2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
The Premier Magazine forâ&#x20AC;Ś. Lovers of the Written Word! ~Est. Oct. 2011~
Pamela S Thibodeaux CEO, Editor, Ad Sales Director http://thewordsmithjournalmagazine.com
Welcome to the November 2012 issue of The Wordsmith Journal Magazine! I can hardly believe it is November already! Thanksgiving is upon us and the Christmas season is right around the corner.
Oh give thanks unto the Lord for He is good, His mercy endures forever! (1 Chron. 16:34)
When choosing this month's template I wanted to use something other than the typical Thanksgiving motif -- you know, the horn of plenty or table laden with turkey and trimmings. Yet, I still wanted something to reflect the festive atmosphere of the holiday. What better than a table set and waiting for company, warmth radiating from the bright outdoors -- brought inside by huge windows and a couple of balloons?
Columns & Blogs: The Proactive Author by W. Terry Whalin You Are Not Alone by Dawn Kidd Behind the Mystery by Ellen Kennedy Michele's Musings by Michele Abshire Faith & Fitness by Kellye Davis The Power of Positive Faith by LaSharnda Beckwith Consider This by Rita Schulte Pamela's Ponderings by Pamela S Thibodeaux
In This Month's Issue
Warm, Cozy, Festive, Inviting. I pray your Thanksgiving is all of the above! Last month we had a poll up on the site for about a week asking readers and authors if they would be interested in participating in an online book club. The response was very favorable so I've put together a list of guidelines which can be found on our For Readers page. If interest and participation warrants, we'll get busy putting this together and implementing it. This month, I'm introducing a new column, Pamela's Ponderings in which I will share with you some truths I've discovered on my journey of faith. Also, be sure to check out our Guest Editorial by Tracy Krauss! Now I'd like to share a short Thanksgiving poem I wrote: A day set aside for grateful hearts To express gratitude to God for gifts He imparts. Since His mercies are new every morning, Dear Shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t we Thank Him each day of the year? When you gather with family and those you love Please remember to give Thanks and Praise to God above. ÂŠ Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
Book Reviews: The Oldest Enemy by Michael Webb A Warrior for Christmas by Beth Trissel YA Perspective with Sarah Heath: Featuring Author Melody Carlson's True Colors Series! SR Perspective ... Just Saying by Barb Shelton Short Stories Midlife Miracle by Alice Klies Moss by June Bryan Belfie Sparrows by Kat Heckenbach What Happened Next by Shawna K Williams Book Store Featured Books Featured Trailers Featured Publisher Revell Books Special Group Ads Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers Pelican Book Group Author Pages Mary Manners ~ All Rights Reserved
Kathi Macias Michelle Sutton JM Hochstetler Shawna K Williams Delia Latham Tracy Krauss Beth Trissel
to release an ancient evil upon an unsuspecting world. Along with his father, the murdered girl’s sister, and a fierce Auschwitz survivor, David faces hell itself to prove his innocence and stop a reclusive German billionaire from unleashing a worldwide holocaust. The Oldest Enemy is available @ Amazon for Kindle and in Print!
Author Interviews: William Burt Tim Redmond Karen Kilby Liz Curtis Higgs
The Oldest Enemy Michael Webb ISBN#: 978-1936835126 David Lighthouse was once a hard-hitting investigative reporter for the Denver Post—back before he was accused of the brutal murder of his fiancée and his life unraveled. Now, six years later, he is the assistant pastor of a small church in Florida. Armed with faith, sobriety, and a resurrected sense of purpose, he’s putting together a new life. But when one of his young parishioners is murdered, David’s old instincts reemerge. Once again the prime suspect, he fights to clear his name even as disturbing clues at the crime scene reveal a haunting connection not only to his fiancée’s unsolved murder but to his estranged father’s secret past. David suddenly finds himself the target of sinister, supernatural forces as he tracks down a conspiracy © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
Review of The Oldest Enemy By Deena Peterson "The Oldest Enemy" by Michael J. Webb is NOT for the faint of heart, or for the chicken-hearted! Exorcism, spiritual warfare, Israel and the supernatural are all tackled in this very ambitious and well-written novel. Investigative reporter turned pastor, David Lighthouse attends the funeral for a member of his congregation, certain that he should have done more, been more, and sheltered her more than he did. Memories of his past are stirred, and they are not of the pleasant nature. Will he ever truly be forgiven, or forever carry the burden? Lauren Barkley, the deceased's sister, isn't certain she likes, much less trusts David. After all, according to him, he allowed her sister to die. But she wants answers, and she's going to need help in order to find them. A reluctant partnership is formed...but will it lead to more...or will it lead to trouble? Michael transitions from scenes involving Lauren and David to some mysterious gathering centered around a rather unlikable fellow named Eric Reinhardt. He seeks to stop David and Lauren at all costs, and he has the power to do so at his disposal. What--or who--gives him that power? The reader will find out as the book progresses. Also thrown into the mix are scenes from Israel as Moshe and his companions battle both a visible and invisible enemy. Be warned: this isn't like any 'endtime' novel you've ever read. Twists and turns abound, but Michael succeeds in demonstrating just who our read enemy truly is. The two stories ~ All Rights Reserved
come together in an explosive and ending that I did not see coming. An ending that, while unexpected, is very satisfying. Truthfully, I almost didn't read this one. Some of the scenes had the hair on the back of my neck at attention...I didn't dare read at night. Nope, this was a 'daytime only' novel! Because of that, I don't feel comfortable recommending it to all readers. The supernatural scenes are powerful, and very vivid. If you are a fan of stories that can make you jump and think, pick this one up. But if your taste runs to lighter fare...you are advised to give this one a pass.
A Warrior for Christmas Beth Trissel Coming December 5th! Reclaimed by his wealthy uncle, former Shawnee captive Corwin Whitfield finds life with his adopted people at an end and reluctantly enters the social world of 1764. He plans to return to the colonial frontier at his first opportunity--until he meets Uncle Randolph's ward, Dimity Scott. Deaf since a childhood bout of Scarlet fever, Dimity Scott intends to be cherished for herself, not her guardian's purse, even if it means risking spinsterhood. Then the rugged newcomer arrives, unlike any man she's ever known. Dimity has learned to manage her silent world, but unaccustomed to the dangers of the frontier, can she expect love and marriage from Corwin, who longs to return to his Shawnee life?
By Deborah Piccurelli This Christmas novella is part of the An American Rose Christmas anthology, and was a delight to read; just the type of story I like around the holidays. Beth Trissel is a master in the historical romance genre. In A Warrior for Christmas, Corwin Whitfield has returned to Whitfield Place, an estate outside Philadelphia, to be his Uncle Randolph’s heir. Corwin had been taken by Indians as a child, then raised by them. Uncle Randolph introduces to Corwin his ward, Dimity Scott. His hope is that Corwin will share in her guardianship, as Dimity’s mother had died from Pox, and her father taken by war. Dimity has been deaf since her bout with scarlet fever. At first, Corwin sees Dimity as very plain, but as soon as she smiles, he is captivated. He puts aside any attraction he has to Dimity, as he doesn’t intend to stay at Whitfield Place. He plans to return to his adopted people. Dimity finds Corwin to be very pleasant, too. As time goes on, Corwin and Dimity spend time together and get to know one another. Soon, love blooms, but Dimity knows Corwin feels the call of the wild, and does not want to force him to stay in a life where he isn’t happy. Will a Christmas miracle occur to solve both their problems? Beth Trissel is an award-winning author, with lots of books under her belt. This is the first book I’ve read that she’s written, and would venture to say I’d enjoy her other historical romances, too. Her attention to detail for the period of this novella is outstanding, yet doesn’t bog down the story. I especially liked that the heroine has a handicap, which makes her all the more real. If you like sweet historical romances, you’ll fall in love with A Warrior for Christmas.
Review of A Warrior for Christmas © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
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~~~~~~~ Mid-Life Miracle By Alice Klies © Nov 2012 The doctor pursed his lips. His voice softened when he repeated that I was almost three months pregnant. “Impossible,” I shouted. “I’m forty-four years old.” I shuddered, tingles racing down my back to my toes. How can this be?
when I began to bleed and cramp. My doctor explained that I had placenta previa. Placenta previa occurs when the placenta implants itself in the lower part of the uterus, too close to the neck of the birth canal. A portion or sometimes the entire placenta blocks the birth canal. As the fetus grows and the uterus expands, placental blood vessels rupture, resulting in a painless bright red bleeding that can be severe. This can cause pre-term birth. He ordered bed rest to prevent this possibility. I winced, clutching my abdomen the morning of July 15,-twenty-seven weeks into my pregnancy. It was too early for me to be in labor. Ray was already working his early shift with the Highway Patrol. If he had been home, maybe he could have put me in his patrol car, turned on the flashing red lights and soothed my fears. Instead, when the pain became severe, I drove myself to my doctor who sent me directly to the hospital. They monitored my pain level and after a few hours, doctors decided to transfer me to a hospital that specialized in premature births. Riding in an ambulance is down right scary!
Still trembling from the news, I drove home to tell Ray he was going to be a father again. We were empty nesters entering a new season of our lives. We relished our freedom and new life together. Our kids will think we’ve lost our minds! Our friends are going to roll on the floor with laughter. My parents might have heart attacks when they hear they’re going to be grandparents again. Diapers, colic, up all night … oh my. During our first appointment with a neonatal doctor, Ray asked if it was safe for me to have a baby at my age. The doctor’s lips curled up at the corners. He told us he’d delivered several healthy babies to women over forty. He gave us a thumb up and said, “Just think, this will be the first time you will raise a child as adults.” Ray laughed. I choked back tears. Tests confirmed I carried a normal baby girl, but my subdued fear of pregnancy turned to panic © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
Ray arrived in uniform. Visibly upset, he told me how scary it was to receive a call from dispatch that his wife was taken by ambulance to a hospital. His trips to any hospital, while on duty, usually meant someone was hurt or dead. I lay on my left side in labor for three days. On July 18, doctors explained to us that our baby’s lungs would have a better chance maturing if they could get corticosteroids in me for forty-eight hours. (Use of steroids reduces by half, the incidence of hyaline membrane disease.) We agreed to the procedure. On July 20, we were forced to make a decision. It appeared our baby was indeed going to present herself early. She lay in a breech position with her feet already in the birth canal. The umbilical cord tangled at her feet gave doctors concern. If they performed a Cesarean section now, they would be working in a controlled situation. Our doctor told ~ All Rights Reserved
November 2012 Ray that if the already strained water sac broke, there could be complications. He might lose our baby, and me. We opted for a C-section. Soft music hummed on an intercom in the delivery room. I suppose this was to soothe patients. The anesthesiologist numbed me from the waist down. Even though I was awake, the whole scene seemed surreal. I looked around the room. Anxious eyes peered over the tops of masks that covered noses and mouths. Brows bunched up in wrinkles. Against the wall, two nurses attended to instruments and dials on an incubator. Minutes later, a two pound baby girl was whisked from my womb. Ray sat behind me praying out loud. The intercom volume came up suddenly and I heard Stevie Wonder singing, "I Just Called To Say I Love You." Tears flooded Ray’s cheeks. He squeezed my shoulder. The song was our song-a title we played over and over during our courtship. Ray’s head fell forward, close to mine. He feathered my forehead with a kiss and whispered, “ God is here Alice. He just called to say He loves us.” Ray explained later that he felt a strong push on his chest, like someone laying a hand on him. He said the force sent him backward slightly. The room turned warm and soft rainbow colors surrounded me. He said he felt like he was dreaming and at that moment our song began to play. No one will convince him that God wasn’t present. Wheeled to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, I wasn’t prepared for the blinking lights, humming machines and blaring alarms. The maze of machines, wires and hoses overwhelmed me. The nurse stopped in front of an incubator. In front of me lay a tiny bird like figure. Wires and needles were attached to many parts of her fragile looking body. She now weighed one pound nine ounces. Her frame. She was twelve inches long. Her jaundiced torso glowed under bilirubin lights providing phototherapy. She looked transparent. Prominent blue veins stood out like a road map underneath her skin. My heart ached. © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
5 Doctors and nurses explained that the sensor attached to her skin insured them that she wasn’t too cold or too warm. Our preemie’s nervous system wasn’t developed, so she couldn’t shiver or sweat. If body temperature isn’t monitored, the infant can burn up extra calories they can’t afford to lose. The alarm attached to her, monitored apnea. Apnea occurs when the baby forgets to breathe. Undetected, the heart rate can slow down, (called bradycardia) and can cause death. I questioned why we didn’t hear her cry. The nurse explained that preemies’ cries can’t be heard when they have a tube in their mouth. Later, when it’s removed, their little throats are so sore that crying might be too painful. I had to convince myself that these things were necessary to create an artificial womb for our baby. One of the nurses placed a sign above our baby’s incubator. It read: Please be patient, God isn’t finished with me yet. We named our tiny girl, Lindsey after the performer who played a bionic woman in a popular television series in the seventies. We figured Lindsey needed to be bionic to survive. Lindsey did indeed survive. She survived blood transfusions, brain hemorrhages and multiple complications. She remained in the hospital almost three months. She didn’t survive alone. Hundreds of friends, family and absolute strangers prayed for her. Ray and I wore calluses on our knees. The nurses admitted they prayed for all the babies during their shifts. Psalm 139: 13-16 (NIV) reads “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
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God made plans for Lindsey before we could ever imagine knowing her. Today, she is a beautiful young woman struggling in a world that is turned upside down. I can’t even begin to tip the world on its side to give her hope for her future but I know God is faithful and He will provide. I survived as well. Lindsey is truly a mid-life miracle. Her birth taught me many truths about myself. For the first time, I saw that my priorities were all wrong. They needed adjusting. I learned that life isn’t all about me. It’s not about my wants and desires. I had been giving God lip service but I hadn’t given Him my heart. When I reached out and put my trust in Him for Lindsey’s survival, He quieted my fears by letting me understand hope. Today, concern and empathy are words that throb in my brain. Difficult decisions are much easier to manage through my faith in Him. I believe God is compassionate and loving. He gave me a trial, which I thought was impossible to overcome. Then, He proved that ALL things are possible with Him. I believe God gives us what we can handle. I think He knows we learn something from every trial in our path. My mid-life miracle taught me to love unconditionally, to persevere and to rely on hope. Sometimes, God uses crisis to bring us closer to him. Author Bio: I have been writing and tucking my pieces in drawers since I was a teenager. Ten years ago I joined a writing group in our local neighborhood and began putting memoirs on paper. Two years ago I joined a Jerry Jenkins Word Weavers group and American Christian writers Association and other writers began to encourage me to submit my work. I have been published in an anthology book by Donna Goodrich, another anthology with Inspire Christian Writers and a feature article in Angels On Earth. My desire is to share my stories with hope that they will make a difference in another woman's life who might need some encouragement.
