I spent a good part of yesterday in my Writer's Cottage enjoying time reading, researching, and even doing some writing. It was wonderful to escape from the to-do-lists, laundry, and pet hair for a few hours. A day off from school equals a day of writing and work at the cottage. These moments haven't been plentiful, actually, I think yesterday was the first time since school started that I was able to spend a substantial amount of time.
Upon my departure, I let off a fogger so Mr. Spider and family, taking up residence, understand whose cottage it is. Did I mention I'm allergic to spider bites, as one landed on my arm while writing, it was a comical scene. Thankfully no one else was around to witness my scream, spider toss, and jumping out of the chair. I don't typically freak out but that spider startled me and I let it know.
Anyway, I shared on Monday's podcast, that I've put my fiction book on hold for a time. I feel God calling me to write something different. While at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference in July, then at the Oswego Writing Institute in August, I felt God nudging me in one direction but I couldn't pinpoint where He was leading (Holy Spirit nudge #1). I believed it was this fictional story yet, as fun as this process is, I didn't feel like it was what God wants me to write yet I didn't know where to go with clarity so I kept writing the fiction because at least I was writing.
In September, a conversation stirred something in me (Holy Spirit nudge #2) and lead my thoughts, prayers, and writing mind in a different direction. I brushed it aside until last week when a third conversation (Holy Spirit nudge #3) opened my eyes during a time of quiet, mindful, reflective prayer. It was as if The Light came on within me.
I understood the first two nudges and the direction to move forward. The human within me second guessed the Holy Spirit's leading but thank goodness, my faith and quiet time helped to shed understanding, direction, and purpose to this new writing project. This past Saturday I didn't make it to my cottage but I banged out 1,745 words for this new project and spent time reading and researching on Sunday. Monday offered the opportunity for time to continue the work done at at home and some serious writing at the cottage.
It was because of my time spent in prayer and being open to hear from God that I recognized the direction He was leading. I made a mindful and conscious effort. I want to thank my Dad again for making my writer's cottage a reality, it is a HUGE blessing and inspiration!! Love you Dad!
What is God calling you to do?
Today, Tuesday, September 24th the Mexico Academy and Central Schools Girls Swim and Volleyball teams will be hosting a suicide prevention fundraiser.
Prior to today, there was a t-shirt fundraiser and throughout the day and at their games this evening, there are basket raffles to raise awareness for suicide. The coaches and students even shared the link for t-shirt orders to the visiting teams in case they wanted to help turn the school teal.
All funds are being donated within our county to help those in our community.
You may think suicide isn't something you need to worry about or that you don't know anyone in this situation yet I challenge you, watch these videos and learn some of the statistics. Suicide, attempted suicide, are more than common than most are aware.
Let's raise awareness and educate ourselves so we are better listeners, advocates, & friends. Education is power!
Prayers for those struggling with thoughts of suicide or have lost a friend or loved one to suicide.
In life we face circumstances and situations requiring us to HOPE.
This verse from Isaiah
tells us the LORD:
*doesn't grow tired
*doesn't grow weary
*understands more than we
will be able to understand
*gives us strength to the weary
*increases the power of the weak
*renews our strength
*enables us to soar
*enables us to run
*enables us to keep going
WHEN WE HOPE IN HIM!
While you wait..HOPE in the LORD!
Do you not know?
What are you hoping for today?
The powerful Lake Ontario winds bent the past pole beyond repair. The past couple years my hubby and I visited this one company in the Center of Progress building and dreamed of purchasing one of their flag poles for my Dad. This year we had enough money saved and bought it. The past two days were spent installing and charging the solar light.
The final product is breathtaking...I'm thankful for many of the things my parent taught me BUT one of the best is the legacy of respect, admiration, and love for our country and the flag.
Enjoy this video with history of the flag...
Do you fly Old Glory?
What does our American Flag mean to you?
A HUGE shout out to APO for weeding the Heidi Remembrance Garden this week!!
