Let’s Chat!

I took this picture as we rode elephants in Burma.
Random picture, much like today’s post! 

So, last week, Brandi Boddie at Penning Praises tagged me and asked 11 questions, so today I’m going to answer them. Thanks, Brandi! 

1. Book or movie and why?

Book. Books have more details and internal dialogue that I can’t see in a movie. Although, I will say I love movies. Huge movie buff! Not to be taken as I watch movies in the buff. It means…well you look up buff. 

2. Real book or eBook?

Either. As long as I get to read, I don’t care. I will say having a Kindle makes reading more convenient. I can take hundreds of books with me to one place and if I don’t care for a book, switch easily. *Writing craft books and non-fiction, I prefer in paperback because I like to write notes and highlight and it isn’t the same on an eBook.

3. Funniest thing you’ve done in the last five years?

Feel my pain? Stupid, worn out,
friggin hammock!

LOL! Funniest to me or funniest to a spectator? Because on Friday, I took my Perrier and Kindle to my old worn out hammock, kicked off my flip flops and stretched out only to have the blasted thing rip down the middle sending my backside onto the metal thingy that holds the frame on the ground. I know the neighborhood heard my wails and I lost my good Christian witness to my neighbor with a four-letter word as my expensive mineral water spilled all over my lap and my Kindle fell to the ground! What? You never say, “Ouch!” 😉 

4. How would your best friend describe you?

I have more than one. But “Jane” says, I’m the smartest person she’s ever met. So I’m picking her. I try to keep her sheltered from other people so she won’t realize, I’m not. 

I’d say my friends would describe me as fun, honest–
maybe too honest, and someone who gives good advice. 

5. Do you put yourself into the books you read/write or movies you watch?

I don’t put myself into books or movies I watch. I can relate and sometimes God shows me how I’m like a particular character, but I never see me.  When I write? Yes, I think I see a part of me or a part of my experiences in each character at a times. 

6. Favorite kind of car and why?

I’m not a car fan but when writing one of my novels, I fell in love with the Bentley Azure but that could just be because Peter Lance was driving it. *I am now fanning my face.

7. Would your choice of party be a catered meal or a BBQ out back? 

BBQ out back. Each month we get together with friends, each one takes a turn hosting. Those are the best times for me. And it’s kind of catered when it’s not at my house! 🙂 And BBQ doesn’t mean you have to eat BBQ. It just means cooking out, at least down here.

8. What’s your favorite season and why?

Fall/Autumn. I love the temperatures, the color changes, I love weenie roasts, bonfires, hayrides, caramel apples, hoodies, and quilts on the patio.

9. What specific lesson have you learned? Spiritual, educational or occupational.

I don’t know if I can answer that since I’m learning a specific lesson on a regular basis. I suppose the biggest lesson learned that has effected all of my life in all areas, is if I beat my family up, spend my morning studying and in prayer before anything else, I’ll be equipped with what I need to face what the day holds when the sun rises. It’s a lesson I had to learn from experience, one I should have paid attention to by reading the word and taking Jesus’ example. 

10. Besides writing, what’s your favorite thing to do when you get some extra time? 

Read! I like hanging out with some girlfriends over coffee (during the day when everyone is gone). I like seeing movies with my hubby and chatting with my kids. They make me laugh.

11. What’s one place you can be found at least one time each week?

I’d say the grocery store, but that’s not true. Sometimes I put it off long enough my husband says, “Text me a list or we’ll starve.” A nice wife would say, “I’ll go.” I just text the list (it’s pre-typed but I wait about 15 minutes before sending).  I don’t have a place I regularly go that isn’t part of my daily routine. Some might say a coffee shop or the library and while I love both, I’d have to get out of my pajamas to go there so…

I’m not tagging anyone, I’m tagging everyone! If you need fodder for your blog or you’re a procrastinator, cough…Julie… this ought to make your day! If not, answer one, a few, or all here in the comments! 

3 Words and Your Imagination! Bring it!

That’s right, ladies and gents. It’s time for another round of Urban Translation fun! 

