Interview and Book Give-away with Lena Nelson Dooley!!

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Today, I’m interviewing Lena Nelson Dooley, a multi-published writer who has over 800,000 books in print! I find that pretty mind-blowing!  She’s written a trilogy of historical romances about triplet sisters separated at birth during an arduous wagon-train journey. It’s called “McKenna’s Daughters.” My first interview with Lena, on my group blog, focused on the first book, “Maggie’s Journey.” The interview today will focus on book two, “Mary’s Blessing.”
Here’s a teaser about it: 
Mary Lenora Murray knows she is adopted. As she was growing up, her mother called her “God’s blessing.” But now that she’s gone, Mary no longer feels like any kind of blessing. Her father, in his grief, has cut himself off from the family, leaving the running of the home entirely in Mary’s hands.
As she nears her eighteenth birthday, Mary can’t see anything in her future but drudgery. Then her childhood friend Daniel begins to court her, promising her a life of riches and ease. But her fairy-tale dreams turn to dust when her family becomes too much for Daniel, and he abandons her in her time of deepest need.
Will Daniel come to grips with God’s plan for him? And if he does return, can Mary trust that this time he will really follow through?
When her mother dies, Mary Lenora must grow up quickly to take care of her brothers and sisters. Can love help her to shoulder the burden?
After the interview, I’ll post the first chapter of the book, to whet your appetite some more! If you leave a comment, you’ll be entered in a drawing for a free copy of the book!
Okay, here we go with my first solo interview on my personal blog! I share in a wonderful group blog where I post interviews, but am really looking forward to doing interviews here, as I can add more content if I want to.

So, here we go!

Hi Lena! Welcome to my personal blog. To begin with, I’d like to say I really enjoyed reading about Mary and her many challenges. I’m wondering, has any of your own life experience fueled your ability to portray the realities of Mary’s stressful life?

Yes, I was shy with a poor self-image until about the time I was a senior in high school.

I find it interesting how different Maggie’s and Mary’s lives are, as well as their emotional processes. Do you have a definite idea of their character’s responses no matter what happens, or do they evolve as you write?

They pretty much evolve as I wrote it. However, I did add certain characteristics that all three girls shared.

Daniel was an interesting character as well as her father. Both of them learned to change their attitude toward Mary, and appreciate her. Had you decided on this theme when you first thought of the story?

 I wanted to showcase the difference in the kinds of homes that Maggie and Mary were raised in. As the stories developed, so did the themes.

I loved the Tony Chan character. I know this area of the country had many immigrants from China and Japan at the time, and they helped build the railroads, and perform much manual labor. I’d love to see this character again. Will Tony figure into the final book?

Yes, Tony will be instrumental in Catherine’s Pursuit as well. James and I eat at Chan’s Mongolian Grill. The owner is Tony Chan. One day, I went in and got something to take home for lunch. We were visiting, and I said I had to get back to my writing my novel. He asked me if I would name a character after him. I told him yes, then had to do research into Chinese names. Once he was in this story, it had to carry over to the next book.

Great! With the masterful hints you’ve given in the first two books, you’ve piqued my curiosity on how the three sisters will possibly meet. Is it difficult to coordinate all these personalities and variables into an ending that fits all three sisters?

I didn’t have much trouble with that, but when I got to book three, I had to change the timeline of that story to fit into the right places with the other two stories. The last one overlapped with the last parts of the other two.

Is writing a trilogy different than a single story?


Are you more satisfied at the completion of a trilogy, or is it harder to bid goodbye to your characters after spending so much time writing about them?

Writing this trilogy was easier than the first book series I wrote. There were four books in it. And by the time I hit book three, I was really tired of the characters. By book four, I loved them again. Of course, books one and two of the trilogy are really stand alone stories, so that didn’t happen.

Do you have a favorite sister in these stories, or did you find them all to be interesting company?

I loved each one as I wrote her.