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Interview with Tim Redmond By Mary Nichelson Tim Redmond is a successful speaker, coach and author whose name alone is synonymous with ideals such as power, growth, innovation and wealth. That was not accomplished through hard work alone, though. “(He) grew a leading hightech company from 2 employees to over 450, and generated more than $120 million dollars in pretax profits. After the sale of the business to a Fortune 1000 company, Redmond founded Redmond Growth and dedicated his life to helping people discover their God-given path to personal purpose, passion and meaning in life.” His program works not only because of his strong business leadership skills, but by incorporating faith-based guidelines as well. It takes the foundation of education, knowledge, and yes, hard work to a new level. Or could a strong foundation in God-given truths alone insure success? It all depends on how you define success-especially as it relates to wealth. MN- You have been a leadership coach for over 25 years within churches, businesses and government venues. With so many coaches now available, what is your niche that has kept you in such demand all of these years?
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TR- Though coaching is highly competitive with scores of people pouring into this profession every year, it is also highly relational. Success hinges on the ability to connect with the heart and mind of the organization and individuals you are helping. That has been my focus and has allowed me to enjoy a level of success in the business coaching arena (helping leaders of all kinds of organizations create personal and organizational success). When I can connect deeply with my clients and unleash their God-given creativity and confidence resident within them, positive change begins to happen.
Whatever one pursues, she serves it in some way. I saw in the name of need, greed, and even what some felt was a divine destiny, people justifying their pursuit of more money and possessions. Where is God and our intimate relationship with Him in all of this? Shouldn’t our primary pursuit be God and his kingdom? What did God have in mind when he gave us the power to create wealth? Instead of allowing the world and its tendency towards corruption to define wealth, what if we could redefine wealth from a Biblical perspective? Answering these questions is the focus of the book.
Please note in the first 18 years, I coached leaders within the organization I worked and mentored selected leaders (I live to mentor and be mentored!). This provided me with a solid foundation of practical and extensive experience with which to build my current coaching business/ministry.
MN- If no other statement in your book qualifies you as a successful leader, this will become your calling card. "Relationships are God's obsession." Only someone that sees the value of money-or lack of-can make such a claim. The most valuable possession a leader has is the group of people working with him, but there are some leaders who refuse to see this particular worth in their employees, or church congregation, or civic group. They will not work at making that connection because they do not see the association between the two. Where is the starting point, the launching pad, for someone who might not understand this concept?
MN- Congratulations on the release of your new book, The Power to Create. Critics may say that you promise too much according to the wording on the back cover as it guarantees that your book is "a revolutionary way to redefine wealth, creativity, and your amazing purpose." However, unlike just another get rich quick book, you really do delve into truth regarding wealth. You say that from God's perspective, "there is much more to wealth than just obtaining possessions and pursuing money. Money is a result; it should never be our pursuit." Can you elaborate on that affirmation? TR- “Guarantees” sounds like too strong of a word but that line on the back cover of the book was worded to grab the attention of the reader and reflect the heart and intent of the book. In light of the manipulation, wickedness and abuse commonly connected with “wealth,” it is a radioactive, dangerous word to many Christians. Yet if Deuteronomy 8:18 NIV (But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth…) applies in any way to us today, we need to look at “wealth” from a different, more positive perspective. © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
TR- I am so glad this line stood out to you and like you naming it my calling card! Nurturing life-giving relationships IS the key to success in any endeavor. God’s kingdom is built on his nature of love and abundance (notice in the Gospels how Jesus responded to needs with abundance). God’s nature in us releases us to be other-centered rather than self-centered. It is the only way we can enjoy life in a deep and lasting way. It is through the collaboration and cooperation of people that value is created (which is the heart of any business). Whatever you appreciate, appreciates, especially people. For those who look at people (especially their employees) at objects to buy, use, and throw away, they are probably missing the peace, and joy commonly associated with success. I have observed ~ All Rights Reserved
November 2012 with these people, the productivity, excellence and loyalty of their organization are shallow at best. I would ask them to honestly evaluate their inside and outside world. Are they enjoying life and their work? Are they connected with people they work with or do they feel isolated and empty? Is their work and organization a reflection and avenue to express their God-given purpose? Sometimes the pain of the present acts as a friend who nudges (or shoves!) us to see what is working and what isn’t and make changes as needed. MN- Hypothetically speaking, someone walks up to you in the grocery store and states, "Help me identify my purpose because I don't know what I am here for." What do you tell them? TR- Most people think of purpose as a “what” and a “where.” They feel pressured to have to know what their exact vocation and where they are going to do it. Some have known exactly what and where of their purpose since the seventh grade. The rest of us either celebrate or are jealous of them while condemning ourselves for not having a clue of our “what” and “where.” What if purpose had more to do with how and for whom we worked? The advice I would give to my fellow shopper is to bloom where you are planted. Even if you are unclear about your future and your purpose-related desires, be present where you are. Define your purpose in 3 simple words, “to help others” and get busy doing so! Do your work heartily (how) as unto the Lord (for whom). Let your work be an expression of your purpose right now. Pour all of your heart into your current assignment instead of half-heartedly working while wondering where you’d rather be. Doors of opportunity and promotion usually follow someone who is fully engaged. As your desires of the “what” and “where” become clearer, continue to fully engage in your current work while taking some of your free time to begin learning and moving in the direction of your desires. With your God-given power to create (e.g., © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
8 creating value to serve others) and excellent work habits you have developed where you currently are, you will be in a much better position to move on to your next assignment. MN- I am a perfectionist and appreciated the section on procrastination due to perfectionism. It's hard to jump right in sometimes when the weight of your decision affects several people; for some leaders, thousands of employees. What is the secret to making an informed decision on the spot when it's your nature to think-or over think-the situation? TR- Decision making can be daunting even for the best of leaders. To help make better decisions and enjoy the process of doing so, I recommend leaders create a system for making decisions. Gather the facts and perspectives from various people. Evaluate their recommendations. Take time to pray about and weigh the options. Create a multitude of counselors including people not involved or benefitting from the decision to give you feedback. Make the decision and evaluate the results (not honestly evaluating the results is one of the most common mistakes leaders make). Make adjustments as needed. Sometimes, decisions are demanding a response “right now” and don’t give you the time to go through your decision-making system. Realize decision making is a process. In most cases, it is not final but can be adjusted, if needed, along the way. Decision making gets stalled when we equate decision making to failure “if we don’t the perfect decision.” Perfect is an illusion that generates paralyzing fear and distracts us from the process. Decision-making is like a muscle you develop (and don’t develop if you avoid making decisions). Start conditioning your decision-making muscles out by celebrating progress rather than demanding perfection. MN- What would be your recommendation for someone needing to get out of debt?
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November 2012 TR- Read Chapter 14 – Start Creating Now, in the Power to Create book; especially Principle #7 that outlines how and why to get out of debt. It begins with a strong, clearly defined and emotionally held “why” you want to get and stay out of debt and setting up a system that you and your spouse (or an accountability partner) can know if you are on or off course. MN- Let's talk politics for a moment. Whether President Obama assumes the position for another four years, or Republican nominee Mitt Romney is elected into office for his first term, I am sure you would have at least one nugget of leadership advice you could offer either candidate for their impending four year term. TR- Realize that each and every person you are entrusted to lead has a God-given power to create that needs to be encouraged, developed and activated. Use this premise as a guideline in making decisions, establishing policies, and creating programs, especially when helping those in the harshest conditions. Countless studies have shown that unless people get involved in playing an active role in creating their solution, the desired results don’t last or are never achieved. MN- I would love to see a whole library of books written by you on the topic of leadership. Are you just beginning your writing career, or will Power To Create be a stand alone? TR- Thank you, Mary! I have written a few books already (Discovering Your Greatness and compiled theWords of Promise for Men & Words of Promise for Leaders). I also wrote the Power to Create Interactive Workbook and Journal along with the DVD/CD sessions for the Power to Create Curriculum (available here at my website – RedmondGrowth.com). At this time, I am in the beginning stages of writing books related to the Power to Create and the Power to Lead. I am excited about the current book I am writing which will be my foundational book regarding leadership.
© Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
9 Author Bio-Using over 25 years of experience in growing multi-million dollar organizations, coaching leaders, and intensely studying leadership, business, and the wealth creation process, Tim Redmond brings powerful, positive change to individuals and organizations through his innovative, insightful and entertaining training approach. He earned his CPA while working at PriceWaterhouseCoopers before joining Tax and Accounting Software Corporation and Intuit, where he served for over 15 years. A gifted author and speaker, Tim has published a multi-media curriculum, numerous books and training program designed to strengthen and expand the leadership and wealth creation capacities of leaders and teams worldwide. Tim with his wife Sandy, founded Redmond Growth Initiatives to focus on coaching leaders to significantly grow their organizations and fulfill their amazing purpose without sacrificing relationships that matter most to them. Tim and Sandy also operate the Redmond Leadership Institute (RLI), the NGO/non-profit aspect of their work which is focused on reaching, restoring and releasing leaders in via seminars, conferences, and providing training materials in the US and overseas; particularly in developing nations with huge potential. Tim and Sandy are raising 4 "leaders in training" Matthew, Robert, Joshua, and Andrea. For more information, please visit his website, the book’s website or connect with him on FaceBook.
~~~~~~~ Featured Sponser John Poche’ Arts Mr. Poche is an author as well as pen and ink artist! Check out his crab art on his website.
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10 What does that have to do with the problem of losing heart? Plenty, and if we look at verses 8-9 we’ll get it. In these verses, Paul tells us what we can expect as we face the trials of life, he says we’ll be hard pressed, crushed, and struck down. He totally gets it.
Abba Father; A Simple Prayer Available @ Amazon.com in Paperback or Kindle edition! Available @ Barnes and Noble for Nook! Available @ Smashwords for all other EReaders!
~~~~~~~ Consider This: Five Reasons Why Losing Heart is not an Option by Rita Schulte, LPC © Nov 2012 Romancing the Stone, Mission Impossible, and James Bond are some of my favorite action movies. The one thing that I notice in all these films is that the hero is always facing insurmountable odds while searching and fighting for some priceless treasure. Our movie characters aren’t too different from us. We may not be fighting for billions in gold, or priceless buried treasure, but our treasure is just as important. It may be a prayer for an unsaved spouse, freedom from a health issue, or a wayward child. Whatever it is, it can certainly feel insurmountable, causing us to lose heart from the battle. In 2 Corinthians 4:7, Paul talks about treasure too--- a different kind of treasure. He goes on to explain why once we have it, losing heart is not an option. And instead of our having to search for it, Paul tells us where it’s hidden, in jars of clay (us), as not to distract from its value and worth. What’s the treasure? It’s Christ in us, the hope of glory, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3). © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
But then in verse 16, he kills the moment by saying that we shouldn’t lose heart! He says our trials are only light and momentary afflictions. Really? This is from the guy who was beaten, shipwrecked, and flogged. How could he say this? Because he knew a few secrets about “the treasure” that are key to not losing heart. Consider this: The treasure is worth the fight Paul knew an abiding relationship with Christ would bear the fruit of wisdom and knowledge, equipping us for the battle. No treasure is more valuable or worth fighting for. Grace is only for today Believers will always face hardships. We are under a death system. But our heavenly Father gives us grace moment by moment that will always reveal resurrection power. Change your perspective Don’t deny your circumstances, but look for ways to speak life into them. Renew the mind daily Our outer man is decaying, our inner man is to be experiencing daily renewal through the washing of the word in our hearts. Be intentional about setting your mind on the truth, and seeking God with all your heart. Focus on eternal glory If we focus on what is seen it will be easy to lose heart. Be intentional about setting your mind on what is unseen and imperishable. Digging for treasure isn’t something we should leave to our action hero’s. It’s something we can practice daily by following the steps outlined above. ~ All Rights Reserved
They’ll help us to drive our treasure deep, making losing heart seem like a mission impossible. Rita A. Schulte is a licensed professional counselor in the Northern Virginia/DC area. She is the host of Heartline Podcast and Consider This. Her shows can be heard on 90.9FM in Lynchburg, Va. and 90.5 FM in NC, and soon to launch on Christian Life Internet Radio. Her book, Sifted As Wheat: Finding Hope and Healing Through the Losses of Life is currently with Hartline Literary Agency. Find & follow her on FB as Rita A. Schulte, MA, LPC and twitter @heartlinepod and subscribe to her blog, Life Talk Today.
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“I turned ninety last month sometime. Not too sure of the actual day. Ma weren’t real good at dates. I grew up in a nice little place near the Everglades. We was raised on gator meat and possum. Ma could turn shoes into chowder if she felt like it. We was never hungry. Dirty, maybe, but we always had somethin’ for our gut. Course, young-ins today want games all the time. I see them talkin’ in the air walkin’ down the streets. And all that jewelry stuff pokin’ out funny places. We was learned by our Ma and Pa. “I could skin a skunk in five minutes. Still can, but don’t like to. My bones won’t let me go huntin’ no more and my gun feels pretty heavy these days. Best thing ‘bout the market is gittin’ fresh strawberries – just about any time a year. “Since I was next to the oldest, I helped raise all them eight kids. Course by the time I got meself hitched, I was sick ‘n tired a kids.” “Wait, Gramma Moss. I have to change the batteries on this recorder.” Lisa slipped two new batteries in and closed the lid. “Okay, you can go on. Talk about when you were little, though.”
The Road to Mercy By Kathy Harris Available now in Ebook & Print!
~~~~~~~ Moss By June Bryan Belfie © Nov 2012 “Ma named me Moss when I was born, cuz that’s the first thing she saw – moss hangin’ from a huge live oak down here in Florida. I’m lucky it weren’t a kumquat!
© Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
“You heared all that lots a times. How we had no ‘lectricity and took baths once a week in the wooden tub? Did ya hear about when my daddy went to jail?” Moss let out more of a holler than a laugh. “He got caught takin’ a mule from ole Mr. Henry and that dumb animal died a day later. He sure fooled my daddy.” “Actually, I think you should talk about how you met my great-grandfather. I can’t remember that story.” “That were a mighty long time ago, sweetheart, but it be fresh in my mind – I can smell the orange blossoms. Yep. We was goin’ to the same church picnic – even though he were a full-blooded Seminole. His papa done hid himself in the swamps till the government got through sendin’ off the others. He fooled ‘em, he did. Good lookin’ man, your great-grand-pop. Tall he was, and dark. Didn’t ~ All Rights Reserved
November 2012 smile a whole lot, but he were a good man. We had nine little ones. Course, you know all that. Your grandma be the only one of my chillen left.” Moss clucked, as she shook her head. “No one should have-ta bury their younguns. Nope, it weren’t supposed to be that way. The good Lord let me live too long. Gimme a tissue, honey.” Lisa turned off the recorder and went into the bathroom for tissues. Gramma Moss’ roommate was snoring rhythmically in a baritone voice. Her mouth was open and if Lisa hadn’t heard the noise, she might have thought she was gone. Her skin was pasty and wrinkled like a raisin.
12 That night at dinner, she sat with her parents as they chatted about their day, but she couldn’t get the picture of the woman who she descended from, out of her mind. “Mom, why don’t we bring Gramma Moss here for a week-end?” Her mother dropped her fork on her plate. “What brought that up? She’s happy at the home. She told me herself.” “It’s just so . . . so depressing there and her mind is still clear and . . .”
“I think I’ve tired you out enough for one day.”
“She wears diapers, Lisa, and sometimes she smells.”
“Well, I’d like to hear ‘bout you. Your mama say you gonna be a doctor.”
Lisa shoved a piece of broccoli around her plate. “I guess. It was just an idea.”
Lisa smiled and nodded. “A pediatrician.” Glancing over at the old lady, she added, “A doctor for chillen.”
Her father finally spoke up. “How are you doing with the history thing you’re doing? Does she remember anything?”
Gramma Moss grinned and shook her head. Two teeth were missing from the front row. “That’s mighty good. Smart like my hubby. Hope to live to see it happen.”
“Oh, I think you will. I graduated last year and I’m interning now. Gosh, it’s getting late. I’d better head home. Can I come back next week?” “Think you’d better, if we’re gonna get through all ninety years. I ain’t gonna last forever.” Lisa bent over and kissed the brittle white hair over the old lady's ear. Then she tucked the lap blanket around the wheelchair and gathered her things. She stared straight ahead as she walked down the hallway to the outside door, breathing shallowly to avoid the body odors. Out of the corner of her eyes she saw the wheelchairs lined along the wall, vestiges of humanity waiting for death. Most unaware of their surroundings or uncaring. Where were the families? © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
“That’s great. I bet she likes telling you her stories. God knows, we’ve heard them enough times.” He exchanged glances with his wife. “One more time about the stolen mule and I think I’ll go mad. Here, Lisa, have another piece of chicken.” Lisa rose from her chair, placing her linen napkin by her dinner plate. “I’m not very hungry. I want to read my new journal, so excuse me.” After an hour, she laid the magazine aside and looked over at the bookcase at the far end of the den. She went over and took down one of the early family albums and looked at the pictures from the early 1900’s. There was a snapshot, discolored from age, of Moss as a child – plump, with curly black hair and a frock down to her ankles. She was barefoot and holding a small kitten. So many years ago. The only other picture of her was on her wedding day. Yes, he was a handsome groom with ~ All Rights Reserved
November 2012 his high cheekbones and rich black hair. There were no smiles on their faces. They just stood and stared ahead. Gramma Moss was at least six inches shorter than her new husband, but she had an innocent look on her face and held a small bunch of orange blossoms. Lisa leafed through the other pages, noting the family groups and tried to identify the strangers staring back at her. Finally, she went to her room, switched on the news, and changed into her nightgown. She had a plan. That Friday, she took off early and borrowed a friend’s van for the afternoon. When she arrived at the nursing home, Gramma Moss was sitting in the large lobby in front of an old upright piano, drumming out the melody of an old hymn with one finger. Two other ladies, who seemed coherent, were nodding and one of them thrummed along. When Moss spotted Lisa, her face broadened into a jacko-lantern grin and Lisa felt her eyes well up. “How would you like to go see the orange blossoms today, Gramma Moss? They’re in full bloom.” “I think I’d like that a mighty lot,” she nodded. “Ladies, you’ll jist have to excuse me for a wee bit. My here great-grand-daughter, the doctor for babies, is takin’ me out to smell the blossoms.” She unlocked her wheelchair and headed over to the front desk. Once arrangements and sign-outs were attended to, Lisa pushed her great-grandmother to the van and helped her into the front seat. She stopped breathing momentarily -- just in case -- as she shimmied her back in the seat and buckled her in. It was a tropical spring day and when they arrived at the orange orchard, the sweet perfume of the blossoms wafted in the breeze. After helping Moss into her wheelchair, she pushed her over to a low branch. The old lady closed her eyes and leaned into the full blossoms, drinking in memories along with the fragrance.
13 A half hour later, Gramma Moss, asked to go back to the home. As Lisa was about to leave, Moss motioned with her finger. Leaning over, Moss whispered in her ear. “Thank you, honey. I can go peaceable now. He’s waitin’ for me.” The funeral was a month later. Lisa placed a bouquet of orange blossoms on the grave site. Moss was at home now. There would be no more tears. Author Bio: At this time of my life, I'm living in a small town in Pennsylvania with my husband Jim. While he handles our rental units and attends to his wonderful gardens, I take care of our antique shop and write away. My fourth e-book, published by Desert Breeze Publishing House, will be available Sept. 21. After raising five children, we enjoy the eight grandchildren, who span in age from five to twenty-three. I moved many times through my lifetime and painted, owned a thirty-eight room inn in the Pocono Mountains where I cooked for the guests and ran art workshops. At various times in my life, I also worked in a bank, played the piano, directed a choir, and went to decorating school in NYC. Everything I've experienced, including a difficult divorce, has led me to this point in my life. God has been my fortress throughout my valleys and my mountaintops. I've been truly blessed. Please visit my website and/or blog.
~~~~~~~ Interview with Karen Kilby By: Mary Nichelson
“Yes. It were a day jist like this when I said ‘I do.’ I carried a bunch in my hand.” “I know.” © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
Although author Karen Kilby’s Becoming A Woman of Purpose is written as a devotional, don’t be ~ All Rights Reserved
November 2012 surprised if you are tempted to read it in one sitting. It’s small enough to fit in your handbag yet big on helping you find your God mandated mission while tackling daily life. As Kilby shares from her life experience, she invites you to a time of prayer and self discovery at the end of each of her 31 chapters. It is her desire that you find God in the ordinary tasks of your day, while trusting Him to guide you into the extraordinary commission He has purposed for you. As a public speaker, author and coach, it would seem natural for her to take on a project with this scope but that wasn’t what motivated her. “Karen was encouraged to publish (a devotional) and recognized God’s confirmation and challenge upon reading Deuteronomy 4:9 – “Be very careful never to forget what you have seen God doing for you. May his miracles have a deep and permanent effect upon your lives. Tell your children and grandchildren about the glorious miracles he did.” MN- As a personality trainer and speaker, communication has become second nature to you, however,Becoming A Woman of Purpose is your first book. What was the writing experience like for you? KK- Writing was not something I had thought of until I was encouraged by my dear friend, Carol to share stories with others as I had done verbally with her. I was then challenged by the scripture in Deuteronomy 4:9 where God said to share what he had done in my life with my children and grandchildren. I liked the idea of leaving a legacy for them but it was Carol, my husband, David, and my daughter-in-law Erin who had the vision for publication. MN- I love the way you incorporate life experiences with faith-based truths in your book. Is this your natural way of relating to others, or did you develop this skill for the sake of your book? KK- When I sat down at the computer and the stories began to spill out over the keyboard, I realized each episode was an illustration of a promise from God that I had learned from studying © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
14 his word. Erin, as a high school English teacher, was my mentor and recognized my stories were actually devotionals. MN- What do you hope readers will accomplish throughout the 31 days spent reading and studying the devotionals? KK- I want my readers to realize God cares about every detail of their lives. His love covers us with grace and can provide the peace that passes all understanding if we just accept it. MN- As women, we tend to let daily responsibilities define us and forget that there is a bigger picture and reason for our existence. How can we become more aware of God's purpose for our lives and allow that purpose to lead us? KK- Rick Warren in his book, Purpose Driven Life, reminds us that life isn't really all about us but about God and our purpose is to glorify him in everything we do. That encompasses our daily routines and responsibilities. I think once we become aware of God's awareness of us in a personal way, we become more sensitive to his leading. MN- I am interested in the workshops you lead called, Wired That Way. How can these workshops benefit churches and the women that attend them? KK- My Wired That Way workshops have been very beneficial to women in the church as well as in the workplace as they discover their God-given personalities. They learn to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses and gain a better understanding of those who are opposite personalities, giving them more tolerance and appreciation of themselves and others. In January, I had the awesome opportunity to do a women's retreat in Costa Rica for a mission church ministering to English speaking ex-pats and the local Spanish Tica women. How rewarding it was to hear the Tica spokeswoman say, "We have been empowered!"
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November 2012 MN- Did you purposely seek out ministry with women, or did it naturally develop from your interests? KK- Ministry with women seems to be a natural outcome of my relationship with Jesus. Early on, I became involved in women's Bible studies and with Stonecroft Ministries that reaches out to women all across the U.S. and internationally. It has given me an opportunity to share my personal testimony of God's saving grace to women who don't attend church and those that do. MN- With Thanksgiving just around the corner, what are you most thankful for this year? KK- I'm most thankful for a heart that beats not only with a compassion for others because of what God has done for me, but one that beats to give me the strength and energy to accomplish what God sets before me. It has been six years since my heart attack and quadruple by-pass surgery. MN- If you were asked to define your life's mission in one sentence, what would it be?
15 to forget what you have seen God doing for you. May his miracles have a deep and permanent effect upon your lives. Tell your children and grandchildren about the glorious miracles he did. Karen was recognized as FamilyTime’s 2010 Woman of Achievement for the Arts and resides in Kingwood, Texas with her husband, David. Karen and David enjoy their four children and thirteen grandchildren. You can learn more about Wired That Way and how to order your copy of Becoming A Woman of Purpose by visiting Kilby’s website. You can also connect with her on FaceBook.
~~~~~~~ Featured Sponsor Kevin Zimmerman! Kevin Zimmerman retired from the Army a highly decorated soldier. He is an author and radio host!
KK- My mission statement on my Wired That Way brochure states, "Serving others to improve professional and personal relationships."
Author bio- Karen R. Kilby is an International Speaker and a certified personality trainer with CLASServices, Inc. and a speaker for Stonecroft Ministries. She has served in a variety of leadership roles with Stonecroft for over 40 years and currently serves as a speaker trainer for the greater Houston, Texas area. In 2002, Karen began writing her God-moment life experience stories with encouragement from family and friends and currently has over 30 articles published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and other Christian compilation books. Karen was encouraged to publish her own edition and recognized God’s confirmation and challenge upon reading Deuteronomy 4:9 – “Be very careful never © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
A Time for Everything The Kevin Zimmerman Story Available at www.ATFEKZ.com. Amazon.com, Kindle Edition, Barnesandnoble.com & Booksa million.com ~~~~~~~
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November 2012 Michele’s Musings: All Things that Amaze ~ A Life of Thankfulness By Michele Abshire © Nov 2012 Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God, But only he who sees takes off his shoes; The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries. Elizabeth Barrett Browning I recently read this quote by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and I was fascinated by the wonder of the statements made in these four short verses. I was struck by the truth of what I believe she was trying to convey to those who would later read her words. I would like to share the thoughts that her quote sparked in me. Yes, “Earth is crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God.” It is all around us, as if creation is shouting to us with the wonders of heaven and the glory of God. The beauty of God's creation surrounding us everyday of our lives. Psalms 19:1-4 says “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the end of the world.” Next, Browning poses; “But only he who sees takes off his shoes; The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.” Is this not true? How many of us, every day of our lives, pass by God’s beauty and never take the time to enjoy it and bask in it. How many of us never take time to realize the gifts He has bestowed upon us and contemplate the wonder of it all? More often than not we take these things for granted and go on about our everyday lives doing what we normally do never realizing that God is all around us in the magnificence of His great creation. I want to be one that “sees and takes off my shoes.” I want to live every day of my life with © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
16 thankfulness to God for all that He has blessed me with. There are so many things that amaze me. I don’t always notice but when I take the time to be still and really listen, God begins to speak to my heart through His creation. Sometimes when I listen it seems as if what I see just takes a hold on my heart and fills me with overflowing joy. Other times it is as if He envelops me in His loving embrace and then there are those times when I get an idea and think “there is a story in that” which I often write down. There are many amazing things of beauty all around us that we often take for granted. Things of absolute beauty and glory such as sunrises and sunsets. Who but God could paint a new picture of beauty every morning and evening? What about the sun bursting through the clouds and creating glorious silver linings and sending shafts of light down to earth? It is as if the sun is reaching down and kissing the earth with warmth and love. What about the wind softly blowing through long flowing grasses along the roadside? It is almost as if the grass is dancing to a softly playing tune. Do you take the time to notice and appreciate simple but beautiful things? The smile on a child’s face. The soft touch of newborn’s tiny little hand encircling your finger. The sparkle in a person’s eye with joy reflected on their face. The soft caring touch of a hand or an embrace of love. Laughter and music. What about the truly amazing human body that God blessed us with. We are indeed “wonderfully and fearfully made.” What about… The wonder of fish flitting in the water and jumping out to splash in again as if playing games. The beauty of birds soaring ever so gracefully through the sky. The sweet melodies of morning song birds. The amazing speed of the wings of a tiny little hummingbird as it gets nectar from a flower. The gracefulness of deer bounding through fields and woods. The energy and playfulness of puppies and kittens. The slowness of a turtle as he lazily crosses the road seemingly without a care in the world. The cuteness of rabbits ~ All Rights Reserved
November 2012 as they perk their ears, wiggle their noses and lift their heads to see what is around them. How about… The beauty and gracefulness of butterflies as they softly fly about. The relaxing sounds of insects buzzing amongst the beauty of nature. The strength of an ant carrying something twice its size not quitting or giving up. The buzzing of bees as they go from one flower to another, pollinating as they go, always working hard. The grace and beauty of dragonflies as they flit from place to place in the wide-open spaces. Have you noticed… The velvety softness of flower pedals. The sheer beauty and differences of the many different colored flowers that dazzle our eyes. The beauty of thousands of wild flowers growing wherever they may, blooming with glorious colors, and filling the landscape. The delicate beauty of finely lined leaves with all their different shapes, sizes and colors. The wind dancing through the tops of mighty trees as they stretch their limbs to the sky as if in praise. The resilience of plants as they force their way through cracks, rocks or hard places to bloom and prosper. How about… The beauty of ocean waves softly rolling onto a sandy shore. The strong yet beautiful frothing ocean waves battering rocky reef areas. The sheer power of waterfalls as they cascade down the sides of mountains into beautiful rocky river beds. The refreshing of rain as it softly falls down from the heavens above. Rainbows after the rain. The beauty of snowflakes, each one completely different, softly falling to the ground and leaving a perfect blanket of white beauty. The softness of the moonlight and stars reflected on calm the waters of a lake or river. The beauty of the night lit up with the stars and the moon. Soft breezes and night sounds. I could go on and on. Amazing things come in small packages and big packages; some of them are in the grandest places, some in small and the most remote places. Some are the simplest things in life that we don’t take the time to notice or appreciate. There are so many amazing things that © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
17 I could never begin to name them all, and of course, I haven’t even begun to discover them all! It would take a lifetime and an eternity to really discover “earth crammed with heaven and every bush afire with God.” I pray that we would all be people who would really “see and take off our shoes” appreciating and giving thanks to God for the wondrous gifts he has bestowed upon us. We are truly blessed and we are His most special creation. He loves us and that is why He blessed us with such beauty and glory all around us. He crammed earth with heaven just for us and on top of that He gave His greatest gift, His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ! How awesome is our God. Love in Christ, Michele © November 2008 ~ Michele LeDoux Abshire Michele Abshire is a housewife, mother, grandmother, and full time legal assistant. She has been published in Lake Charles, Louisiana publications, Christian Star Newspaper and Gumbeaux Magazine. Michele began writing notes of encouragement to people God put on her heart which led her in the direction of writing short encouraging stories, letters, essays and analogies. This quickly became a ministry for her. Michele's vision is to reach people with encouraging messages that will lift their heart and bring joy for sorrow and hope for discouragement. Michele enjoys your feedback so leave a comment in the form at the bottom of the page or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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“Fine, be that way!” I yelled to the empty room. “You’re never here when I need you!” “I’m right here.” Jesse’s voice startled me. There he sat, on the couch. Hadn’t I just looked there? “When did you come back in?” I sat in the recliner, heart pounding. My hand trembled slightly as I lifted a spoon of ice cream to my mouth. Jesse smiled sweetly. “I never left.”
