Friday, March 3, 2017

The First Week

A week ago today my book Tangled Strands was launched on CreateSpace, and it has been an interesting week. The biggest highlight was late yesterday when I found a box on our front stoop—copies of it had arrived! I am mostly speechless as I hold it in my hands or look at it.We ran into a number of complications trying to get the Kindle version up, but we finally succeeded with that, too.

Along the way for both versions, there were frustrations. Some of them were technical complexities, some were slip-ups, and despite the multiplied efforts of several people, a few flaws still snuck through. Thankfully with a print-on-demand program, we’ll be able to get those fixed.

The main thing that needs to be said at this point is that without my daughter LynĂ©e Ward, it would never have happened. From her learning about the up-to-date popularity of self publishing to the hours we spent screen sharing on Skype as we worked out the details, it was an unforgettable mother-daughter experience. Amazing the technology that made that possible. I’m thanking the Lord for both it and especially her. We agreed at the end that of course we’re glad we finally succeeded and finished it but that we will miss the shared experience.

A verse in my Bible is dated in the margin 1987, and another cross references back to the first one. I clearly indicated that I was claiming them for my writing projects (this is only one of them), but year after year I went back and had to write “not yet.” Frankly I came to doubt it would actually happen. There is barely any room left in the margins to write that it has. I’ll save giving the references to those verses for a future blog when I can talk a bit more about them.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Note from the Author

Finally my story, a full-length Christian novel, has been launched and is available. Here's the first part of the saga of its background. You can find Tangled Strands at

I first heard the song “Transformed” in the early 1950s and liked it so well that the words and music stuck with me. A dozen or so years later in the 1960s, the main characters of this story were born in my head during a stay at a Michigan lake. In the 1970s in South America I wrote multiple pages of back story.

In the early 1980s, I acquired my first computer. Little by little, I transcribed the pages of back story to the computer and began drafting more of the story.

I drafted it in all kinds of places. In the back seat of a car on a cross-country trip, I “wrote” some important elements in my head and scribbled a few notes to remind me when I got home. Many evenings while driving a stretch of Interstate to and from a teaching job, I would compose in my head, then transcribe to the computer when I got home.

In the 1990s, I puttered with it some more, adding another key character and making first attempts at a sequel. At some point, I considered the story complete. A handful of family and friends read it and said they liked it, but a publisher I approached was not interested.

In the mid-2000s, I decided that if I were ever to do anything with it, I needed to get serious about some training. In 2005 I attended my first Christian writers’ conference and got my first lessons in fiction in a class by the renowned Christian writer Angela Hunt.

I learned several startling things. I spent the next decade learning how to incorporate those style elements into a number of rewrites of the story. I hope you enjoy it. If you have feedback, you can write me at

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Getting Close

I've been thinking for weeksactually three monthsthat it was about to happen. 

In November I was confident it would be ready for Christmas.

But no. 

Well, surely in January when the proofreader friend finished with it. 

But still no. One delay led to another. 

Even when we thought we were ready to submit itand actually did submit it, it turned out to need another round of not only proofreading but a bit of editing. And that led to an unexpected major edit that I hadn't anticipated doing but that I feel really good about.

So what am I talking about? 

A life-long project, one that has at various times been pursued intermittently, for a while seriously, and then again laid aside for what turned out to be several years. 

But a few people kept bringing it up. Why didn't I do something about it?

By now you’re impatient with me because I’m not saying what it is. You’ll have to forgive me because I don’t want to make an actual announcement about it until I “see the whites of its eyes.” It would be devastating to announce it and then have it go down the tubes after all.

So I’m asking you to tune in your ears and keep watch with your eyes even as you forgive me for still holding back. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Resolutions vs. Goals

New-year occasions are famous for resolutions, and resolutions are famous for being broken. Rather than resolutions, I like to think instead about goals. What do I want to do differently in the days ahead than I have been doing? 

I see a goal as different from a resolution. Resolutions get broken, and that implies failure. I see a goal as something I set my heart to do, but if I slip up, I haven't "broken" anything. Instead of looking on it as a failure, I can simply refocus, look for ways to do better, and press on, perhaps with help from what I learned in the "slip-up."

Which brings me to one of my goals for this year. Ever since I discovered archaeology in college, I have loved the Old Testament, and over the years I've become pretty familiar with the New Testament epistles. One thing I haven't focused on in recent memory is the life of Christ, so that's what I've decided to focus on this year. I plan to do it with something I've long known about but never used--a harmony of the gospels. 

And that reminds recent days, for various reasons, I've been spending time in some other Scriptures (Colossians 1 is a powerful favorite). So...I need to refocus and get back to my goal of studying the life of Christ.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Made the Connection!

Well, I connected with her for over an hour yesterday afternoon. We had two whole lifetimes and 62 years to catch up on! What fun that was, and I know it will be into the future. Since we're both on the "over-the-hill" side of things, we know it won't be another 62 years, but we'll enjoy every one that the Lord gives us.

I'm teaching my new Bible study at the assisted living center this morning, and I would appreciate any and all prayers. I've chosen to study Old Testament characters, starting with Abraham, and this morning we'll be talking about Sarai and Hagar and the second major covenant that God made with Abram when he changed their names to Abraham and Sarah. 

May God bless your day!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Lost Friend FOUND!

I just found a friend I've been looking for for yearsunfortunately, we haven't connected yet because her phone line is busy this evening. We were teenagers in boarding school together in Florida in the early 1950s. I was an MK from Africa, and she was one from Alaskastrange combination perhaps, but it never mattered to us.

It turns out she wrote me several Facebook messages in spring and summer of 2015but I never saw them and am not sure why they are just now showing up for me. A strange situation for sure. When I finally connect with her, I'll write some more about it here.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

They Did It!

The question around our scattered family this morning was "Did you stay up to watch until the end?" 

When I wrote the blog about our family and the Cubs last week, the question was whether they could do it. I'm not going to recap the series here—the media has more than done that. I just want to talk about last night. I know family members were watching in at least five states—and that they were messaging each other through the whole thing!

With the Cubs' good start that went on for several innings, and knowing that baseball games go on for hours, I began wondering early on whether I would be willing to sacrifice my bedtime to see the end. Of course if they won, I would be thrilled to watch it happen— but if they lost, it would be simply too sad to watch. At the same time, I was sure I had family members who, if the Cubs won, wouldn’t forgive me for not sticking with it.

So I decided I would brave the late hour, especially since the Cubs had a good lead—but then…. Cleveland tied it up in the bottom of the 8th—argh! My husband stayed up through the top of the ninth when it started to sprinkle, but when Cubs did not score then, he too came to bed. So much for a dream…

I ended up not able to sleep. I kept turning my mind to other things, like favorite Christian music, but it kept drifting back to Chicago, where I was imagined them trying to deal with the devastating disappointment they were going to have to live with all winter long. 

Finally at 11:40 I got up to take a pill. I figured by then everything was over. Imagine my amazement when my sister’s first Skype to me this morning was “So they did it up big!” Say what? Turns out that if I had turned the TV on while I was up getting the pill, I would have likely have caught the end of it!

Am I crushed? Definitely not! The only important thing is that they won, and as always the media has shown plenty of what I missed. Yay, Cubs! 

Thought about you a lot, Grandpa and Daddy!