For me, Mary’s character had an increased depth of emotional impact, due to her difficult circumstances and responsibilities. Her character’s challenges really tugged at me, and you wrote her emotions so well. I’m curious:  Did the writing of Mary’s story coincide with an emotional time in your own life?

No, other than having to meet the book’s deadline.

You’re funny! I’m excited about reading the third book, and featuring it next month for our last interview on your trilogy! Can you give me a bit of a teaser on the third book about the other sister Catherine, the only daughter raised by the father of the three sisters?

Catherine is the sister that the father kept, but she doesn’t know she has sisters. She is raised as an only child. When she finds out she lost sisters as well as a mother, it’s very emotional for her, because she always wanted siblings.

Thanks for the interview, Lena! For those of you who’d like to learn more about Lena and her writing, you can visit her at her blog: and learn about and buy her books:

Also her website:

NOW, Here’s the first chapter of Mary’s Blessing:

Chapter 1

Outside Oregon City

April 1885

“Pa?” Mary Lenora Murray shouted back over her shoulder as she picked up the heavy picnic basket. “You ready to go?” Why does he always drag his feet when we’re going to church?

Her father came through the mud room into the kitchen, letting the screen door slam shut behind him. He smelled of heat, hay, and sunshine, with the strong tang of muck from the barn mingled in. By the looks of his clothes, attending church was the farthest thing from his mind. His ratty trousers held smudges of several dark colors. She didn’t even want to guess what they were. And the long sleeves of his undershirt, the only thing covering his torso, were shoved above his elbows. Grayed and dingy, the shirt would never be white again, no matter how hard she tried to get it clean.

Mary bit her tongue to keep from scolding him as she did her younger brothers and sister when they made such a racket entering the house. No doubt, he would give her some excuse about having too much work to go to church. Not a big surprise. She’d heard it all before too many times.

He set a bucket of fresh water beside the dry sink and gripped his fingers around the front straps of his suspenders. That always signaled he was about to tell her something she didn’t want to hear.

“I’m not going today.” This time, he didn’t really make any excuses. Just this bald-faced comment.

She took a deep breath and let it out slowly, trying to calm her anger. She’d give him a sweet answer even if the words tasted bitter in her mouth. “The new pastor is coming today. We’re having dinner on the grounds after the service. Remember, I told you when we got home last Sunday.” She flashed what she hoped was a warm smile at him and prayed he couldn’t tell it was fake.

“What happened to the last one? He didn’t last very long, did he?” Pa started washing his hands with the bar of homemade soap she kept in a dish on the shelf. “Don’t understand why that church can’t keep a pastor. Someone musta run him off.”

Mary couldn’t keep from huffing out a breath this time. “I told you about that, too.” She clamped her lips closed before she asked the question that often bounced around her mind. Why don’t you ever listen to me? At seventeen, she was close enough to being an adult to be treated like one, and she’d carried the load of a woman in this household for years.

“His wife died, and his father-in-law begged him to bring the grandchildren closer to where they live, so he headed back to Ohio. Living in the same community as their grandparents, he’d have a lot of help with the younger ones.”

Mary had never known her own grandparents, none of them. Not her mother’s parents. Not her father’s parents. Not the parents of whoever gave birth to her. She didn’t wonder about any of them very often, but today, her heart longed for someone who really loved her.

With bright red curly hair and fair skin that freckled more every time she stepped into the sunlight, she didn’t resemble anyone in this family that had adopted her as an infant. Since they were black Irish, they all had dark hair and striking blue eyes, not like her murky green ones. And none of them had ever wanted to know what she thought about anything … except her mother.

“Well, I’ve gotta lot to do today.” Her father reached for the towel she’d made out of feed sacks. “You and the others go ahead. I might come over that way at dinner time.”

No, you won’t. Mary had heard his statement often enough to know he was trying to placate her so she would leave him alone. So she would.

“Frances, George, Bobby, come on. We don’t want to be late.” She shifted the handle of the loaded basket to her other arm. “Frances, you grab the jug of spring water. We might get thirsty.”

