Monday, July 20, 2009


Bill and I spent the weekend in Galena, IL doing research for the Illinois series Cathy and I are working on. Thought I'd share a few teasers:
I wrote a scene a few weeks ago about our hero and heroine from Parting Secrets being served Saganaki--flaming Greek cheese--at the Log Cabin Restaurant. But I really needed more details than I could get online. (How's that for a reason for a weekend trip?) So we sat at a corner booth at the restaurant on Saturday night--Bill in amused, patient silence--me scribbling notes about the grapevines hanging from wagonwheel chandeliers and the poster of a chef holding a frog over a frying pan while saying "Tastes like cheeken!" Two waitresses brought our appetizer on a metal plate. When they reached our booth, one doused the square of deep-fried cheese with brandy. The other added flamage while they yelled "Opahhh!!" No idea what that means, but what a fun, tasty, calorie-laden experience.
We spent most of Saturday walking around the quaint town taking pictures. So now I have a visual of the Trolly Depot clock under which Steven twirls Jeanie (Parting Secrets) in an impromptu dance, and the gazebo where Wade and Angel (Pleasant Surprises) get married. It's such an artsy little place that I'm now thinking Ruby's love interest (Pure Serendipity) might have to be an artist. But first we have to figure out who he is!
Hope the teasers peak your interest!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Living It Out

This was a weekend of good-byes. On Saturday we attended the funeral for my husband's cousin who died unexpectantly of a stroke. Then this afternoon we said good-bye to Jen, the daughter of another cousin, and her husband and kids as they head out to and new life and career in Idaho. As we said a tearygood-bye, Jen talked about looking to Bill and me as examples of parents whose kids have turned out well. I was humbled by her comment and this weekend of good-byes has me thinking about the messages we give when we don't even know anyone's watching.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has sat at a funeral and wondered what people will say about me after I'm gone. What kind of a legacy am I leaving for my kids and grandkids? Are they seeing integrity, compassion, and love for Jesus in my daily decisions and attitudes? As a writer, will the words I leave behind touch hearts and lives after I'm gone? Our latest release, Stillwater Promise, has a message about marriage I believe in passionately: Marriage is work, but so, so worth it. Don't ever give up. It is an extreme privilege to have a forum for writing out my convictions in story form, but if Bill and I aren't living out this principle before our kids and grandkids daily, my words in print will sound hollow.
My question to you is: How are you purposefully imparting wisdom to the next generation? What are you doing to "live out" what you believe?