3 Ways to Respond to Detours in Life

Okay, so some of you may have clicked on Dawn Alexander’s link yesterday and found someone else’s journey story. Yeah, I got my days wrong. I’m not telling my story until September. But she has a great blog, huh? I hope if you went, you followed. How’d you like that little detour?

And one other thing, how does Weight Watchers make their blueberry muffins so delish and moist at only 5 points? 

Okay, on with the show, this is it.

MONDAY morning, we headed for school.

We hopped in our mini-van and cruised the same route we take every morning. I turned right by City Hall, made the 4-way stop, and BAM!
 I slowed down. Myles asked, “What’s going on?”
“Are you going to get lost on this one?”
I ignored his above average sarcasm for a 7 year old. “No.” Please don’t let me get lost…again.
I turned right, and crept ahead. I came off auto-pilot and paid attention. Nervous and unsure, as I wound around streets and curves, hoping I’d get them to school on time and not end up somewhere unsafe. I saw the end of the Detour ahead, not far, I waited patiently to get out on the main road leading to school. Phew! We made it.
TUESDAY morning, we left later than usual, rushed and irritated. Maybe I broke up a fight or two over their shared sink. Mental note: When we move, kids must have separate bathrooms. Not because they’re spoiled, but I need morning sanity to last longer than the hour I spend with Jesus before they get up.
We took off on our normal route.
BAM! I forgot. Detour. 
I was not apprehensive or worried about where I was. I was in a rotten mood, a million things going on in my head. My internet was down. Imagine the anxiety. I growled, literally, when I saw the sign.
I whipped the wheel to the right and muttered under my breath, griping at drivers. I sat impatiently while traffic didn’t help me by making a space for me to pull onto the main road. I may have honked and shook a fist at a teenager or two. Possibly a senior adult driving Miss Daisy.
We arrived on time. But I was angry.

The Lord blew the clouds of aggravation away with His voice and reminded me of the day before and the moment we were in at the same time. Then He spoke to me about the way I handle detours and the way I should handle them.


Don’t be afraid of detours
“I put what you like to call detours in your life to make you slow down, wake-up, and pay attention. I know you get scared. I know it makes you nervous.” I felt the nudge to look up. The sky was incredible, the colors of a baby shower. “You think I can’t control where you’re going, when I can make this? Don’t be afraid.”
Don’t be angry at detours
“You think being angry and impatient with others will get you there any sooner? It won’t. It’ll only delay you. Do you think those drivers saw you as loving, gentle person, while trying to plow them over and shaking angry fists? Did your children see an example of how to respond to an unannounced twist? Why are you in such a hurry anyway?” His tenderness didn’t sear me with conviction, but wooed me to repentance.
Expect detours, plan for them

“You haven’t failed. It’s not too late to be a better example to others, to your children. It may be there tomorrow. It may not. But it won’t be the last one. You’ll get your chance to do it right. Plan for it. Expect it. You won’t be alone.”

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory…” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17
How do you handle detours in your life? 

Jaime Wright is…Moses?

I’m swinging with Jaime Wright today! Well, blog swinging that is. I’m over there and she’s over here! So read all her awesomeness and then skip over there by clicking HERE. Don’t forget to follow her blog if you don’t already, and be a doll or tough guy and go “like” her writer page on facebook. She asks lots of interesting questions and cool conversations take place all the time.
Tomorrow I’ll be talking about my journey in writing over at Dawn Alexander’s 

 I’m also at Jennifer Slattery’s blog, today, talking about hoarding. Are YOU a hoarder? Come by! 

So, heeeeeere’s Jaime!

Jess – wow! I’m on your blog! I feel like – important.
And important is just what friendships are meant to make you feel – at least I believe so. There’s nothing neater than when a co-worker/friend shows up at work and plops your favorite hazelnut soy latte on your desk (yes, it happens frequently). It makes me feel important. Or maybe valued is a better word.

Value in the writing world is critical. It’s a world where – frankly speaking – you spend most of your time feeling like a dead opossum that just got smucked by a semi truck and double-smucked by some rich dude driving a Hummer and then obliterated by a cowboy in a Dodge diesel. Fine. I’m graphic. Needless to say, we fledgling writers who are struggling to impress an agent, aching to sign with an editor, and trying to understand what the heck it is we just wrote … well, we need to be valued. A few too many rejections suffered alone is enough to make me bust the screen out of my laptop and short out its motherboard. Just be done with it.