Her father’s icy blue eyes pierced her. “Pretty warm out today. No sign of rain.”

“We’ll be picnicking in the field between the church and Willamette Falls. It’s cooler there, especially under the trees with the breeze blowing across the water.” She started toward the front door.

“Keep your eyes on the boys.” His harsh command followed her. “Don’t let either of them fall into the river. They could drown. Water’s fast right there.”

She nodded, but didn’t answer or look back at him. All he cared about were those boys and getting them raised old enough to really help with the farming. He already worked them harder than any of the neighbors did their sons who were the same ages.

Six long years ago her mother and older sisters contracted diphtheria when they went to help Aunt Miriam and Uncle Leland settle in their house on a farm about five miles from theirs. On the trip to Oregon, one of them had contracted the dread disease and didn’t know it until after they arrived. No one knew they were all dead until Pa went looking for Ma, Carrie, and Annette a couple of days later. He saw the quarantine sign someone nailed to a fencepost and didn’t go closer until he had help. When he came home, he told Mary she would have to take over the keeping of the house. Six long years ago.

When did my life become such a drudgery? Had it ever been anything else? At least not since Ma died, which seemed like an eternity ago.


Daniel Winthrop whistled while he dressed for church. He looked forward with anticipation to the moment when he would lay eyes on Mary Murray. Even her name had a musical ring to it.

He’d been waiting and planning what to say when he approached her. Today he would start his subtle courting. With the situation at the Murray farm, he knew he would have his work cut out for him to convince her she could start a life of her own with him. After he achieved that, he’d ask her father for her hand.

Visions of coming home to her each night and building a family together moved through his head like the slides of photographs in the Holmes Stereopticon they had at home. He loved her already, but more than that, he wanted to get her out of that house where she was loaded down with so much work and responsibility.

Daniel had often gone with his mother when she bought fresh produce from the Murrays. So he knew what her life had been like since her mother died. Their families came to Oregon on the same wagon train so he’d known her all his life. He was only three years older than she was, and he had watched her over the last few years as she blossomed into a beautiful young woman.

Mary needed to be appreciated and cared for, and he was just the man to do it.

“Daniel, we’re leaving soon.” His father’s voice prodded him from his dreams.

With a final peek into the tall cheval glass, he straightened his necktie before he headed out the door of his room. “I’m on my way.”

He bounded down the stairs and took their picnic basket from his mother. “Something really smells good.” He gave a loud sniff. “Do you need me to test and make sure it’s all right?”

He welcomed her playful slap on his hand that crept toward the cover on the basket. Her laughter reminded him of the chimes he had heard in the larger church in Portland.

“Not a single bite until dinner.” Like a queen, she swept out the door Father held open for her.

Their familiar ritual warmed his heart. He looked forward to creating family rituals with Mary. Once more, he whistled as he headed toward the brougham. Nothing could cloud his day.

When they pulled up to the Methodist Church, his father guided the team toward the back where a large area paved with fine gravel gave plenty of space for those who arrived in horse-drawn vehicles. While Father helped Mother down from the open carriage, Daniel took the reins and tied them to one of the hitching rails that outlined the space. He chose the rail under a spreading black cottonwood tree, so the horses would be in the shade while the family worshiped.

He scanned the lot, looking for the Murray wagon. Not there. Disappointed, he stared at the ground. Please, God, let Mary come today.

Clopping hoofs and a jingling harness accompanied a wagon taking too fast of a turn into the parking area. Daniel cut his eyes toward the advancing disaster. Two of the wheels did indeed lift from the ground. Before he could get a shout out of his mouth, he heard Mary’s sweet voice.

“Lean to the right, boys!”

George and Bobby, Mary’s brothers, scrambled across the seat, followed by Frances. The wagon wheels settled into the gravel, and Mary pulled on the reins.

“Easy. Settle down.” Even though she spoke to the horses, he heard every word.

His heart that had almost leapt from his chest also settled down when he realized she was no longer in danger. Thank You, Lord.

