Monday, January 07, 2008


The past year is behind us now. There's no going back to reverse something you've said or recoup the time you've wasted. So don't waste time on regret. Our time is too short on the planet for that. January is always considered the month to start again fresh. That's why the magazines and television programs have all the advice that you'll ever need on how to lose the weight you've gained during the holidays, get organized, make a career change, or tackle a project that you've put off.

After a week of angst, from a painful shot into a nerve in my foot, I started yesterday with my usual 2 mile walk, just so I could place a big check-mark off my "to do" list. I'm all about making lists, and I feel so good when I can use a red pen to strike out the chores that I've completed. My daughter, Sheri does the same thing. We both get great satisfaction from making lists. At least I'm back to normal mode with somewhat of a routine established.

I'm looking forward to whatever this year will bring into my life. I hope mainly good things. I'm working on my second book with thoughts of the third one drifting through my mind and the hope of a possible movie being made from my first book. My critique group will start meeting again next week, and I'm excited about that because of the support and ideas that we brainstorm. Some, are very funny, and we have a good time discussing how the plot can be improved over coffee at Border's or here at my house. My crit bud, Kelly, gave me a sign for Christmas that reads-"Never Go to Bed Angry, Just Stay up at 'Plot' Your Revenge." I love it! A writer's mind never stops. We see a story in almost everything. So many stories, so little time.

I've read some great books this year, some of which I've reveiwed on my blog. My circle of writer friends has expanded and I thank God for that. So many of them through the ACFW who are willing to help other writers succeed and give of their time and talents.

One special sweet friend, Kristy Dykes, is going through kemo for a brain tumor, and still offers encouragement daily. She's got the "joy, joy, joy" down in her heart, as the song goes. Her hair is falling out, but not her enthusiasm for the Lord. Even through her illness, I guarantee that she will lift your spirits, not matter what trial that you are facing today. Check out her blog for the latest update at

Have a great time planning out your new year, but remember that "Man plans in his heart, but God directs his steps."

Sunday, January 06, 2008



If I had to recommend one book that I consider my favorite this year, it would have to be Jim Robinson’s Prodigal Song. This book was first released in 2003. Jim’s beautifully written memoir created exceptional visual imagery of his early childhood, adolescence and adulthood, with such clarity that I could almost smell the pines or taste the ocean’s salty air. It was provocative, heartbreaking and deeply anguishing to read at times. It was so moving that I couldn’t wait to turn the page. Knowing that this was a real person’s experience into headlong disaster made me want to shout---No! Don’t do that to yourself. Many passages in the book bring certain tears.

This is the story of Jim’s surrendering totally to God, and the realization that the God of the universe had walked with him throughout his life, just waiting for him to render his life into His hands. In stark honesty, he allows us to glimpse into his very soul that longs for acceptance, longing and love, through just about every event that life affords, to take us further and further away from God. But most of all, it is about the power of grace that can only be obtained through a sovereign God that removes the spiritual separation barrier.

Walk with Jim through life’s greatest trials of drugs and alcohol abuse to find victory and success as God uses him in an incredible way through music and a ministry for many others walking a similar path.

For further exploration, visit Jim Robinson’s website.

Friday, January 04, 2008



I received my copy late, and Kim’s book had already hit the bookstores. Trying to read it during the busy month of December and the holidays, etc., caused me to fall behind for this review, but definitely not because it didn’t hold my attention. As always, I love Kim’s writing style and vivid characters. In the continuing Sommerfield trilogy, Beth Quinn shares the faith of the Mennonites, but still feels like an outsider, especially now that her mother is married and expecting twins. She feels like she is standing on the outside looking in on their sweet happy family and feels a little sorry for herself. Beth is a stained glass artist and opens a shop that becomes a lucrative business after a shaky start, with long hours in her studio away from family. Andrew Braun works for her and not only shares her loves of designing stain glass, but conveys his affection to her.

Her designs catch the eye of businessman, Sean McCauley, and they strike a deal for stained glass windows for churches that his dad’s construction company builds. He becomes more interested in Beth each time he visits her studio, and Andrew openly shows his displeasure. Beth has been hurt before and is very cautious to both men’s attentiveness.

A crisis paves the way for Beth to finally feel a part of her mom’s life again. When she puts family first, she finally learns to trust God in all areas of her life.

What can I say? Great read, Kim, reflecting your Gentle Stories of Hope. I can’t wait for the third book. Thanks Kim!