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~~~~~~~ Sparrows By Kat Heckenbach “You’re angry with me.” Jesse sounded too calm. It was irritating. “Well, you’re never around.” I kept my back to him. “Not when I need you. I have a right to be mad.” I’d been standing by the window, staring at the sparrow couple in our back yard for twenty minutes. How beautiful they were, and so lucky. They wanted for nothing, never worried about tomorrow. Food abounded for them because Jesse scattered seeds in our back yard every day. “Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked. I shrugged. Why should I tell him? He should know what’s bothering me. Isn’t that what marriage is about? Two becoming one. He should know. I turned and stalked past Jesse into the kitchen. I fixed a bowl of ice cream and returned to the living room. Jesse was gone. Typical. He did that every time I left the room. If I didn’t give him my undivided attention he just up and disappeared. © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
“I didn’t see you.” His smile dropped. “I know.” I stared, not quite sure what to say. I was tired of this. We didn’t communicate anymore. I dropped my gaze and took another bite, thinking again about the sparrow. Why couldn’t I be like that bird? Free to do what I chose, all my daily needs met…never feeling lonely and abandoned. “Why did you yell out like that?” he asked, the couch creaking as he shifted his position. Even though I was looking intently at the chocolate chips wedged in my ice cream, I felt the heat of his gaze. “I can’t take it. I can’t take the silence.’ “My silence or yours?” I raised my eyes to meet his. I couldn’t read the look on his face. “Yours,” I said, and then shook my head. “No, both. We’re both too silent. We don’t talk anymore.” “I don’t like it either.” Something about the way he said that chilled me. “I want to talk,” I said. “But you just don’t seem to hear me. I feel like I need to scream to get you to notice me.” “Then scream.” “What? You want me to yell at you?” “It’s better than nothing.” ~ All Rights Reserved
Maybe he had a point. I was always so afraid our conversations wouldn’t go the way I wanted them to. The words I’d choked down over the years were turning sour inside me. I looked at the slurry of ice cream in the bottom of my bowl. I hadn’t realized I’d eaten the whole thing. My stomach lurched and I set the bowl on the end table.
“Just checking on you, babe. You were pretty upset last night. You doing okay?”
“I’m angry,” I said, my eyes burning. Tears began to flow as I recounted all the things I’d kept to myself for so long. Jesse sat perfectly still and listened. I lashed out about unfulfilled promises and lifelong dreams I had been forced to forget. I droned on and on about the sacrifices I had made for our marriage, all the things I had wanted but never had the opportunity to pursue. All the times I’d asked for his assistance and found him working on his own projects, unmindful of my goals.
“No, it’s fine. I just…I just hadn’t noticed.” I stepped from the kitchen into the living room. The walls were painted that soft taupe I’d been wanting. There was no way….
When I was done, Jesse crossed the room. He knelt on the floor in front of me, wiped the tears from my cheeks and kissed my forehead. I was surprised the next day to see the sparrow pair perched in the bush outside my kitchen window. They rarely ventured from their nest behind our living room. Still, I delighted in the male’s song and whistled along as I chopped veggies for a salad. Without thinking, I sliced down on a tomato with the knife that had needed sharpening for months. I expected to end up with tomato paste, but the knife passed through with ease. Jesse must have sharpened it. But when? I opened the drawer to get the salad tongs, and for the first time in ages the drawer didn’t catch halfway out. Jesse again? Intrigued now, I marched over to the sink and flipped on the garbage disposal. No clunking. And the light over the counter wasn’t flickering. How long had it been fixed? Something buzzed, and after pulling my dumbfounded gaze from the smoothly burning fluorescent bulb, I realized the phone was ringing.
“Yeah…yeah, I’m fine.” I shifted the phone to my other ear. “Um, when did you fix the light in the kitchen?” “Weeks ago. Why? Is it acting up again?”
“Jesse, the living room…you painted it!” He laughed. “Last month. The same weekend you picked the color. You don’t remember?” I felt a tear trail down my cheek. I did remember. Vaguely. “I’m sorry.” My throat tightened. “I didn’t notice. I didn’t notice any of it. You’ve done so much work around here, and all I’ve done is complain.” The sparrow’s song cut through, and I smiled. Then a small laugh snuck its way out. “You know, I’ve actually been jealous of the sparrows lately. You take such good care of them…” His voice drifted through the phone, soothing away my tears. “It’s okay, babe. And don’t be jealous. I love the sparrows, but I love you more.” “I know.” Now. Author Bio: Kat Heckenbach spent her childhood with pencil and sketchbook in hand, knowing she wanted to be an artist when she grew up—so naturally she graduated college with a degree in biology, went on to teach math, and now homeschools her two children while writing. Her fiction ranges from light-hearted fantasy to dark and disturbing, with multiple stories published online and in print. Her YA fantasy series includes Finding Angel and Seeing Unseen and is available in print and ebook. Enter her world at www.katheckenbach.com.
“Hello?” © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
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~~~~~~~ Interview with William Burt By Mary Nichelson
William “Bill” Burt spent most of his teenage years reading fantasy novels. Perhaps this explains the success of his popular series, King of the Trees, which is based on time travel, fantasy, imagery, and allegorical characters. It has been so successful, in fact, that Burt’s reviews include one written by an eleven year old. He has connected with readers of all ages, but capitalized on the familial element; parents often read to their children and then discuss the story together. Burt’s gift of communication carries over into multiple facets of his life, including his proficient use of American Sign Language, Russian and Welsh. It is interesting that an author who began his writing career editing his father’s plant guidebooks, would go on to effectively capture an audience of his own through faith-based fiction. MN- Your King of the Trees series is now in its 7th book in the sequence. How many sequels do you think will ultimately be included in the series? BB- The series is definitely not finished. I would like to see at least three more titles published. I actually have completed plot narratives for Books 8, 9, and 10. I am also embarking upon an entirely new fiction adventure series called "The Creation Seekers." It's aimed at the same target audience (pre-teens and teens) and is based upon Creation Science principles.
BB- I didn't initially set out to write for that particular audience, and as it turns out, adult readers enjoy the series as well. I simply wanted to communicate Biblical truth in a way that would reach the young and the young at heart. I also wished to create a book series that I would have enjoyed reading as a boy. (C.S. Lewis responded similarly when asked why he had written the Chronicles of Narnia.) Furthermore, I didn't feel God was leading me to address the adult themes that invariably surface in novels for mature readers. Speaking of young adults, although girls love my series, I have been surprised and gratified by the enthusiastic response from boys, whom book publishers have historically neglected. (Publishers target girls as an audience, knowing that girls will read boys' books, but boys will rarely read girls' books.) MN- Let's talk about the second installment in the series, Torsils in Time. What adventures await Rolin and Marlis? BB- Torsils in Time is a bit of a cautionary tale about what happens when leaders let their guard down. In The King of the Trees, King Rolin and Queen Marlis have just decisively vanquished their enemies. In Book II, the main characters assume the land of Lucambra is about to enjoy a protracted spell of peace and quiet. Indeed, Rolin and Marlis are enjoying a leisurely picnic in the mountains when disaster befalls them. Unbeknownst to them, Felgor, Lucambra's mortal foe, has not died but has merely passed into a world-between-worlds known as "Limbo." He succeeds in trapping the king and queen in Limbo, where they become invisible and encounter many other unexpected challenges and perils. In the end, Gaelathane delivers them out of all their predicaments. As in all the titles in my series, the Gospel is presented allegorically in a subtle yet unmistakable fashion.
MN- The target age group for the series is 8 years and older. Why write for the young adult audience? © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
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November 2012 MN- Is there a character trait or value you would like for the reader to learn while reading Torsils in Time, or did you write it for entertainment purposes only? BB- Probably the most important character trait that Rolin and Marlis develop in this book is the ability to trust and obey Gaelathane (God) even when it seems He has utterly abandoned them. I would be pleased if my readers learned to trust God as implicitly. MN- Your books have been A) labeled "The Christian Alternative to Harry Potter" and B) compared to the Chronicles of Narnia by reviewers. Do these statements adequately represent the King of Trees series? BB- A) Yes. As your readers know, young people today are being exposed to a vast array of dark, occult and soulless fantasy works—including the Harry Potter series. (My first series title was released just months before the first Harry Potter title came out.) For years, I have been very concerned that young readers and their parents do not fully appreciate the potential for spiritual harm posed by books and films that glorify the occult. One of my purposes in writing the King of the Trees series has been to counteract and expose this dangerous societal trend toward dabbling in the socalled magic arts. I decisively debunk the occult in my books by demonstrating that God's power is far superior to any puny human efforts (i.e., magic) intended to supersede His natural laws. In my books, when unusual events take place that appear to be magical, readers learn that these are merely the result of different natural laws at work, as ordained by Gaelathane (God). There is no place for magic in any of my books. I have been encouraged by the positive responses from young readers and their parents (Christian and otherwise) who have found in my series a refreshing alternative to occult-oriented juvenile literature. B) Yes again. I believe reviewers often (favorably) compare my books to the Chronicles of Narnia for several reasons: 1) The King of the Trees series and © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
21 Lewis's Chronicles are both written as extended, Biblically-basedadventure-allegories; 2) Both series appeal to adults as well as to younger readers; 3) Both series are primarily set in a medieval-like era; 3) Both series feature mythological creatures and noble characters locked in good-versus-evil struggles; 4) C.S. Lewis is one of my favorite authors, so it is natural that something of his style might rub off on me. (I should mention that the allegories I employ in my books are unique to me.) I might also mention that after I had finished reading and re-reading the Chronicles of Narnia and Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, I felt called to create a series combining C.S. Lewis's allegorical richness with Tolkien's cosmological depth and realism. Whether I have succeeded in attaining that goal I leave for my readers to decide MN- With Christmas on the horizon, parents may wish to purchase books in the series as gifts. Are they readable as stand alones, or do you suggest reading them in order? BB- All my books stand alone; my plots don't leave the reader hanging at the end. That said, I would strongly recommend reading Book I—The King of the Trees—first. The sequels won't make sense otherwise. I would also recommend reading the sequels in order, although it's not as critical as reading the first book first. I like to say that we "grow with our readers." That is, books in the series become progressively more advanced as well as more polished in respect to the prose, poetry, allegories and illustrations. MN- As parents, how can we encourage the proper use of childhood imagination and creativity? BB- I think it's as simple as the old "GIGO" ("Garbage In, Garbage Out") computer adage. What children feed upon through their eyes and ears—the windows to their souls—will be directly reflected in their imaginative and creative lives. The corollary to that principle is what I call "PIPO"—"Purity In, Purity Out." If we supply the proper raw materials— ~ All Rights Reserved
November 2012 the Bible, classic Christian literature and videos, a solid Christian education, etc.—we can rightfully expect that our children will become creative forces for God and righteousness in this world. MN-There is compelling research that points to a steadily declining literacy rate in America. Is the answer really as simple as parents reading to their children starting at an early age? BB-I agree: Reading aloud to children (and to young adults as well) is one of the best solutions to our literacy crisis. (So is turning off the television!) Apropos of that topic, all my titles come equipped with glossaries and pronunciation guides at the back for easier reading and/or reading aloud. Many parents have told me they make a family activity out of reading my books aloud together. To that end, I purposely have avoided incorporating nightmarish scenes in my books. (I road-tested Book I on my own children by reading the manuscript to them before bed when they were younger. They loved it!)
