The Power of Words

I’m memorizing Psalm 139. One of my long time favorite verses is in the middle of the song.

Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely, Oh Lord.

I’m a thoughtful speaker and I almost always think before I speak. I hardly ever speak without thinking, though it does happen occasionally and usually at the most awkward moments.

Anyway, I like knowing that God knows what I’m going to say before I do. I like feeling that God has blessed and used my words to edify, instruct, comfort, encourage, maybe eve bless someone.

One of the five love languages is Affirming Words. One of my family member’s love language is this one. I’ve seen her sit up straighter and begin to glow when I express pride in her. She visibly brightens, like water on a parched lily, when she receives encouraging words.

A friend recently reminded me of something I’d said when she expressed frustration. She said it was so encouraging and she savored it for a long while. I have no memory of it.

Forget God knowing the words. This is when He gave the words, knowing someone needed them.

Today I’m praying for: the Birthday Girl (Happy 29, Amber!), Christine, Tim LaHaye, VBS, and Joyce.

Currently reading: The Historian (sloooow and literary but good. I think I’ll really enjoy once the pace picks up a bit) and Another Way Home by Christa Parrish. Loving them both.

Last movie: One Night With the King – good attempt to bring a Biblical historical story to life.



I’m pretty good with electronics and wires and gadgets. Except for the recent Wii troubles which we will no longer refer to.

I’ve been writing blog posts and I thought I was scheduling them for future posting.

Apparently not.

So, if something shows up that seems to be random, it’s probably out of order.

This will be a trial. I’m going to schedule it for a couple of days in the future.

We shall see. I’m not holding my breath. But I may have my fingers crossed.


I Don’t Know What I Don’t Know

A friend has a favorite saying: People don’t know what they don’t know.

Sometimes a piece of writing is declined with the comment, “Not quite ready for publication.” My first response is always, “Tell me what’s wrong and I’ll fix it.” But that supposes I have the skills and knowledge to fix it.

I’m starting to see that I don’t know what I don’t know when it comes to writing and crafting fiction. I know a whole lot more than I used to. And I’m learning more all the time. But it’s becoming comical because the more I learn, the more I see there is to learn and the more I feel I will never learn enough to be able to write publishable fiction.

Which is not true. I’ve published non-fiction and short fiction. I’ve won contests and awards. I can do it. It’s just hard darned work. And it takes time.

I’ve heard writing teachers say that writers have to write a million words before they write publishable words.

In Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, he states that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become world class at anything.

I’m about 750,000 words and 7,500 hours into this. I’m close. I just have to keep working and learning and writing.

If only I knew what I didn’t know, I’d know what to focus on.

Today I prayed for: Amber, Taryn, Evelyn, Katie, and Bud Paxson

Currently reading: Between books. Maybe The Historian or … 


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Is the Book Better Than The Movie?

I loved My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!! Don’t blame me if you keep reading then learn something you wished you hadn’t.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh, yes. The novel ending is possibly the most talked about since the Richard Gere/Jodie Foster movie Sommersby (hated that one, by the way).

Lots of people I’ve talked to hated the ending of the book and I’ve always defended it. It’s the only way it could end and keep us liking both Anna and Kate.

The movie changed it completely, a different sister dies. And I don’t think it’s nearly as compelling or satisfying.

When Anna died in the book, it was completely random, much like life. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. In her death, she was able to do that which she couldn’t accomplish while she was alive: save her sister.

In the movie, when Kate dies and Anna lives, it’s a let down. We’ve known from the beginning that Kate living was iffy at best. In the book, when Kate lives, it’s a complete surprise.

Jodi Picoult picked the hard row and it totally paid off.

Everyone seems to focus on the ending being the only thing really changed from the book and I disagree. I hated what the screenwriters did to the attorney.

I know, it’s only 103 minutes of movie, compared to several hundred novel pages. The subplot about the attorney had to be scrubbed completely. I’m okay with that. I’m not okay with them giving Campbell Alexander epilepsy to explain the seizures.

He had a brain injury resulting in a seizure disorder. I know lots of people would quibble, what’s the difference, a seizure is a seizure is a seizure.  But I think the change diminishes both the disease and the injury. And the movie totally downplayed the role the dog played in making it possible for Campbell to have an ordinary life. I wanted to see him find his lost love from the book.

Okay, enough ranting from me.

Currently reading: The Historian

Last movie: The Proposal (I know, you’d think it was MSK but you’d be wrong. I had to let it percolate).

Last meal: movie popcorn and I’m feeling a little sick.

Today I prayed for: Scott Sassa, Dee, Barbara



A Little Can Be Enough

Once upon a time, a grandma and her four year old grand-daughter, Jane, were looking at pictures in an album. There was a photo of newborn Jane in her mother’s embrace and Dad had his arm around both them.

Jane’s parents divorced when she was two, so she has no meaningful memories of them living together or being a family.

Mom walked by just then and Jane called to her. “Look Mom, here’s a picture of me and you and Daddy when you loved him a little.”

I’ve been blissfully married (for the most part) for nearly 32 years. People think I have no knowledge of how hard marriage can be or what divorce is like.

They’re wrong.

I’m a child of divorce. If I counted every parent and step parent, I’ve had five parental figures in my life. More if you count a few girlfriends and boyfriends before my parents each found their final partner.

Several of my best friends are divorced. I’ve sat in courtrooms with them and cried and raged.

Other friends have put their marriages back together. We’ve watched, prayed, listened, encouraged, and cheered.

Jane will grow up. I hope she’ll know she’s loved and will feel secure. But there will always be a part of her that wonders what happened to the little bit of love her parents had and why it wasn’t enough.


Today I prayed for: Mackenzie, Kara, Sonia Sotomayor, and Rachel.

Currently reading: The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday by Alexander McCall Smith


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A Few Favorites

Because I write book reviews for Armchair interviews (http://www.armchairinterviews.com) I don't usually blog about books but I've decided to change that. Reviews will still be for the website, but I want to talk about a few of my recent reads.

Through the Fire, by Shawn Grady (http://tinyurl.com/m7yqk5 ) is an amazing debut. Shawn is a fireman in Reno and the smell of smoke permeates the pages of this story about a serial arsonist and the fireman he targets and frames. I'm excited that Shawn will be visiting Fresno in March 2010. Through the Fire is a great book for men of all ages.

Nothing But Trouble by Susan May Warren (http://tinyurl.com/m3cxnl ) is one of the best books I've read this year. The prose is delectable and the characters are real.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (http://tinyurl.com/l5pske) should be required reading for everyone pursuing their passion whether it's cooking the world's best chili, painting a still life, or ... Never mind, it should be required reading for everyone. He makes a compelling case that great success comes at a price, but a far different one than we've been told.

There are others, but these will live in my heart and memory for a long time.