The wagon came to a standstill, and Mary put her dainty hand to her chest and released a deep breath. The green cotton fabric, sprigged with white flowers, looked good on her, setting off her red hair, pulled up into a bunch on the top of her head. Without a hat or bonnet covering it, the sun danced across the curls. He loved seeing the wisps frame her face. That’s how he pictured her when he dreamed about their future.

Mary sat a moment without moving. She was probably scared out of her wits. Where was her father? He should have been driving the wagon, not her. How long had it been since the man had attended services? Daniel couldn’t remember the last time. It was not a good thing for a man to neglect his spiritual nature. He’d just have to pray harder for Mr. Murray.

Daniel hurried toward them. “Hi, Mary.”

She looked up, straight into his eyes, fear still flickering in the back of her gaze. “Daniel. Good morning.” Her words came out riding on short breaths.

He took hold of the bridle of the horse nearest him. “I can hitch your team under the trees for you.”

After releasing another deep breath, Mary nodded. “Thank you. I’d like that.” She turned toward her siblings. “Frances, you get the picnic basket, and George, you carry the jug of water. Go find us a pew, perhaps near the back of the sanctuary, and put the things under the bench. I’ll be right in.”

The younger children climbed out of the wagon and followed their sister’s instructions. Mary watched them until they’d gone around the side of the building toward the front. Then she stood up.

Before she could try to climb over the side, Daniel hurried to help. He held out his hand to her. She stared at it, then looked at his face.

“I’ll help you down.” He gave her his most beguiling smile.

For the first time since she arrived, she smiled back, and pink bled up her neck into her cheeks. Her blush went straight to his heart. Oh, yes, he loved this woman.

Mary slipped her slim fingers into his hand. Even through the white cotton gloves, he felt the connection as warmth sparked up his arm like fireworks on Independence Day. She glanced down, so she could see the step. When she hesitated, he let go of her hand and both of his spanned her tiny waist. With a deft swing, he had her on the ground in seconds. He wished he had the right to pull her into an embrace. Wouldn’t that just set the tongues a-wagging? He couldn’t do that to her. Mary needed to be cherished for the treasure she was. And as far as Daniel could see, her father really didn’t treat her that way.

He watched her walk toward the front of the building, enjoying the way her skirt swayed with each step, barely brushing the tops of her black patent shoes. That is one beautiful woman. He turned back to her team. Walking beside the horses, he led them toward the hitching rail where his family’s brougham was parked. Her team would enjoy the shade just as much as his would. As he crossed the lot, several other conveyances entered, and he waved and exchanged greetings with each family.

The church was the first one established in Oregon City. At that time, it was the Methodist Mission but grew as the town did. Along the way, members of this body had a great influence on what happened in the burgeoning city. And that was still true today. His Winthrop ancestors, who settled nearby, had been instrumental in both the growth of the church and of the town. He felt a sense of pride at being a part of something that important, and he wanted to increase the town’s assets, because he planned to raise his own family here. Maybe establish a dynasty of his own, watching his sons and daughters, then his grandchildren, prosper.

His woolgathering slowed the progress of tying the horses to their spot. He needed to hurry so he wouldn’t miss the beginning of the service. As he opened the front door, Mrs. Slidell struck the first chord on the new Mason and Hamlin reed organ. The church had ordered the instrument from the manufacturing plant in Buffalo, New York. When it arrived only a couple of weeks before, the music added a special feeling to the worship and helped most people stay on the right tune better than the old piano did. He hummed along with the introduction to “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” his favorite hymn.

Glancing around the room, Daniel finally spied Mary and her siblings sitting on the second pew from the back on the right side of the aisle. He squared his shoulders and confidently approached the wooden bench. He asked if he could sit with them, and she scooted over to make room. Just what he wanted. He would be sitting right beside her.

Throughout the service, Daniel had a hard time keeping his mind on the proceedings. Mary sat close enough for him to touch her if he leaned a little to his right. He was so tempted to bump against her arm, but he held back. He imagined clasping her hand in his and holding it for longer than just a few seconds while helping her down from a conveyance or through a doorway. Really wrapping his large fingers around hers and intertwining their fingers. Just thinking about it caught his breath.

