Friday, August 29, 2014

Support Local

Hard to believe it has been two weeks since I had that nervous energy of my first book launch. I did very well. The weather came through beautifully. And I sold out my books.
That leaves me a good problem. I have to order more. I can't afford "the discount." I'm always amazed at how much money one has to spend to "save" money. But I am not complaining. I am happy with how the book looks, feels and reads. Many read it. I heard comments, "Hard to put it down." "I really loved it." "We really had the KKK in West Middlesex?"
Yes, Virginia, we did. The next night, pictures of a conclave posted on the site, "You know you're from West Middlesex if..." sparked a dialogue. Those images got under my skin making me feel uneasy. I imagined another novel, picking up with the publication of Main Street with a successful launch and being targeted by "Haters." Only I hope it wouldn't be real. Writers are strange people, I'm finding out that I am different with some of those kind of thoughts.
I had a two part interview with Dorothy Jones about her growing up, first on Furnace Hill, then moving out to Wet Track Road, outside of West Middlesex. She attended the Liberty School on Main Street, that the Sloan children walked to, until eighth grade, then walked down Sieg Hill to catch the trolley into Farrell where she graduated from that high school in 1936. At almost ninety six, she is remarkable. I know I only scratched the surface.
During World War II, she lived mostly in New York City, as an coder for the Navy. Those were fascinating stories, too. I just wrote and wrote as she talked. Her daughter taped it, as well. I'm sure someone like Dorothy will show up in my JT stories.
Today, I strode in Leana's Books and More. I had some questions about how they ordered books. Since Main Street is through Westbow Press, I hoped they could purchase some with other orders. I learned a capsule about independent book store business. Vince also found out Main Street in on their website at ten percent discount and ninety nine cent shipping. Summer Triangle is not on the web site.
That made me wonder if other independent book stores have Main Street on their web site. If you are not from this area, check out your local book store's web site and let me know if it is.
Some more exciting news I will share next time. I keep looking for the positive. My picture for the year of abundance appears ever in my vision. I returned to it for my profile picture on Facebook.
https://leanasbooks.mybooksandmore.com/web1/actions/searchHandler.do?key=BTKEY0015333904&nextPage=booksDetails&parentNum=13136&itemNum=ITEM:1
 Product Main Street: A Gables and Gingerbread Story

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

My first day of nursery school: Lady of Fatima, Farrell, PA


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Teddy's Law Tuesday

From Teddy's Law facebook page:
As we move the foundation forward we have decided that we will be doing everything through the foundation. Which means we will be pulling the Teddy's Law Facebook page down and we will be using The Team Teddy Foundation Facebook page for everything. I have a pending request to merge the pages. It should happen in the next 14 days. If we are unable to merge the pages the Teddy's Law page will still be pulled down. Over the next few months we will also be pulling down the Teddyslaw.org webpage and will replace it with theteamteddyfoundation.org webpage. We will be making a link for Teddy's Law on that page. We will update you on the progress on that page as well as the facebook page. I know this will cause some confusion. I apologize for the changes. But as we move forward the changes will be well worth it. I have said from the beginning that i made a promise to fight for Teddy and the reason for this foundation will do just that. We are building this from the ground up. We would like to see this grow into something that protects all children. Personally i would like to see this foundation last forever. Teddy was a hero. And we will make sure through the foundation that he remains just that. All of you are apart of Team Teddy. We need your help in making the foundation go viral. The only way we will make our government listen is to have each and everyone of you on the team. It takes less than 10 seconds to share. And that is all we are asking from you.Please stand with us as we make our transition into the future. I have made a lot of friends over the past year and a half. I cherish each and everyone of you. Please don't quit on us now. We still need to raise funds to make this a reality. We will do this by have an annual event like the picnic and car show. We will also be hitting other events to get the word out on what we are doing to make our children safer. This is not a one person job. It will take each and everyone of us.