Thank you for remembering Heidi in your prayers
and hearts, may this be the year
God answers "Yes" and brings Heidi home.
One pastor told me, "Your toes are always over the edge", because I was willing to try something new or take a chance. I wasn't always like this, my life experiences as an adult taught me to appreciate each day as a gift. Life is too short and tomorrow isn't a guarantee. If we let fear dictate our lives, we'll miss opportunities and challenges to grow us into the adults God has designed us and wired us to be.
Let me share an example, after my sister disappeared I never thought I'd write about and travel sharing my testimony of faith to encourage and inspire others to trust God. When a church reached out to me to speak I hesitated in my heart. I said "Are you sure?" or something along that line? If God calls you to do something, we need to trust, step out and say "Yes!" I agreed then prayed, studied, and prepared. The blessings that followed, only God could orchestrate.
People shared how God used my words to encourage and uplift broken hearts. This is such a blessing and joy to have God use me. I'd like to say it gets easier and fear doesn't get to me yet when God asks me to step out to do something for Him, I'll say yes then pray for God's peace, strength, and ability to follow through. Are you ready?
Where is God calling you
to step outside of
your comfort zone?
What, or who, is stopping you?
The pencil/paper organizer at the end I've had for a few years and found it at a thrift store for $2. The drawers hold my paperclips, allowing all my essentials at my fingertips yet look neat at all times The chair is from my grandmothers, with a cushion made for my daughter many moons ago.
The days when I stopped at the lake or the library after working out, I only wrote between 700 - 1,000. Now I can leave out the notes and such when I'm done for the day and pick up where I left off. No more packing it all into a notebook and binder, and then my bag before driving home. The time saved from not driving to and from my writing spot, setting up to write, and then having to clean up when I'm done so I can drive home equaled about 2,000 words. Woot Woot!
The added bonus is the company I have while working, two dogs and my Dad. Life is good and the writing is even better. Mom is smiling and my daughter likes my writer's cottage, she couldn't believe the transformation. A little insulation board, contact paper, and a lot of love.
What is the last thing you added to your special area?
"The survivors of victims of murder and suspicious death are often victimized twice—first by the loss of their loved one and subsequently by the system they rely on for justice. In pursuit of police transparency and search for justice, retired investigator Dennis Griffin takes us inside the world of real crime cases to expose the shocking truth behind the alarming number of unsolved murders and suspicious deaths classified as accidental, self-inflicted, or natural—with little to no investigation."
~Dennis N. Griffin
Dennis and Lynda Fell created personalized covers for each of contributing author to use in promoting the book. When you order your copy from Amazon, it will say "with The Transparency Project", similar to this one, instead of having my name on it. Thank you Dennis and Lynda for this feature to help promote the book.
This is the 3rd anthology I've had the honor to share Heidi and her case. Each time it's a journey because I return to 1994 again. As I journey through the writing and collaboration process, I pray and praise God at the same time. Prayers for His guidance and protection while praising Him for the opportunity to share Heidi and her story with people. We never know when a new reader or listener might know something to bring Heidi home and have the courage to pick up the phone to share the information with the Oswego County Sheriff's Department or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Dennis Griffin retired in 1994, after a twenty-year career in law enforcement and investigations in New York State. After authoring 8 mystery thrillers, Griffin turned his attention to nonfiction. He founded The Transparency Project to help families of suspicious death victims gain access to police records related to the investigation of their loved one. Griffin is host of the popular podcasts Crime Wire and The Transparency Project Radio Show.
He also serves as a consultant, matching true crime movie and documentary producers, writers, and event coordinators with potential technical consultants and speakers. Learn more at www.dennisngriffin.biz.
After you read this book,
will you leave a review on Amazon?
Thank you in advance.
Since 1994, the farthest I've traveled solo is to Clay, New York which is only twenty-five minutes away. I did a happy dance upon my arrival when I got out of the car. It was a good that I was early because other attendees may have avoided the weirdo dancing outside her car.
