Archive for 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

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It’s been a great two weeks. As mentioned in my previous post, my daughter and I volunteered to help at the Ohio Village…part of the Ohio Historical Museum. It was wonderful. Be sure to look at the photos posted today. Between the setting and dressing in character, it was like stepping back in time. We met so many wonderful people.

Christmas is fast approaching and it looks like I might not get around to making my iced sugar cookies. They do take time to make and ice, but they are so good. Rot your teeth good.

May God bless you during this time and throughout the new year.

Hugs,
Beth

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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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Christmas is approaching fast. It’s one of my favorite holidays to celebrate. This year, my youngest daughter and I are doing something different. We’ve volunteered to help at a historical village for their Dicken’s program. What fun! I hope to have some pictures posted within the next week. Check back in the photo section.

For some people, Christmas and Easter are the only times during the year when they seriously think about Jesus Christ. Not me! He’s alive all year and celebrating Him with others culminates during these times. I want to share God’s love with people during this time and all year long.

I hope to post again before Christmas.

Hug,
Beth

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Sluggish Little Gray Cells

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I remember how easy it was my “little gray cells” to absorb information for a nursing or biology exam in college. Not that the material was easy, but retaining the data on my brain’s hard-drive seemed easier. Now, information comes in one side and leaks out the other. Actually, I thought things were going pretty well until I took up our pastor’s challenge to begin memorizing Bible verses again. No problem, right?

Big problem!

I’m only up to ten verses (some familiar) and I keep mixing up reference locations and words. Throw in a slightly different Bible version and my brain is putty. But I won’t give up. Even if the references float away on occasion from the correct chapter and verse, the words are making a difference. Like a song tune that sticks in your head, these verses keeping popping into my mind. That’s a great thing.

I’m working to improve the sluggish quality of my little gray cells by keeping my mind active, and eating and sleeping better. Maybe I’m expending them all in my books….like having to share my little gray cells with 2 or 3 characters. Some of these characters can be quite exhausting.

While I work to improve my gray cells, I pray that you have an abundance of God’s blessing over Thanksgiving.

Hugs,
Beth

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Writing What You Know

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As a writer, I have heard it said so many times to write what you know. After a while that might become boring, so we need to constantly be learning more and broadening our horizons. Last month’s post is related to such new experiences. Well let me tell you, the F-1 hurricane-force winds that ripped through Ohio last month was a new experience. I watched as huge trees in the park just leaned over and fell to the ground or across the road, and roof shingles and paper flew by. The electric was out for over a week in many areas.

When I walked outside and felt the sting of flying dirt, leaves and other debris, it made me wonder how those who live in coastal regions deal with much stronger hurricanes every year. Although the damages in Ohio reached into the high millions, at least it only took the siding and shingles…not entire houses.

It made me appreciate street lights, too. Without electric in many areas it made the nights very dark. City folks are so used to the night being partially lit and suddenly it was country-side dark. This brings out the good and the ugly. Someone took advantage of the dark streets and tried unsuccessfully to break into our garage. Others banned together and helped each other. Some homes on one side of the street had electric and ran long extension cords across the street to those who didn’t.

Although this is not an experience I would have volunteered to have, it is another learning time to add to my “what I know” file.

Happy Harvest,
Beth

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Book Research

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Remember back in school when the teacher announced that a research paper would be due in two weeks? I can still hear the moans and groans pouring across the room. Maybe we were looking at it wrong. Research does not need to be boring. It has everything to do with the subject, interest level and how the research is approached.

As a writer, I need to do research to make sure events, laws, and processes are as accurate as possible in my books. Sometimes research involves calling knowledgeable people or better yet, experiencing an event for yourself. That’s what I’ve been doing.

There are plans in the near future to write a cozy mystery which involves shooting a gun. As a child, I had learned to shoot a 22 rifle, but never a hand gun. So, I learned. There are gun safety classes and shooting ranges that give a wide array of learning. This is fun research. Now I know the difference between a 38 Special, 357 magnum, 45, and 9 mm. I know how it feels when the gun goes off, the noises and smells. There’s a burst of flame emitted from the gun (hence the name: firearm) that is spectacular during night tactical practice.

Gail Gaymer Martin mentioned this year in a class that she plans to take a hot air balloon ride to experience the event before having her heroine climb aboard. I find this fascinating….although you won’t find me climbing into one of those contraptions.

Research can be fun. Try it sometime. 🙂

Hugs,
Beth

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Writing Themes

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Welcome to August. Usually August is extremely hot, but for the past few days Ohio is experiencing perfect low-humidity, low-temperature days. This is what summer is all about.

Recently, my writing thoughts have centered on themes and plots. Many times it is the plot that comes to mind first and then God gives me the theme He wants. I will be speaking at a church book club this Sunday and much of what I will be dicussing revolves around the theme of the book.