Here are the three words and their definitions. Make up a sentence using these words and I’ll choose the top three. Then I’ll post them and let you vote for the winner! 
photo credit: Ambrose freedigitalphotos
Mizzled: Mizzled is when somebody deliberately misleads or dupes you with malicious intent. 

photo credit:
imagerymajestic freedigitalphotos
Yacht Snot: This is normally a young person who has access to large – and often times – unlimited amounts of money. The money comes from their parents. This person can be either male or female. A typical place to find such a person around your local university campus.

photo credit: Ambro freedigitalphotos
Phone-Yawn: The act of taking out a cell phone from one’s pocket or purse, resulting in other people in the vicinity taking out and checking their phones as well.
*all definitions came from urbandictionary(dot)com

Okay, everyone! Have fun using the words, can’t wait to see what you come up with! And it’s Friday the 13th so if you toss that in, you’ll get bonus points!

Easter Holiday Hangover

Myles dying eggs. Bailey said
she was too old this year. Waaah!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter holiday! My mom came to visit and dragged me all over town to shop. I’m not a shopper. In fact, I’d buy everything online if I could. But the kids did need spring clothes. They insist on growing. It’s annoying.

We dyed eggs, took Myles to a Easter egg hunt at church, we made coconut cupcakes, and bought $30 worth of bread from an Italian bakery. 

I almost took a blogging break just to spend extra time running it all off on the treadmill, but…I’d miss you! So, I’m not. I mean, I am going to be running, but not taking a break! I will be a little scarce though, because I have some heavy duty editing to work on this week. 

So tell me the highlight of your weekend. Of course, celebrating our risen Savior was the BIGGEST. I woke up, came into the living room where my husband sat drinking coffee and reading his Bible, raised my hands in the air and shook them as I said, “Heeee’s aliiiivve!” in my Frankenstein voice.

TP shook his head, but smirked and I said, “What? Jesus thinks it’s funny. I already said it to Him. ‘You’re Aliiiivve!’ Now where’s my Easter basket?”

It was on my desk–on my laptop. Cadbury eggs, iTunes card, and a gift card to a Home store. 

So I repeat: What was the highlight of your weekend? 

Shootin Straight with Erica Vetsch

A few weeks ago I ran a contest. You had to come up with a sentence using several words from the Urban dictionary. It was a blast and everyone who participated whether on facebook or the blog had great and hilarious sentences. We’ll be doing it again soon! 

The winner had several options as a prize. You all voted and the winner was the fabulous Erica Vetsch! I love her writing, her personality and I CAN. NOT. WAIT. to meet her in PERSON! She chose a fun interview! And to make it even wilder, I’m over at her blog doing her Friday Five! So after you crack up at her answers, pop over there and say hi to me and answer the questions! It’s fun! I’ll have a link at the bottom of the blog! 

Let’s get this party started! 

What did you do for fun growing up?
We played outside. Rode our bikes all over the neighborhood without wearing helmets. Drank straight out of the water hose. We watched a lot of tv, played Pong on the Atari, and caught lightning bugs and frogs. It was a good childhood.
Sound a little like my growing up, only I never liked drinking from the hose and frogs…nope. What was the dumbest thing you did as a teenager?
Honestly, I did so many stupid things, but we were pretty sheltered so nothing that had lasting consequences. I got grounded once for a semester because of my grades. That was pretty dumb.
I can relate to doing so many stupid things. Grounded once? If I was UNgrounded my friends thought something was wrong. If you were offered 100 million dollars to stop writing books, would you? Why/why not?
Boy, that’s a tough one. I don’t think so. I’ve got more than enough $ for my needs, and I feel like I’m called to write.
I bet so many of writers would agree with you! If you could be a criminal and get away with your crimes (no threat of hell either), what kind of criminal would you be? Why?
Global domination has a certain appeal. Supreme Dictator For Life?
I like that. Bossing everyone around. Sweet. Me? I’d have to go with jewel thief. Like what a cool crime, yah know! What’s your favorite TV show, if you can’t decide, top 3?
In no particular order: Criminal Minds, Psych, Castle.
AH! Three of my faves too! We should hang out and watch TV sometime! 🙂 If you could own a yacht or a private plane, which would you choose and why?
Plane. I get seasick.
I get sick on planes. A really big yacht…you wouldn’t know you were moving. Okay now…fill in the blank: I would rather poke my eyes out with rusty nails than________.
Eat seafood.
Fill in the blank: On my private island, there would be a ________and my favorite_______but it wouldn’t be complete without a ______and _______.