Thank you for reading

Sincerely,

Shawn Tedesco
Photo: As we move the foundation forward we have decided that we will be doing everything through the foundation. Which means we will be pulling the Teddy's Law Facebook page down and we will be using The Team Teddy Foundation Facebook page for everything. I have a pending request to merge the pages. It should happen in the next 14 days. If we are unable to merge the pages the Teddy's Law page will still be pulled down. Over the next few months we will also be pulling down the Teddyslaw.org webpage and will replace it with theteamteddyfoundation.org webpage. We will be making a link for Teddy's Law on that page. We will update you on the progress on that page as well as the facebook page. I know this will cause some confusion. I apologize for the changes. But as we move forward the changes will be well worth it. I have said from the beginning that i made a promise to fight for Teddy and the reason for this foundation will do just that. We are building this from the ground up. We would like to see this grow into something that protects all children. Personally i would like to see this foundation last forever. Teddy was a hero. And we will make sure through the foundation that he remains just that. All of you are apart of Team Teddy. We need your help in making the foundation go viral. The only way we will make our government listen is to have each and everyone of you on the team. It takes less than 10 seconds to share. And that is all we are asking from you.Please stand with us as we make our transition into the future. I have made a lot of friends over the past year and a half. I cherish each and everyone of you. Please don't quit on us now. We still need to raise funds to make this a reality. We will do this by have an annual event like the picnic and car show. We will also be hitting other events to get the word out on what we are doing to make our children safer. This is not a one person job. It will take each and everyone of us. 

Thank you for reading

Sincerely,

Shawn Tedesco

Friday, August 22, 2014

Pictures from Main Street Launch


This has been an incredible week. Tonight, I'll post some pictures of my launch of Main Street at the Sesquicentennial Celebration for West Middlesex, Pennsylvania. I'm interviewing a woman who visited the celebration. I'm finishing it tomorrow morning. I did take today off to move my youngest into her college dorm apartment. All this and working afternoon turn. I managed to write some on Last Free Exit, too. The two part interview has been so much fun, but time consuming. Hoping I wake earlier to get some writing done before work. Enjoy the launch pictures:

Looking east on Main Street. The red brick Italianate house on right.

Across to School Street.

"Here's to you, Martha."


My table

I had some offers for this. No, not for sale.

My sister's friend from high school. Homecoming and Putt-Putt Queen(not me!)
More class of '66. Look, they have my book! Best neighbors for my mom.



The Williams girls celebrating family reunion, too. 58 on the family float.

The coolest customer escaping the heat, or trying.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Teddy's Law Tuesday

The Klu Klux Klan figures highly in my recently published novel Main Street. Although this doesn't directly connect with child abuse, I can see some similarities. The main one is the secretiveness. We just celebrated our one hundred fiftieth birthday in my home town. In the display, pictures of the Klan in West Middlesex surprised some younger people.
On our facebook page, You know you're from West Middlesex if..., the pictures were posted. That people in 1925 actually posed for a group photo in their hoods blew me away. And a professional photographer took the job. The visions of the four photos got under my skin. I admit I skirted around the Klan in my book. I had to focus on Martha and her isolation in not knowing how to stop the hatred.
Maybe women today are in that situation with their children and the man in their lives. We have to help, as teachers, nurses, neighbors and any other way we come in contact with children. We suspect anything, report it. I have the hotline on speed dial- 1-800-422-4453

