught up in a book. I chose to throw caution to the wind – I hit send to my editor along with a letter of resignation. I set off down the city street, eager to find mystery and intrigue along the way. Normal and mundane no longer enough anymore, I needed freed from cautiousness. I needed…Daniella. There my quest began; my life intermixed within the storyline of the book, the book I deemed written just for me.

A force possessed me to look for my Daniella, yet I had a breaking point. On the verge of giving up, I received an email from the author, Julio Caraxa. My review helped launch him to a bestseller and to show his gratitude, he asked to meet me. A raven-haired woman walked in and introduced herself. Julio, a pen name, turned out to be Daniella Coraxa. We clicked instantly.

Daniella and I finished another bestseller on our second anniversary. We waited together for the very first reviews and then let out a sigh of relief, good or bad, for we knew that criticism is our friend, it’s what sells books. After thirty-six years together, Daniella, my love, still wraps herself around my heart, a true life mystery, indeed. We hold hands and I smile, intrigued at this woman I know…yet I don’t.



>> Saturday, May 1, 2010

God, my Shepherd!  I don't need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.

True to your word, You let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
(Psalm 23:1-3, The Message)

But sometimes, Lord, intruders come 
and disturb my peace!

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