Monday, October 31, 2005


When I grew up in Oregon, we always had a beautiful autumn. Cooler weather both night and day, changing leaves, occasional rain showers.

North Carolina skipped all that this year.

About a week ago, it was 85 degrees and humid. Two days later, it was barely 60 degrees.

I live in sun dresses and shorts all summer long, but I went straight from that to sweaters and long pants. And a jacket! After living in New Mexico, I still have some hard winter clothes, but I really didn't get to wear the stuff in the middle this year.

It'll be a cold Halloween for those out tonight. Could be worse, I guess.

In Oregon, it always rained on Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I bought a sheet of the new Muppet stamps at the post office today. Have loved them since a kid and thought Jim Henson was an amazing person.

There is a quote from Jim that echoes my own purpose with my novels.

When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there,
- Jim Henson

Monday, October 24, 2005

Best Way to Learn

I have found that the best way to learn anything is to teach it!

Tonight I am doing a segment on "Seeing The World in B&W" for our local photo club. So much of what I know about B&W is instinct, so I really had to do some research so I could articulate that knowledge. They might not learn anything, but I have!

Same with a writer's group in Savannah when I did the topic of characterization.

And as the young lady staying with us continues to write, I learn from helping her.

The greatest among you will be the greatest servant.
- Jesus Christ

Friday, October 21, 2005


We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.
- Calvin Coolidge

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Encouraging Words

I was updating my website today and noticed some of the kind things people have said over the past year and a half.

Sometimes it's easy in the daily grind of things to forget that what I'm doing matters to someone. I'll be busy beating myself against one wall, desperate for a response, and not realize how many open doors surround me.

For all the kind words, for all the thank you's for being inspiring, those people do not realize how much they have given back to me, how much their words encourage me.

I can never quit now!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Little Joys in Life

Sometimes it's the little things in life that make you smile.

A few minutes extra in the morning to snuggle.

A fall drive through the mountains with leaves blowing over the road.

Dinner out, just the two of you.

Chilly mornings that make you realize fall is truly here at last.

Modeling a new mini skirt. (And having your husband toss a pen on the floor behind you just to watch you pick it up!)

A gourmet meal made at home.

A funny movie that you haven't watched in a long time.

These are the little joys of life!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Things I Have Learned on the Road

After years of driving the highways across this country, in moving from one state to another, traveling on business, or promoting my books, I have learned a few things about the road:

Never impatiently pass or cut off another car near your home town - you never know when they will follow you into your subdivision because they are one of your neighbors!

Always get a good running start when heading for a big hill.

Never fully trust MapQuest.

If you get bored, count flattened fauna - I always find roadkill amusing!

Never "pig" a trucker.

If you travel a lot, start noticing how many states use the roadside for "orange barrel storage".

Never lead the pack - make sure there is someone in front of you that is traveling faster.

Jello is difficult to eat while you are driving.

And my favorite-
Never use the wiper fluid while your windows are down!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Secret of Success

There are no secrets of success.

All of the truths, principles, and disciplines have been around since the beginning of mankind. There is nothing new under the heavens. Every day, we all get up under the same sky. The only difference is, we all see different horizons.

- Julio Melara "It Only Takes Everything You've Got!"

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Divine or Earthly?

During our pastor's sermon this morning, he threw out this nugget - How do you know when something came from God? Take your hand off it. If it dies, it came from you. If it lives, it came from God.

As hard as I work for my novels, I sometimes wonder if it's truly my purpose, if my vision is just that - mine and not divine.

My long southern tour was followed by the usual letdown (as I always crash the day after a signing) and a lack of any effort to do anything connected with my book. Essentially, I just let go for a while.

Now, not only has a special deal come through for the next installment, but this morning before church, someone excitedly asked when that book would be coming out.

Guess I've got my confirmation.

