Monday, February 28, 2005

Beautiful Betsy

What a lovely time I shared with Betsy last night. I know she prefers to be called Elizabeth but I love the name Betsy–the name her family has used since she was a baby. But she's not little any longer. She' s a lovely 18-year-old and we have bonded as friends. I feel blessed to have her in my life and to be in hers. We enjoyed sharing our lives through her poetry and my writing and albums and photos, followed by a delicious dinner, and then we attended a phenomenal concert by the San Diego Master Chorale performed at a local church. We both love to sing and we appreciate sacred as well as classical music. It's amazing to me how the age difference between two people doesn't matter when you meet a soul mate!

Today was special too, as I joined my friend Helen for a visit to an elementary school in the country where I spoke on 'A Day in the Life of a Real Author.' The children were so receptive to my presentation. They were attentive, interested, and had plenty of insightful questions. It is a privilege to be part of this annual "Meet The Author" program. Who'd have guessed when I was a little girl that I'd be doing such a thing? But maybe it's not so unexpected after all. I've always loved books! And I have always had a heart for children.

I have much to be thankful for--and I am!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Basket of Blessings

What a day this has been! And yes, what a happy mood I'm in. God has blessed me with yet another surprise. My new and expanded version of Basket of Blessings: 40 Days to a More Grateful Heart has captured the attention of Borders, Barnes and Noble, and other major chain store buyers. They like my book and have ordered 600 copies each to be distributed among their individual stores. I pray it will be inspiring and encouraging to every reader.

Developing a heart of gratitude has changed my entire outlook. It is the 'secret' to a life of peace and contentment in God's will. I am thankful for that lesson--which I learned the hard way, but will never let go of now that I have it.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Awards and Rewards

This week I've had many unexpected blessings! I was a guest on two radio shows to discuss two of my books–one on stepparenting with a delightful host who was very interested in the topic since she married a man with eight children!! And the other to talk about my forthcoming book, Addicted to Shopping and Other Issues Women Have With Money.

I was invited to speak to a group of nurses here in San Diego in October.

I found out my book Gettin' Old Ain't For Wimps is selling about 4,000 copies per month.

AND I learned on Monday that I have won the Paul A. Witty Award from the International Reading Association for an article I wrote for Highlights For Children Magazine about my experience and relationship with a Kurdish family here in San Diego. I had no idea my article, "Free At Last" was even being considered. The editor sent it in to the competition. This award is an honor for me–as well as for the magazine.

I am feeling humble and very grateful!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Beautiful Colorado

My husband Charles and I spent an extended weekend in Colorado Springs at the elegant Broadmoor Hotel for the Jerry B. Jenkins "Writing for the Soul" writers' conference. We arrived home late this afternoon and just finished sorting mail, catching up on e-mail and phone messages, and stocking our empty pantry and fridge!

We had a corner room on the 8th floor, providing a panormaic view of the Rockies, Pike's Peak, and the valley below with acres of pine trees. One day it snowed, covering everything in sight--including us as we walked round the grounds! Not enough to make snowballs, but enough to enjoy. Saturday was balmy, then sunny, and then rainy--all within a couple of hours. Today it was in the upper 60s with blue skies and warm sunshine! I did not want to leave.

The conference was a true writer's retreat--plenty of time to rest, learn, socialize, and contemplate. I have come home refreshed and rejuvenated, eager to get to the keyboard tomorrow morning to explore my next project--a book of true inspirational stories for Regal Books.

I also learned tonight (on one of the phone messages) that I won a contest for an article I wrote for Highlights for Children Magazine last year. I will get the details tomorrow when I phone the editor. "The news will make your day!" she said. I can hardly wait. That's all for tonight. I go to bed with a grateful heart and a spirit that has been fueled with creativity and appreciation for the gift of writing that God has given me.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Are Ideas Really a Dime a Dozen?

I'm not sure. If it's true, I'm disappointed because I work hard to come up with mine. If it's not true, then I feel a lot better about the time and energy I invest in garnering my ideas. It feels like a more worthy pursuit if one has to 'sweat' a bit.

Tonight I had dinner with the vice president of editorial and the acquisitions editor of one the publishing companies I work with. We talked ideas for two hours over dinner. What a wonderful exchange of creative thinking and musing and discussing and choosing.

If ideas were all that it took to write and publish a book, I'd be overwhelmed and so would the publisher! But ideas are not the only components. On the other hand, without a good idea, we don't have a book.

So here's to GOOD ideas, however they appear, wherever they come from. They're worth so much more than a dime a dozen. Actually, a really GOOD idea is not for sale!

Monday, February 14, 2005


I prayed a lot this week–short prayers in the middle of the night, sentence prayers as I went about my day, pleading prayers when I felt frustrated, prayers of thanks and love when I remember whose in control!

What would I do if I could not talk to my God in prayer? Actually, I know, because I lived most of my life outside prayer–except the kind you say that are printed in a book. And for me those don't count for much. I like to talk to God in my own words and listen for his own words to me.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Letting Go

I attended a support meeting last night. The topic was 'letting go.' Easier said than done, right? But I'm getting the hang of it. I notice I'm happier when I live my life and allow others to live theirs. I've been guilty of the 3M Syndrome (my title for mental micro management –of others). How freeing it is when I abstain! I will do that today.