Wednesday, August 29, 2007
One of my favorite OCW authors and a huge supporter of our journey toward publishing. She endorsed our first book!
An OCW friend with a strong desire to write. Reading her comments usually has me laughing. Watch for any comments by Bill's Waste of Air.
A powerhouse author, a seeker of truth. He's not afraid to talk about abortion, birth control, treasures in heaven...or his grandkids. :-)
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Clean Freak Mama took a summer vacation, but with the first day of school a week away,...she's baaack!
My grandmother even commented on the messiness of my house the other day. "I didn't think you were normal--always having a clean house."
Well, normal is not something I ever want to be. As if I could choose. The next day I wrote every room in the house on a list, cut the list into strips, and let the kids take turns choosing the next room to tackle. Usually the kids are responsible for their own areas, but this time we all worked together.
We couldn't leave the chosen room until EVERYTHING had been done. Using lemon oil, my daughter buffed the woodwork to a shine. We hung shelves and clocks, threw out broken lamps, bagged up outgrown shoes, and dusted every crook and nanny--or something like that. :-)
Doesn't that sound like such a happy time? Isn't cleaning so much fun? Okay, there were moments five hours into the marathon that we all started losing it, but we came out stronger on the other side.
When my husband came home from working a twelve-hour day, our son said he wanted to be like him.
"How sweet! Why do you want to be like Daddy?"
"Because he doesn't have to clean."
Cleaner Shrimp photo by Zpyder
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.
2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
3. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog-post containing your own middle name game facts.
4. At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
Marie--which is French for Sea of Bitterness. Uh-oh, I don't like the direction this is heading!
M - Married Mommy. It's who I am, non-stop. In the middle of the night I'm mindful of the noises coming from my children's rooms. Rarely do I make a decision without considering its effect upon my husband's life. Relationships are forever...another reason to love being a daughter of the Lord.
(I tend not to break the board at Taekwon-do when I'm in Mommy Mode! My instructor has to remind me of that every now and then.)
A - Animated. Someone could make a really great cartoon out of me. When we won the "BIG" money on Family Feud, I was a wee bit excited. Some of my cousins have watched the episode on slo-mo and swear my jaw actually became unhinged. I enjoy life and I'm vocal about it!
R - Real. At least I try to be. I'll tell you anything, absolutely anything, if you ask. I try to say what I mean, live with integrity, and keep in the Word--great way to keep grounded.
I - Intelligent. The only reason I'm posting that is because my husband said it when I got stuck on I. It's terribly sweet of him to say that instead of some other words I can think of!
E - Emotional. I can cry at Hallmark commercials. Years ago, after sending our proposal to a top agency, an agent asked to see a portion of the book. Ecstatic, Mom and I ran into the backyard, spun around, and fell to our backs in the grass. (Later, we were turned down.) I can't imagine what we'll do when we actually sign a publishing contract!
& Tammy Bowers
Side note: I'm typing this pretty late at night and my daughter is sleeping on the couch in our room--a special treat for her. I heard her murmuring and turned to see what was happening. The cat was curled up next to her, but she must have thought she was grabbing a stuffed animal. She curled her arm around him and squeezed him up to her neck. The cat was not amused! He has now moved to her legs. :-)
Monday, August 20, 2007
My hubby noticed the expiration date on the bottom of the container at this time--TWO MONTHS AGO! (Unless Aussies use date of sale instead of expiration. Rel?) However, I'd promised Donna to eat the whole thing, so I called in the stunt double for the Vegemite. Look closely and you will be able to determine what looked just like it but was more enjoyable to eat.
Friday, August 17, 2007
A) Tell you all I really didn't do anything to Donna and this whole thing has been a marketing ploy.
B) Make up a completely different prank and weave a cool story around it. The idea of doing this cracks me up, as Donna would be flabbergasted. WHAT? But I don't have the time or brain cells necessary.
C) Tell the truth.
Since I'm supposed to come clean to win back Donna's friendship, I better stick with option C.
Despite professional advice barring starting a story with back story, I must start there because the setup for this prank began days before the event, coded Operation Stuff a Scarecrow.
Part of my time on the hospitality committee was spent setting up rides for the faculty to and from the airport. I lined up a ride for our keynoter Angela Hunt with a huge fan of her work, Ernie Wenk. Not too long after, I found out Donna had already arranged to chauffeur the lovely Angie. As gently as I could, I broke the news to Ernie. Somewhere in his rant, he made a threat to sabotage Donna's talent show act. Being the conscientious citizen that I am, I passed along this disturbing information to Donna, but withheld the part about me encouraging him.
Fast forward to the last night of the conference. Angie gave a stirring, beautiful speech. Then we stretched our legs--and mouths--for a little while until the talent show was to start. As I was innocently meandering around the room, I noticed a small white box tucked under Donna's chair. I tiptoed up, sure she would stop her conversation and catch me at any time. My hands grasped the edges of the box. Nothing. I slid it back, inch by inch. Nothing. Giddy, I hurried back over to my seat.
"I'm all a-quiver!" I giggled as Mom took this picture, then I filled our small group in on what I'd done.
"Put it back," Mom urged. But did I listen to Mother-Knows Best?
A few seconds later, Donna noticed the box was not where she had left it. Or was it? She walked up and down a few rows of chairs, searching under the seats. I've got to say, this was the BEST part of the whole thing. At any moment, I'm assuming, she would come looking for Ernie or me. Obviously, the ones who'd made the threat against her unique instruments would be the culprits, right?