Hubby and I spend a few days traveling locally on his days off and experiencing New York. He had extra days off due to an unexpected lay off. Instead of stressing about this, we prayed and God was faithful. His new job offers more potential for advancement and his mood has been better. God knows more than we do and could see what we couldn't. Hubby and I both needed a change and time of rest and renewal We wouldn't have chosen a job lay off to reconnect with each other and focus on trusting God yet God knows what we need, and gives us this. Needs versus wishes and wants is a good thing.
While wrapping up this final year of her Bachelor's Degree, the hunt for the right Master's Degree program and school is underway. Application submissions open on September 1st, and she is working hard to narrow her choices down to afford the application fees while also ensuring acceptance in at least one. I have a feeling she'll have at least a couple and will have to weigh the pros and cons to choose the Assistanceship best fitting her career goals. Go get em' girl!
A week from today I'll be back in school with a new group of cherubs to educate, inspire, motivate, and encourage. I love my career and look forward to meeting this next generation. I'm glad I took the summer to relax, recharge, and write. The family visits in August wore me out and lifted me up at the same time. We are saving to make the trip to Florida and Indiana next year, and to help our girl move to her final higher education destination. Let the saving begin.
What are you looking forward to?
They Mystery within the boxes revealed...
A creative way to include Mom's Encyclopedias...
*My mom won them
*My mom valued them and never wanted to get rid of them
*You don't see encyclopedias much anymore since the introduction the Internet
I took this set off my bookshelf at home a couple years ago to make room for more books. I reorganized my shelves and needed the space yet couldn't part with the encyclopedias so I boxed and stored them in Mary's playhouse. As we cleaned out the playhouse and I saw the boxes I told my father I was going to keep the in the writer's cottage. His response, "Of course you are." We both laughed. He asked, "How or what are you doing to do with them? You don't have much space." I shook my head because I had no clue.
Dad went to the New Haven Building Supply and purchased a pine board. He cut them to the length of the wall, routered & rounded the edges, and sanded them. I rearranged the books until I had even piles. My Auntie M called to check in and I told her what we were doing, she added her creativity to the mix. She suggested spelling something on the side. I liked the idea and went back to work to make new stacks that would spell a word or two. This took a bit but now the outside spells "Lisa_Wrter" So cool!
Who knew two boxes of encyclopedias would end up making this beautiful and special bookcase. Many minds make light work and creative uses of old and cherished items.
Have you re-purposed something given to you?
If so, what was it and how?
The nest is huge. I took this first picture to show the size of the nest in comparison to the pole it's stationed on, on Route 13 outside of Pulaski, New York. Once Dad and I arrived, we parked on a side road and kept our distance after reading a few facts on the Bald Eagle, if you'd like to learn more, click here.
While watching the nest, I visited the Internet via my phone and read some of the information on the DEC Fact Sheet and about New York State's Bald Eagle Program. One of the first things we realized, we didn't choose a prime movement time to see the parents bring food yet we still sat for about thirty minutes watching the babies. It was a nice time spent visiting with my Dad and learning about the birds we were watching at the same time.
An article on LIVESCIENCE tells, "Bald eagles are large birds of prey native to North America. Since 1782, the bald eagle has been the United States' national emblem and mascot. The bald eagle isn't actually bald; it gets its name because its white head against its dark brown body makes it seem bald from a distance." Read Entire Article Here It's an interesting read.
I've always wondered why the Bald Eagle was our national emblem and mascot, I found an informative article on the American Bald Eagle:
"The bald eagle was chosen June 20, 1782 as the emblem of the United States of America, because of its long life, great strength and majestic looks, and also because it was then believed to exist only on this continent.
On the backs of our gold coins, the silver dollar, the half dollar and the quarter, we see an eagle with outspread wings.
On the Great Seal of the United States and in many places which are exponents of our nation's authority we see the same emblem.