He whooshed it out, and she turned toward him, her eyes widening with a question. After flashing a smile at her, he glanced up at Reverend Horton. The man’s delivery was smooth and his words made a lot of sense. He’d be a good pastor for them, but Daniel couldn’t keep a single word of his message in his mind. Not while he could feel Mary’s presence with every cell in his body.

Instead in his mind, he searched up and down the streets of Oregon City, seeking a place to turn into a home for him and his beloved. If the right house wasn’t for sale, he could build her one. She could help him choose the design. That’s what he’d do. Build her the home she’d always dreamed of. His heart squeezed with the knowledge of what he planned to do. He could hardly keep the idea to himself. He hoped it wouldn’t take too long for him to convince her that they should marry.

He’d even hire servants to help her manage their home. Whatever her heart desired, he’d do everything he could to present her with all she wanted. He only hoped it wouldn’t take too long. At twenty years old, he was ready to move on to the next phase of his life … with Mary by his side.

“Now let us bow our heads in prayer.” Reverend Horton raised his hands to bless the whole congregation.

Daniel dropped his head toward his chest. How had the man finished his sermon without Daniel noticing? Next Sunday, he’d have to listen more closely. He really did want to get to know the new pastor and his family.

“Amen.” After the pastor pronounced the word, several other men echoed it.

Daniel watched his father rise from the second pew near the front on the left side of the aisle and take his place beside the new preacher. He placed his arm across the man’s shoulders. “Dear friends, on your behalf, I welcome our new pastor. Now let’s all meet his lovely family.” He waved toward a woman sitting on the front pew. “Mrs. Horton?”

The woman stood and turned toward the congregation. She was pretty, but not as young or as pretty as Mary.

“And,” Father’s voice boomed, “these are their children.”

Four stair-step youngsters stood beside their mother. The tallest a boy, the next a girl, then another boy, and the shortest a cute little girl. As if they had rehearsed it, they bowed toward the people in unison.

Several women across the sanctuary oooed or aahed before a loud round of applause broke out. The three oldest children gave shy smiles, and the youngest tugged at her mother’s skirts. When Mrs. Horton picked her up, the girl waved to the people, clearly enjoying the attention.

“I hope you all brought your blanket and picnic baskets.” Father beamed at the crowd. “We’re going to spread our food together. I believe there are plenty of sawhorse tables set up near the building. And you can pick a spot under the trees to settle for your meal. Just don’t forget to take the time to greet our new ministerial family while you’re here.” Father led the Horton family down the aisle and out the front door.

Daniel turned back toward Mary. “Perhaps you and your brothers and sister could spread your blanket beside my family’s.”

A tiny smile graced Mary’s sweet mouth. “If you’re sure your mother wouldn’t mind, I’d like that.”

“Oh, yes. I’m sure.” He stepped into the nearly empty aisle and moved back to let Mary and her family precede him, and he quickly followed behind.

His heartbeat accelerated just thinking about spending special time with the object of his affections. Without thinking, he started whistling a happy tune.

Mary glanced back at him. “I didn’t know you whistled.”

“Oh, yes. I’m a man of many talents.” His heart leapt at the interest he read in her gaze. Thing were well on their way to working out just the way he wanted them to.

End of chapter one! Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win the whole book!! Thanks for stopping by!


Why so many denominations? Don’t fear controversies!

What a strange time to find myself in. We live in an age of political correctness standing hand-in-hand with no-holds-barred vitriolic dialogue, I think perhaps we’ve lost the simple ability to debate a topic without either being careful not to bug anyone, or descending into rants and diatribes, with labels and name-calling. What happened folks??

Even in churches, these two modes of communication jockey with each other, so most people, because they are peace-loving, shy away from debating about what’s true and what isn’t, thinking it’s wrong to disagree. But it’s not. How much peace are we going to have as believers if we’re not willing to earnestly contend for the truths in the scripture? And if it was wrong to disagree, why then would Paul say this?