22 Burt holds a B.S. in English from Lewis and Clark College and an M.S. from Western Oregon University in Deaf Education. In addition to writing novels, he works as an RID-certified American Sign Language interpreter with over thirty years' experience. His interests include reading, foreign languages and mycology. He is married with two grown children. To read more about William “Bill” Burt or to order any of the books in his King of Trees series, visit his website. You can also friend Burt on FaceBook.
May your leaves never wither! (Ps. 1:3)
~~~~~~~ Author Bio- William D. Burt is best known as the author of the "King of the Trees" Christian fantasy series. Having spent most of his teenage years adventuring in Middle Earth, the author is an avid fantasy fan. His first allegorical fantasy title, The King of the Trees, came out in 1998 (WinePress). Bowing to reader demand, he has expanded the series to include a total of seven titles to date, with more to follow. He has also embarked upon a new young-adult adventure series featuring prehistoric creatures in a modern setting. While still in high school, Burt began his writing career editing his father's popular identification guides, Edible and Poisonous Plants of the Western/Eastern States. As an Assistant Professor in the Special Education Department at Western Oregon University, he served as a successful grantwriter and program coordinator. © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
Faith & Fitness: Tips for Finding a Personal Trainer By Kellye Davis Williams © Nov 2012 Most of us feel we cannot afford a personal trainer – but you can get the extra fitness push you need from a quality trainer even on a tighter budget. Here are some tips to help you stick to your budget without compromising the quality of your workouts. Set a Fitness Budget - And Stick to It First things first: you should know exactly how much you can afford to spend on a personal trainer based on your monthly income and spending. Whether you have $40 to spare or $400, it’s important to stick to that budget. Create a healthy habit (like reducing the amount of coffee stops you make at a coffee shop) that ultimately reduces your ~ All Rights Reserved
November 2012 spending. The money you save this month can be dedicated towards training for the next month. (Don’t add to your budget any savings you expect to see in the future, though. This is an easy way to create budget hangover.) Let’s say, for example, that your budget can handle $200 of personal training. After doing the math you realize you spend $25 a week on coffee’s or latte’s… or $100 a month. Now let’s say you decide to cut that spending in half, thus saving $50 a month. This would allow you to purchase $250 worth of training the following month, instead of $200. But if you increase your training budget before you actually see those savings in the bank, and at the end of the day (or week) you find it too hard to give up that extra coffee, you could end up exceeding your budget by $50. Know How To Spend Your Fitness Dollars How much can you expect to pay for a trainer? * A good personal trainer is likely going to be upwards of $40.00 an hour, up to a maximum of $250 an hour. * Semi-Personal Training (for two to five people) would range from $25 to $35 an hour per person. * Group personal training, such as boot camps ranges from $15 to $20 an hour per person. Seeing a trainer on a weekly or biweekly basis provides accountability and helps to keep you on track. It also gives you a fresh new workout and helps you progress to the next level. Professional trainers can target your specific needs to help you reach and maintain your health and fitness goals. Considering your training budget, come up with a plan of how many sessions you can afford in one week whether it be one on one training sessions or group training sessions. Find the Right Match Before shelling out the cash for one or more sessions, do your due diligence. Start by reviewing the trainer. Look for a trainer with an exerciserelated degree or a certification. © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
23 Having professional education and/or certifications is one sign that you’re dealing with a trainer who will be able to adapt exercises to your specific needs and any injuries you may have. Besides education, you will want to look for a trainer with experience and happy clients who have achieved results. A credentialed, experienced trainer will likely cost more. But that extra cost may be worth it, especially if you have had injuries in the past. Consider buying fewer sessions with that trainer or balancing personal one on one training with group classes. You should always choose a trainer you click with, but you need someone who is going to have the experience to push you, vary your routine to keep you interested, and help you to maintain and improve your health. With any trainer, you should also ask a few questions before your private or group training sessions, including: * What equipment do you use? *What type of training do you do? * What will I need to purchase to bring to training sessions with me? * What is your general training philosophy? * Have you worked with others with my injury? (That could be a shoulder, knee, hip or any other problem area you have.) * How far in advance do I need to schedule an appointment? Add It All Up If you do it right, hiring a top-notch personal trainer will be less expensive than you might think. With reconsidering your budget you could have the trainer and the discipline to accomplish your fitness goals without sacrificing your finances. It is worth the investment. Redirecting your budget to be able to afford a personal trainer is an investment in your health. What better way to spend your money? I ~ All Rights Reserved
November 2012 always tell my clients that it’s better to look at your health with a “preventive” frame of mind than to not consider your health until you are having a “health crisis.” Exercising and eating right are the best preventive measures you can take with your health! God created our bodies to last a long time if we just take care of them! Make every effort you can to do that! A True Testimony One of my clients, Pat Harrison, put it in perspective when it comes to spending money on personal training. Here is what she said: “When I first started this adventure with health and fitness I was very skeptical of it all. I kept seeing people post messages on Facebook that they were being transformed by this wonderful personal trainer, Kellye. I was already tight with money, so I wondered how I would be able to afford it if I did join. After much prayer and also being much disgusted with myself, I felt I had to start somewhere. So I sent a message to Kellye and joined a Saturday class. It was very hard at first, but I knew I needed to keep coming each Saturday no matter what. I dug up my coins and paid my fee and before long I was encouraged and had convinced myself to add a second day a week. I was discovering that there were things that these workout sessions were teaching me about what I was eating, and what it takes to burn those calories. So I was finding myself not going through the drive thru as often, or stopping to get a soda or candy bar anymore. What I was saving was paying off. I am up to 3 days a week, and I know now that there is no better pay off than getting fit and healthy, feeling great about yourself, building friendships, sharing success stories and encouraging and inspiring each other. That, my friend, is something that no drive thru restaurant ever provided for me in a bag. My money is now being spent on life long goals and achievements and not just a quick feel better moment. I'd like to think my moments are “for real” now and I feel good all day long for making the change in my life!”
© Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
24 Kellye Davis Williams is a personal trainer who focuses on the health and well being of her clients as well as coaching them to make positive changes that will impact the rest of their lives. She helps them to achieve their health and fitness goals as well as encourages them to strive for and achieve their " life" goals with her message of hope. As a model, Kellye exemplifies the essence of artistic beauty while proving the power of a woman is more than superficial refinement. She is the co host of Thrive Radio Talk Show on Revmedia network. Kellye resides in east Atlanta with her family. When she is not working out or training her clients, she teaches spiritual concepts to an adult class at her church as well as ministers in her role as Women's Ministry Director. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her daughters, shopping, traveling, and simply enjoying coffee with friends.
~~~~~~~ Featured Books
White Christmas – Tanya Stowe Wind Over Marshdale – Tracy Krauss Leap of Faith- Tanya Stowe
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November 2012 What Happened Next By Shawna K Williams ÂŠ Nov 2012 When you're old, and you think about friends and loved ones who've passed on, what you remember most are the days of your youth. Memories of childhood mischief -- like when your dad caught you and your brother pulling up all the turnips from your mother's garden. You'd hoped to blame it on the pig, but decided a whoopin' was a fair price to pay for not having to eat that wretched root. You recall your first love. How every time you tried to approach her, your throat went all dry, knees started shaking, and your lips stammered so bad the words wouldn't come out. And yet, to this day, you can't say that girl's name without the same silly school-boy's grin plastering itself across your face. But the memories that really take ya back are the crazy ones. The knee slappin' stuff that makes ya curl up clutchin' your gut, and nearly suffocate from laughter. Why, just the other day I had such an experience. Suddenly, I was thirteen years old again and back on our farm in South Texas. It was my sweet little great-granddaughter who zapped me through time when she plopped down next to me with an old, dusty photo album her mother had found in the attic. We spent the afternoon turnin' the pages, talkin' about folks long gone. In the midst of it all, I came across a picture that made me bust a chuckle cause my family looked so calm, clean and snazzy. We could've almost passed for high-society given our grooming in that photo. Just lookin' at it, you'd have never guessed what happened next. Before I can tell ya that, I gotta tell ya what happened first. ***
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25 "Jakob! Momma said ya better hurry. The sun's gonna get too low." "Almost done Ruthie. I just gotta feed Pilgrim." I wished they'd stop pesterin' me. I was movin' as fast as I could. It was just a stupid picture. I trampled through the mud toward Pilgrim's pen. He was our pig and future thanksgiving dinner. It had been raining all morning, making the ground as sloppy as what Pilgrim was about to eat, and my boots suctioned to the ground with each step. First thing I noticed when I got to the pen was Pilgrim, once again, had turned over his feed trough. "Stupid Pig!" I set down the bucket, 'cause no way was I entering with it. Pilgrim was a feisty fellow, and he'd knock me over for sure. "C'mon Jakob, you gotta go get dressed!" I looked up to see that my older brother Joe had joined in on the nagging. He walked my way, all spiffed up in his white dress-shirt and tie. He might have appeared cosmopolitan if his pants weren't tucked into muddied boots -- and if he wasn't pulling a rope with a goat tied to its end. "Where you takin' Sunshine?" I asked and flipped over the trough. Sunshine was a little nanny of ours -- that's a female goat for you city folk. My mother had let her loose in the yard earlier that day to eat away some overgrown shrubs. "Momma doesn't want her running up on the porch, gettin' us all dirty," he said, and then inspected his shirt for evidence of such. Ever since his fifteenth birthday -- and Rae Ann Matthews -he'd gotten all concerned about that sorta stuff. "Here." He thrust out his hand with the rope. "I don't wanna risk getting muddy. You go tie her up. "If ya want me to hurry, then quit givin' me your chores." I strutted out of Pilgrim's Pen and dumped his rancid slop. It hit with a nice firm splat. Then I turned to Joe, who stood there still stickin' out his ~ All Rights Reserved
November 2012 hand. He stepped forward and thrust the rope at me again, this time with a bit more force. I didn't care what he wore, if he hadn't been two years older and a foot taller, I'd have taken him down right there in the pig-messed mud. But, age and size have their persuasion, so I walked the few feet between us -- glarin' the whole distance -- and yanked the rope away hard enough to give him a burn. As I passed by Pilgrim at the far end of his pen, he took a break from his feast to give Sunshine a squeal; he wanted to remind her of his feelings. Now I'm not sure if Pilgrim was stupid, or just lonely, but from the time he was a piglet and Sunshine was a kid, he'd been declarin' his undying love. Sunshine never did return his affections though. I pulled the girl over to a tree -- well away from Pilgrim -- and tied her up. Then I sloshed through the mud on my way to the house and put on my Sunday best. By the time I got out on the front porch of our clapboard farmhouse, everyone stood around all dressed up and waiting on me. My dad had on his brown Sunday suit and tie. My sisters, both of them, wore their new dresses that Momma made for Easter. And Momma was wearin' something she'd whipped up with the leftover fabric from each. When she stood between my sisters, it reminded me of a triple-dip ice cream cone with the three flavors melting together. Momma yelled for Danny and Jonny, my two littlest brothers, to stay on the porch and out of the mud. She knew if they got one foot on the ground they'd be off around the corner, not to be seen until their stomachs called them home. My grandma on my dad's side lived with us, but she hadn't dress up. She was takin' this special picture, which my mom planned to send to her parents back in Germany. She gave us a holler to get ready, and then walked out into the yard with the camera my dad got for Christmas. ÂŠ Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
26 Momma positioned us, and we all stood there with frozen faces waiting for Granny to click. Finally she did, and not a moment too soon. *** Let me catch my breath before I continue. Whew... A story like this is hard on an old man's heart. Alrighty... Now I can't tell ya what went on after the picture until I tell ya what likely occurred while we got ready to take it. Nearest I can figure -- being in such a rush and all -- I wasn't too careful while tying Sunshine to the tree. And... nearest I can figure -- being that Joe had me so flustered -- I didn't check the latch on Pilgrim's gate. So, at some point Sunshine got loose, I assume, and went struttin' by Pilgrim's pen, and Pilgrim just couldn't help himself; had to go after her. I can only imagine his surprise when the gate actually opened. Now I didn't see any of this; I'm just giving the most logical explanation. What happened next though, I witnessed first-hand, and boy... was it somethin'! Let me grab a breath before I continue. Where were we? Oh yeah, on the front porch, posed and smiling. Granny had just snapped the shot. *** "Take one more," my dad yelled. But she didn't get the chance. Sunshine rounded the house and jumped onto the porch, barreling through us, bleating and bellowing, scared out of her mind. Right on her tail came Pilgrim, covered in mud and slop. Sunshine just wanted to get away, and I guess she was hoping we would give her some cover. But we were all dressed in our best, so we were tryin' to get out of her way. Except for Joe. He decided to forgo his usual concern with spit and shine and save the women. He had the bright idea that he'd jump Sunshine and wrestle her down. It might have worked if he hadn't missed and landed flat on his face. ~ All Rights Reserved
November 2012 Sunshine reached the edge of the porch and went timid all the sudden; didn't want to jump. Instead, she turned around to head back, only Pilgrim was coming, and in between them lay my prostrate brother. Sunshine bellowed and used my brother's back as a ramp to jump over Pilgrim. And Pilgrim -- who saw he and Sunshine were about to collide -- put on his brakes. Problem was, he had a little too much speed for a quick stop. So just as Sunshine leapt from Joe's back, Pilgrim went slidin' across it, and kept going, knocking Momma, Ruthie and Abbey over like bowling pins. Then all four of them rolled off the side of the porch, right into the freshly tilled mud of Momma's new flower garden. That mud made a nice cushion for my mom and sisters. As for Pilgrim? Well, what can I say, he was a pig. For a split second, Pilgrim was so overcome with pleasure he forgot all about Sunshine. Then the silly goat came circling around from the back of the house. Guess she thought Pilgrim still chased after her. When she came face to face with him, she let out a bleat and took off the other direction, again, with pellets shootin' like BB's right out the back. Pilgrim tried to take off and follow, but he couldn't get much traction, so mostly he just spun his wheels and slung mud behind him, dirtying up my mom and sisters even more. That's when I decided to take action. I dove off the porch, wrapped my arms around his hind quarters - slippery critter -- and immediately lost my grip and fell backward. Pilgrim's hoof connected with my forehead, which gave him the traction to push off and resume his chase of Sunshine.