 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Launch Day

Nervous energy, yet I feel calm and peaceful. The weather is cool right now. The shirt I planned on wearing, actually bought almost a year ago- I have worn it- is in Scranton. I picked out another shirt.
All seems to be in line. I received many good wishes last night at the opening celebration. Curtis Farster, emcee, also gave me a great description.
What a celebration. The parade had great floats. Dan and Pam Grundy drove a car with sign about Grundy service station- 1950-1994. The Williams family loading down a semi trailer and not a small one. How awesome to be part of a great big family and come together for a float in your home town.
The fireworks spectacular, the best outside of Disneyland. Even my husband who had been burned out on fireworks from being in a drum and bugle corp, agreed wholeheartedly, they were the best.
We parked on Haywood Street by my old house. We walked to the new stadium after the parade, then hiked back after the fireworks. In some ways, felt like nothing had changed. Well, we know the sign post bent thirty seven years ago hasn't changed. I remarked, "No wonder I was so thin in high school, all these hills, hoofing it everywhere." Yeah, if I wanted to go anywhere, I walked in town. I loved it.
This was posted on Facebook for Assemblies of God one hundredth anniversary, but I think it speaks to my situation this weekend as well:
Photo: Our memories must not be greater than our dreams. -George O. Wood #AG100See you at booth 20!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Where It Was All Imagined

I launch Main Street tomorrow where it was all imagined, the West Middlesex Sesquicentennrial. I can't say I wrote it there, nor even started it there many years ago. No, Main Street jumped out at me in Hermitage and driving the many miles and hours in Ohio while I worked home health.
This novella created in secret became my first complete work I deemed worthy of being read. I sat at the PC in early morning or solitary evenings writing a scene. Then I would dream as I drove on my job. For inspiration, I ventured to West Middlesex to feel the Main Street with vague recollections of a much earlier time that passed much too quickly for me to remember completely. Pictures I saw one Sunday at the one room school house in the 1938 and 1939 West Middlesex  Oracle yearbooks showed me Main Street hadn't changed much to the early 1960's. The drastic changes occurred in the 1970's, with all the renewal so many communities tolerated. I reached back to those early years of childhood to imagine my town in the early 1900's.
I'm excited to return to memories. I anticipate seeing many faces from my past. The town of my childhood and some adulthood. The parade tonight and opening ceremonies under a cool clear sky, I wonder what to wear. I know I have to wear red, as the school colors are red and white. Will they ring the Liberty bell from the old school that I don't remember, but figures in Main Street? I do remember the gym as many nights for youth group occurred there, as well as our wedding reception. The gym was bought by my childhood church. Before that, I remember the Halloween parade ending there, the year Danny dressed as a mummy.
I do feel this is a full circle, like I wrote yesterday. I'm grateful for all who have encouraged me to have a booth at the celebration. From Linda Redmond (Babos), Curtis Farster and Vicki Partridge, still sorry she wasn't one of my English teachers, but I know she was tough and hopefully saw sparks in other students. Becky Ahern for recording some of my family history in Great Depression West Middlesex that helped with the atmosphere I have for Main Street, I thank you.
Say, "Hi!" if you see me tonight. Stop by Booth 20, between candy and wine.
Coffee mug sold by the Women's Club many years ago- I think 1996. Mom bought us all ones and her cleaning lady, too, who graduated from West Middlesex High School

tomorrow. Give me stories. I may use them or not. I'm always researching.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Love of Small Community

