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Let’s get this published.

You have 30 days.  Get it done.

When Christine Taylor Butler gave me the “Get it published in the next 30 days.”  ultimatum, I was pleased and scared at the same time.  I knew, with two weeks left until school was out, that I’d need two weeks and 30 days.  I will also need an intellectual property attorney, a graphic artist (a picture being worth at least 1000 words), and an accountant.

If you know anyone in those fields, please share my contact info with them.

I went to a Fiction Writers’ Retreat over the weekend.  I was ecstatic over the review I got from Bill Bernhardt.

I need beta readers.  For those of you who are readers and not writers, a beta reader is someone who reads and gives blunt honest opinions, edits, and/or commentary on soon-hopefully-to be-published work.

I wish I could go back in time and ask Louis L’Amour if he had beta readers.

My words for the week are:

  1. aphorism:  a pithy observation or comment that is generally true.  Sometimes called idioms
    1. Apples don’t fall far from the tree. . . .
    2. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

2.  atavistic:  like when you’re scared of spiders for no reason.  An unreasonable (we’re talking about your fears not mine) fear of something for ancient or ancestral causes.  No, I don’t happen to like spiders, but I’m not afraid of them.  I also don’t like lavender.  Most people who are afraid of spiders love the scent of lavender.  I’ve heard that it’s because lavender is a good spider repellant.  Who knew?

3.  imperious:  arrogant and/or domineering, assuming power or authority without justification

4. impecunious:  broke, poor, having little or no money (remember folks, this is not a crime, but it sure feels like the world has committed a crime against you)

5. ignoble: not noble, not honorable in either character or intent or purpose.  Having humble beginnings or social status.  ignoble aboriginals or savages

Blessings to you and yours


Isaiah 40:31






Green Thumbs?

My children have always said that I have a green thumb, and a green hand, and a green arm.  My pink hyacinths have bloomed.  The grape hyacinths were a lovely purple.  Does anyone know if they come in other colors?  My irises are not yet blooming, but I see a myriad of buds.  The ones I got from my Aunt Mary aren’t budding yet.  Red, pink, and white verbena grace the path from the back door to the fence.  I have red honeysuckle.  It is growing like crazy.  I didn’t check it for blossoms or buds.  I bet I get to it later today.

Most of my trees are putting on leaves.  I do have a small problem.  It is my dear little avocado tree.  I got the pit from a friend last winter.  (Thank you, Meleia.)  My tree did fine for over a year.  A few weeks ago, I notice it was leaning terribly to the side, so I cut a twig from one of my cottonwood trees and stuck it in the pot with the avocado to help support it.  I tied them together with a little pink ribbon and voile; my little avocado tree stood straight once more.  But then. . . after a few weeks, the cottonwood twig started putting on leaves.

Makes me say, Hmmmmmm.  I need to go on record as saying that I didn’t plant a cottonwood on purpose.

Todays’ words.

  1. knoll; a small hill, usually a grass covered mound.  Naturally occurring, not man made.
  2. gardener; one who keeps and or cares for a garden whether it is theirs or someone else’s, whether said garden is grown for pleasure or for financial gain.
  3. lissome; thin, supple, graceful, slender, willowy.
  4. guileless; (absence of guile–go figure!)  innocent, not deceptive, pure of thought and action.
  5. insalubrious; unhealthy, dangerous–especially when speaking of a climate or a locality.




Isaiah 40:31

Happy Birthday!

Yesterday was my birthday.  Today is my oldest daughter’s.  Next week is my daughter-in-law’s birthday.  We enjoyed a lovely dinner at Ted’s Escondido by the Outlet Mall in OKC.

Those of you who know me well know that I collect music boxes.  But, the music has to fit the box.  I have a phone that plays I Just Called to Say I Love You.  I have a teddy bear holding a globe that plays It’s a Small World.  A beer stein plays How Dry I Am, my trolley car chimes out the dulcet tones of I Left My Heart in San Francisco.   My clowns all play Here Come the Clowns. 

What I didn’t have until Sunday was a music box dancer that played Music Box Dancer.  I’ve been looking for one for years.  I was probably too picky.  I wanted a pink and white jewelry box with a pop up ballerina that played the right song.  You guessed it.  They all played something else.

But my wonderful children–especially the second one–found a beautiful jewelry box, perfect in pink, white, and gold,  With some help from her brother-in-law, they changed out the musical mechanism for one that played the right tune.   So, yes, Sunday at Ted’s I cried.  I still get teary when I think about how very much I am loved.

I hope each and everyone of you has someone in their life that loves them as much as I am loved even though that much love is a huge responsibility.

Blessings to you and yours.