27 Well, you can imagine the aftermath. For a full month I had to explain to folks why I had a bruise the size and shape of a pig's hoof stamped in the middle of my forehead. You can probably also imagine the mess all this created, and who do you think had to clean it all up? That's right. Since it was pretty much my fault, I got to scour the mud from everyone's clothes, scrub down the porch, and patch up Momma's garden. Can't say I minded. It was a fair price to pay for that kind of a knee-slappin' memory. Author Bio: Having never considered becoming a writer, Shawna K. Williams' path changed in a single night all because of a dream. Her early writings were a mere attempt to fill in gaps within the dream and satisfy her curiosity, but later became the inspiration for her first two novels. She is an editor for Desert Breeze Publishing and Solstice Publishing, speaker and teacher on writing techniques, homeschooling mom and multipublished author of historical fiction. Shawna enjoys books in almost any genre as long as they contain strong characters tackling real-life grit -even if the book is sci-fi/fantasy. She also has a thing for dogs and pygmy goats, and believes the world would be a better place if people aspired to be the person their pet believes them to be. Find out more about Shawna by visiting her website or blog and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter!
An hour later we finally caught that blasted pig. Had to catch Sunshine first so we could use her as bait. Poor, terrified girl, thinking we meant to leave her and Pilgrim in the same pen. Once he was in, we let her out, and shut the gate real fast before Pilgrim could follow. ***
ÂŠ Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
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~~~~~~~ Interview with Liz Curtis Higgs By Mary Nichelson
now. Where do your ideas come from for new writing projects? LCH- Many things press on my heart, but the fear of running out of story ideas isn’t one of them! This snippet of poetry says it all:
O Reader! had you in your mind, Such stores as silent thought can bring, O gentle Reader! you would find, A tale in everything. —William Wordsworth
What would an author who has penned thirty books with over three million in circulation desire for her readers? For Liz Curtiss Higgs, that is an easy question to answer. “I confess I’ve fallen hopelessly in love with Scotland, having traveled there fifteen times, often for several weeks at a go. If time and money were in limitless supply, I’d whisk (the reader) away for a fortnight and escort you around bonny Scotland in person.” When pressed on why Scotland of all places, she simply states, “Perhaps because when I’m there, I have a sense of rightness, of completion, of belonging.” That same passion carries over into her writing where many of her fans would acknowledge that her novels have had that impact on them. There is a strong connection with the fragility of humanity and the complications of the emotions involved throughout her books. Life has a sense of completion, whether a happy or sad ending, when the reader finishes each book. Not surprisingly, her newest release is no exception. A Wreath of Snow has arrived just in time for Christmas and Liz Curtis Higgs was excited to share about it-explaining among other things why she chose to briefly step away from her favored Scotland as a backdrop and instead, went Victorian. MN-With over 30 books written, it would seem that you would run out of ideas for novels by © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
“Everything” is right. It might be a photograph in a history book, a brief mention in a documentary, a side comment by a lecturer, even a word in the dictionary that prompts me to dig deeper. Before long, scenes begin to take shape in my mind, dialogue fills the air, and I’m off on another adventure. Many story ideas never travel beyond that first spark, but the ones that continue to prod my imagination are the ones that eventually end up in print. MN- I have read several of your books and one common consistency in all of them is that you have no problem forming believable characters. I think about them long after I finish reading the book. Does that come easy for you; is it as strong of a writing trait as it appears? LCH- I’m so grateful my characters continue to live in your heart, because they certainly do the same for me! Even years after meeting them on the page, I find myself thinking about them, wondering how they are doing, and in some cases, wishing I might have written a happier ending for them. Even if a story closes on a redemptive note, a few characters are inevitably lost along the way. Those are the ones I miss the most. For me, I don’t so much create my characters as discover them. I often compare it to boarding a cruise ship. You meet people one at a time, see them interact in different situations, day in and day out, until you know them quite well and are reluctant to say farewell when you reach the final dock. ~ All Rights Reserved
November 2012 I often completely rewrite the opening pages of a manuscript after I’m well into the story and know the characters better. Names may change, physical descriptions may be altered, back story may move in new directions, until the moment comes when the characters say, “Enough! On with the story.” MN- Let's talk about your most recent novella. You're well known for your Scottish historical novels, yet the Victorian era in A Wreath of Snow is positively modern compared to your previous books. Why did you choose this time period? LCH- It all started with an enormous resource book—World Railways of the Nineteenth Century. Turning those pages, looking at all those pen-andink drawings, I began envisioning a novella set on a train. Since the Victorians loved Christmas, that season of the year was a natural fit. Then it started snowing—at least, in my imagination!—Margaret Campbell walked onto the set, and A Wreath of Snow was born. As it happens, I actually took the train from Edinburgh to Stirling one wintry day in December 1998, so I had that experience to draw from. I also spent a week in Stirling when I began writing the story and another week when I was finishing it, so the railway station, the winding streets, the Victorian neighborhood, the Wallace Monument, and the Ochil Hills were all firmly etched in my heart. MN- Francine Rivers, author of Redeeming Love endorsed A Wreath of Snow by saying it is a "wonderful story of redemption and restoration." Why did you choose those themes to write about in a Christmas themed novella? LCH- Sadly, Christmas is not always merry. For those who are estranged from their families or from the Lord, it can be a very difficult time indeed. I wanted to explore that aspect of Christmastime through the eyes of two people who are filled with regret. I loved watching them work through their issues, past and present, even as they slowly move © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
29 toward each other and toward a more hope-filled future. The challenge as a writer is to add some surprises and turns along the way, so the journey is interesting and not predictable. This is, after all, a Christmas novella, so a redemptive ending is to be expected. The interesting bit is how we get there. One of the secondary characters in A Wreath of Snow became much more central to the story than I’d originally planned. What happens to him may be quite a surprise for readers. It certainly was for me! MN- I love the forgiveness aspect in the story. To me, that is what Christ's birth embraces. With Christmas being so commercialized, what are some practical ways we can reintroduce the true meaning of the holiday season while remaining relevant to our generation? LCH- Here’s the good news: the story of Jesus’ birth truly is relevant to every generation. If we can focus on that babe in a manger, rather than on the expensive gifts the magi brought, I think we’ll come closer to the true meaning of Christmas and the greatest gift of all: God’s grace. To that end, I’m trying to take our family’s shopping and gift-giving efforts down a notch each year, focusing instead on being together and on shared experiences. MN- The holiday season means different things to different people. What does Christmas look like at your house? LCH- Our traditions are simple, even silly, but we love them. Trimming the tree is a family affair, with a particular holiday CD to put us in the mood, chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven, and our grown daughter running through the house with the tree skirt tied around her neck like a caped superhero—something she’s done since she was three. Certain holiday items are placed around our old Kentucky home—a Christmas quilt here, a grouping of candles there. I also display a dozen Christmas
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November 2012 novellas I enjoy reading each year. What fun to add A Wreath of Snow this season! None of us are any good at wrapping gifts, so the same decorative bags and tissue paper are recycled year after year. Christmas morning begins with stockings, then breakfast, then gifts are opened one at a time, amid much laughing and hugging. Christmas dinner comes next, with a traditional Kentucky menu: honey ham, corn pudding, green beans, flaky biscuits, cooked apples, and an assortment of pies for dessert. By evening the house is quiet again and we’re curled up on the couch, grateful not for our gifts, but for one another, and for the One whose birth changed everything. MN- As you look back over the year 2012, what is one way Liz Curtis Higgs the author has changed? LCH- I’m editing myself more. Holding my tongue when I might be tempted to gossip or say something unnecessary or unkind. Typing words in an email, then taking them out, rather than risking offense. It’s not only what we do and say that shows the world what a follower of Christ looks like; it’s also what we DON’T do and say. This year especially I’ve been asking the Lord to still my mouth, stay my hand, keep me humble, make me outward focused. To any extent that I’ve managed that, it’s by God’s grace and mercy alone.
30 Historical Novel. Here Burns My Candle won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Inspirational Romance, and Mine Is the Night was a New York Times bestseller. Her latest release is A Wreath of Snow: A Victorian Christmas Novella. Liz has also presented more than 1,700 inspirational programs for audiences in all fifty United States and fourteen foreign countries, She is happily married to Bill Higgs, who serves as Director of Operations for her speaking and writing office, and they are the relieved parents of two college grads. When she’s not traveling to Scotland for research, Liz can be found curled up with a good book in their old Kentucky home, a nineteenthcentury farmhouse near Louisville. You can connect with author Liz Curtis Higgs on her website, on FaceBook on Pinterest or on Twitter@MyScottishHeart
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MN- Your vision for 2013 is to...... LCH- Choose wisely and well, seeking God’s direction at every turn. There are only so many hours in the day. I’d like every one to count for his Kingdom, even in small and seemingly insignificant ways. It truly all matters to God!
Where Readers can find more great Christian Fiction!
Author Bio- Liz Curtis Higgs is the author of thirty books—fiction, nonfiction, and children's— with more than three million copies in print. Her six Scottish historical novels have won the hearts of readers and reviewers around the globe. Whence Came a Prince received a Christy Award for Best © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
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November 2012 The Power of Positive Faith: Attitude of Gratitude By Dr.LaSharnda Beckwith © Nov 2012 I want to challenge you this month. It’s the month we celebrate Thanksgiving so I challenge you to think of one thing you are thankful for and write it down every day of this month. I want you to think of the “new things” God is doing for you and around you. I would like you to encourage yourself when things become a challenge for you and don’t think of past hurts this month. Most times we become discouraged because we look back over our lives with regret. We wonder why this didn’t happen or that didn’t happen; we wonder why something happened and why we did not make better decisions back then. We regret that we made wrong decisions and then we live with the agony of asking ourselves why. If we are not careful we will find ourselves always living in the past and having regrets. Living in the past does us no good. Seriously! Wake Up! God is doing something new and you are a part of it. Our greatest failure is to allow our minds to be used negatively. How do we do that? When things aren’t working out the way we would like, our thoughts about ourselves tend to automatically default to the negative. We blame ourselves, sometimes saying such things as “why did I ever do that” “I am so stupid” and I could go on and on. This month tell yourself that you are the apple of God’s eye; say it every single day if you have to. You see when we default to the negatives of our past, if we are not careful, we can get stuck there. The past can hold really great memories, but it’s still the past; be thankful for today. We cannot go back and relive our lives, we can only live today and try to move forward or we can allow ourselves to get stuck where we are. One scripture in the Bible that can help you live with new purpose and with positive anticipation is found in Isaiah 43:19 it says “Hey I am doing a new thing, as it springs forward, can you not see it?” © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
31 See, if you insist on holding onto the past, you might miss the new thing God is doing all around you. You might miss the part you should be playing in it. Holding on to a hurt or a disappointment that happened yesterday, last month or years ago is negative and it can affect your ability to be thankful and ultimately to succeed. It can create a dark spot in your heart. Things that we have held on to and have become grudges will pop us to affect us at times when we are trying to do something positive and productive. That dark spot is negativity. Be aware of triggers that may cause negativity to infiltrate your life. Old hurts and old disappointments may be those triggers. It’s time to let go of them. God is doing a new thing, can’t you see it? I bet you can if you are thankful and if you put on positive filters and watch for it. God is doing a new thing, watch it spring forth and be determined to be a part of it. Dr. LaSharnda Beckwith, PhD, MBAA, MA, BPS, is an Empowerment Advocate, personal life coach, motivational speaker & leadership expert. She is a retired executive of more than 26 years with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service. She retired as Vice President of Eastern Operations. She is currently a Professor in the School of Management at Texas Woman’s University. She is an author and talk show host. “Living Happy Every Day with Dr. LaSharnda” can be heard on www.LATalkradio.com, channel 1.
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~~~~~~~ Critically acclaimed author Steven James has written more than thirty books, including his bestselling Patrick Bowers series. One of the nation's most innovative storytellers, Steven developed his skill as a performer at East Tennessee State University (MA in storytelling). Steven is a much sought after speaker for writing conferences and seminars around the world. Find out more by visiting his Website or Blog!
Placebo Steven James A Jevin Banks Novel The Jevin Banks Experience, #1 One man must uncover the truth—even when others will stop at nothing to keep it buried. While investigating a controversial neurological research program, exposé filmmaker Jevin Banks is drawn into a far-reaching conspiracy involving one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms. He © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
YA Perspective: Sarah Interviews Melody & Shares her Thoughts on the TrueColors Series! Sarah: What or who inspired you to write the TrueColors series? Melody Carlson: TrueColors was the result of several things. Teen readers had been asking me to address some more serious topics (i.e. cutting, substance abuse, suicide, sexuality, body image, etc.). And I had touched upon some of these issues in Diary of a Teenage Girl, but not with the level of depth that some readers wanted. Then I had a couple of girls email me, begging me to write a book about best friends who parted ways—and they wanted me to title it Dark Blue. At the time I was ready to start a new teen series, but I wanted the freedom of writing stand-alone books. So I put all these elements into the pot, stirred it around, and came up with the idea of TrueColors. Sarah: Which of the TrueColors books was the most difficult to write? Melody Carlson: I wouldn’t use the word “difficult” with any of the books. But some issues, because I wasn’t that familiar with them, proved more challenging. For instance, I couldn’t wrap my head around cutting at first. Why would anyone want to inflict pain on their self? The more I researched and wrote, the clearer it became. By the ~ All Rights Reserved
November 2012 time I finished Blade Silver, I totally got it. Another issue that I was a little uneasy with was homosexuality. I wanted Bright Purple to be a realistic book, but I knew I was walking a fine line in the Christian venue. Finally I realized I just needed to focus on grace and understanding—and let readers decide for themselves on this hot topic. Another one that I wasn’t too sure about was writing about Wicca in Moon White. Again, I wanted to write an honest book, but without enticing anyone to get into witchcraft. But, as with the other books, the more I researched and learned, the clearer it became which direction the story would take. I learned so much writing TrueColors and am so thankful I wrote these books. I’ve received hundreds of letters from teens saying how books from this series have changed their lives. Sarah: What is the message you hope teen girls will take to heart after reading this series? Melody Carlson: Because so many of the TrueColors books deal with very serious issues, I wanted to include spiritually solid answers. I felt I couldn’t tell these difficult stories without offering real solutions—primarily that God is our best resource for dealing with all of life’s challenges. My hope was that readers would relate to the characters and their struggles. I wanted them to see how these troubled characters eventually turn to God for help—and I wanted readers to consider this path for themselves. More than anything I want to encourage my readers to seek out a solid relationship with God—because I know how foundational this is to life.