Fellow friends in the writing world can relate to my hissy fits. They can understand the sadness and even the tears. They know what it feels like to give up when you’ve gone three weeks without writing one word because life is so busy you wonder if you’re living a pipe dream. They comprehend the true meaning of writer’s block.
Two months ago, I was pretty sure I was hanging up writing altogether. It wasn’t for lack of self-confidence. Lord knows I have enough of that. 😛 It was for timing, and sometimes the lack of time. I posted my resolve to quit on Twitter and emailed a few critical people – my critique partner and my mentor. While none of them told me the answer, all of them gave me encouragement in whatever direction I took. Their presence gave me value – encouragement – importance. Not arrogant importance. The type of importance that made me feel a bit like Moses when he needed Aaron and Joshua to lift up his arms because his strength was not enough.

Needless to say, it was shortly after that the Lord brought Jess into my life – via a little social network called Twitter. Gosh dang it – if I don’t love Twitter! Jess gets my sarcasm, my borderline sense of humor, and she’s short – she’s really – short. And I’m really tall. Funny how you picture a person you’ve never met physically and you find out facts that make you giggle.

We need each other. Plain and simple. We need people who UNDERSTAND our value as writers and to reinforce that in our low points. I’m still writing, by the way, and I haven’t busted my laptop. Although tonight I feel a bit like the smucked opossum, I know Jessica will make me laugh. S’all good, peeps J
Who’s your Aaron or Joshua? Who lifts your arms when you’re tired and how have your writing friends impacted your writing world?

So I Ran Over a Guy…So What?

Let me start with,

What had happened was…

I sat in the car rider line, the endless one–maybe you know it too.


I looked up at my dash and I saw something I’d never seen before. “That’s new.” I picked up my phone and called Hubby. “Hey, there’s a light on in my van.”

“Which one?”

Good question. “It looks like a toothbrush floating in the ocean.” Oh yeah. Good imagery. For sure.

“Okay, I’ll take care of it.”

And then I forgot, because I did what I was suppose to do. I informed the MAN of MANLY things and went back to my book.

I left Myles’s school and was on my way to get gas and head to the church to work.



I picked up the phone and called Hubby. “The toothbrush is floating in the ocean again.”

A big fat ugly sigh. “That’s not good.”


“What do I do?”

“You can’t drive the van. You’ll blow it up!”

Ok, so we had a tad bit of an argument. I was rather unkind. Whatever, that ain’t the point. Point is…

“You have to go to Pennzoil and tell them to change your oil and check your radiator. Don’t let them do ANYTHING else.”

I hang up. Doubt I said bye.

I pulled up at the local oil place and waited for them to open.

The man behind the counter rolled his tongue to the side of his mouth to pack his chew tighter in order to speak clearly to me. Oh, dear God.

“Can I help you, Ma’am?” Ma’am? He’s older than me, for the love!

“I need an oil change and my radiator checked. That’s all.”

“Pull into Bay 2.”

Piece of cake.

The other guy sportin his do-rag and tattooed sleeves winked and signaled me forward on those ramp things. I pulled up, he motioned me closer.

My van stalled. I mean dang, it was going up hill…sort of. I gunned it.

And I drove into him.  Yes, yes I did.

It was just a tap. No one got hurt. It gently pushed him back a step. One step! He even smiled, after his clouded eyes cleared. I stuck my head out the window.

“Sorry, I never do this.”

“Run over people or get your oil changed?” He chuckled.

“Get my oil changed,”I teased, thankful he wasn’t going to sue me for bumping him.

He laughed and said, “Well, I might just give you a discount since you have a pretty face.”
I looked down. No ring today. Crap.

“My husband will appreciate that.”

He smiled. “Always the married ones. We never get any single women in here.”

I find that hard to believe. Most married women have husbands who aren’t in Nashville for the day to do the MAN work. A woman in the bay next to me smiled and I followed her inside, feeling uncomfortable.

She was reading a Tamera Alexander book. Had to be an angel. “You know when you get older, you don’t have to worry about that as much,” she said.

“I hate these places. I don’t know enough about cars but I don’t care enough to find out.” I sighed and we chatted about books.

He opened the door. “Did you know your inspection sticker is expired?”


“Is something wrong with your car?”

“Other than the light with the tooth—” I caught myself. I already felt like an idiot. “No.”

“You haven’t had one since 2007.”

Have them check your oil and radiator and nothing else!

“Inspect it.”

The reader next to me whispered, “They always want to do something more than what you tell them.”

As if he heard her, he came back inside. “Waa-waa, waa, waaa, waaa. If you’ll come outside I can show you where the waa waaa waaa waaa is.”

As I followed him out, the angel said, “I’ll pray for you.”