 Satelitte Dish, Steakhouse, Library, my husband. 
Are you a concert person? How many you been to? And who?
Not so much. In fact, I can’t remember the last concert I went to. I love music, particularly country music, but I don’t go to the concerts because I’m not such a fan of beer-induced lack of inhibition.
A drunk guy passed out at Memphis in May during a Charlie Daniels concert and fell on top of me. My husband wanted to beat him senseless, but he already was… and comatose on the ground. Anywho, if you could pick one of your books to put on the big screen, which one would you choose and why?
At the moment, I’d choose Light To My Path, because the avalanche would be cool on the big screen.
Avanlanches! Suh-weet! I also like that title! This has been a blast, Erica! Everytime I talk to you I find out we have more and more in common! Before you leave this dog-and-pony show, do you have a question or want a reader to answer one of these? 
I’d love to have folks answer #8.
Okay everyone fill in the blank:
On my private island, there would be a ________and my favorite_______but it wouldn’t be complete without a ______and _______.

Come by Erica’s blog and do Friday Five with me! CLICK HERE! Hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend!

Tag-a-doodle Doo

I rode this elephant in Burma (Myanmar) Yep. I did.

So it’s very possible I’ve been watching too many Modern Family episodes. One of my favorites is when Cam calls his drink a Drink-a-doodle doo. I say that now. Apparently, it’s carrying over to my post titles. Whatayagonnado?

I want to say thanks so much to Cathy over at Thoughts on Books for tagging me! Whoop! Go check her blog out. Click the red letters. RED LETTERS. 

Here’s the deal: I have to tell 11 random things about me, which I’m not since I already have 10 random things about me on another page (side bar) but…I’ll post 1 random thing, yah know in honor of following the rules. Then I have to answer 11 questions and make up 11 new questions for the people I tag. 

Everyone take a breath with me. 

Random thing about me: I’ve literally scared the pee out of the SAME woman, TWICE! Once, at a lock-in  (thought I was gonna say Band Camp didn’t ya?) I put on for the Women’s Ministry. While they were doing a scavenger hunt in the dark, I hid in the Pastor’s old shower, knowing they had to come there. When they pulled back the curtain….RAAAAAAARRRRRHHHHH! She went home and changed and came back. Priceless! The second time we went rolling/tp-ing houses and I turned the corner and scared her. I laughed then, but I get it now. I can’t jump on a trampoline without wetting myself. Having babies does stuff to yah. Anywho…