33 written for young adults, she explores a multitude of the issues which teen girls must face today. Her heroines must grapple with problems ranging from suicidal thoughts, alcohol, peer pressure, and more, all while still being “normal” high schoolers. Each one of her characters is unique from the next, and I never did I feel like I was reading about the same girl twice. Every book is meant to be able to stand alone, but read as a series, these books strengthen Melody’s hope that through these books girls will learn to rely on God for their help during hard times. Through this series, Melody Carlson showcases time and again just how much she can relate to teen girls. She truly “gets” teenage girls. Having only just recently graduated from the teen years myself (yay early 20’s!), I can easily sympathize with the teens in her books. I remember vividly those days, sometimes full of drama and heartache, and still others filled with joy and hope. This series is well worth the read for those who are young adults, or those who are just simply young at heart! I would highly recommend the TrueColors series, or simply any young adult series by Melody Carlson! Sarah Heath is a 20 year old college student from Dallas, Texas. She enjoys drinking a tall glass of sweet tea while sitting down to read a good book or writing about her life on her blog. She has written reviews for publishers such as, Navpress, Thomas Nelson, and Bethany House. She is a member of FIRST Wild Card book review Bloggers. Her reviews can be found at Reviews by Sarah Katie.
~~~~~~~ Want to purchase a title you see advertised here in TWJM? Simply click on the cover image, ISBN# or Title (if highlighted)! Commentary:
In Melody Carlson’s twelve book True Colors series, © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
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The Proactive Author: Opportunities Are Everywhere By W. Terry Whalin © Nov 2012 If you hold a glass partially filled with liquid, what is your perspective? Is the glass half-filled or half empty? For the last six or seven years, I've been writing about publishing, I believe the glass is half full. As I look over the landscape of the publishing world, I see opportunities are everywhere. Magazine editors are actively looking every day for writers who understand their publication and write targeted articles for their readers. Editors of online publications are reading their email and looking for excellent material to use. Book editors are also actively reading their mail (and email) and continually listening to literary agents and writers as they pitch their ideas. Over the years, I've been inside some of the top literary agencies in New York City. These agents are looking for the next bestseller that they can champion to their editor friends.
During recent months, I've also been making some changes. After four years at one publisher and working with many authors, I recently resigned that role. I took an acquisitions editor position with Morgan James Publishing. Each day I'm actively looking for excellent book proposals which I can present to our publication board. Because Morgan James is based in New York, I've got a New York phone number and mailing address. For the last eight years, I was living and working in Arizona. Last summer, my family and I moved to Irvine, California. In a pattern that is familiar to many in the publishing world, I telecommute for my acquisitions editor role. If I can help you, don't hesitate to reach out and send me your proposal. Here are several keys as you explore the opportunities:
One of the keys to seizing an opportunity is looking for change. The marketplace is constantly changing. New publications start. New editors come on the scene. Long-term editors will leave their publisher and start to work as a literary agent. These changes are only a few of the many transitions in the marketplace.
—continue to build relationships with anyone and everyone in the publishing community. You never know when a relationship may become important to you. Writers become editors. Editors become literary agents. Literary agents become editors. The fluid nature of the community means you should work each day to expand your connections.
When you read about these changes, I encourage you to understand they are opportunities for you as a writer. Each of these professionals is actively looking for a new stable of writers. Your pitch has to be right on target but it can make a huge impact if it comes at the right time.
—continue to grasp opportunities large and small which keep you active in the publishing world. There are times when the phone does not ring and you receive no personal email. How do you handle those times? Do you pull into your shell and do nothing or do you increase your activity? I encourage you to write more query letters and pitch more ideas. Activity will breed activity.
© Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
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—take action every day to write what you want to write and continually touch the marketplace. Earlier this week I exchanged emails with a longterm friend. He has been dreaming for years about writing a book—yet never put his fingers on the keyboard and produced any writing. The days continue to pass and he has not taken action. I encouraged him to choose a small number of words that he wants to write each day and then commit to working at his writing. If you take this small action step, you will be surprised after a month or two at the accumulated writing. It does not happen without taking action. Let's return to the half-filled glass. Do you see opportunity? W. Terry Whalin, a writer and acquisitions editor, lives in Irvine, California. He has written more than 60 nonfiction books including Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams. You can learn about his innovative course to help writers create a book proposal at: http://WriteABookProposal.com. His website is located at: www.terrywhalin.com.
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Guest Editorial by Tracy Krauss! WIND OVER MARSHDALE came about in ‘spurts’. I started writing this story simultaneously with several other novels - at one point I was writing five different books at one time. Perhaps this one went through the most changes, and certainly was ‘shelved’ more often than the others. Three of those five went on to get published, and it was then that I could concentrate on making the final revisions to what I felt was my most poignant and perhaps controversial work yet. The book does contain what some might consider ‘touchy’ subject matter; racism and spiritual warfare, among others. Racism is never pretty, but I’ve tried to portray it in an honest way. No matter how much we want to believe racial prejudice is dead, it is unfortunately very much alive. In WIND OVER MARSHDALE, a Cree man and his family move to a small prairie town. It is, in fact, the place of their ancestors, but despite modern sensibilities, many of the ‘white’ population can’t see past their own stereotypes. Added to the mix is a family of Chinese ancestry, whose ancestors arrived before many of the European pioneers, yet they too are still seen as ‘foreigners’. Another potential hotbed of discussion is the inclusion of various spiritual belief systems. The hero is caught between his Christian beliefs and the strong pull of his ancestral heritage as a Cree medicine man. There are many different views about where native spirituality fits into modern life, especially that of a practicing Christian, and the book does not try to address the issue in terms of what is ‘right and wrong’. Instead I focus on the individual struggles faced by the characters and let readers come to their own conclusions on the matter. The pastor of the church also struggles with hidden addictions that eventually bring him to ruin. I wanted to show the frailty and humanity of even the most ‘upstanding’ and seemingly religious ~ All Rights Reserved
November 2012 individual, highlighting the fact that, “man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart”. I find that I often like my current release best, and in this case, it’s true. This book is another complex look into the difference between the outward and the inner man. I had a lot of fun writing it since it includes so many interesting characters and situations. The town drunk, an aging gossip, a sexy cowboy, psychotic twins, a love triangle, the occult … this book has a bit of everything. The setting is based on my own hometown of Mossbank, and although the landscape and even some of the history are authentic, the characters are either from my imagination or a compilation of interesting people I’ve met in my travels around the small town Canada. Enjoy. Bio: Tracy Krauss is a best-selling author, playwright, artist and teacher. She is a member of 'American Christian Fiction Writers', 'Inscribe Christian Writers Fellowship', and ‘The Word Guild’ as well as several writing related social networking groups. Originally from a small prairie town, Tracy received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Sask. with majors in Art, and minors in History and English. She teaches High School English, Drama and Art. Apart from her many personal creative pursuits, she also directs an amateur theatre group and leads worship at her local church. She and her husband, an ordained minister with the PAOC, have lived in many remote and unique places in Canada's north, including Churchill Manitoba - the 'polar bear capital of the world', the Yukon, and the NWT. They raised four children and were active advocates of the homeschooling movement for many years. They currently reside in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, BC, known for its waterfalls. Find out more about Tracy by visiting © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
36 her website or blog. Connect with her on FaceBook and Twitter!
ASIN: B008ARYQPA Marshdale. Just a small farming community where nothing special happens. A perfect place to start over… or get lost. There is definitely more to this prairie town than meets the eye. Once the meeting place of aboriginal tribes for miles around, some say the land itself was cursed because of the people’s sin. But its history goes farther back than even indigenous oral history can trace and there is still a direct descendant who has been handed the truth, like it or not. Exactly what ties does the land have to the medicine of the ancients? Is it cursed, or is it all superstition? Wind Over Marshdale is the story of the struggles within a small prairie town when hidden evil and ancient medicine resurface. Caught in the crossfire, new teacher Rachel Bosworth finds herself in love with two men at once. First, there is Thomas Lone Wolf, a Cree man whose blood lines run back to the days of ancient medicine but who has chosen to live as a Christian and faces prejudice from every side as he tries to expose the truth. Then there is Con McKinley, local farmer who has to face some demons of his own. Add to the mix a wayward minister seeking anonymity in the obscurity of the town; eccentric twin sisters – one heavily involved in the occult and the other a fundamentalist zealot; and a host of other ‘characters’ whose lives weave together unexpectedly for the final climax. ~ All Rights Reserved
This suspenseful story is one of human frailty prejudice, cowardice, jealousy, and greed – magnified by powerful spiritual forces that have remained hidden for centuries, only to be broken in triumph by grace.
are not alone. This is Tony's story...in his own words. Try, I dare you to try, to not grab a tissue. He is raw, he is honest and he absolutely shines a darkened light on a very personal story.
Wind Over Marshdale can be purchased directly from the publisher, Astraea Press, Amazon or Barnes & Noble!
~~~~~~~ You Are Not Alone: Focused On Their Faith ~ Meet Tony Astin
By Dawn Kidd © 10/25/2012 While sitting in a support group meeting for The Compassionate Friends of NEA, I listened to a special guest speak about the loss of his sister. This loss had happened twenty years ago, and yet, this was the first time he spoke about it. He felt shame because he grieved. See, we always check on the mother or the father of a child that passes, but we rarely consider the pain that the extended family feels. It was a huge light bulb that went off in my head. I could think back on moments that my grief was directed towards the parents, giving little thought to the "extended" members of that family. It was I that felt guilt that evening. A month later, I was asked to speak at a special dinner during a meeting of SISTAS, a group that also helps grieving parents. I met a wonderful man who seemed to stay in the background, but his pain was evident. He was the special man that pulled everything together for the special dinner, but he is also the uncle of a special teenager that had passed away just eight short years ago. I began to think about my light bulb moment and asked Tony if he would share his story as a way to help all of us know that our pain is not our own. We © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
October 19, 2004, the phone rang at my work. On the other end was my sister, telling me that my niece, Nicole, was in an accident. Not knowing much more than that, I waited for more news. Unbeknownst to me, more news came a short time later, news that I wasn't expecting. Nicole was dead. Trapped at work until the later afternoon, all I could do was sit and wait until I could be with my family. As I pulled up to brother's house, I could see that a crowd had already gathered. Being from a small town, news travels fast. As I searched for a parking spot (my brother's neighbor's driveway - I think), I noticed a lot of young people, teenagers. You see, Nicole was only a teenager herself. She was going to cosmetology school and was engaged to a great guy. As I walked through the yard, acknowledging the guests, I made my way into the house, searching for my brother or his wife. I don't know who I saw first, I guess it really doesn't matter. What was I supposed to do, or say? I don't know what I said or did, but, I knew I was supposed to be there. I milled around the house, looking for other family members, to be comforted and to comfort others. At some point, my younger sister and I saw my brother, standing alone in between the cars. I motioned at my sister, and we both went to be with ~ All Rights Reserved
November 2012 my brother. He was helpless, clueless - not in a bad way, but in a way that you hurt for him. Knowing that he had to be the "strong one", yet wanting to grieve. All we, my sister and I, could do was embrace him. You see sometimes not saying something but sharing something at a time like this, says it all. As the day turned to evening, we muddled around the house and the yard, talking to old friends, looking at new faces, all with a constant undertone of a sense of loss, sadness, confusion, hurt, pain, and love. A couple of days later, we had the visitation. Although it was scheduled for two hours, it lasted three, maybe four hours. Family, friends, classmates, coworkers, and strangers attended. They showed their love and friendship to my brother and sister-in-law. As siblings, we sat off to the side, allowing others to share their condolences. But, at the end of the visitation, we kids got in line to share our condolences. Not through words, but through hugs, looks, and tears… On the day of the funeral, the church was packed. It had to be an overflow crowd. As my brother and sister-in-law made their way to their seats, he held her by his side, and carried her down the aisle. She was distraught, and rightfully so. I sat through the sermons and the songs, as if I was in another place. Somehow, I removed myself from the situation at hand. A coping mechanism, I guess. I don't remember much about the service at graveside, but I do remember being told that my father cried (I’ve never seen my father cry). However, the dinner at the church afterwards was much like a family homecoming. Food, family, friends…chatter and even laughter of the children.
Through the years, we speak of Nicole often and with the anniversary of her death, I drive to the cemetery to see her grave, and I call and check on my sister-in-law. No, I don't know the loss of a child, however, I do know the loss of a niece and it hurts, and even years later, I sit and wonder sometimes, who would Nicole be today. Perhaps a wife, possibly a mother by now. What would Nicole look like? Short or long hair? Pregnant with joy? What does her voice sound like now, because I can see pictures of her, yet her voice is a distant memory. And here we are, eight years later and those emotions of that day can surface as if it only occurred yesterday. Not knowing what to say about the loss of someone's child, yet I still grieve. Thus, we are not alone, even as the uncle, the brother, or the brother-in-law.