In the bay area, a woman stood with the tobacco man, the same look on her face as mine. Smiling on the outside, screaming on the inside.

“Yeah, see this waaa waaa waaa can be fixed. We can’t charge you, but I mean I can do it. They’re only about six bucks a piece. That’s what I’d charge you.”

My stomach knotted. A side job?

Have them change the oil and check the radiator and that’s all!

“Um…Hold on.” I pulled out my phone.

“What’s going on, Jess, I’m in a meeting?”

“This man said some of my thingys are missing and one’s broken.”

“What thingys?” I heard the impatience growing. I wanted to scream, I didn’t.

“Black rubber do-hickeys, I don’t know! This isn’t my forte, Tim!” I looked at my new iPhone cradled in its white candy shell coating and then at the filthy man before me.

Crap.  “Could you talk to my husband?”

“Sure.” His smug grin made me wish I’d have bumped him a little harder.

“Waaaa Waaa Waaa Waaaa…Yeah…well, waa waaa waa waa waaa waaa.” He laughs. Leave it to my husband to say something witty and bright. “Yeah, man. It’s good. No problem.”

He handed me the phone.

I stared at it, praying my husband had nothing more to say and had hung up, and I’d have time to wipe dude’s sweat off my touchscreen before using it again.

No luck. Crap.

 I placed the phone, smudged with grease and his rough morning’s work, to my ear. “Hello?”

“It’s handled.”

About fifteen minutes later, I pulled out of the lot and was home-free. Later that afternoon, when it was time to pull forward in the car rider line, I threw my van in gear and accelerated.

I went nowhere.

“That freaking, idiot! AAAAAH!” I pounded the wheel with my fist, panicked, and glanced behind me in the rearview mirror, waiting for the car behind me to honk, as if I didn’t know I needed to go.

I went to punch the hazard button on my van. I saw the dashboard.

I was in neutral.


Question: Any crazy things happen to you lately?
Happy Weekend to ya’ll!

I Walk With a Limp

Every day I gun it to my son’s school, just so I can watch a woman with a limp walk down the sidewalk, across the street, and up the hill.

It’s fascinating.

It causes me to inch too close to the vehicle in front of me, or lag behind and leave gaping spaces between. Depends on the day and how long it takes for the car behind me to honk.

About the time I turn the corner, she’s walking around the one across the street. Her right leg has a bend in it that has to have been there since birth. I haven’t noticed any scarring, so I’d say she’s never had surgery.

So why does this woman fascinate me?

Oh I forgot to tell you, it’s not her alone; she’s walking with her husband and her little girl who’s in kindergarten. I know this because of the building they walk her to. (I’ve had experience in stalking.)

Their appearance shows they’re not wealthy. And if it wasn’t for her limp, I’d have never noticed them. I’d probably be watching the woman who wears the exact same pajamas to walk her kid to school in every day. I’m not kidding. The same ones. Every. Single. Day.

They swing around the corner, the little girl holding on to her daddy’s left hand, while he holds his wife’s in his right.

There’s something about that, that touches me. He doesn’t really walk any slower, in fact sometimes I giggle as I watch the little girl try to keep up, her Dora backpack bouncing around behind her, it’s literally as big as she is.

He doesn’t seem to feel sorry for his wife, he hasn’t enabled her by bringing their child to school and allowing her to stay home. Who knows? Maybe she’s a fighter and begs to walk the distance. It’s a stretch to walk.

He holds her hand, and they fall into step together. I love it. I can’t explain it any better than I have. Other than it reminds me a lot of how I see myself with God.

No, I don’t picture him in black work pants and a sleeveless shirt. In fact, I never see Him in worn workboots or tattooed. Scarred, in riding boots–awaiting the day He can jump on His horse and rescue me, yes. A robe. Absolutely.

See, I have a limp, too. A spiritual limp.

I’ve had it from birth. One day, I’ll have surgery and it’ll be perfected.

Some days I don’t want to go out of the house. I don’t want to be seen. Some days, I don’t want my weakness to slow me down from the journey before me.

But my Husband, He takes my hand, and He walks beside me. We walk around the corner, across the street, and up the hill. We do it every day. I trust Him to go the distance with me.
He’s never impatient, angry, or annoyed.

He simply strolls beside me. Holding my hand, occasionally squeezing it. Letting me know, He’s able to catch me if I stumble.

I love watching that woman with the limp. It reminds me of me. It reminds me, when I don’t think I have a single step left, I do. It may not be an even step, probably won’t be.

But I’ll be moving forward.

How about you?

“Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them.” Matthew 15:30

Bonded by Faith and Fiction…and a Little Dessert

Not everyone could make the
first group, but look at all these
lovely ladies!

Reading, dessert, (some even weight watcher friendly), and coffee. Who doesn’t love that?
Last night we launched FaithReaders, a bookclub/lifegroup at my church, in our sweet cafe.

Four years ago, my husband and I pastored, and yes I say pastored, even though it wasn’t a paid position, our young adult group. 18-28. Tim had led the choir previously, and I had led Women’s Ministry. We loved every minute of it.

But where I felt the most connected, was teaching the young adults on Sunday mornings. I wanted to impart so much to them. I wanted them to have a voracious appetite for the Word. To understand it. Long for it. Live for it.

So I began writing Bible studies. They called them Patch Packets. I did it for 2 reasons. 1. I wanted them in their Word, studying–not just skimming and wondering, “Huh?” and 2. I wanted them to understand the Old Testament. To see it as more than an angry God with tons of rules, smiting this and that.

I loved those few years. They learned. I learned. We both grew, and I never felt more connected in the body of Christ as when I was teaching. To watch nearly 20, and sometimes more, young adults pull themselves from bed to show up early on Sunday morning was amazing. It was an honor for me.

Our church cut Sunday morning teaching aka Sunday school, because they didn’t feel there were enough attenders to keep it going, or it wasn’t relevant with today’s generation of church goers. Maybe there weren’t. Maybe it’s not.

But it was to me.

 We still led our group, but I wasn’t as actively involved. My husband preached on Friday nights and while I was available, I wasn’t connected. I wasn’t a big toe or a pinky. It was a lonely time for me.

After a few years of service, we felt like it was time to pass the torch to someone else. A young couple in our church took the group, and they’re amazing. They’re taking it to a level we couldn’t. That’s how it’s supposed to be. I’m proud of them.

But now, we really had no fit. We picked up nursery, because it’s something we could do, and we felt like we needed to be doing something. See a need, fill a need (Robots the movie). Tim loves harassing babies, ahem…loving on babies!

I kept feeling God nudge me to start a book club at church. I kept telling Him I didn’t have time. I wrote out a list of why and held it up to Him. Not really, but basically.

He said to me, “You’re going to do it. Period.”

“Fine! Geez, You don’t have to be so Bossy about it.”

He gave me “The Eye.” I know He did.

And then…when I surrendered in my Jessica-kind-of-way…

Ideas began to spring to my mind, like wildfire. I felt that old giddiness well up in my heart. Excitement raced through my body at the possibilities! I stood at my table during two Sundays and watched as 25 women signed up. Bonded already by faith and the love of fiction.

We’re not simply reading books and discussing them.

We’re praying about which books to read, asking God to speak to us–minister to us through the stories. We’re praying for the author each day we read (let’s face it, us writers need prayer), and we’re going outside the walls and into the community. Oh yes, we can share our faith through books.

We can volunteer our time at libraries, one of our members is a librarian in our community! We can can help with literacy programs. The ideas are limitless and we can show, through our love, time, and service who Jesus is. We don’t have to keep it contained within our group.

That’s not what it’s about.

And once again, I feel connected. I feel part of the body of Christ again. And it feels good!

I had a great time last night. We talked, laughed, shared. I missed the women who couldn’t be there and look forward to them laughing with us in September.
Next month we’ll be discussing our first book, The Edge of Grace by Christa Allan. And…each month I’ll be posting our GROUP REVIEW! How fun will that be? You’ll get to meet our members, and hear what they all had to say.

Are you in a book club? What books have you read, and do you get involved in your community?

A Place to Call Home…and a Writing Prompt.

First, let me start off with, as I googled “home” and hit images, it quickly dawned on me that I’d typed in “hoe.” After flushing my eyes for several minutes, drinking half the bottle of antacid for a nauseated stomach, and learning how to breathe again, I entered the word “home” correctly and…found nothing I wanted to use. That was for free. 😉

Next, I’m honored to have won the Liebster Award, twice! Thanks Loree and Sheri!

Now on with the show, this is it!

 Two Saturdays ago, I had the privilege of going to writer’s group. Yep, I call it a privilege. I get to sit around a few tables of talented men and women, who love God and the pen and paper (ok, keyboard but whatever, it sounded prettier).

From the first moment I stepped inside Byhalia Christian Writers group, I felt… at home. I was welcomed and ushered in as if I’d always been there.

We chat, talk, sometimes eat…we write. And we share a devotion together. Saturday’s devotion was given by William Hill, a really neat guy with a gift for poetry (just one of his many, I’m sure). I stink at poetry.