The eagle represents freedom. Living as he does on the tops of lofty mountains, amid the solitary grandeur of Nature, he has unlimited freedom, whether with strong pinions he sweeps into the valleys below, or upward into the boundless spaces beyond."
To read the entire article, click here.
The author of the first article debates if the Bald Eagle is the correct bird for our mascot yet the second article offers the reasons it was selected in 1782. Regardless of where you stand on the appropriateness of its selection, I find it to be a beautiful bird and feel blessed to have experienced watching these four babies for a time. I also was twice blessed by the conversation with my Dad as we sat, watched, and took pictures (from a safe distance using the zoom lense).
Have you ever seen a Bald Eagle up close?
If so, where...
I have removed the handouts from the notebook and they are organized in my registration folder so the notebook doesn't receive unnecessary wear and tear a I revisit the many things I learned this past July. My plan is to re-read all my notes on Columbus Day Weekend to refresh my memory of all I learned.
For now, I've only opened it to look up something as I'm writing. As I write this next book, I am using my notes as a reference for the structure and style elements. My morning class all week was with author, Gayle Roper. Her knowledge of writing, especially fictional writing, is amazing and I'm blessed to have selected her workshop. The notes taken during her sessions have become invaluable as I move organizing my first fictional book, or novella. Time will tell. Who knows, it may end up a short story, lol.
How do you organize your notes when
attending a workshop and/or training?
Inspiration in the back right-hand corner...
Since this picture, I brought down a stool to put my feet on. The stool was a retirement gift for my Great-Aunt Judy many years ago. I've also covered the chair with a blanket we had made a few years ago with pictures from my wedding. When I open the door and walk in I see the picture of my parents, Heidi, and I from my wedding day...instant smile and joy. Memories hold power.
On the floor is a gallon of water so I don't have to make multiple trips inside when my water bottle is empty. It also fills Faith's water dish when she goes to work with me.
The Peace Minion was a gift from my daughter and her friend while out to dinner one evening. Heidi loved the peace sign and tye-dye so when they saw this Minion they played games until earning enough tickets to win it for me. Heidi and my mom looking watching over me as I write the next best seller.
Did you notice the quilt the Minions are sitting on? This is an assortment of bird and flower fabrics turned into a beautiful blanket of hope and love for my Mom in 2015. Dear friends teamed together to create this quilt, even embroidering a quote in one corner. This reminds me of more than my Mom, it reminds me that friends are priceless gifts. When it gets chilly later in the year, the same blanket that warmed my Mom on chilly nights will warm me. Family and friends inspire me in ways no object can, they are God's angels in disguise.
Who is an angel in disguise in your life?
Will you share who and why?
When the same reporter who ruined her career claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely's, the reporter's ulterior motives bring his claim into question. But when a body is found that fits the poem's predictions, the threat is undeniable, and the FBI sends Special Agent Noah Hunter to St. Louis.
Initially resentful of the assignment, Noah is surprised at how quickly his respect for Kaely grows, despite her oddities. But with a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely are tested to their limits to catch the murderer before anyone else–including Kaely herself–is killed.
After yet another blaze devastates a local family, Kaely is certain a serial arsonist is on the loose. Calling upon her partner from St. Louis, Noah Hunter, and her brother's firefighter neighbor who backs Kaely's suspicions, Kaely and her team begin an investigation that swiftly leads them down a twisted path. When the truth is finally revealed, Kaely finds herself confronting a madman who is determined his last heinous act will be her death.
All of Nancy's novels have an added touch - something for your spirit as well as your soul. "I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing," Nancy says. "It's a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn't be writing at all if I didn't believe that this is what He's called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can't overcome with His help."
You can find out more about Nancy by visiting her Web site at: www.nancymehl.com. She also is active on the Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com and on FaceBook!
Fire Storm is as wonderful and suspenseful as Mind Games, keeping me on the edge of my seat and tempting me to read the last chapter because the suspense was getting the best of me. I'm happy to report I did restrain myself and didn't peek at the end and read a couple nights with my eye lids heavy because I needed to finish and find out who done it.