Would you rather go for a run or a walk?
Walk. I think better and day-dream better. When I’m running, I’m just focused on surviving.
What is your favorite movie?
I LOVE movies, so that’s a tough one. Right now, Lindsay Harrel and Melissa Tagg are screaming, JAWS! She loves JAWS! But that’s not my favorite. I love too many to have a favorite, but I’ll tell you I’ve seen Underworld: Rise of the Lichens at least 50 times! LOL…And I’ve seen CLUE 50 X 50 times. I just don’t know!
Do you have a pet?
Unfortunately. Let’s leave it at that.
What book in the Bible has moved you the most?
Song of Solomon hands down. HANDS. DOWN. Changed my life with Jesus. In a way that moves me to speak about it.
What is your favorite meal?
All my friends are screaming, “Sandwiches and soup!” They’d be right. I love a hot Turkey club on wheat and a bowl of veggie soup…or potato. LOVE.
If you could go back in time to live, what period would you choose and why?
Well, I’m not good with dates, so it’s hard for me to say a year because even when I’m reading historicals, sometimes I have to flip to the front again to remember what era I’m in. And I can’t tell you any of those years after the book is done. I remember periods by Cowboys and Indians, during slavery, during the war with Germany…or right after, when they wore flapper dresses, victorian–but I’m not sure how long that era lasted and it doesn’t matter I won’t remember if you tell me, Little House times, Dowton Abbey and Gosford Park times, and Biblical times.
I’d like to live during Dowton Abbey times but only if I got live upstairs! LOL I didn’t say Biblical because I’d only get to experience Jesus when He rolled into town. Now I get Him all the time. (Before death that is–after death…well it’s too hot and hard and who cares)
Do you enjoy watching sports? If so whats your favorite?
Ok this has zip to do with sports but DH just asked me if I was going to eat before the circus and I said, “No, my stomach hurts. I don’t know why.”
He grinned. “If you’re eating a lot of salad now, like you say you are, it’s a shock to the system.”
 “Then I’m appalled.” I thought that was funny. I hate sports. I write while my hubby glues himself to football and baseball. Works for us.
Country or City Girl?
I like the country. It’s gorgeous but the truth is, it’s overrun with critters and mice and I’d prefer those things to stay outside my house and pantry. But not the city like New York, because crowds and rushing brings out my pre-saved self. It’s ugly. Real ugly.
What kind of music do you enjoy the most?
I love all sorts of music, but I tend to gravitate towards haunting contemporary music with an acoustic and piano in the background (it’s the Jesse Patch genre), or usually the last song of every Vampire Diaries because I download them all on iTunes! Great for imagining scenes.
Beach or Mountain Vacation?
Mountains are pretty but once you’re up them, what’s there to do but get altitude sickness, see some wildlife, and come back down? Beach.
What author has influenced you the most in your christian walk and why?
Beth Moore because her Bible studies are amazing. When I want deep intimacy, I read Spurgeon. I’m a huge fan of Bob Roe but he only wrote 2 studies before he died. When I found out he was in heaven, I cried. I’m selfish like that. And I love Tozer and R.C. Sproul. That’s more than one, but it is what it is. Oh wait! Jerry Bridges. Not the actor, that’s Jeff. 

My 11 Questions:
1. Chocolate or Vanilla and why?
2. Have you ever shoplifted? Ever thought about it? 
3. Colored polish or French manicure?
4. Where’s the last place on earth you’d want to visit and why?
5. What’s your least favorite food?
6. How many licks do you think it really does take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?
7. Hotels or camping?
8. Which celebrity that is alive (there is no Jesus loop-hole here, people) would you like to meet and why?
9. Do you have a smart phone? Can you live without it? Be honest…okay you can. Would you want to? Be honest.
10. If you could be any animal which one would you be and why?
11. Home cooked or 5 star meal?

I’m tagging EVERYONE, mostly because I want to read all your answers! 🙂 If you don’t blog, do this in a facebook note or post. Or email me. LOL

Hap, Hap, Happy Friday! If you can’t play the game, answer one or more of the questions in the comments!

Cheesy Pick-up Lines


First off, we have a winner for the Urban Translation Fun contest! This is the one with the most votes:

“I stroked the fake cookie duster I’d pressed on my upper lip and peeked at my subject from behind my copy of the shelf esteem runaway best-seller “Say Yes To The Mess” wondering if my giving him the book off had disguised the fact that I was investigating him for the murder of his wife.”

by: Erica Vetsch!  Thanks everyone for participating and voting! Everyone had great sentences! 

Now, on with the show this is it!

True story: A friend called. She’d been out at a few clubs, in Memphis. TN. Not Egypt. And a guy actually said to her: 


“You must be from Tennessee because you’re the only ten I see.” 

Silence hung on the line for a moment as I took it in. Finally, after a snort I said, “What did you say?”

 “I gave him the look and said, ‘Uh, yeah, we’re all from Tennessee. This is…Tennessee.’ And then I made myself scarce.”

After I laughed and made some of my own jokes, she finished telling me about her night and I hung up. I thought those lines were only used in silly movies. Someone really used that? And yes, this is going in a book. I’m telling you now.