He talked about an award he won and how one of the best employees there, congratulated him. He said, “He gave me permission to be great.” I loved that. He went on to talk about sharpening each other. “As iron sharpens iron so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”  Proverbs 27:17

“I need to know when my blade is dull, but I also want to know when I’ve made a good cut.”

How incredible is that? I wrote it down. Words of wisdom from a writer, who loves the Lord. What he said, struck me. Do I want to know when I’m dull or do I just want a pat on the back for clean, seamless cuts?

I drove home thinking that day, like all days I visit writer’s group. I never leave wondering why I attend. I learn something new. I feel like I’ve invested my time wisely.

Marylane Koch, our fearless leader, a great encourager, and all around beautiful woman, inside and out, never fails to amaze me and make me feel special. And she does it for everyone. It reminds me of Jesus. When I’m worshipping in the congregation, and He speaks so intimately to me, I think I’m the only one in the room of hundreds. After church, my bff will share how God touched her deeply and I think. How? He was touching me.

That’s Marylane. Making everyone feel like they’re the only one. They matter. They have something to say. And they can make a difference, honoring God.

If you’re a writer, I hope you’re in a group as fabulous as ours. If you’re not in a group, I encourage you to get in a group.

If you’re a reader, pray for us writers. We do it for you. We need the prayers and guidance to make every page something you’ll not only love, but something that will strike a chord deep inside you, something that will make your heart sing, draw you closer to God, and leave you with a glorious melody to be shared with others.

Our 5 minute writing prompt for the day was: This is one thing I cannot throw away.

What is one thing you cannot throw away? Have a great weekend!

Taming the Tongue: Guest Post by Jennifer Slattery

Today’s guest post is by Jennifer Slattery. I had the privilege to meet Jen at the WFTS conference this past February.

Before we get to it, I’d like to link to a book review I did by Rene Gutteridge, Listen. It’s a great story about taming the tongue and how our words build up and tear down. Click Here to read it.

Welcome, Jennifer!

Have you ever noticed how readily we cling to the negative, no matter how irrational it is? Things spoken to me during my elementary years have stuck with me throughout countless successes and accolades, tearing at the walls of my heart. Think of your own life and those evasive lies you’ve allowed to wiggle their way in.

Countless people can tell you again and again how smart, or pretty, or resourceful you are, and yet you’ll cling to that one statement hurled in the heat of the moment to the contrary. Which is why it’s so important to guard our words, because once spoken, they penetrate deep and can never be returned.

I’ve always struggled with my tongue. Mainly because I’m impulsive. Often, I speak the first thing that comes to mind without taking the time to sift my words through my listener’s ears. And yet, those much needed words, like, “Good job,” and “Thank you,” seem to linger in my throat like rubber cement. The other day after reading one of my articles, my husband told me how much he enjoyed it. (It was largely about him and the effect his behaviors have had on our daughter.) When I asked him why, he said, “It’s good to know that maybe I’m doing something right.” His response surprised me.

He does so many awesome things and is such a great family leader. Couldn’t he tell we adored and admired him? And yet, at the same time, I understood the insecurities and fears beneath his response. We all have inner demons, fears of failure, insecurities. We all need to hear an “atta-boy” once in a while. More often than not, actually. I’ve heard that it takes about five positive comments to counter one negative. Now, think of all the negative comments your spouse might hear in a given day, then multiply that by five. Kind of tips the scales a bit, doesn’t it?

Sometimes I forget how fragile the human heart is. Thought processes influence our self-concept and words spoken influence thought processes. According to social scientists Dr. Gangel and Dr. Canine, our self-concept is created, developed, and maintained through communication and interaction with others. (Dr. Gangel, Dr. Canine. 1992) Marriage is a life-time of close, consistent interaction—interaction that has the power to build up or tear down.

Ephesians 4:29 urges us: “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only that which is helpful for building others up, that it may benefit those who listen.”

How many words would be left unspoken if I truly lived this verse out? How many wounds avoided? 

Dr. Gangel, Dr. Canine. Communication and Conflict Management. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers; 1992. p. 66

Jennifer Slattery writes for Christ to the world Ministries, the Christian Pulse, Samie Sisters, and is the marketing manager for the literary website, Clash of the Titles. She’s placed in numerous contests and has written for numerous publications, E-zines and websites. Visit her devotional blog, Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud to find out more about her and her writing.

Question: How hard do you find it to tame your tongue?

Blood Spatter, Latex, and Richard Goodship

“I could never be a forensic investigator, I’d toss my cookies and contaminate the crime scene.”