Nancy Mehl's gift to write keeps you guessing and leading you in the right direction while steering away here and there. Have I told you it's a wonderful read yet? It is. If you like to read suspense then Nancy Mehl is an author to add to your list. Another of her series I really like is The Road to Kingdom. I don't typically like Amish stories but this one captured me from the first book and kept me wanting more.
What is one of your favorite aspects
of Nancy Mehl's books?
What is your favorite book and/or series?
Leave a comment and tell other readers why too...
I could have returned to work and ignored this yet I was fascinated. The bee didn't care I was there and taking pictures. Hubby reminded me, "Remember you are allergic, you are getting kind of close, don't you think?" then smirked. He was right on all accounts yet it was a photo opportunity and a reason to take a break. A win-win!
"The most important thing that bees do is pollinate. Pollination is needed for plants to reproduce, and so many plants depend on bees or other insects as pollinators...Flowers that are visited more often by bees will produce larger and more uniform fruit than those visited less often..." READ MORE HERE
I didn't realize the more a flower is visited by a bee, the larger and more uniform its fruit. Writers are like bees, the more we visit writers' conferences, read in our genre, join a critique group, and write...the more uniform and successful are writing is I'm glad I took a few minutes to stop and watch this busy bee.
Two weeks later as I worked on this blog and researched the bee, I learned more than to slow down, I learned that the more we do to hone our craft, the better we will be. Cool concept when you think about it. It's available to all of us when we follow through and take time to visit all the different flowers in our field to make us the best ____ we hope to be.
What do you need to visit
to be the best ___ you can be?
Twenty five years later and my husband still laughs when I add something to the list after doing it, just to cross it off. Oh well, I keep him smiling. I don't have lists on the walls but I do have four week-at-a-glance posters. They are dated and are the first thing I see when I walk in. I'm reminded of my priority items and it keeps me focused. On the opposite wall is one poster with short and long-term writing goals, on y way out I'm reminded of what needs to be done in the near and not-so-near future.
Since my last visit to the writer's cottage, I have a few vendor and craft shows to add. Yup, to keep myself motivated and on schedule, I plan to start doing craft and vendor fairs again. As of today, I've committed to five: Rome, Utica, Fulton, Oswego, and Mexico. I'll have my books and hope to do something called "Writing on Demand at each.
At a couple, I'll also have my PURE products and share how people can utilize PURE products for a healthier lifestyle. I hope to ENROLL NEW MEMBERS at these events, I now get all my supplements, drinks, and such from PURE instead of a couple different places. One stop shopping and with their auto ship program, I earn free products too. If you want more information about this, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'll share more on the "Writing on Demand" in a future blog. I learned about it after reading "Writing Down the Bones" by Natalie Goldberg. I'm going to try it at at least a couple shows. Who knows, I might earn enough to pay for my table space.
What is 1 thing you do to stay organized?
Keeping it personal and inspirational...
Let me share the specialness (yes, it's not a word but I like it anyway) of a few of these items:
1) The Vase of Roses: A gift from my Mom on the eighteenth anniversary of Heidi's kidnapping, with one red rose of hope for the next year
2) The Red Roses: My bouquet from Montrose Writers' Conference 2019, received at The Torreys
3) The Lion: A gift tossed to me, reminding me to be a lion when I write
4) The Duck: A reminder I'm now a part of the odd ducks, a GREAT honor
5) The Coffee Mug behind the red roses & Lion: A gift reminding me to be BRAVE
This is only a snip-it of inspiration within my little space yet they provide MUCH inspiration. Be sure to come back next Tuesday to learn more about the little tidbits within my writing space.
What trinket do you keep to inspire you?
Who gave it to you? Why is it special?
P.O. Box 323
A Mother's Monday
Ride For Missing Children
Sewing And Crocheting
The River's End Bookstore