1COR 11:18 and 19
For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it.
For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you.

So, in a division, in order to know which opinion is correct, we must examine the division, discuss it and study out the answer together. In this process, it will become evident who has been studying and praying about these matters, which is what we’re supposed to do.  This will help others to embrace the same process for themselves. To take the side of scripture, the side of God, not of another person and their opinion. What vital question did Moses ask when confronting the children of Israel with their fundamental choice? “Who is on the Lord’s side?” Not, who is on my side?

I can see that most divisions ending in a church split, and spawning new denominations are because disputes arise and are not dealt with in the fashion they were in the book of Acts, where the church leaders pondered issues, prayed and studied, and then gave an agreed-upon response. Not so now. What I see now is people following each other and splitting away, following the leader they chose, rather than searching the scriptures together, determined that all should be on the Lord’s side together.

It saddens me and always will, that this happens so frequently. Really all we need to do is ask God for wisdom in these situations, then wait for the answer, as it says in the book of James. So I say not to fear controversies, for they must happen as we all navigate this bumpy terrain. And don’t fear debate, or let it turn into ‘us vs. them.’  We are a body of believers, and just as the body’s systems work to rid itself of toxins, we can work together to help rid ourselves of toxic practices and attitudes that cause us to turn away from each other and divide once again. Together, our focus and goal should be in affirming our joint adherence to God and His word. Well, that’s all I have to say on that topic!! Aren’t you glad? 🙂

My blog hop post about my writing process

I’ve been asked by Erin Unger (check out her blog at:, a wonderful critique partner, writer and artist, to participate in the blog hop on writing process, so here are my answers to the 4 questions:

What are you working on?

Too many things at once, I think! Right now I’m working on part two of a fantasy, edits for my debut novel due out in September, revisions and additions to my two non-fiction manuscripts, as well as working on a women’s fiction and formulating another romance.

How does your work differ from others in its genre?

I try not to follow any formula, and I’m not trained in creative writing, so perhaps the difference in my writing lies in its oddities? I’m not particularly organized or stream-lined, so that probably shines out in my characters as well as my writing. There is always a strong spiritual element in my stories, because I want to show how faith works within the life and struggles of people. I find that theme the truest and most interesting of all.

Why do you write what you do?

I have to! It’s a perfect fit for me to explore various genres. I’m introverted, but very curious. I love to listen to other people’s thoughts and feelings, and I love to connect and understand others. When I write, I can take all the time I need to really express what’s in my mind and heart. I can take all that I’ve learned from my own thoughts and questions, and from listening to and reading about others, and people my stories with what I’ve gleaned from all the input. I guess that’s why I write in such varied genres. Life is so multi-faceted and God’s creation is so diverse, writing helps me explore it!

How does your writing process work?

Oh my. I don’t think you could call it a process. I get an idea, a spark, and if it grows while I think on it, then I begin writing it. And I’m often surprised at the direction it travels in. I don’t use outlines, but I may try to in the future, because I had a very productive, creative experience writing a novella based on an old fairytale. I knew the main framework of the story before I started, and it was fun to flesh it out in my own way, and work it toward the requisite ending. Lots of fun! Other than that, I just sit at the typewriter and pull the story out of myself, or un-pack it, if that makes sense. Then I go back through and revise, add and edit. A lot. My critique partners are such a help in that process! So I guess I’m a pantser, with the looming possibility of integrating some organization into some of my future process. We’ll see.