I woke to a bright moon early this morning that beckoned me to sit outside at four thirty. I could read by the moonlight. Amazed at the sky, I still wish I knew it better. I read last night constellations  are showing in Summer Triangle this week in constellation news. The one named Arrow seems to be a sign. http://www.valleymorningstar.com/education/article_5fe76b1c-222e-11e4-ac67-0017a43b2370.html
I launch Main Street in two days at the town where it was imagined. West Middlesex celebrates her sesquicentennial. A wholeness and completion meld together with all of this. A faint dream, not too long ago, wakes to reality.
I finished reading October Sky, originally Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam two nights ago. Set in Coalwood, West Virginia, in the late fifties, it is more than a memoir of his journey to NASA. He found his voice of a seventeen boy to write the book with the struggle of leaving a community, a company town doomed to end. He graduated in 1960. His inner anguish of fighting for a father's approval, never really finding that closeness drives inner conflict. This book tells more than teen boys building rockets. The rockets only light the path out of a coal mining community.
Sonny, as he is called and not for the obvious reasons, often refers to the fence, the gossip trail. Anyone growing up in a small community knows about that. Parents knew what we did before we  came home. Yet, that same community that wanted to snitch on everything, also supported those boys and Sonny. They symbolized hope.
From the last of the book:
Even now, Coalwood endures, and no one, not careless industry or overzealous government, can ever completely destroy it-not while we who once lived there may recall our life among its places, or especially remember rockets that once leapt into the air, propelled not by physics but by the vibrant love of an honorable people, and the instruction of a dear teacher, and the dreams of boys. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_7?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=homer%20hickam%20books&sprefix=homer+h%2Caps%2C234
My husband's hometown is also a small community, maybe more like Coalwood than West Middlesex. Their industry was Sylvania, and for being small, that company brought in many engineers and the hope their children would accomplish greatness. At David's class reunion I palpated the hope continued in these kids and they fulfilled it. Some even stayed in town.
As I return for the 150th, I feel the love of the community. People ask about my book. I feel only best wishes. I feel I can launch a rocket. A rocket believed in by a loved teacher, David Yarian, to whom I dedicated Main Street and all other teachers who taught more than their subject.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wordless Wednesday


Pastoral pictures outside New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, late summer.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Teddy's Law Tuesday

I don't know what to say. The news from Iraq chills me and leaves me helpless. Child abuse of any kind is horrific. One post I saw had fact check. I couldn't link to the fact check, if the pictures were real. One was a child surrounded by pointing rifles. My husband remarked that it was pretty chilling, even if they staged that one.
If this post could save one from the harm of a monster, I would be hopeful. Evil runs this world for now. But I do believe love will win out. We also need to keep our eyes opened. Maybe we can't help those kids in Iraq, but help the one next door. Do all you can to bring awareness.
Protesters outside Mercer County Courthouse during trial of mother and her parents in starvation case of seven year old boy.
I know the stories from Iraq keep my problems in perspective. As I said, I don't know what to write today. Keep praying. Keep fighting. Keep your eyes open. And listen and believe.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Losing Control

I wrote this just recently, but I seem to need to read and hear it again. I figure if I need it, maybe someone else needs to hear it. This is the first morning for a while I haven't woken with dread manifesting in my chest after a few seconds of wakefulness. I have peace. God has been inviting me again into His presence. Messages over and over fill my heart. I want to be content in all things. Philippians 4:13 reminds me, I can with Christ's strength. My mind will tell me, but my body will stop me from feeling it. I keep praying and pushing in. Jesus invites us all to sit with Him. The picture is a bistro set on a busy State Street, that I took. I love the color and in Cherokee green is a healing color- I'll tell that story sometime. Sit with Jesus a while and be healed.