Isaiah 40:31



This week’s words are:

apotheosis:  the highest point in the development of something, culmination, climax

apropos: with reference to, concerning, about

arcane; mysterious, secret, or perhaps only understandable by few

farinaceous:  flour or cereal made with grains, nuts, or starchy roots

fecund:  producing or able to produce an abundance of offspring, fertile.  Our neighbor’s garden has particularly fecund soil.

Inklings and Critiques

I have two small groups that meet on a regular basis.  One meets every Sunday morning at 8:30.  That group I call Inklings.  On Sunday mornings the lesson can go out the window and sometimes does.  This group’s primary goal is for each member to get one step closer to Jesus.  And then, one more step closer.  We also do a small craft item.  Some of the members are phenomenal artists.  Makes me wonder what I’m doing leading this awesome group.  This week we are setting up notebooks for the class, and making name plaques.

On the second Friday night of every month a group of serious writers meet at my house.  That group is Inklings Critique.  We read each other’s submissions and mark all over them.  Some of our comments are funny.   (My fifteen-year-old is a  grammar Nazi and a comedian.)  Most of the comments are constructive.  Most of the comments are words.  Did I mention that my daughter is also an artist?  She can be very informative with  tiny sketches.

This week’s words are:

archetype:  typical example of someone or something.  The archetypical cowboy wears boots, jeans, and a western hat.  His name decorates the back of his leather belt.

assiduous:  showing great care.  Assiduity is the constant attentive concern to what one is doing.

avaricious:  Greedy!  having (or maybe showing) an extreme greed for wealth or material gain or goods.  stingy, penny pinching, ungenerous

avuncular:  Uncle-ish.  His avuncular good humor and patience won the day.

imbroglio: an extremely confusing, complicated, or embarrassing situation or mess!  It was quite an imbroglio when her  husband and boyfriend both showed up drunk and angry.

Here’s to a wonderful week for you and yours. I hope you enjoyed the blog and vocabulary.


Isaiah 40:31





The words we eat–or choke on.

The old adage says, “Be wary of the words you speak–of them oft you have to eat.”

I’m modifying that a bit, I’ve choked on words I’ve spoken.  And, more often, wanted to choke others for the words they spoke.  Like the erstwhile brother-in-law who asked my favorite aunt, “How’s that mean old man of yours?” Her reply? “He’s still dead.” I wanted desperately to reverse time fifteen seconds to choke the BIL before he got the awful words out.

My New Year’s Resolution is to help you along the same journey I’m taking.  I am intentionally expanding my vocabulary.  I have a cigar box where I keep words or phrases I find unusual or interesting—or strange. Erstwhile is a new word for me. I don’t know how I missed it for nearly sixty years!

Thank you to e e cummings for puddle-wonderful and mud-luscious. Thank you to unknown for drums of thunder.

One of my favorite authors, Linda Lael Miller, uses the word ubiquitous. Not everyone who tries to write cowboy stories has actually been on a horse. It is obvious to me that she’s been saddle-sore from long hours working on horseback. My own knees have buckled a time or two when getting out of the saddle after a long day of rounding up cattle on the river breaks. (We’d be at the river before sun-up, and were usually in bed before midnight—usually.) She describes the pain exquisitely.

I’ve been listening to Lady Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER series while I clean house or work out at the gym. She has a fantastic vocabulary. I get two or sometimes three new words out of each of her books. More often, I find new definitions or applications for the words I already knew.

I love Louis L’Amour. I must. I have a whole bookshelf with nothing but LL’A Books on it. I don’t find new words in his writing, but I’ve been reading them since I was in grade school.

Without further ado, here are this blog’s words in no particular order. Definitions are compliments of a variety of sources, including websites, people, and old fashioned paper dictionaries.

  1. hoike; to lift abruptly or pull upwards with great effort. She hoiked the soggy collie onto the examination table.
  2. amorphous; without a clearly defined shape or form. The fog alone wasn’t creating the amorphous ghosts between tombstones and statues.
  3. ubiquitous; pervasive, universal, found everywhere. Think about the teens at the mall with their ubiquitous earbuds.
  4. susurrus; whispering, rustling, or murmuring. I’d heard susurrus used to describe the wind in the pines and in the long prairie grass, but I hadn’t known it could rip a sword from its sheath. It surely can!
  5. unalloyed; pure. Copper is not an alloy, but bronze is. Bronze is made of copper and tin. Brass gets its “z” from zinc. Okay, I knew that! But, his unalloyed anger erupting with the susurrus of his sword being unsheathed from its metal encumbrance and re-sheathed in his enemy was a bit disconcerting.

There are your five words for the week. I invite you to send me your favorite words! I’d love to add them to my repertoire.

Happy writing and blessings to you and yours,

Isaiah 40:31


Why do I hate certain websites?

I hate Bing.  It just ate my whole blog.  I’ll write more later.  I’ve tried everything I know to block it, but it must be part of the software that came preloaded on my machine.  I open a new tab and there it is.  (sound of grinding teeth.)

