Pride and Joy

I was 12 when I first knew that I wanted to be a writer.  My first stories were told to my many dolls and.stuffed animals.  There was even a “puppet show” that my younger sisters and I put on for our parents.  That is the first clear storytelling memory I have–performing that little play based on Cinderella for Mom and Dad after church one Sunday.  Though I can’t take writing credit for that show–Cinderella had been told for years and nh sisters did help with rewriting it to suit our needs–that was the first time that I realized I could make other people smile and even laugh with my words. When my fifth trade teacher suggested I start to write down my stories, I listened.  It was fun–even more fun than reading, which was my favorite passtime back then (and still is in many ways today!)

I wrote down the stories, but I didn’t keep many of them.  I have one or two that I wrote on junior high and high school.  Not many, though.  Some of the ones I did keep (I remember a few long ones from high school that I wrote about my friends and I meeting and falling in love with some of our favorite celebrities that I was sure I’d never throw out) were stored in the attic above my parents’ garage.  Unfortunately, that home was destroyed by fire a little over three years ago.  So I lost those stories.  There are parts and scenes from those stories that I still remember and I could probably replicate, if I ever had the need.  Still, it would be nice to actually have copies of some the stories that I wrote in high school and before.

Why am I telling you all of this?  Because something happened in my home at the end of last month that made me think about those old stories.  What triggered that memory?  It was something that my oldest son did.  He did something that most 11-year-olds would not think to do.

He wrote and published his first book, The Storm.

From the time I decided to write books, I said, “Someday I will publish my own novel.”  It took 20 years for someday to finally arrive for me.  Andru, though, didn’t wait.  He wrote his book and when he felt it was perfect, he self-published it.

My son, the author!

Now, I don’t want to hear that self-publishing doesn’t count as really publishing, as some have told me about my own work.  The book is in print, it is for sale, and it is lovely!  I am so proud of my son.  When my first novel was published nearly four years ago, Andru told me, “When I grow up, I want to write books like you, Mom, and not have a real job like Dad.”  I still giggle a little about that.  I think what I do is a real job and just as difficult and demanding as what my husband does.  But I understand the thought behind it.  Dru saw how happy my work makes me, where as my husband doesn’t have quite the same passion for his work.  I am glad that he realized that it is possible to have a job that is both fun and rewarding.

Andru is having fun telling people about his book.  He’s even become a bit of a local celebrity at his school.  He had more orders for The Storm than I did for my latest novel last week.  I’ve had to remind him more than once that writing a book is the easy part; selling one can be a bit more tricky.  I’ve also told him that if he is writing books only to make money, then he is in it for the wrong reason.  A writing career is only for those who truly love to tell a story.  Andru assures me that he does.

Available on

I am just so proud of what he has done.  I’ve always known there was something special about that young man.  He amazes me every day with the things that he does.  I can’t imagine anything bringing me more joy than seeing the delight on his face with this book.  I’d rather see Dru become successful with his writing (if that is what he chooses to do with his life) than to have my own successes.

Not that I am going to stop trying!

Andru’s book, The Storm, is available on at the following link….

Real Love

Yesterday was one of those bittersweet kind of days.  Bitter because much of the day was spent at a funeral for my Aunt Marjory; sweet because we all knew she was in Heaven.

I didn’t know my aunt well.  She was married to my mom’s brother, a man who is more than 15 years older than my mom.  Their children–my cousins–are closer in age to Mom than to me.  One of those cousins has a daughter who is 2 weeks older than I am.  And because all of these cousins had moved away from Milan, Michigan, the small town where Mom and her siblings were raised, before I was born, I didn’t get to see them much as I was growing up (though I have heard plenty of stories of one cousin and his wife babysitting me when I was an infant.)  It wasn’t until connecting with them on Facebook that I really got to know my cousins.  But I did not have the chance to really know Aunt Marjory well.

That hasn’t stopped me from being deeply touched by her life.

Her life was a double love story.  Just to hear about the depth of her love for her husband and Her Savior left such an impression on me.  I don’t know if words can really explain or capture the emotions that are swirling inside of me.

When Nicholas Sparks wrote THE NOTEBOOK, he could well have used Aunt Marjory and Uncle Arthur as inspiration.  They were married on February 2, 1951.  He was nearly 20 and she was 21. The wedding took place on her 21st birthday.  They raised six children in a home lovingly built by my uncle right next door to my grandparents.  Aunt Marjory was my uncle’s sweetheart, his precious treasure from God.  He always treated her with love and respect.  That’s not to say they never fought.  Over the course of their 61 year and 20 days of marriage, I am sure there were plenty of disagreements.  But that love and respect, for each other and for God, kept them glued together.

In her later years, Aunt Marjory battled demensia.  Uncle Arthur kept her at home with her, providing her with the most tender care he could.  He scoffed at anyone who suggested he move his Sweetheart into a nursing home.  The vows said in sickness and in health and he was not about to turn his back on those vows just because she was ill.  He stayed at her side, loving her and nursing her at home.until his own health problems made that impossible.  But even living apart did not alter the love and devotion shared by my aunt and uncle.  He still woke up early every morning to drive to his wife’s side.  They shared prayer time every day.

That is how Aunt Marjory’s other love story played out.   There is no doubt in my mind that she loved God even more deeply than she loved my uncle.  Two of her children spoke of childhood memories of Aunt Marjory’s prayers.  They said they could hear her pray for them all by name every night after she had shared prayer and Bible reading with them.  She moddeled God’s love for her children in all she did, everyday.  Even on had days, ahem the demtia left her confused and scared, two things never changed–her love for her family and her love for her God.  It give s me goosebumps to think of all the damage done in hell by this small woman’s faithfullness.