 Control, the concept, crops in my mind often lately. I am realizing, I have none. I strive to have it, even if I say, God is in control. I am not alone.
In Summer Triangle, my main character, Maria, wrestles with control of her family. I, as a mother, incorporated my own desiring of control. I wanted the clean home, but always fought that battle with time in, working full time. Maria controlled her home when she was able to go part time. But she still worried about her children. As a mother I feel responsible for the family's health, happiness, future and being godly adults.
I was talking about my dad yesterday to a co-worker. The stress of healthcare leads sometimes to unhealthy habits. He was going to smoke a cigarette. Surprised, I asked him about this, as I didn't think he smoked. He doesn't, but when stress takes over, he gives in. I recalled my senior year of nursing school, with my mother seeming to be dying, planning a wedding anyways and the pressure of nursing, I turned to Virginia Slims. Yet, the habit never stuck because my dad in his nonjudgmental manner kept it from taking over me. Dad was like Aslan, he could attack, but mostly he controlled it with love. We knew that, not with a fear, but respect of his power as a man.
As an adult, when David and I lived with my parents for a time, I sat at the breakfast table with Dad one morning, alone. He could hardly articulate his fear. He couldn't control life or how he may be as an old man, if his mind went. Having to place his mother-in-law in a nursing home weighed on him. As a family, though, with his wife also in ill health, Grandma couldn't live at home any more. I think he also remembered great Uncle Dave, an ornery old man at times, a bachelor who tried to rule our house.
Jacob, from the Bible, also comes to my thoughts. I read the account of his return to his homeland. He worried about meeting his brother, scheming and planning the approach. Esau, ran to his brother with open arms. As my children were young, I shielded them from the world, when maybe I should have embraced people more. Would more people have known Jesus if I hadn't hid? A convicting moment stirred up thoughts that morning.
The last few years show me what I always said, God is in control. We pray, but we don't control God. He wants to hear from us, but He still knows the whole scope. He knows the vase He is forming. We are to yield.
I read Job in the Bible, too, many times, trying to figure this all out. Hard times come. Like Job, we do want to know why. Job was not a silent sufferer. A cosmic bet in the first two chapters threw Job's controlled life into turmoil. At the end of the book, God does not have to explain Himself and we are not to explain Him, either. A life of control never promised. Yet, in a belief, Job prays for his friends and he is blessed. Even if we are not blessed in this life, we are to obey God and care for others.
A friend encountered a storm of large proportions. She questions religion, faith and God. In her anger, any words about faith would not comfort, like they do for believers. But sometimes, those words ring hallow for believers, too, if we are honest. One lesson I learned from reading Job so many times, is his friends should have just remained silent. We offer a hand, our hearts, but words are overrated.
Psalm 131:2 But I have stilled and quieted myself, just as a small child is quiet with its mother. Yes like a small child is my soul within me.
Jesus said we must be like a child to enter the Kingdom of God. We need to quiet ourselves to hear the peace and comfort from God. Quit asking, "Are we there yet?" Relax and trust Dad to know where we are going.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Last Month of Summer

I'm feeling nostalgic. August creates a mood different than June and July. The daylight is shorter. The nights cooler. Many romances started in this month, a last grab at summer. Pool parties in the coolness of these evenings drive older kids out of the water, and hanging around, listening to rock and roll, and silly love songs.
I think of my first kiss in late summer. I play around with words as the memories float in and out. "First Kiss, Last Month. Last Kisser, not the First Kisser, but Best Kisser. Sweet Kiss."  The night after a walk from the pool. The picnic table secluded. I don't miss the boy, at all. Other boys I may miss until I think where we are today. I love the Last Kisser, my husband of thirty two years. Hard to believe sometimes that I haven't kissed anyone else in a romantic way in thirty four years.
Church camp kisses on the last night around a fire, when all the lights are low. We cried. We're fresh in soul searching. Life will be different. The letters last for a season, but they stop and we move on.
Later years I kiss after dates, dances and McDonald's. Sometimes not as romantic or sweet. A policeman cautions, "Move along." I am kept safe from little more than kisses.
And then I am safe with the man who loves me and strives to marry me. I think back, "Oh, how young we both were, yet at eighteen and nineteen, twenty three and twenty four is wise." He joins the Navy. We avoid other kissers, even when tempted. Something more than a cuddly feeling keeps us strong all those months, without instant messaging, facebook or even cell phones. We keep each other in our minds by letters and phone calls twice a week. We believe in God, if not in as personal way as we should, that keeps us loyal. I couldn't desert that man, who gave up so much to make a life for us.
A bit of that must be in Morgan and Iggy's romance as I write. I draw on what I know to write what I don't. Is that kind of devotion still around, in the age of anything goes? Nieces are staying married fifteen and sixteen years. Nephew still with his childhood sweetheart going on twenty years.
I hope so. Love the Last Kisser. Not the first kiss in the last month of summer.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wordless Wednesday


Tillie and Olivia Sloan play with Rose of Sharon blooms in Main Street. Turn the petals upside down. They seemed as dancing damsels in beautiful ball gowns. I did, too, as a child. Late summer days I swayed them on the front porch, as I leaned against a glider. Anyone else?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Teddy's Law Tuesday

From Teddy's Law Facebook page. Always remember the children and do everything you can to save them or help them. Thanks.
 I would like to welcome all of our new supporters. Please keep sharing Teddy's story so we can remain a beacon of hope to other children. Our foundation paperwork has been filed and we look forward to serving to help protect this abuse from happening to another child.