So I looked up some really bad lines. Here are a few of my favorites:

“Pardon me miss, I seem to have lost my phone number, could I borrow yours?”
“So, you’re a girl huh?”
“Good day for weather.”  (this makes me laugh every time!) 
“I’m sorry, were you talking to me? (No.) Well then, please start.”
“If I could rearrange the alphabet, I would put U and I together.”
“Do you know karate? Because your body is really kickin’.”
“Baby, if you were words on a page, you’d be what they call FINE PRINT!”
“Well, here I am. What were your other two wishes?”
Okay, what I want you to do is pick one of these lines and respond to it!  I can’t wait to read the comments
 and crack up! 

Urban Translation Contest! Vote!

Friday before last, I posted some words from the Urban dictionary and had you use them in sentences. I picked the top 3 choices, but today YOU need to vote for your favorite one!
The winner gets his/her choice of:
  • A first chapter critique by moi
  • A guest post


  • A fun interview on the blog


To read the Urban Translation Fun post and see all the comments, click HERE!
It was really hard to choose. They were all hilarious. Congrats everyone! Here’s the Top 3 in no particular order:
“I stroked the fake cookie duster I’d pressed on my upper lip and peeked at my subject from behind my copy of the shelf esteem runaway best-seller “Say Yes To The Mess” wondering if my giving him the book off had disguised the fact that I was investigating him for the murder of his wife.”
“What do a man with a cookie duster and a man with a shelf esteem book have in common? 
They are both likely to get the book off!”
“Whipping out a shelf esteemer entitled, “Happiness Is A Choice”, I prepared to give the tall man with the cookie duster the book off — then realized my mistake when I recognized him from the picture on the back cover.”
Whichever one gets the most votes by midnight, Tuesday, wins! I’ll announce the winner on Friday!
Happy Monday! Have a great week!

A Most Bizarre Monday

For the last eight maybe ten months, I’ve had major neck, shoulder, and back problems. Bad posture, hunching over a computer screen, lack of consistent exercise…

Then I got carpal tunnel in both hands. Seriously? I’m a writer. This isn’t going to fly.

So, a few friends at church told me about this Christian lady who does massage therapy and works wonders. 


I showed up at her place, filled out the form and a few minutes later, I’m in my birthday suit, nose to the ceiling, ready for healing. 

It’s dark, music is lightly playing in the background. She knocks. Enters. Feels around on my neck and head.

My eyes are closed. Now, I know going into this, I’m not going to be comfortable. That’s not what this massage is for. I’ve had full body massages before. This one is for working out the pain. 

I heard a glove snap.

She’s going to massage me with gloves on? That’s….different.

She stepped up to me and said, “Now I want you to open your mouth wide.”

My first thought: “Shut the front door! You want me to what?!”

Instead, I said (in a shaky voice), “Ok…” 

Do I actually say AAAAAH? Or just open wide? 

I opened wide, and she put her gloved finger along the inside of my jaw. “Now clench your teeth together and when I say ‘inhale’ open your mouth wide…inhale like a yawn or like you’re afraid.”

Oh act afraid? Honey, that won’t be hard.

“While your mouth is open wiggle your jaw, then when I say drop, relax it. Ready?”

Not so much.

But…I did it. I did it a lot. And apparently the muscles were really jammed. After an hour of her working my neck, back and yes, my mouth, I felt better than I have in months! I actually cried because I had forgotten what it was like to NOT hurt.

She also could tell I had a bunch of earaches as a child and then she put her finger in my ear and another finger in my mouth and made me do the scared-jaw-wiggle thingy. Guess what? Something ran out of my ear. At first I thought, “OMG, she’s punctured my eardrum. My ear is bleeding. My. ear. is. bleeding.

But it wasn’t.

And I feel so much better! On top of all that, she prayed with me throughout the session, which was cool and yes I marked I wanted prayer on the sheet. Who wouldn’t want prayer when it’s offered? Okay, probably lots of people, but whatever.

I also got a major buzz from sucking in so much O2. Imagine sucking in lungfuls of air like you’re terrified, wiggling your jaw, shooting your arms in the air all at these commands. Raise up, inhale, wiggle wiggle wiggle, exhale, drop. Gooood. Inhale…push up…push, wiggle, exhale, relax.