“That’s why we don’t eat them.”

That’s not a line from Richard Goodship’s novel, The Camera Guy. It’s a conversation we had over twitter, where I met Richard.

Richard Goodship served Queen and Country for over 26 years, the last 22 years as a Forensic Investigator.  Richard’s last 5 years before retiring were spent working out of the Office of the Attorney General.  Richard now, spends his time writing, having completed 3 novels, and taking pictures of living things.
I’ve always been fascinated with forensics and crime and I’m sure that’s why I write it. So when I discovered what Richard had done for a living, I had to invite him over to share a little about what he used to do. And when I have a question about evidence, I’ve got a new friend to go to. (another plug at why you should twitter)
Richard, you wrote the novel, The Camera Guy. By the way, everyone, it is not an inspy book. Tell us why you wrote it.
The Camera Guy is one of the nicknames given to those who work in the Forensic section. The book was to say the least ‘cathartic’ for me.  Gave me a chance to lay some old ghosts to rest.
Intriguing. Share with us your job description, while working for Queen and Country. Love that.

During my time in Forensics I became an Arson Investigator, Bomb Tech (E.O.D.), Post Blast Tech, fingerprint examiner, firearms reconstructionist, Expert Photographer/Videographer and led several skeletal retrievals (Forensic Archeology) 
Come on, people, you know that’s fascinating. Ok, pretend you’ve arrived on the crime scene. Show us how it would all go down once you started working.
>first priority upon arriving at a scene is to ensure scene has been secured
>Determine who has entered the scene and why
>Begin a photographic and video documentation of the scene prior to entering
>Determine a path into the scene that will be least damaging to possible evidence. (contamination)
>Photograph and video all evidence found at the scene prior to any handling or examinations
>Determine what is evidence and what is not. (we don’t ‘hoover’ a scene) but if in doubt, collect it
>cursory examination of a body if present. Extensive photography and video at this point..
>Determine what the scene is. Break and Enter with a Homicide, Suicide, Sexual Assault, etc…
>Label evidence and again photograph and video it prior to collection
>collect the evidence properly, ie some evidence requires paper bags, cardboard boxes, plastic evidence bags, vinyl bags etc…
>once the evidence for the scene is collected, then the body can be removed.
>photograph and video the area under the body. Examine the side of the body not visible during initial examination
>Ensure body is escorted and secured at the morgue
>Secure warrants for post mortem exam and burial from Coroner. (In Canada the Coroner relies on the expertise of the Forensic Investigator to determine if a post mortem exam is necessary. In Canada all sudden deaths are treated as a homicide until otherwise proven and will require the post mortem)
>Copious notes are to be taken during all stages of the scene and body examinations
>The Forensic Investigator will then allow the detectives onto the scene and given a ‘walk through’ and confer regarding what took place at the scene.
If you write suspense, crime mysteries, or thrillers, you should be taking notes! Richard, will we see any grizzly scenes that mirror some of your past experiences?
The Camera Guy does contain scenes that I’ve investigated. I have made some changes for moral reasons and to help fit into the story.
Let’s talk about “the perfect crime.” Is there one? Can it be done? Give us your expert opinion.
There is no such thing as ‘the perfect crime’.  All Forensic Investigators live and work by the philosophy that all contact leaves a trace.  When you handle something, you leave something of you behind and take with you something from the object/scene/body.  Some crimes may take years to solve but only because the person doing the crime may not have a prior record or the technology isn’t available at present to detect the evidence.  This last is fast becoming a thing of the past. (lets not reference CSI please)
LOL! Ok, no CSI references, that show went to pot after William Peterson left anyway. Alright, enough expertise talk, what do you do for fun?
I ride horses, spend time with my daughter and take pictures and write.  Travel has always been a love of mine as well.
I love traveling as well. I can’t ride horses anymore. Scary story. Save it for another blog!
If you’d like to connect with Richard, here’s how:
@RGoodship on twitter and facebook 
You can purchase his book on Amazon
Here’s a peek at The Camera Guy:
“Life was not easy for Forensic Investigator Bill Walters. His ability to see the spirits of the victims at his crime scenes gave him an edge, but it kept him isolated from his fellow Officers and gave him the reputation of being a ‘Nutbar’ on the force.
Bill could live with this. He could even live with the family of ghosts that haunted his apartment, the loss of his friends and religion and the estrangement of his daughter, Eryn.
What Bill couldn’t live with was the Demon that came to town hungry for those spirits.

And his own.”

Question from Richard:                                                                                      
If Identical twins have identical DNA, why don’t they have identical fingerprints?
Good question. Dang! I don’t know the answer. Thanks for coming by today, Richard. It was fascinating and fun. Side note* The cover of your book creeps me out!