God Bless,

The Team Teddy Foundation.



This will be the logo for the foundation.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Life is Not a Fairy Tale

I find now, I'm fighting the urge to have one of my people (I just read some quotes by Hemingway and he didn't want to call them characters, makes sense) come quickly to the Lord. I don't want it to seem pat. I want good things for this couple, but life doesn't always have good things, does it?
I read a book Glorious Ruin by Tullian Tchividjian, a book I have to reread. Ever since my mom had cancer, I have been interested in why Christians suffer or as the book title popular at that time asked, Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? It really didn't answer the question. Tullian's seemed to answer it the best for me. One quote, "God has us call, 'uncle,' so we cry, 'Abba, Father.' Of course, if you don't understand God's love, that seems self centered of God. Reading Job in the Bible raises many questions about why we suffer. Tullian proposed one meaning, to wipe away the explanation or idol of knowing 'Why' so Job would focus on the 'Who.'
In my little created world, I again want no troubles. Being a writer, I know you can't have a story without conflict. And being an optimist, I want victory. In a small way, I think God must feel this way. He wants victory for His children. Yet, we have to learn that the stove is hot and we get burned if we touch it or we really don't learn the lesson.
I long for my person to be swept away with the love of God. He is cynical. He has had a rough year and can't see the use of believing. Well, not yet, anyways. Will he? Just like people, some come easy, like I did. I always said, "God gave me the gift of faith." Still, I struggle with the worrying, a lack of faith. Some can't seem to believe at all, with explanations and deep thoughts. I wonder at how to reach all. Oh, yeah, my job is to be a witness and let the Holy Spirit do His work.
I want my writing to be real. So even though, I desire the fairy tale, I resist. Life is not a fairy tale, even in Storybrooke, Maine. (Once Upon a Time) A great start to a wonderful writing week I hope today proves.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Ordinary Lives

