Sep 25

It’s one thing in reality, but it feels like something else.

That’s how it seems every year around this time. The calendar says it’s fall, but the temperatures scream summer. I long for the colors and coolness of autumn – it’s late September, for heaven’s sake! – but harsh summer heat won’t relent.

But a few moments each day, I see traces of hope that it really is fall. A stray yellow leaf decorates a patch of grass. …Or the sunlight slants with a touch more gold. No need to worry, it reminds me. Soon appearances will match reality.

My thoughts turn toward God’s promises. Often our world seems chaotic, careening out of control. Headlines delivering discouragement bombard our eyes. It’s enough to make a person wish for a Rip Van Winkle-like nap. “Wake me when it’s over,” we wish at times.

But it’s one thing in reality, though it feels like something else.

God whispers that He’s still in control. In the midst of the chaos, His grip is firm yet gentle. The fallenness and sadness of this world may hinder our view of Him for a time. …But before long – in His perfect timing – He will sweep away the haze and we’ll see clearly that He’s there. All will be made right.

In the meantime, “the Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us everything He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. This is just one more reason for us to praise our glorious God.” (Ephesians 1:14)

No need to worry, He reminds us. Soon appearances will match reality.

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Aug 13

Several of you have been kind enough to ask about the progress of my World War II novel, tentatively named Wild Blue Yonder. I’m happy to say that it’s alive and well. Some brave focus group readers took on the task of reading and commenting on the first draft. I then made a few changes, and sent it on to my talented freelance editor this summer. I’ll tell you more about her when she’s finished.

In the meantime, the research bug found me again. I’ve begun researching my next World War II novel. This journey has already thrown fun twists and turns, and I can’t wait to tell you more in the near future.

Once I get my editor’s suggestions, I’ll launch into a rewrite – believe me, it needs it! Then I’ll begin submitting it to agents. If/when I’m fortunate to get an agent, he or she will sent it to publishers in hopes of a contract.

Whew! I know: It’s a long process. And I’m enjoying every bit of it.

This past weekend, I breezed through Sweetwater, Texas, and got to visit the good folks at The National WASP WWII Museum. I love spending time there. It’s a great reminder of what this novel is all about. I’ll leave you with a photo of their in-house Stearman biplane, very similar to one near and dear to the heart of my main character, Josie.

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Apr 9

During Time Travel posts, we transport to different points in history. No TSA security checks necessary.

Imagine something you’ve wanted, and wanted bad. So much so that you’re willing to risk your life doing it and take no pay for it. In fact, you have to pay to do it.

But first, you have to beat out 22 other gals for that privilege.

www.nebraskastudies.org

www.nebraskastudies.org

Each of the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) of World War II seemed to believe it was worth it. Each carried their own reasons, along with the footlockers they toted to training on the vast prairies of Sweetwater, Texas. But they boiled down, really, to just a couple: love of flying, love of country.

Their unique skills meant military planes reached their stateside destinations, new ships met their match during testing, trainees learned to fly, and bullets connected with towed targets during live-ammunition practice sessions.

And they stayed mindful that close to a dozen other women would love to take their place quicker than a West Texas flash flood. Twenty-five thousand women had mailed off their hopes in the form of an application. WASP founder Jacqueline Cochran chose 1,830 of them. 1,074 made it through the rigors of training to receive their graduation wings. 38 women paid the ultimate price.

And the American skies – and the war effort – were altered forever.

Let’s talk: Has there been something in your life that was worth this much effort? Who in history do you admire for this kind of commitment?

 

Apr 1

There’s a lot to love about spring. Greening grass, budding trees, sweetly-scented flowers. No matter where you live, it’s enough to invite the mind to wander deliciously and dream of beautiful days.

ShootstarI grew up in Texas and live now in New Mexico, so I’ve had a variety of things to appreciate about spring in these two states.

…Never mind that with spring in New Mexico, temperatures often flirt with the 90-degree range in February or that March through May is referred to affectionately as “the windy season.” (Here’s a secret: “windy” could mean a 25-mile-an-hour “breeze” to a 60-mile-an-hour “stiff breeze.” Forget your hairdo that day.)

…Or that in Texas, the tornado siren doubles as the neighborhood’s call to prayer.

Nope, never mind all of that. There are plenty of things to love about spring. Here’s a short list of mine:

1. Birds singing outside all day long, which makes me think of…

2. Goosebump-free coffee-sipping outside in my favorite coffee house’s garden, which makes me think of…

3. Planting a few vegetables and flowers, which makes me think of…

4. Texas bluebonnets, which makes me think of…

kolache9380

homesicktexan.com

5. Central Texas and its green, rolling prairies and hills, which makes me think of…

6. Kolaches from West, Texas. (Not West Texas, mind you. West, Texas, which is in Central Texas, naturally.)

Yep, like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, much of my life circles ’round to kolaches - the slightly sweet, pillowy yeast roll-and-fruit pastry. Don’t ask me why. But if you try them, you’ll know.

Now, please tell me that your mind meanders like a winding stream too. I can’t be the only one.

Happy Kolache…I mean, Spring!

Let’s talk: What do you like about spring in your area?

Oct 23

The trail led us up rocky switchbacks and through mountainside meadows. The morning breeze brought a welcome chill. Petite wildflowers, yellow and sometimes purple, decorated the way.

It was hard to tell that wildfire had violated this high desert oasis just over a year ago. Hard, except for a handful of trail-side scenes we stumbled upon. One rested ten feet from the trail, tucked behind a gnarled mesquite tree on top of the hill.

It hid itself in the tall grass. Easy to miss. A circle of wildflowers hugged the patch occupied by a lump of charred wood -  a small victim among the thousands of acres the fires ravaged. It lay there black and dead and quiet. The flowers held vigil with dainty, stubborn dignity. Life was their testimony; beauty rebuked the haphazard destruction. Wordless tribute sprung from the nourishment the wood sacrificed, defying the past to all who cared to pass by and take note.

Let’s talk: When, lately, have you noticed a small miracle? Was it easy to spot or easy to miss?

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