It’s Official…I’m a Paradox

Yesterday, I had a plan. Really. I did. Until I visited Lynda Schab’s blog, On the Write Track.

My plan, went downhill after that. She was talking about this brain test she took. No harm or poking involved.

Naturally, as I read, my interest was piqued. And then she did the unthinkable…

She posted the link to the test and gave me permission to take it.

There went laundry, revising, working on a crit for a friend, researching books for the bookclub, and the treadmill. Because after I took the test, I had to blog about it. Like Lynda did. Go check hers out. It was fun and entertaining.

Here are my results. I was shocked at how accurate the answers were.

“Jessica, you show a slight right-hemisphere dominance with a moderate preference for auditory processing, an unusual and somewhat paradoxical combination of characteristics.”
What a way to start off.  I’m not only unusual, well duh, I’m a paradox of sorts. Nice.

Oh yeah, a reasonable degree of success. That’s…comforting. “Don’t you want to be successful?” Sure, I mean to a reasonable degree. Oy!

“You are drawn to a random and sometimes nonchalant synthesis of material. You learn as it seems important to a specific situation, and might even develop a resentment of others who attempt to direct your learning down a specific channel.”
Seriously! I just got out of my mouth a couple days ago. “Ugh, I wouldn’t want to go back to school to save my life. I love studying, but I don’t want anyone telling me what I have to study. I study what I want.” And, I am drawn to random and nonchalant material. I’m often told, “How do you know that?” “You have more useless knowledge than anyone I know.” Yeah, I’m proud of that! I studied for that! 
 “Your right-hemispheric dominance provides a structure that is only loosely organized and one which processes entire swatches of reality, overlooking details. You are emotional in your reactions and perceptual more than logical in your approach, although you can impose structure and a language base when necessary.” *I did not highlight this for any specific reason, but I couldn’t get blogger to make it white! What’s up with that?
That’s pretty much true. Probably why I’m more of a pantser than a plotter, although I do plot when necessary. See!

“Your tendency to be creative and free-flowing is accompanied by sufficient ability to organize and be logical, allowing you a reasonable degree of success in a number of different endeavors. You take in information methodically and systematically which can then be synthesized rapidly. In this manner, you manage to function consistently well, although certainly less efficiently than you desire.”

“You prefer the abstract and are a theoretician at heart while retaining the ability to be practical. You find the symbolism in a great deal of what you encounter and are something of a “mystic.””
Nailed it! I do find symbolism in everything, because everything is a physical picture of something spiritual! Mystic, L.O.L. But spiritual, definitely.

Okay, now I give you permission to take the test and come back with your answers! After you take the test and it gives you the %’s, click on view summary to get the detailed rundown!


Brought to You by the Letter…”P”

It’s Wednesday, so we’re talking about faith. Got any? Need some? Have a little to share?

A few weeks ago, I talked about a man named Gideon. A scared, weak man, hiding in a winepress trying to thresh wheat.  We talked about The Angel of the Lord (Pre-Incarnate Jesus) coming to see him, calling him a brave man. You can read or refresh yourself with the story HERE.

Today, I want to talk about the same man from the same book. Judges. Gideon, the man who begged over and over for God to confirm through a sign that he was supposed to deliver God’s people from the Midianite’s oppression. Gideon would throw out what’s called a fleece and God would prove that He hadn’t made a mistake–that Gideon was His man.

You can read about scared Gideon in Chapter 6 of Judges.

I want to skim across Chapter 7 and land us in Chapter 8. Put your seat belt on, we’re moving fast.

Gideon pulls together an army, not the biggest one, but one none-the-less. However, God knows it’s too big for Him to get the glory. He instructs Gideon, (7:4-8) and shortens his army down to 300 men. The odds didn’t look good by human standards, but that was God’s point.

Man can’t do it without Me.

God has a Plan.

Gideon is probably freaking out about now. He’s hesitant to begin with, but he’s being obedient. Now he has 300 men out of more than 22,000 to start with and God is going to use this pitiful army to take down the Midianites and Amalekites. Gulp!

I wonder if the men could sense Gideon’s apprehension. Maybe the whispers amongst the camp sank what minimal courage he had further down toward his tail. Just about the time he’s ready to turn it and run, God speaks to him.

Paraphrase: “Gideon, if you’re still shaking in your boots, and we all know you are, go down with your buddy that you’ve been whining to and listen. I think you’ll hear something to muster up some courage, you brave guy you.” Judges 7:9-12

God had a plan to save his people from these vicious warriors. It’d been laid out all along, He just needed Gideon to partner with Him.

