Stories that Matter

Hope

If You Don't Know Me By Now …

We’re almost at the mid-point of the year and I’m … re-grouping. Breathing deep and re-evaluating, sorting boxes in my head and sticking to what is true. Discarding what is not. Figuring out who this girl really is. I haven’t always known for sure. Fear of failure and self-doubt swirl like monster waves and I’ve…
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And Sometimes Dreams Come True …

Warning. This is going to be rather long. But hey, it’s my blog. And I’ve waited a long time for this. So … about 20 years ago, I decided to get serious about becoming a published author. At the time, it was quite a dream. I had so much to learn, so much to absorb,…
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When It Gets Real … Get Grateful

That dream? You know the one. The one you’ve held tight to, let go of, buried and unburied and brushed off too many times … that dream you sometimes wouldn’t share with anyone because it scared even you? That dream you maybe cried over, prayed over, cursed and called yourself names over … because somehow…
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What They Don't See …

It happened again. An underhanded comment, off the cuff but sharp and succinct and it sank deeper than it probably meant to. I should know by now. I’ve heard enough of them. I shrink under the weight and flinch ever so slightly and hide behind a smile. And I know I should shake it off and…
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What If … ?

What if? That’s how you start a story. Did you know? What if? It’s such a simple theory, yet so often hard to grasp. Because there are a million what-ifs, and how do you know which one fits? How do you know which one is just right, for you? Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes the story…
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So Sometimes We Get Stuck …

Ever been stuck? Like really stuck. Like, there is no way I’m getting out of this alive, stuck? Stuck, like tires spinning. No way out. Stuck, middle of the night in a silent house, staring into darkness, mind spinning. No way out. If you’re not there now, you will be. Or you have been. We…
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And Why, Exactly, Do We Break So Easily?

2015. I was so ready for it. Anticipating writing a very different blog post right about now. One in which I would share some good news I’d been given quite some time ago. But I can’t do that. And I’m not sure if or when I will be able to. Things changed and before I…
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Still…Life

In the aftermath of the celebrations, all is quiet. Still. Things are tidied, relatively speaking, and I’m heading into the new year filled with anticipation. Yet, there is a restlessness within, something I can’t quite comprehend. Something perhaps I need to do, to say, to put aside. But my thoughts still scream loud. Still. I’m…
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Hidden In The Heart, A Love Story

I’m just back from Nicaragua, which I’ll tell you all about at a later date. But while I was away, my second novel re-released, so I thought I’d share that excitement with you today! Hidden in the Heart is loosely based on my own search and reunion journey, and it means a lot to me, so I’m…
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What Do We Do Then, With The Broken?

We’re officially in holiday season. Tomorrow, my friends and family in the US will celebrate Thanksgiving. And then the Christmas decorations come out, the tree goes up and before we know it we’re singing Jingle Bells. Silent Night. O Come All Ye Faithful. But there are those around us who do not want to sing…
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What To Do With Fear and Failure and Other Nuisances

February 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

I’m fine. I’m fine. I’m fine. Maybe you’re familiar with the mantra? It’s easy to say. Easy to repeat. And easy to convince yourself of. Because if you say something enough times, eventually you begin to believe it. Even if it’s not true. So last week I wrote about change, and how I was going…

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Being The Grown-Up In The Room

February 13, 2017 | 8 Comments

I read this excellent post on Jen Hatmaker’s Facbook page yesterday. She talked about looking for the grown-up in the room, i.e. the person not arguing, not using childish banter to go on the attack, the person others look to because they’re talking sense. Sometimes you have to be that person. Sometimes you have to…

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Will It Really Change Us?

January 2, 2017 | 4 Comments

There’s a calm over the ocean this morning. A certain stillness. An anticipatory hum seems to fill the air on this second day of a brand new year, and it asks the question, “What will you do with this gift?” We’ve closed the door on 2016. Some of us have slammed it shut and bolted…

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Get Back Up ~ Dedicated To My Friend Sandie

December 2, 2016 | 34 Comments

You should know, I am a die-hard GWTW fan. I’ve lost track now exactly how many times I’ve watched the movie. But I have read the book only once. I’m thinking I need to rectify that. The GWTW experience for me began as a lonely and homesick thirteen-year old wandering the musty maze of books…

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Things I'm Learning From The US Election

November 12, 2016 | 10 Comments

I’ve been unable to write the past few days. Unable to trust that I’d use my words wisely. And I don’t know for sure I can do that today. Don’t know for sure I’ll hit that publish button when I’m done. But I do know I need to write the words down. Because that’s what…

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The Crash

October 31, 2016 | 4 Comments

Ever been in a spot where you’re all prepared for one thing and then, before you can take your next breath, something happens to flip the entire day upside down? Sure you have. I think we’ve all been there at some point. Maybe you’re there right now. That’s okay. Grab a coffee. Put your feet…

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Conversation in A Coffee Shop