Well, the rest continues. I think this dreary weather and my weary body have been ordained. When Katie was born, the doctor ordered me not to drive for two weeks. One of the rainiest seasons in June ensued as if to keep me down, to love and bond with my baby girl. I had anemia, too, from loss of blood during delivery, so I needed the rest.
Rest is hard to take up at times. I see so much I should be doing, but have no energy. One more day of lazing should get me back in the fray. Yet, I also think recreation renews energy more. I can't seem to recreate.
I read. I watched movies. Wrote a little. Walked around downtown Sharon a bit Friday afternoon, but shops closed shortly after we got there. Humidity drained us. I watched a movie, instead of sitting with the mosquitoes. I want to camp, but don't have the reserves to prepare. I feel woe is me and I bet you are, too.
I really want to write about why I write about people of faith. I enjoy reading stories, watching movies, but I always think, what if these characters believed in God, what if they were Jesus followers? Why can't we see them going to church on Sunday mornings, instead of working in gardens, preparing wonderful breakfasts, having crisis? I feel really sad when a character I've come to love, doesn't even believe in God.
I write characters that believe in God, follow Jesus, eventually, sometimes. Because I know not all will answer the Call. I don't want it to be a pat thing. And following Jesus does not keep troubles away. I seem to struggle more each day. I think that is why I want to write about followers to encourage those who also follow. I am not looking for resolutions where even the chicken becomes saved at the end of the novel. Or a chicken in every pot.
Which leads me to the new song we've been singing in church by Casting Crowns, Thrive. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ71RWJhS_M
What are ordinary lives? I understand the concept, but sometimes I wonder are we pushing an Americanized version of Christianity? I hear that phrase and think of my brothers and sisters in third world countries, who only have Jesus. The dreams of a better life here on earth can't take root. They are persecuted for their beliefs, sometimes placed in prison. Or grinding poverty fills their days. They may live with a page of the Bible, only. Or they can't even read.
One morning, as I strided into church, that song played. "More than ordinary lives," as I stand next to a woman whose month old niece died that week, the man playing guitar with an accidental trauma, and my own troubles as I drive alone to church. How many more hurts? What does ordinary mean? Maybe I want ordinary? Our American view of a non-ordinary life comprises a painless success, a mansion, two cars or three in an immaculate garage, great clothes that fit a fantastically tanned body. Is that what this means when it declares we were made for more than ordinary lives?
What do I want? Living for Jesus is definitely more than ordinary. Prayers answered for what purpose? Everything glorifies God. American success is not the life we should want as Christ followers. Maybe that is the ordinary life, success without the turmoil of living for Jesus. We are made for more than that.
I desire to write characters to cheer on those wanting more than ordinary lives. I write characters in lives focused on Jesus for an adventure. What is that adventure? Adventure is not problem free. Adventure does not mean earthly riches or a life of ease. That may be the ordinary life.
Do I want to be pigeon holed as just a Christian writer? No. Can I write stories like the book and movies I watched this weekend that have no Jesus in them? No. Do I enjoy them? Yes. But I think the Christian life can add so much more. Am I writing for just Christians? I hope not, but my Christian faith influences my writing. Do I offend? Maybe. One lady told me at first she felt offended reading Summer Triangle, but it made her think, in fact she couldn't stop thinking about what she would do. I told her, I'm not even sure what I would have done. Main Street may be more preachy than something I'm writing today, but I still admire Martha. I hope her struggle to understand the Christian life helps someone.
These questions nagged at me lately on my quest for success with my writing. I desire to make money so I can write full time without feeling exhausted from the afternoon job. I also know, I have not hit the lotto, nor do I really want to be that successful that quickly. I ponder if I have been too focused on the publicity side of writing. Looking deep down, am I a people pleaser that will compromise? I hope not. And I am striving to live all of Philippians chapter four, to be content in all circumstances, where the strength of Jesus boosts me.
I look to the Lord to continue to help me with the direction of my novels. I am stand in awe how little things help. The constant observation God uses. An open heart is what He requires. I guess we were made for more than ordinary lives.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Rest Begins

