July 30, 2008

Short Story

I've decided to write a short story that my DH gave me the idea for. He's often told me that he wishes we could have met earlier in life. So I'm writing about what it would have been like. I won't give it away but there will be quite a few surprises. The premise is "Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it". I think it will be fun to write and even fun to read. I'm actually looking forward to writing it.

I feel intimidated every time I sit down to write Rebel Union. I don't know if it's because it's a novel which will take a long time to write or if it's because I'm not as interested in the characters and plotline as I was at first. I've made a lot of changes because I'm afraid I won't be able to write what I had originally planned for it. Maybe I should just go back to the original plot and stick with it. If I need to do more research I can.

I'm going to check out the Not Going To Conference Conference over at Romance Diva's tomorrow for the workshop on Historical Research. That might help quite a bit.

July 27, 2008

Growing Up

My baby girl is growing up way too fast. She leaves early in the morning to spend a week in Florida for church camp. Her first real trip away from home without family. She's a little nervous about being so far away with people she barely knows, but she's excited too. They're staying at the Hilton in Daytona, they'll have a private beach for their own use, they're going to the water park on Thursday and to Bubba Gump Shrimp after. And during the entire week they'll be meeting at the conference center most of the day for church services.

I remember my church camp and I have to tell you we didn't have near the amenities. As I recall there were lots of woods, a lake, and plenty of mosquitoes. But I had one of the best times of my life that summer. And I know she'll have a wonderful time, too. She'll meet new friends, see things she wouldn't otherwise be able to see, and she'll worship God. How much better could it be?

July 25, 2008

I worked on Scene 2 of my current WIP last night. I still hate the way things are going but I'm at least writing. I know I need more description and my dialogue is kind of stilted, but just getting it down on paper is better than nothing. I'll revise and that will be good enough.

I wonder if I can close my eyes and picture myself as the character and feel what he feels or see what she sees, then would that help. This writing thing is much harder than it looks. Most people think it's so easy to create a whole world, but it's not. It's a good thing I want it so bad or I'd stop thinking about it altogether.

July 24, 2008


I was doing a little research the other day and found the town that inspired "Uncle Tom's Cabin". Harriet Beecher Stowe was visiting Washington, KY and viewed a slave auction on the courthouse lawn. So, being the thorough researcher that I am (can you say procrastination?) I went online and found the website.

Along with all the history and the original buildings from the 1700s, I also noticed that the town has a Chocolate Festival every year. While that will not be the main reason I visit the town it will definitely influence when my visit occurs.

I love chocolate as much as any respectable woman on the planet and I will gladly participate in any tastes test they have available. But I will also visit the museums and antique shops and I will eat in the Row House Restaurant. I'll take in all the history and charm and bring home with me plenty of ideas and research materials. And if a little chocolate finds its way into my suitcase then so much the better.

Invisible Mom - Author Unknown

A friend of mine sent this to me and it got me to thinking. There's a line near the end that talks about how she doesn't want her son to bring his friends home and tell them about how she gets up early to bake but she just wants him to want to come home and bring his friends with him. I can't tell you how many times I've thought the same thing. When my oldest son was younger he often told me that he didn't want to be anywhere near me no matter what I did for him. But now his wife has told me that he tells her how he misses me and can't wait to come for a visit. Now that makes me feel like a million bucks.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.?? Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it? I'm a TV guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel? I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain t hat these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated with honors - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals; we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof?No one will ever see it. And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become'.

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work onsomething that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my s on to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My Mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

Share this with all the Invisible Moms you know....
GOD Bless

July 23, 2008

My Heart's In San Francisco

The RWA conference is coming up and I would so love to go. But it just wasn't feasible this year. I know they're supposed to be coming to Nashville in 2010 and I will definitely be going to that, but if I'm good my hubby and I might even be able to pony up for next year's conference in DC. I will however keep up with all the blogs and news from RWA. I can live vicariously through other conference goers for a bit longer.

July 22, 2008

How do they do that?!?

I'm reading Leigh Michaels' "On Writing Romance" and I'm to the section on plotting. Thank goodness. I wrote a short synopsis on the story before I decided to pick up this book, but now I'm doubting that what I think is a good plot will work. What if what I write won't meld together the way I think it will? I'm afraid I'm going to get to an action scene and the entire thing will show that I'm not as smart as I thought I was and there's no way anyone would do things that way.

I'm also terrified that I won't be able to figure out how to express what my characters are thinking and feeling in a way that makes sense. I've never stopped to think about why I do the things I do; I just do them. But from what I understand, the more I write, the better I'll get. One can only hope!

July 21, 2008


My uncle passed away this week and I went home for the funeral. He was my mother's brother; one of many. My grandparents were married for 57 years and had a total of 15 children; 14 boys and 1 girl, my mother. Going home and seeing all the family again has made me feel a bit nostalgic. These are the people I spent the first years of my life with and yet I haven't seen most of them in 8 years, since my grandmother passed away. We used to have family reunions every year, but now we only see each other at funerals. It's sad, really, because we all lived as a tight knit little community and now we never even speak.

I remember so many things about my childhood, but the one thing that stands out is how we all knew without a doubt that we were loved, not only by our parents, but by everyone in our family. We all lived side by side, we were all in and out of each other's houses, we fought of course, but we always made up. We always had someone to talk to or play with. I'm missing that now and I'm sorry that my own children haven't gotten to experience it. Some of my cousins have never even met my children and for that I'm also very sorry. We're all missing out on so much.

My Father's Face - Uncle Eugene

Mourners gathered round to grieve,
hearts in anquish, souls bereaved

Lift your face, your soul, your heart.
God's love will keep us ne'er apart.

Trust God's love and do not grieve,
For in Him I do believe.

Cry not for me but sing God's Grace.
Today I see my Father's face.