Now that you’ve heard from me, there are three writers I asked to answer these same questions on their blogs. Amber Schamel writes wonderfully vivid historical fiction, bringing to life characters from Biblical and other times. Her words are a treat to read!  Read her answers next week at:

Linda Wolf is a wordsmith of many talents. She is a writer, proof-reader, editor, and teacher. She was my first editor for my debut novel. She’s also my blood sister as well as my sister in the Lord! Enjoy her blogposts on her writing process as well as other insightful thoughts on her life and faith at:

Dvora Waysman is a multi-published writer of books (13!) and a syndicated journalist. Her latest book is published through Prism Book Group, which is how I met her. She lives in Jerusalem, and this information sparked my curiosity, especially when she told the Prism authors that prayer for her was a ‘local call.’ I loved that sentiment and began to write her, and read some of her wonderful articles about her life in Jerusalem. Visit her blog to learn more about her and her writing process at:


The Fork in the Road! Detour!

Well, I was going to write some thoughts about curiosity and how useful I find it to be. I’ve always liked the quote ‘curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.’ So, I looked up who had said it. Eugene O’Neill. Wow. So, being a curious person, I wanted to refresh my knowledge of Mr. O’Neill. I start reading his bio and my interested face must have fallen by degrees as I read his sad family history, until I had to pull my chin off the floor and stop reading about him. Heartache, substance abuse, suicides and illnesses.

Does that sum him up, or does his work? As usual, I am left with questions. Ones I can’t ask because the man is dead. What success he enjoyed obviously didn’t afford him much gladness, if any. He didn’t appear to be close to anyone. Two of his three children committed suicide. If I could, I’d ask him a bunch of questions, trying to find the reason his life was so chaotic and tragic.

There are happy geniuses, like Einstein, but it seems there are many more unhappy, tortured ones. I try to make sense of this, in light of scripture, and what I know of people. But understanding often eludes me. Wouldn’t people who obviously feel so much and have such depth in them turn their focus to God? For me, everything always circles back to God. I know He is the answer to questions, the focus of my unending curiosity. So I guess I wrote about curiosity after all.

Me? The interviewer?

This month I’ll conduct my first interview of another author. Should be interesting. At least I hope it is! I suppose a lifetime of being curious will help a lot. I inherited my mother’s tendency to ask a lot of questions. Now I just need to figure out which ones are the most useful to ask. The interview will be on our writing group’s blog on May 14th. Here’s the link: The Diamond Mine group blog

Hope to see you there, whoever you may be!!

How little I knew!

I figured writing and revising a story was the hard part. But now I realize that part is similar to pregnancy, and getting a contract is like delivery. There’s the rush of relief at finally completing your pregnancy and holding your child. (Or in this analogy, contract!) But after that, you need to learn a whole new set of skills like blogging, social media, etc. in order to help introduce your child to the world. I have a feeling that author-hood, like parenthood, will be quite a learning experience. Here I go again!!

Thoughts on being a wife and mother

I imagine every family has its daunting challenges, heartbreaks and high times of joy. I can’t imagine what my own experience of building family relationships and being a mother and grandmother would have been without the steady guidance of God’s Spirit in my life. I could bring all my cares to Him and learn how to navigate the choppy emotional waters of family life, and learn the lessons I needed to, for myself, and my loved ones.
I wish I’d been a faster learner, and a better example. I’m sure my husband and sons shared that same wish! (I’m only half-kidding!) I am constantly amazed by how precious these relationships are, how powerful and fragile at the same time. Just like human beings.
The amazing thing about God is, He can take my flawed heart and mind and show me a new direction, a better way. He can and does teach me how to walk in newness of life. I am thankful every day for that, and am also thankful that these changes often come about through painful, soul-shaking trials.
He’s my counselor, my instructor, my hope, my life.

Teaching Jack and Cara to Scrabble!

Teaching Jack and Cara to Scrabble!

Curious minds times 3

Here I am with my grandchildren, Jack and Cara at our family reunion last year. They were curious about the Scrabble game we were playing, so my mother and I explained it to them. Cara watched for a while and went back to drawing, and Jack, who knew how to read, kept watching and I’d show him the words I could make with my letter tiles. I got engrossed in the game until Jack tapped me on the shoulder. He grinned and pointed to some words he had spelled out. ‘I am bored.’ How cute is that? I cracked up! He’s such a quick-witted fellow!