The rest begins. I think back on July as a summer roller coaster. We started out with the return to David's hometown for his fortieth class reunion. How did I find myself married to an "old man?" Yet, despite the high sounding number of forty, no one looked old at all, to me. David, though, remembered these people in their teens. I enjoyed his classmates and the party.
We also visited his dad in the nursing home. I work with people of this age and like condition all the time. Yet, seeing a strong one in my life and in my spouse's life playing a light up ball game of catch with his wife of sixty eight years, cuts into my gut. I observed the emotions in my husband's eyes. I know to some extent what is happening, but never fully. We had a free moment and I hug him. This is also part of love and growing old together. Everyone is anxious to know what David thinks, since he hadn't seen his dad in over a year. David can't even say. I remain silent.
The Friday after this weekend, I fit a summer into a day with my great nephew, niece and my oldest daughter. We tour a big part of eastern Ohio, the city, the forest, the country and small town. The day smells of summer. The last leg of the trip, I sit by a farm pond outside of Canfield, Ohio, soaking in the kids playing fetch with the farm's dog, Bonnie. One more trip to a lake and a whole summer could have been done, but I felt that is pushing it.
I also remember the dates exactly on the days of six years ago when my mom fought her final battle with death, July thirteenth. The weather also duplicated, even raining in the morning of that Sunday. I work now at a nursing home, I leave that afternoon to take care of my adopted moms and dads. Yet some have died that past week and their beds remain empty that Sunday. I wonder when other beds will empty and make bargains with God, then scratch them, because that is not the way He works.
The weeks stretch with only a day off at a time. The schedule remains a big secret until almost the day the current one is over. Repair work disrupts any morning peace I need for rest, whether awake or not. One morning, I relished my coffee at six twenty, I pray, read my Bible, then the jack hammer pounds directly out my window, the jarring jamming my head into an ache. Peace flees for that day.
I find focusing hard. I only stare at the computer screen. It continues for weeks.
Soon, I discover my second novel is close to print. I prayed over the weekend as the realization dawns, please let me announce it on Dad's birthday. As I wrote yesterday, that prayer was answered. I'm floating, then that stone of finances shot at the float, reminding me I didn't hit the lotto. Nor do I really want to do that. Maybe I take pride in the work, the journey that continues.
A spiritual struggle sprints in my life, too. The road work, the sleeping in at times, the running the girls to work and back and the dog needing a walk, while I can hardly move, or feel no time yawning ahead of me, kept
Playing fetch with Bonnie at White House Farms
me from my quiet time. The dog antsied about the house, dragging panties to display in the living room, looking at me with his ears perked and eyes demanding.
Here I am, now, on a three day rest. I reflect, I pray and I rejoice as I write. I don't mind August. I anticipate September and early October. I think, I can even still have windows open in November at times. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Renewal of Hope

Tiredness overwhelmed me the last week. Tears swam around in my eyes at times, as weariness pushed its limit. I wondered why I'm so tired. Then I remembered the swing of emotions. Monday, July 21st, I attended a funeral for a one month old baby. I drove the baby's uncle and aunt to the grave site. No words can comfort, nor should they. We do have hope as Christians that the little girl is whole in Jesus' arms, but, but, the hurt cuts raw the mother. Truly, we can say nothing.
Wednesday, I received a call from James, my book consultant. "So Mollie, it's your father's birthday?"
"Yes, although he has been gone for some time."
"How would you like your book to go live on his birthday?"
"Is it possible?"
"Yes."
"When I saw how close it was to the twenty third, I prayed I could do that. God answers prayers."
After some talk about how many books I'd want to order and a few other business matters, I hung up. Quickly, because I also was getting ready for work, I announced it on Facebook and Twitter. Peace and wonder filled me. I walked on a cloud into work, high fiving my charge nurse as I proclaimed it to him.
I spent so much time marketing the book after that. I wrote my author page for Amazon. I also wrote a thousand words one day on my next novel, Last Free Exit, loving that the voice emerged.
Yet, with such mixed emotions, as well as some physical maladies, I dragged. Hopelessness reached out to strangle me. I ran out of time between marketing, household duties and preparing for work, to write on my novel or even blog. I sat at the laptop, staring at Facebook and other sites, feeling no words, no thoughts, desire smothered. I sensed rest would cure this. I prayed rest would revive the writing.
A three day weekend begins to bring hope back. I do wish I were listening to waves on a beach, either the ocean or Lake Erie. I sit in Hermitage, glad to have a chance to sleep early, as I wake early no matter what. Sleeping in, like today, I still feel tired, and out of focus. I know by Monday afternoon, my battery corrosion will be cleansed from puttering around and writing more succinctly. I'm glad to have no plan, no need to pack or load the van for a get away. I really would have been too tired for all that. I hope tomorrow or Sunday to visit Pymatuning. That water runs deep in my veins, I inherited that from my dad. Maybe even see an eagle fly, although, I'm much past my twenty seventh year. (John Denver fans, you know what I mean.)
Pymatuning, on Good Friday, a few years ago, where the eagles soar.
I know as I trust in the Lord, my strength will be renewed like the eagle's.