February 18, 2016 | 7 Comments

I see her there. This sad reflection of myself. Sitting. Alone. Alone only with her thoughts and the icon flashing fierce on the blank screen. Cautiously I slide into the seat opposite her. Offer coffee. And a smile of recognition. “Hello, writer.” She looks up, bleary eyed. Befuddled. “How did you know?” The question sighs…

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So We Don't Miss The Good …

December 31, 2015 | 3 Comments

My last blog post of 2015! How crazy is that! I’m hearing from a lot of people that this year has flown by, and I have to agree. Seems like just yesterday we were preparing to welcome in 2015, and here we are, saying goodbye. If you’re like me, you take a little time to…

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This New Revolution

August 24, 2015 | 10 Comments

Whoa. It’s been awhile. I’ve been off at my happy place the past few weeks. Our lakeside hideaway in Northern Ontario. And it wasn’t quite the holiday we were expecting, with family illness that added some stress to what was supposed to be a stress-free time. But such is life. You move through it. You…

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When Gandalf Knocks …

July 10, 2015 | 19 Comments

If you’re a LOTR fan, you know when Gandalf shows up, it’s a safe bet that something is going to happen. His presence sets things in motion. He is the inciting incident, and suddenly we’re on the edge of our seats, wondering what’s coming. A wizard is never early. Nor is he late. He shows…

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If You Don't Know Me By Now …

We’re almost at the mid-point of the year and I’m … re-grouping. Breathing deep and re-evaluating, sorting boxes in my head and sticking to what is true. Discarding what is not. Figuring out who this girl really is. I haven’t always known for sure. Fear of failure and self-doubt swirl like monster waves and I’ve had to dive deep to find real answers. I’ve had to cling to truth like a life raft and kick off lies that circle like hungry sharks.

That gets tiring.

I’m resting now. Trying to enjoy a few months of peace before I jump into edits and start preparing for the launch of my first book with Thomas Nelson next July. And, yes, I’m still grinning when I write that. But I know it’s not going to be easy. Changes must be made. Ironically, my word for the year is change. Go figure.

Can I give the world my stories and hide in the shadows of shaky self-confidence, hoping maybe no-one notices I’m even back there pressed against the wall? Truth be told, I like it here in my little hobbit hole. The world can be a scary place, and oftentimes I’m more content to let it sail on by without me. I prefer to hold it all at arm’s length. If you don’t get too close to the fire, you won’t get burned.

But, as I’ve learned, sooner or later you wake up smack dab in the middle of that fire. And the only way out is to walk through. And you rarely come out unchanged.

Refiner’s Fire … 

If you’ve grown up in the church or are part of it now, you hear that term thrown around a lot. There are Scripture references to it, but my basic understanding is that, like silver, we are refined (purified, made better), by the fire. Life’s challenges, trials and temptations. How we go through them shapes us, empowers us and pushes us forward into new and better places. So I’m looking down at the coals I’ve dragged out with me … a pile of them actually, from every fire I’ve walked through, and I wonder if I just don’t get it. I wonder if I still resent those hard times, those crazy weird and wildly terrifying times when I didn’t know which end was up or if I’d even come out the other side okay. I wonder, maybe, if I resist the refining, because I’m not sure I can be all I’m supposed to be. All God wants me to be. Whatever that looks like.

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My daughter took this recent picture of me. I loathe getting my picture taken, but I needed some new shots for this new stage of my life, and I’m posting this here as an exercise in confidence. (But no, I don’t want this slapped on the side of a bus). Still I see beyond what others do. I know too much about myself and it’s easy to be critical. Because I’m still kicking coals and carrying bags of crap I should have dumped years ago.

Don’t Be Too Honest …

I’ve heard that. People don’t want to know all your business, and there’s just some stuff you keep to yourself. Yeah, okay. I get that. But I don’t know, I figure if I have to put myself out there, if I’m going to ask you to trust me as an author, I want you to know who I am. As a person, and a writer. And maybe you’ll share some of your stuff with me too.

Maybe I’m off base here. Maybe I should use this blog space in a different way. Maybe I shouldn’t blog at all. Blogs aren’t as big as they were a few years ago and it might just be a big waste of time. But if you’re here reading and have been for awhile, you know I don’t much care for convention.

You’ll know I don’t sugarcoat. What you get from me is pretty real, pretty raw, and sometimes, yeah, too personal. Read my books and you’ll get the same. Reality fiction.

As my friend Beth said to me last week in reference to my writing, “You don’t snorkel, you scuba dive.” I like the analogy. I’m trying to grasp the confidence to enjoy it, and know it’s true. Because I’m figuring out that this is who I am. You’d think I’d know it by now. Think I’d quit running from it already. But here we are.

I’m accepting the fact that I’m flawed, but show me someone who isn’t. And maybe growing up means getting comfortable in your own skin. Liking me for me. It’s a challenge most days. But I’m willing to keep at it. Willing to accept that I matter. Willing to acknowledge that my words matter. That the stories I have to tell are important and might touch lives. And the fact that I get to share them? To me, that’s a gift. One that I can only hope will be well received.

So today I’m pouring shots of confidence. On the house.

And those coals? They just got kicked back where they belong.