Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Stuck Plot=Clean House

Nothing motivates me to clean and organize like problems with my work in progress. Since Cathy and I haven't figured out a dramatic-enough crisis for Angel (the party planner) and a good enough reason to keep her and Wade (the guy who rescued her when she hit a deer) apart, and what in the world to do with Matt (the guy she saved with the Heimlich)...I've cleaned behind the dryer and the couch and organized the pantry with little labels on the shelves. The shopping is done, the gifts are wrapped, the house is decorated, and packages are on their way to Missouri. The Christmas letter, however, involves writing and also comes under the heading "Procrastination." My hope is that getting all this stuff done ahead of time will free up enough brain space for a plot breakthrough. If not, I'll have some serious catch-up to do. Any stuck plot solutions out there?

In the meantime, I'm counting blessings in the snow. A husband who can blow out all the candles on his cake in one breath is one of them. A grandson who celebrated his "half birthday" on the same day is another. And the gluten-free chocolate cake I made for both of them is yet one more!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Little Things

So many things crowded my brain this morning...creating too much noise for sleep. So I tip-toed down the stairs, laptop tucked under my arm, to greet a scene this writer rarely sees in winter (or any season for that matter). What is it about a sunrise that seems to wash away the concerns that can seem so huge in the dark? I was reminded all over again that God's promises are new every morning.

Now that I'm up, I'm choosing to focus on all that is beautiful. Choosing is the key here. I wasn't born with a "half full" disposition, but one baby step at a time I'm learning to pick praising over whining.

So here are some of the recent joys I'm thanking God for on this amazing snowy morning: Our grandson Cole turned two last week. He requested "Coo-coo pie" for his birthday, so his dad baked him a chocolate chip cookie pie. Notice, to the right of the boys, their little sister ready to join the fun literally any day now. We'd appreciate prayers for a quick and safe birth for little Lilly.

Cousins Keira and Oliver spent a lot of quality time together this past weekend. As long as we kept them from grabbing each other's ears and eyeballs they got along just fine!

We had Thanksgiving dinner at my mother's house with five and nine-tenths of our grandkids there. My little mom is 91 and still hosting holidays! One of the traditions she loves is putting an apron on my brother and watching him carve the turkey. He does an artful job.

Well, time to focus all this blessing-counting onto the fact that I can sit in my jammies, cozied up to a nice warm laptop, and "go to work." I just passed the halfway point in Pleasant Surprises, the first story in our Illinois series and I'm gaining ground on A Sweet Mess. Last week Cathy and I got our first look at the cover for Dream Chasers, coming out in March. It's blue and beautiful and I'll be sharing it soon. So, as I go off to work, I leave you with a reminder to choose praise over whine and savor all the little blessings. Take a lesson from my granddaughter Keira--imagine this kind of joy (Yes, that's a smile!) over a piece of celery and a camera!