It was like Zumba for my mouth. 

After I left there, I went to the tanning bed (don’t judge) and when I came out the little girl working the counter– and I say little girl because when you wear hot pink bands on your braces, you’re a little girl--asked, “Was that floor in there dirty to you?” 

“What?!” Please tell me that bed was clean. And for the love, why don’t you just look for yourself and not freak out a customer.

“Like, I mean was it…dirty?” She was an ace at description/imagery.

I stared at her a moment, the silver and pink mouth flashing like a bar sign. “Well… it didn’t shout lewd remarks at me while I tanned.” 

She kinda grinned, not sure if I was serious or horsing around with her. Which is how I like it.

“Do you mean like stains (sweet mother!) or like lint or paper?” Because dirty can mean many things. 

“Just dirty.” Oh well, that cleared everything up.

“I think I’d notice if the floor was really filthy. Pretty sure you’re safe.” I’m not sure I had been.

“Sweet.” She beamed, cocked her head to the side and looked proud of herself. Though, I’m not sure what she was proud of? Hiding dirt? Slushy stains? Who knows!

“Yeah…sweet.” I’m sure when Spring Break is over, which is today, I’ll see the usual woman again. Only downside, I’ll be stuck listening to country music. If I wanted to hear about bars, booze, trucks, and fishing, I wouldn’t have went to the tanning bed. I’d have taken a trip to Sportsmen’s Wearhouse and eavesdropped, or called my brother. The girl did play some nice tunes. 

Then I went to work and put my foot in my mouth, but that isn’t bizarre. That’s typical.

Crazy kick-off to my Spring Break week. But I felt good. And I didn’t get any infections or rashes from the tanning bed, so…

Do you like massages–the relaxing kind? Any weird experiences?Have a great weekend, friends! 

The Perfect Spring Break


My kids are on Spring Break this week! We’re already packed, the kids have cleaned their rooms and made their beds–Myles’ isn’t perfect, but he’s 7. They’ve already made a list of the games they’ll play in the car since it’s a long drive to the beach. It’s going to be lovely and peaceful. Myles has figured out what kind of castle he plans to build, Bailey is more of a water girl, so she says she’ll spend most of the time jumping waves. The sea air, sand between our toes. We’ll have the family photo on the beach….

Needles scratching across the record…Now! ZZZZZZZZPPPPPP.

We’re not going anywhere, and if my kids made their bed without being told, we’d definitely not spend Spring Break at the beach because we’d spend it in the ER, while they checked me out for possible cardiac arrest. But we have plans to do some fun things locally,and we love board games, so I see a few nights of Battleship (which I hate), Apples to Apples, and my favorite board game of all time…Clue. I rock that game.

I’m sure we’ll bowl, dance, and hunt on the Wii. I’m really looking forward to the week. We’ll hit the zoo with their new dinosaur exhibit and camel rides. And we’ll probably spend a day at Incredible Pizza. 

Needles scratching across the record…Now! ZZZZZZZZPPPPPP.

Oh wait…my daughter has hit 13. Let me back up. This week, I’ll be chauffeuring her to and from Youth events, slumber parties, movies, and wondering why I let her leave the house when I see her room looks like an episode of Hoarders. 

And my son will hole up in his bedroom with his 3DS, until we hit the zoo and Incredible Pizza because he’s ticked I win all the Wii and board games. Life it tough. I never give the game away. He can work hard and win… or lose. Mostly he loses and pouts. I bet there’s a life lesson there.


So that’s what our break will look like! And for the love do NOT google “spring break” because you won’t get family pictures. 

In a perfect world, this is what I’d like to be doing. And don’t judge me because my kids and hubby aren’t involved–they’re at slumber parties and holed up in bedrooms that smell like wet dogs and old milk and he’s at work.


Do your family vacations or breaks ever turn out the way you dream them up? 

*I’ll probably be scarce this week since I’ll be lying in the grass reading i.e. dragging unhappy kids to exhibits they care nothing about…but I’ll try to pop in and say hi!