The spray of roses on top of her casket held a banner that said “Sweetheart.”  She was more than just hia wife and the mother of his children; she was my uncle’s friend.  Aunt Marjory was always Uncle Arthur’s sweetheart.  Watching him say good-bye to her was hard.  Mom choked up and whispered to me that she had never seen her big brother cry before.  His heart is broken with the loss of his wife and companion–his precious Sweetheart.  Broken but still beating.  As I watched him grieve, I realized that the love story of Aunt Marjory and Uncle Arthur has not yet come to an end.  The kind of love they shared can never truly end.  It lives on in his heart and kn the lives of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

And because that love was rooted in Christ, they will be together again some day.  The only joy that could overshadow that of being reunited with his sweetheart is the joy Uncle Arthur will feel when he sees Jesus face-to-face.

Aunt Marjory will be missed.  But knowing she has received her reward for the race she ran kn life makes saying good-bye just a little easier.



If you would like to know a little more about Aunt Marjory, here is her on-line obituaty


Miracle Play Preorders

I have so many things that I want to get done today!  Not many that I absolutely need to get done, I suppose.  So that makes me lucky in some ways.  Yet I still have no clue where to begin.  If I don’t do something soon, I will never get anything done.  And I do so want to get something done.

Well, since you sat through that babble, I suppose you deserve a little something special!  As you may know, my fifth novel Miracle Play will be available on April 5.  I can hardly wait for that!  Already I have a book signing lined up for the 14th.  I just need to know how many books I should have on hand.  So, I have a question for you—would you like a copy of Miracle Play?

In case you don’t know what the book is about, here is the trailer for the novel….

The books will sell for $15 each on April 5.  But I am offering a special on preorders!  Anyone who orders a book before March 16 will only need to pay $12 for their copy.  If you are in the Jackson, Michigan area, I will deliver your book to you for free.  If you need me to mail the book to you, the shipping on it will be $2.

To preorder your copy, please leave your email address and the number of copies you would like in the comments section after this blog post.  Or you can email me at  and put MIRACLE PLAY PREORDER in the subject line.  Let me know how many copies of the book you need and how you want them delivered to you.

Deadlines and Prisons

I am sitting at Cuppa, a new coffee shop in Jackson.  The location of this place is amazing.  It is part of the Armory Arts complex, an “artists’ colony,” if you will, located in what used to be the largest walled prison in the world.

That’s right.  I am sipping a cherry mocha steamer in an old prison.  Complete with bars on the windows.

OK, so the building I am in doesn’t have bars.  But the one across the parking lot does.  If I understand correctly, that is where the artist apartments are—in the old cell block building.

Can you imagine?  Getting up every morning to work on a project you love, but looking out the windows and seeing iron bars?

I am supposed to be working on a story for a new job.  Still can’t believe that I got this job!  It’s a freelance gig, writing about people and events here in Jackson.  I love, love, love the idea of getting paid to spread the good news about the community I love!

SIGH.  But this is harder than I thought!  Some of the problem is that I was given this first assignment on Tuesday night and the story needs to be to my editors today.  I am not used to journalistic writing.  Oh, I’ve done it before, but for myself.  I’ve never been on such a tight deadline before.  I am flipping out here!  I’ve contacted the people connected to this event, but heard nothing back.  The only info I have is what is printed on the website for the event and on the Facebook page for the venue.

Can I write a story just based on that?  Sure, I CAN, but I wonder if I really should.  It’s not like I really did any of that research.  I am pulling it together.  It’s just not something that I am really proud of yet.

And I don’t know that I want to turn in something to my editors that I am not proud of.

Let me tell you, I miss fiction at the moment!  Not that I am giving up on that.  Fiction is my big love, well, in the writing world, anyway.  I can’t imagine focusing completely on journalism.  The “problem” with fiction is that it doesn’t pay the bills.  I am not sure that this new gig will pay all of my bills, either.  In fact, I am quite sure that it will not pay all of my bills.  But it will help.

At least it will if I can ever get this story written.  Maybe I am trying too hard.  I don’t know.  I do know that I am stressing out BIG TIME about this.  Failure is not something I like at all.  And I certainly don’t want to fail on my first assignment.  I don’t want to let my editors down and give them a reason to look for a new freelance writer.  I don’t want to be replaced.

Oh, God.  Please help me.  Calm my nerves and help me to focus.  This writing gift is from You and I want to use it only for Your glory.  Show me the words to say to get the message across that You want me to share.  It’s all for You, always and forever.


It’s been a while since I have updated this blog.  If you are a regular reader, you already know that!  At least, I hope you have noticed that I’ve been gone for a while….

Anyway, there are a lot of reasons that I haven’t been here in a while.  One of those reasons is because I have been busy writing a couple of novels.  The first one, MIRACLE PLAY, has been sent off to the publisher!  It will be available for sale on April 5, 2012.  I am real excited about this book.   I recently told a friend that the fifth novel is just as exciting as the first.  “It’s kind of like the feeling of having a new baby, only without the morning sickness, swelling, and pain.”

This time around, I’ve done something that I never have before–I made a trailer for the book.  I’ve thought about doing it before, just have not actually taken the time to do it.  My trailer is available on YouTube.  I’ve added it here so you can find it easily.  Please let me know what you think of it.  You can can share your feelings on the trailer and book here or right on YouTube.  Either way, I am eager to hear what you have to say.