Gideon and his servant, Purah (don’t get me started on the names) slip down in the thick of night and what happens…

God Precedes and Perfects.

They stop dead in their tracks. Someone is talking. One of the enemies is sharing a dream he just had with one of his comrades. “To my surprise, a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian; it came to a tent and struck it so that it fell and over turned, and the tent collapsed.” (7:13)

“This is nothing else than the sword of  Gideon, son of Joash, a man of Israel! Into his hand God has delivered Midian and the whole camp.” (7:14)

Coincidence? I think not.

God gave that dream to the soldier, woke him up, and prompted him to tell it to his buddy at exactly the right time. Side note: “tumbled” in Hebrew is “haphak” and it means, to overthrow or overturn.

And if that isn’t enough– to be sovereign over time– then look at the detail that went into the dream, just for Gideon.

What was Gideon doing when the Angel of the Lord came to him?  Threshing wheat. Working hard at simply getting some seeds/grains from the winepress.

What came into the enemy camp and took out the whole army?

A loaf of Barley.  A finished product. Barley and wheat are both planted in the fall, but Barley matures faster and is harvested first, usually in April.  Something  Gideon knows all about.

God was saying, “What I began, I will finish. You’re ready. It’s time.  I don’t see a little scared seed. I see a loaf.”

God makes it Personal.

“I saw Gideon.” Not just any old Gideon. “Gideon, the son of Joash.” That’s like saying his first and last name. “A man of Israel.” Israel. God’s people. “I saw Gideon son of Joash, you know, God’s man.” Not boy. Man.

The word for “man” in Hebrew in this verse is “iysh” and it does means man, but also, “great man; champion”

There is no room to doubt. He’s ready. God has made him ready, harvested him, like Barley, for this moment. Used the enemy to prove that he is going to overturn the camp.

God is Patient, and He always Prevails.

With this last boost of confidence, Gideon takes the 300 men, uses his brain and makes a plan, then defeats the enemy. You can read about it in Judges 7:15-25.

And lastly, if you’ve hung on with me for this long, we land in Chapter 8. The high is over. Gideon, by God alone, has freed God’s people from the Midianites. Imagine the pats on the back. Maybe someone poured the vat of wine over his head like a football coach who’s brought his team to victory.

Those strokes of ego, embed in Gideon’s mind…his heart, and in one chapter look what happens:

Gideon chases down kings Zebah and Zalmunna, but they’re running fast, so Gideon asks the leaders of Succoth to help him out, which they snottily refuse. Gideon boldy tells them when he gets back from whipping Zebah and Zalmunna’s tail, he’s gonna whip theirs. Literally. With thorns and briers. (Judges 8:6-7)

Gideon comes to Penuel and speaks to them in the same way and when they refuse, he tells them when comes back he’s going to tear down their tower. (watchtower. Judges 8:8-9)

Pretty bold for a man who a couple chapters back was hiding in a winepress and trying to convince God He had no business enlisting him, isn’t it?

Pretty Speech breeds Pride

Paraphrase: “Rule over us, Gideon.”

“Nah, God’s your ruler, but thanks for the offer. I’ll tell yah what though, you can give me the earrings you took off the dead.”

“Anything for you, Gideon.”

Guess what Gideon did with the 42 pounds of gold? He constructed an ephod. An ephod was the vest, God instructed priests only to wear. It was pretty amazing with colorful threads and dazzling gems. (Judges 8:22-27)

What was the point of Gidoen’s ephod? Not sure. But, in verse 27, the Bible says it became a “snare to Gideon and his house.” The word snare is used in talking about idols.

Gideon also named one of his sons, out of 70 by the way–for he had many wives–Abimelech. Ambimelech means “My Father is King.” Maybe, deep in Gideon’s heart, the one that swelled after victory, he thought he was the king. Maybe it passed down to his sons. It definitely passed down to Abimelech, who killed all his brothers but one to be king. (Judges 9)

Pride will get you every time. Especially after a big victory. Physical victory, emotional victory, spiritual victory. Be wary of it.

Gideon was human. I don’t fault him for a swelled head. I do learn a lesson…

God Picks us anyway

Don’t think for a second God didn’t know what would happen to Gideon. Yet He picked him to do great things anyway. He loved him start to finish. Snares and all.  And in those days of Gideon, regardless of his sins, there was peace for 40 years until he died. (Judges 8:28)

Question for you: Have you ever wondered why God would pick you for…anything? How did it turn out, or how’s it going?