Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Favorite Bookstores & Book Covers

I'm a regular Amazon customer. My favorite birthday / Christmas gift is an Amazon gift card so I can load up the Kindle or order hard copies.

At the same time, I visit brick-and-mortar bookstores as often as I can. Browsing online has some advantages (I'm sucker for the "if you like this book, you'll like this one too" sections), but it's not the same as randomly picking up a book because . . . well just because. Anything can grab my attention: a catchy title, an author I enjoy, or just as likely, a new-to-me author; or the cover, the blurb . . . even the font on the spine.

This is on my mind because I'm hoping to see the cover for "Until I Found You" in the next few days.  I can hardly wait! In fact, it feels the same as my very first book, maybe because UIFY is a true book of my heart--a story conceived while I browsed old style bookstores B. Dalton, Waldenbooks and Crown Books.

Sometimes the past and present . . . this is one of those days.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Thoughts on Worship . . .

At Southland Christian Church last night, the pastor said something that struck me as both kind and respectful. He was talking about the church's vision to involve young people in church when he stopped in the middle and focused for a moment on the older folks in the crowd--the ones who aren't so thrilled with modern music and loud praise bands. 

I can't quote exactly, but basically he thanked the older folks (and there were a lot of them) for giving up their musical preferences in order to meet the needs of the next generation(s). There was no rancor, no "you're not hip and cool if you don't like loud music." Just simple respect.  I have to say, it touched me deeply.  My husband too.

I don't think of myself as old, but I'm definitely on the border. Just about any kind of worship appeals to me.  When we went to a Lutheran church in California, I fell in love with the liturgy that included a chant-like hymn called "This is the Feast of Victory For Our God."  It was easy to lose myself in the music because it became embedded in my brain from repetition. The melody is simple, lilting and just beautiful.  I still hum that hymn and find peace in it.

I can lose myself in some contemporary songs too.  My current favorite is "Oceans." Wow. Just Wow. It's God-focused, poetic and about the struggle to live by faith. I'm less enamored by songs that are "me" focused. They're fine on the radio or as a personal prayer, but they strike me as more private than a song that's written to be sung by a group that's come together for the purpose of praising our Lord and Creator.

I personally think rock n' roll is inherently narcissistic in its performance style.  Just look at Mick Jagger, even Springsteen (whose music I like a lot). We're focused on the performance, on the person singing, the rock star.  The audience may join in on "Born to Run," but the focus is on The Boss (and I mean Bruce here). 

What if churches did something that was done in the Middle Ages? Back then, the choir was in the back of the church, and the people faced the altar in the front. What if we put the band in the back of the church and we all faced forward and simply closed our eyes, or stared at the cross?  What if we just turned around for a few minutes and blocked out the noise and lights and graphics and paused to  be still and know that he is God? 

I'm fine with light shows and graphics, but mostly I close my eyes to block out the distractions.  Of course, that's just me. Other Christians find God in the very things I find distracting.  No problem. I can worship wherever God puts me.  As a dear writer friend often says, "We're snowflakes and thumb prints."  Let's embrace our differences.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

An Act of Kindness

Allergies . . . ugh.  I could really do without the sore throat, stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy throat, etc., but what happened yesterday is the sort of thing that puts the silver in the silver linings in the Kentucky clouds dotting the sky. 

After a long morning at the day job (I work p/t in a doctor's office), I headed to Kroger's to pick up pistachios, peaches, and . . .  something else. What was it? Aha!  Allergy medicine . . . but I didn't realize it until I was out of the store and on New Circle heading home.  Bone tired and miserable, I decided to run into Walgreen's.

So there I am in the Cold / Allergy / Pain Reliever aisle, looking sneezy and befuddled because I can't find the brand I want, which is Coricidon.  It's the only thing I can take . . . Anyhow, the  aisle is huge and after a long day, the boxes were floating in front of my itchy eyes. 

"Can I help you find something?" 

I turned and saw that the pharmacy clerk had come from behind the counter. I told her what I needed and she fetched it immediately from behind the back room. This young lady made my day . . . You know that moment when you see God at work?  I've been thinking a lot about kindness lately--both the giving and receiving it. 
I want to give it,  generously and always. But  today I received it . . . I hope this young lady has a wonderful weekend, because she made me feel a lot better.  The medicine is helping too!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Plans for Saturday . . .

Up at 5:30 a.m. when my hubby leaves for work.

Write until 7:45 a.m.

Walk the dog . . . his favorite part of the day.

Breakfast with friends at Windy Corners here in Lexington.

Home around 10:30 a.m.

Internet time and more  writing.

A phone call or two to out-of-state friends.

Chores . . . laundry never ends.

Saturday evening service at Southland Christian Church.

Somewhere in there I need to get in a two-mile walk. Nothing helps creativity like exercise and healthy eating.  Can't say I enjoy it all the time, but I like the results.

Oh!  If the horses show up at the back fence, I'll break out the carrots. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What I'm Reading . . .

I just love it when I get lost in the story and forget that I'm actually reading . . . Melissa's book--her first--is doing that for me. Love both characters!  I'm on page 103 and have no idea how it's going to end.

Take a look over at Amazon . . . Made To Last

I should see my own cover any day now. I'm as excited as I was for my first book . . . maybe even more so!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Fun Moment . . .

My sister-in-law was browsing at a yard sale when she saw a big box of Love Inspired Historicals.  She spotted Brides of the West.  It's always fun to imagine someone reading one of my books, then passing it on.  Mass market paperbacks are meant to be read, not put on display. 

I've seen used copies of my HHs at Half-Price Books here in Lexington.  I'm happy to say Abbie's Outlaw was dog-eared--a sign someone enjoyed it!