Bio: Dawn Kidd is the author of "You Are Not Alone" that chronicles the loss of her two infant children. Along with her daily column at The Wordsmith Journal Magazine, she is a weekend columnist for The Paragould Daily Press. Dawn enjoys her position on the board of TCF of Northeast Arkansas. (The Compassionate Friends is an International Organization that assists families with grief, who have lost a child, at any age)
As the days and weeks passed, my brother tried to resume a normal routine; however, my sister-in-law was unable to resume a normal routine. Even years later, her routine prior to October 19, 2004 has not resumed and it's understandable. © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
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~~~~~~~ SR Perspective: A Light in the Window By Julie Lessman
ASIN: B0091JZXXK One Woman. Two Men. One stirs her pulse and the other her faith. But who will win her heart? Marceline Murphy is a gentle beauty with a wellfounded aversion to rogues. But when two of Boston's most notorious pursue her, she encounters a tug-of-war of the heart she isn’t expecting. Sam O’Rourke is the childhood hero she’s pined for, the brother of her best friend and a member of the large, boisterous family to which she longs to be a part. So when his best friend Patrick O’Connor joins in pursuit of her affections, the choice seems all too clear. Sam is from a family of faith and Patrick is not, two rogues whose wild ways clash head-on with Marcy’s—both in her faith and in her heart. While overseeing the Christmas play fundraiser for the St. Mary’s parish soup kitchen—A Light in the Window—Marcy not only wrestles with her attraction to both men, but with her concern for their spiritual welfare. The play is based on the Irish custom of placing a candle in the window on Christmas Eve to welcome the Holy Family, and for Marcy, its message becomes deeply personal. Her grandmother Mima cautions her to guard her heart for the type of man who will respond to the "light in the window," meaning the message of Christ in her heart. But when disaster strikes during the play, Marcy is destined to discover the truth of the play’s © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
message first-hand when it becomes clear that although two men have professed their undying love, only one has truly responded to “the light in the window.” Just Sayin.... by Barb Shelton My reading began with high anticipation as eighteen year old Marceline (Marcy) Murphy stood on the front porch of the O’Rourke home nervously preparing to ring the doorbell. Five long years had passed since Marcy and her family had left Boston for New York where her father had taken a new job as a vice president for Reading Railroad, and subsequently lost due to the worldwide economic depression in 1893, costing him and thousands their jobs. Marcy’s family returned to Boston in hopes of new beginning. How could she predict what heartache lay ahead? She and her family would need to lean on their faith in God to see them through. Marcy’s best friend Julie (Jewels) O’Rourke lived behind those doors with her large family and the memory of Julie’s older brother Sam made her hands clammy. Hmm, I thought as I read. Sweet memories of Sam? Wasn’t her love interest……? Marcy’s thought leads us into the story, “A Light in the Window” and promptly caught my attention. I still puzzled over Marcy’s romantic thoughts about Sam when she…..oh never mind…just keep on reading. Among the many fans of Julie’s writing, I had been waiting for her story about the young couple who started this saga of the O’Connor family. Having read all of the previous books in Daughters of Boston and Winds of Change; both series about the O’Connor children, my curiosity about the couple that sired them didn't end. Finally, Julie Lessman is telling how it all began. This had to be good! As I continued reading, Jewels opened the O’Rourke front door to an anxious grown up Marcy ~ All Rights Reserved
and enthusiastically noticed the beauty her best friend had become. Jewels commented that Marcy would certainly turn heads during their senior year, especially her brother Sam’s.
yet, until he sees Marcy again for the first time after five years. He questions himself and begins to seek the real meaning of his life with the desire to be better.
The best friends begin to reminisce, giggling and talking about the old crowd…mentioning Sam and his best friend Patrick often. Marcy grimaced at the recalling of what she already knew about Patrick – considering him the rogue of all rogues and thinking him to be the cause of Sam’s unruly shenanigans. She kept her opinion of Patrick to herself because Jewels had a wild crush on him, as did other girls. Their conversation brought up the St. Mary’s church Christmas play fund raiser for the soup kitchen, and Marcy eagerly told Jewels that she had already talked to Sister Francine and got the job to spearhead the fundraiser. She also volunteered Jewels to be the pianist and her assistant in directing the play performance. Marcy was pleased with her selection of the play. It was something old she found that was significant regarding a true Irish tradition at Christmas. At this point, she had no idea of the real meaning that would evolve into her life forever.
The scene with Sam and Patrick hiding in a confessional at St Mary’s drinking the sacristy wine from the bottle and smoking shows the audaciousness of youth in a humorous and predictable way. Of course, they get caught! Father Fitzgibbons is not shocked and handles the situation thoughtfully while assigning a consequence to the boys that leads into the gist of the story and from thereon we are hooked.
Marcy believed that a solid marriage needed commitment and faith in God. It was her heart’s desire to have such a marriage. She recently developed mistrust toward the opposite sex from traumatic revelations of adultery and unfaithfulness before returning to Boston. She thinks she knows Sam and has hope that he will be the love of her life, even though she is aware of his oat sowing. She feels her prayers can change him. Marcy is an only child and looks to the O’Rourke’s as being the ideal family and wants desperately to be a part of them. She considers Patrick a devious rogue and rover, causing her mixed emotions as she gets to know him. What Marcy eventually comes to learn of her parents and family surprises her. Patrick has been disliked and misunderstood by his father all his life. His father, a hypocrite controls his family through physical, emotional, and verbal abuse. Despite his upbringing, Patrick is a young man with refined values that are not fully developed © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
Julie Lessman’s writing is always a great mix of high emotion, clashes of right and wrong, forgiveness, past and present hurts, secrets, guilt, shame, fun, humor, family stresses, life decisions, love and lust – the good, the bad and the ugly, dishonesty, thievery, hypocrisy, dreams and always God’s love and the human struggle to entrust their hearts Him. Her script is divinely developed around the evidence that she has researched the time period extensively as to history, fashions in style, education, religion, morals, courting, and human behavior which is primarily the same from generation to generation. She writes such beautiful and easily comprehended word pictures that are vivid to the imagination throughout her story. Ms. Lessman has no qualms at expressing belief in the plans that God has for each individual. The characters are all mostly lovable, with a couple of deterrents there, yet each one is unique and vital to the story. You will meet the children that perform in the play and learn their life struggles. Julie Lessman has no lack of imagination in creating the right character(s) for every situation. The surprising compassion and involvement of one character in the youngster’s lives is heartwarming and tender. It brings a bit of a tear to the eye. Here is where I will leave my review of Julie Lessman’s book. As always, after I have finished reading a Julie Lessman novel, I discover I have ~ All Rights Reserved
learned much from her words in relation to my own life. Some of my personal damaged emotions begin to heal and my faith in God has rooted deeper. Recently I told Julie “Your talent overwhelms me….how do you do that?” She answered, “LOL ... my so-called "talent" overwhelms me too, and I have NO earthly idea how I do it except by the grace of God - just like you!! :)” There, by the grace of God, we write. Bio: Barb is married to Jack Shelton, a retired military officer and lives in Arlington, Texas. Having been married for thirty seven years, Barb and Jack share eight children between them, (His, Mine, Ours); 19 grandchildren and 11 greatgrandchildren. Barb was born and raised in Enterprise, Kansas. She is musically inclined and is a retired church music director. A former Weight Watcher lecturer, she has had many interesting and unusual jobs, including working for a private detective, defense attorney, office manager for a video production company and administrative assistant to two different pastors. She is involved in volunteer and church activities, and describes herself as creative, friendly and can talk with anyone. "I am a Christian and love to spread God's love and enjoy making others smile and lift up their day." She wishes to write a book one day. "I've been through several soap operas in my lifetime and lived to tell about them." Barb is the writer of two blogs, Passing it Forward and Blessed by Grace, both of which she invites you to drop by to visit one day.
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~~~~~~~ Behind the Mystery: The In-Your-Face God By EE Kennedy © 11/06/2012 “Remember who you belong to!” My mother said that to us virtually every day when we left for school. Amelia Prentice, high school English teacher and the main character in my mystery series, would probably insist on saying, “Remember to whom you belong,” but that’s beside the point. While my mother was effervescent, loving and devout, she was no grammarian. It drove my daddy crazy. Still, we understood what she was trying to say. The phrase had several levels of meaning. One was, “remember your roots.” My grandfather was welleducated, a minister with a doctoral degree from Emory University, which was rare for someone born in the year 1883. My mother placed a lot of stock in education. She had graduated from college; she’d married a college graduate and she was ~ All Rights Reserved
November 2012 determined that all three of her children would also be matriculated. (And understand what that word meant.) Another meaning was, “remember your manners.” We were raised to be polite, especially to our elders. My mother liked to quote her father who said, “I won’t let his actions [or words] make me any less a gentleman.” This served me well when I worked in advertising. At one place, I was hired not only for my ad writing skills, but because I “behaved like a lady” in a TV studio that needed a little civilization. I don’t know if I made a dent, because the crew was just as wild when I left as when I arrived, but maybe. (I refused to raise my voice or use foul language in order to get the technical staff to do their jobs, but I did once have a dream in which I was holding them at gunpoint. Freud would have had a field day with that one.) “Remember you belong to your family” dwelt in another layer of the phrase. There were rules for members of our little five-member crew: no swearing, no smoking; no eating while walking down the street. We dressed up for church and said grace at meals. We were not to misbehave and be kept after school. (This just barely predated the wild part of the ‘60’s and lots of these rules went right out the window, only to return once we’d matured. In college, I took up smoking and ate right out in public with my friends, though I almost never swore. I seldom went to church, and didn’t pay much attention when I did. That was, as I like to term it, B.C.--Before Christ--but I digress.) “Remember you belong to me” was another meaning. My mother was passionately involved with her children in a wholesome, non-competitive sense. She fairly burst with pride at our accomplishments and cared deeply about how our lives turned out. I called her style of mothering “in your face parenting,” a little invasive, perhaps, but always caring. The real foundational meaning of the phrase, however, was “remember Who you belong to.” It © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
42 undergirded everything else. And even when we were in our prodigal kid phase, that fact was always there. When my parents weren’t present to watch over us and take care of us, He was. And He saw everything I did, right or wrong. I knew that, probably because of all those reminders from my mother. What a promise! Not everybody is blessed with “in your face” parents, but everyone is blessed with an “in your face” God, who is deeply, passionately involved in our lives. He cares about every little detail, and loves us. Just as a good parent wants the very best he can give to his child, God wants to give His very best to us: forgiveness, obtained for us by His very own Son. Oh, we’re free to ignore Him and disregard all His good, loving gifts and advice, but we’ll never be able to get far enough away that He can’t see us and care. “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” ~ Psalm 139:7-10 E E Kennedy, author of IRREGARDLESS OF MURDER and its sequel, DEATH DANGLES A PARTICIPLE (August '13) grew up in far northern New York State, where these mysteries are set. As an advertising copywriter, she wrote interview articles for art magazines and produced radio/TV commercials and print ads. She is a graduate of Huntingdon College and studied counseling and guidance at the University of Alabama.She and her husband live in North Carolina, are born-again Christians, and the happy, blessed grandparents of five little answers to prayer. Her mystery website is: MissPrenticeCozyMystery.com There you'll find fun ~ All Rights Reserved
info, previews and an exciting free novella! You can join EE on Facebook as Ellen Edwards Kennedy
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Christ is in you” and “let the mind of Christ dwell richly in you” and “that you may know the fullness Christ” backed by Jesus’s claim that the works He did I should do also and more, sparked a burning desire to know Him more fully, more intimately and that the fullness of Christ be evident in my life. Thus began my quest. I listen to Christian music, watch and listen to various teachers of the Word on radio and television--absorbing their messages, and I read voraciously books by ministers and spiritual leaders of all denominations as well as some who profess no religious beliefs – only the true nature of God (of Love).
Pelican Ventures Book Group publishes Christian inspirational romance under the White Rose Publishing imprint, and Christian inspirational fiction in all non-romance genres under the Harbourlight Books imprint. Our company is a ministry as much as it is a publishing company that produces quality fiction. As such, it is our mission to reflect the salvation and love offered by Jesus Christ in each title we offer. Our titles adhere to mainline Christianity. Watch for our new YA titles coming Oct. 2013 under the Watershed Books imprint!
~~~~~~~ Pamela’s Ponderings: The Quest By Pamela S Thibodeaux © Nov. 2012 I’ve been on a spiritual journey since the day I recommitted my life to Christ in 1989. Back then I attended the Catholic Church. Although I love and respect the heart of the Mass, I always felt there is so much more to God and Christ than what can be found in doctrine and the traditions of organized religion. Scriptures that said “the same Spirit that raised © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
Sometimes I feel as if I’ve grown in the past twentythree plus years, and yet, at other times I feel like a babe in the woods. Alas, spiritual growth and maturity is a continual thing, an ongoing journey to my highest vision of God and the grandest version of who I am in Him. Over the next few months (or years as God deems) I’d like to share with you some truths I’ve discovered about who God is to me and how those truths have illumined my mind, opened my heart and changed my life. Some may be articles I’ve written for other publications, others may seem like random thoughts. Many of the things I share will resonate with you, others will seem whacky or far out or like ‘new age spiritualism’ or worse, heretical. But I assure you, at the heart of all these lessons and every question is to know Him, to be like Him and to reflect His teachings and His truths in my every thought, word and deed. Hopefully these ponderings will make you think, question and search for your own truth about what God means to you, who He is in your life, and how you can become more like Him….more like Christ and more like the great spiritual leaders of all time ~ All Rights Reserved
whose message is, was and remains….God is love and he who dwells in Love, dwells in God and God in them. ~ 1 John 4:16 Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana and the Owner/CEO of The Wordsmith Journal Magazine. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Find out more about Pam by visiting her website and connecting with her on Facebook & Twitter @psthib!
a standard of ethics that defines the word “Christian”. Her passion is to see the publishing business excel by promoting literature that speaks to our generation without compromise. Mary is the host of Marysworld Internet radio talk show, maintains a website affiliated with several publishers, and is a member of the Evangelical Press Association. (EPA) Mary's World Website & Blog Friend Mary on FB
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Publish His glorious deeds among nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things He does. ~Psalms 96:3 ~~~~~~~ Meet our Journalist Mary Nichelson!
~~~~~~~ The Wordsmith Journal Magazine is owned & operated by Pamela S. Thibodeaux, Enterprises http://pamelathibodeaux.com
Mary is an avid reader, writer, editor and selfproclaimed advocate for the authors that make Christian publishing the great industry it is. She supports publishers by interviewing authors and promoting their new releases, as well as upholding © Nov 2012 The Wordsmith Journal Magazine
Our goal at The Wordsmith Journal is to introduce readers to authors of books with a strong moral message. Primarily Christian based, we do not adhere to any particular denomination, nor do we question the integrity or worship of our readers, interview candidates, columnists, sponsors, reviewers, or authors who advertise with us. We understand reading is subjective and what one person deems sweet, clean, cozy or inspirational, another will not. Please know we do not read nor endorse every book advertised in our magazine but trust that the author understands our goal and his or her work fits the desires of our readers.
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