To refresh my memory, I read through the book I wrote that will be discussed. Actually, I’m amazed at what God did with the theme of forgiveness…there was more there than I had planned. I’m quickly realizing that praying for God’s guidance in my everyday writing is extremely important. He can work through the words to make the theme what He wants it to be for those who will read the book…in spite of me. Amazing.

I’m still working on my manuscript. It went well for a month and then canning season derailed me for a while. I hope to begin writing like crazy again this week.

Keep Looking to the Son,
Beth

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College Life

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It’s official! Our oldest is off to college…starting with a 5-week summer scholarship program. I’m sure she’s overwhelmed, because I am, too. Going through orientation (parents must attend, also) is like going to a conference….it’s always packed full of information. The fall classes have been scheduled and it’s time to buy books. Talk about sticker shock!!!! Too bad a person can’t drive a book since it costs almost as much. 🙂

We attended our nephew’s wedding last weekend in Cincinnati. The wedding was beautiful and we had a great time. There was even some 1970’s music to enjoy and a good time was had by all.

I’m still busy writing on my next novel and it’s going well considering how busy the summer has been. The characters are moving along and, of course, changing the story as they go. When an author begins to know a character so well, the character can begin to direct the story into other events than first planned. It may seem weird, but a character can actually surprise the author with a revelation of something from their past or what they plan to do. It’s hard to explain. No, I haven’t flipped and other authors do have similiar experiences. I know since we’re all in the same therapy group. Only kidding!!!

Hope all of you are having a beautiful summer. Keep safe!

Writing For Him,
Beth

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American Christian Writer’s Conference

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I’m still recuperating from the workshop-packed writer’s conference that was held in Columbus, Ohio, on June 6-7. The speakers included Gail Gaymer Martin, Holly Miller, Connie Cameron and Faye Landrum. Connie and Faye had previously attended the Write-to-Publish Conference with me three years ago, and we have remained friends. They are worthy writers and speakers. Way to go, Gals.

The highlight of the conference was meeting and listening to Gail Gaymer Martin. She is witty and very down-to-earth. She imparted plenty of wisdom during her fiction writing workshops. My writing will undoubtedly improve under her suggestions. This woman works like crazy and it’s hard to know how she keeps up. She admits to being very driven and I believe it. 🙂

All writers should take advantage of at least one writer’s conference. It’s a place to meet so many new friends and to network with others. Even small conferences are worth your time. If you haven’t attended a conference and you love to write, make this a goal over the next year.

Check out the conference pictures under “Photos” and click on the book album.

On a personal note, our oldest daughter’s high school graduation ceremony and party are over. Now it’s time for “dorm shopping” since she will be attending a 5-week summer scholarship program. Yikes! It’s moving so fast. We’re exhausted….but happy.

So, kick off your shoes and enjoy the summer. I am!

Writing For Him,
Beth

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First Camping Trip of the Season

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We have just returned from Pigeon Forge, TN, and had a wonderful time. Be sure to look at the lastest photos of our adventure under the personal album. I will post more pictures once my daughter downloads her digital camera. She took all of the Gatlinburg pixs.

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love to camp in our pop-up. God gave us safety while we traveled and very nice weather. It was one of those trips where the AC went off and the heat went on….back and forth. Got to love spring temperatures. The trolley stopped right in the campground and from there you could ride for 50 cents…which is a great bargain these days. If you go, be sure to stop by the Old Mill shops and the Apple Barn shops. Life doesn’t get any better than this.

The Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg was amazing. I could have spent days in this place. It’s very worthwhile to see. Of course, my youngest daughter insisted that I go into the Ripley’s Haunted Adventure with her. The “hostess” who led us into the place was scarier than the place. I hope to have her picture in the photo section soon. My husband and our oldest daughter rode the Ripley’s Motion Picture adventure. I heard it was a rough ride and that I had the better end of the deal with the scary lady. 🙂

High School graduation is just around the corner and I’m beginning to panic. So much to do and so little time. Wish us well.

Until Next Time,
Beth

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Many Firsts and Lasts

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There are many times when we go through cycles in life that bring on plenty of change. This is one of those years for me. As I listened to my oldest daughter’s piano recital last Saturday, I realized it would be her last. As a graduating senior, she will be heading off to college soon. She is coming up on the last Spanish lesson, math problem, research paper, science experient, volleyball game and homeschool group…as she knows it. Many “firsts” are coming. There will be the first dorm room experience, cool cell phone, her very own lap top, new teachers, new classes, a diversity of new people, etc. Exciting and scary at the same time.

God brings about change all the time. It isn’t always easy, especially when I really like all my ducks in a row, and an organized life. Yet, without the change God brings, I would never grow in the ways He wants me to. So, here’s a big “Hurrah” for change. So, as I experience all these changes, I will file away the information and feelings to keep for later use in one of my novels. I get more mileage out of my life that way. 🙂

I’m still working on my manuscript…slowly but surely. Watch for some new pictures in the photo album over the next few weeks. I hope to post some new “firsts and lasts”.

Hugs,
Beth

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