How do you know the difference between what comes to your mind and direction from God? There is persistency to direction. / Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21 / Direction is a matter of fact; ideas are a matter of opinion.
- from An Enemy Called Average by John L. Mason

Saturday, October 08, 2005

More Amazing Things!

Adding to the list of things I have seen ...

The Very Large Array Telescopes in New Mexico.

The Oregon coastline from a sea plane.

The Hoover Dam. (Not to mention the entire Vegas experience!)

The St. Louis Arch.

Windsor Palace and Edinburgh Castle.

And a biggie - Mt. St. Helen's July 1980 eruption. Attending the dog races that afternoon in Portland Oregon and just sat there watching the mountain spew ash all evening!

Life is a journey - go exploring!

Dreaming of Love

Know what's the greatest thing to dream about? Being in love.

Something about that feeling when you first wake up ... those feelings of first falling in love are so strong. And while love is not just an emotion, it's wonderful to feel that sensation again. Usually it's not someone you know, but once in a while, it is.

Of course, sometimes reality intrudes on the dream.

Last night I had someone ask me how I could have just fallen in love ... when I've already been married to this person for almost fifteen years!

It was still a great dream!

At its peak, the "in love" experience is euphoric.
- Gary Chapman

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Things I Have Seen!

This recent trip involved many new and exciting adventures. Taking a tour around the Daytona Speedway was a real treat! You cannot imagine how big the track is until you are actually on it!

And that got me to thinking about some other cool things I've seen - and how many places I have been!

The biggest is still standing on the banks of Loch Ness in Scotland. After watching so many special about the Loch Ness Monster and seeing that beautiful place, it was amazing beyond words to stand on the point of the most photographed place on the loch! And touching the water - brrrrrr! It was cold. So was the air - we saw snow!

On a trip to Wisconsin many years ago, I took a solo walk through The House on the Rock - and was astounded! That place was deceptively massive, seeing as most of it is underground. Also home to the world's largest carousal. It was just a magical experience, all by myself, gazing at these incredible wonders like a kid in a candy store. If you've never been, it's better than anything Disney could put together.

Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island in Canada was pretty incredible. I'm not into flowers, but seeing an entire valley sculptured and rainbowed in colors with trees, bushes, & flowers, was pretty darn cool.

Yellowstone! Old Faithful! Mammouth Springs! Actually, what I remember best was stopping by a rocky cliff and watching six mountain goats jump around on the sheer rock surface. Pretty impressive.

Speaking of mountains, Sandia Peak in Albuquerque, NM is beautiful to look at and look down from! So pretty in winter, covered in snow, and great for hiking in the summer. We lived at the base of the mountains, so looking out every morning, I saw that beautiful mountain range!

Which takes me right into four years of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Over six hundred balloons launched on the weekends, from before dawn to ten/eleven in the morning. Coolest thing was when someone allowed me to step inside a balloon itself as it was being filled to take pictures.

Walking along Beale Street in Memphis.

Riding Alpine Slides in the Pocono Mountains.

Snow sledding in Ohio.

First trip to Disneyland in California.

Seeing Denver at night for the first time as I drove through on one of my many cross country treks.

The first time I ever rode the Incredible Hulk roller coaster at Islands of Adventure.

Hey! You knew there had to be a coaster in there somewhere, didn't you?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Spunk is Home Again!

Wow! What a week!

Whenever I'm away from home for that long, it seems like a month rather than a week. The beginning of the trip is always hazy, too, like the whole thing was a dream. Weird to think I was just in Atlanta this morning as well!

Usually, I'm just happy to be home. But this trip really gave me the urge to relocate again. There's a lot I like about Florida. The mass of people living there is one thing! (And along with that goes a mass of bookstores!) And of course, easy access to many roller coasters. Most people would be terrified of the traffic, which was quite scary at times, but it doesn't bother me. Orlando kinda boggled me at how spread out the city and surrounding towns were, but then again, it used to take an hour to go across Albuquerque!

Most people are creatures of comfort. I like change. And I think I'm ready for one soon!