I hadn't counted on the adrenaline rush. I'm pretty sure the only thing going through Donna's mind at that point was Where is the box?!? See, I knew her act wasn't up until the fourth spot, but she didn't. And she'd practised a new trick involving a banana for quite some time.
She spotted me with the missing box on my lap. Cheeks flaming, she rushed toward me.
Oh, no! Had I overstepped the boundaries of our relationship? I begged her forgiveness and promised her it'd be funny in the morning.
Her act was superb, even though I had messed with her "mojo" and caused her to be short of breath. Every now and then, she'd toss out a remark about a certain audience member needing to be removed from the building.
To conclude, I did it all because I really LIKE Donna and I knew she'd take the joke well. Which she has, though The Punishment will be posted on Monday.
Maybe next time I'll listen to my mother!
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Isn't that the most gorgeous picture? It's my first nature/action shot and I love it. A patch of flowers grows right outside the bookstore at the Canby Grove Conference Center and the butterflies were going bonkers over all the lovely blooms.
Some of you, like Tammy, may be wondering why I am talking about butterflies and flowers. Get on with the prank story! This is called "drawing out the tension" and I'm allowed to do it because I call myself an author.
Sure hope I can get the prank post written tonight though. Our dogs are in heat so we've been transporing them back and forth from the "love nest." And don't worry. We made sure the sire believes in Jesus, too! Really, there have been some pretty funny--yet unprintable--jokes around here the last few days. Shame on my mother....
And the normal busyness.
Monday = Taekwon-do
Tuesday = Tap & first soccer practise ever & love nest run
Wednesday = Park trip & Taekwon-do & love nest run & send ACFW paid critique in at 3 AM
Today = Dentist & soccer practise & AWANA training & love nest run
Tomorrow = Prank post & pack for weekend camping (be ready by 1) & celebrate my grandmother's birthday at lunch
This is the Tabernacle, where A.W. Tozer once spoke. The agent/editor/author appointments are held in here. We had terrific results this year. Editor A wants the first six chapters of On the Threshold. Editor 2 wants the best three chapters of both books. Editor III wants the whole manuscripts of both books!
(I did the little A-2-III thing to drive those perfectionists nuts.)
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Digging a little deeper into the last post, I forgot to share that Wendy Lawton represents Donna's entertainment interests, which have a lot to do with The Prank. Only one more post after this one and you get to hear what went down pre-talent show at the 2007 Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference.
Take a good look at the upper left hand corner of this page. See that smiling innocent face? Behind that mask of guilelessness lurks a hidden nature. One capable of playing a hideous prank on sweet Donna. Aren't you dying to know what I did? Your wait is drawing to an end...in just a few short days. Bwah-ha-ha!
And now we return to the regularly scheduled blog about OCW: The Purpose.
Fellowship is definitely a high point of a Christian conference, but the purpose for going is discipleship. Attending a conference is like taking a crash course in bettering one's writing skills. There are panels with tons of editors squeezed together on the stage, workshops, coaching classes, appointments with editors, and the amazing keynote speeches.
Look! Here we are now with the awesome keynoter, Angela Hunt.
She reminded us to remove ourselves from the sacred space between the minister and the listener. This goes for all kind of creative arts. There is a miracle, a connection, that occurs between a speaker and each audience member, an author and each reader, a singer and each listener. No critical man--or woman--should dare to enter that "sacred space."
My other favorite thing from Angela's speech? Her impression of her goofy dog that appeared on Live with Regis and Kelly. Must see in person to appreciate! (I think the camera took the picture in the middle of her "cheese," but I still have to post it because it's the only one of the two of us.)
We had the most fantastic time in Karen Ball's class despite her making us--gasp!--write. One of her writing exercises had Mom, Miriam, and me in stitches. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard for so long.
As you can see, Karen is a very serious woman who scorns the things of fools. I, too, flee at the slightest whiff of fun and frolic, so we got along rather nicely.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
A new friend that I didn't expect to see: Miralee Ferrell. I've gotten to know Miralee through Shoutlife. Her first book, The Other Daughter, releases this fall.
Here I am with Robin Parrish. I'm holding his book, Relentless, which I bought for my husband.
And another real life meeting with an Internet personality. Camy Tang taught an awesome workshop on HTML for dummies. I love meeting her and getting to see her in action, though I'm most grateful for how she kept her roommates in check.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
~my first photo of a particular insect--yes, it's so particular it only eats certain kinds of organic grass! Ba-dum-bum.
~photo after photo of the best editors, agents, and writers (both published and un) this great nation has to offer.
~the dastardly tale of the wretched prank played on Donna Fleisher.
~the punishment Donna meted out on that poor, unfortunate soul.
So stay tuned, you won't want to miss a single post of this exciting series! And now, to the first post which is connected to OCW by a tenuous thread.
Who is this scary man, you ask? No, it is not a picture of OCW Treasurer Ernie Wenk, though I have no doubt he is also this tough when placed in the wild. This is a snapshot of Bear Grylls, the host of a Discovery Channel program called Man vs. Wild. My aunt thinks he looks like my son, especially in the eyes and the mouth. She even insinuated that I might have "met" this guy at some point in time. The nerve! I'm so deeply offended, I'll be emailing her to check out this blog immediately.
But how does this fit under the OCW week category? My Auntie Depressant, as she calls herself, sent this the day before we were to leave for the conference. There we were, up to our necks in gift bags, greenery, speaker systems, and sand bags when this ridiculous accusation comes through by email.
Of course, we dropped everything and took this picture to document that my son looks nothing like Dear Bearie, which is my little nickname for--oops, I mean that TV host I've never met.