It isn’t surprising to me that the number one item searched on Bing is “GOOGLE.”



May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, Lord.



Happy Holy-day

Merry Christmas!  Happy Holy-days.

When clerks tell me “Happy Holidays.”  I reply with “Merry Christmas and Happy Holy-day. ”  If nothing else, it does make them–and everyone else in line–think about their salutation.

I remember going out with Dad on the weekend after Thanksgiving and chopping/sawing down a tiny tree for our living room.  It always amazed me how much the tree stretched and swelled when we tugged it in through the door.  It was tiny outside and huge inside.  Some people are like that.  Not much on the outside, but all heart.

Ah, memories.  Hot tea with toast when the tree was decorated.  Dad made better tea than Mom did.  I think it was because he wasn’t worried about how much sugar we ate, he went to work and Mom was the one stuck in the house with five hyper kids.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.



Isaiah 40:31

That smells great!

I walked into my office where a beautiful zebra striped Scentsy warmer perfumes the air with coffee. Coffee? Coffee it is. I put a plain tea-light sans aluminum cup and a tablespoon of freshly ground coffee into the wax holder. I’m telling you it is awesome! The coffee was a gift from a friend who LOVES coffee. *Thank you Krista R.*
The first time–and every time since–that I’ve put coffee grounds in my warmer, I’ve been reminded of David’s prayer in Psalm 141. “May my prayers come before your presence like incense.”

Imagine this:
God is sitting on his throne surrounded by hundreds of adoring angels. His eyes are focused on one tiny makeshift altar here on Earth. His nostrils flare and God breathes slowly and deeply. A tiny trail of what might be smoke lifts from that tiny Earth-bound soul and spirals around our Holy Father in a peaceful, unhurried ballet. Saint Peter walks in and immediately his eyes track to God’s face and the strange smokiness that is almost an entity on its own.
Peter sniffs and smells the smoke. Just as God is almost mesmerized by the essence, so is our impetuous Peter. “I’ve smelled that a time or two before this. What is it?” He breathes in deeply, slowly almost drugged by the magnificent spice. It is quite unlike anything else–ever.
Peter repeats slowly, “W h a t i s i t?” He continues to pull the smoke into his lungs savoring, almost tasting the powerful emanation.
God says, “That’s what it smells like to me when Lorelei takes time out of her busyness and simply praises me. When she isn’t asking for anything for herself or anyone else. This is the greatest gift she ever gives to me. It is the powerful life changing praises from my favorite child.
“But,” Peter continues his questioning, “doesn’t she praise you every Sunday at church? Why don’t we smell it then?”
“We do smell it then.” God answers. “It is part of a bouquet then and not a single flower’s essence. It smells different, better when she makes time to spend alone with me. Isn’t it wonderful?”

“May my prayers come before your presence like incense.” May it happen often.


But I didn’t lock myself out!

But I didn’t lock myself out of the house.
Except for the part where I did.
No shade if I park in the driveway, I thought. So, I’ll park in front of the house. If I park in the drive it is closer to the back door. Parking in front of the house under the shade of the sycamore tree yields an easy few steps to the front porch. The deadbolt on the front door has always been a trifle stubborn. It is hard to lock and to unlock the silly thing. Sometimes you can jiggle your key to get it in far enough. Sadly, sometimes you cannot. I can always force it in when jiggling and wiggling are ineffective tools. Well, I used to be able to.
However, one day last week I took my daughter to band practice, then I went to the gym to work out. I got home just before 9:00a.m. I was ecstatic. I had three hours to write. Three quiet hours to write. I could turn off the home phone, cell phone, modem, and every other time-sucking device in my home. I stuck the key in the front door and it almost went all the way in. I jiggles and cajoled. I didn’t just talk to the lock; I also talked to the door and the key. None of them listened. Good thing someone invented Bluetooth. Now I can talk to myself and most people don’t even clue up that I’m not wearing an earpiece.
I pushed hard on the key and it bent sideways. My shoulders dropped. Well, I’ve never happened to bend a key before, at least not at a 90 degree angle. Now I have to walk all the way around the house to the back door. You know which door, the one that always unlocks easily. I stuck the bent key in the door and voile, nothing. Nothing? Nope. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nein. Not. Nyet. No. No, as in no, it didn’t unlock.
The key didn’t go in far enough because it was bent. An easy enough fix, right? I simply bent the key back straight. And it snapped. I was so shocked that I didn’t even yell–or breathe. I just stood there with my jaw brushing the tops of my shoes. Now could it snap so easily without warning? It broke off flush with the outside surface of the lock. It must have been an conspiracy between locks and key.
Fortunately, I wasn’t without hope. My daughter was at summer band only six miles away. (And under the direction of an unforgiving maestro.) My older daughter sometimes works from home, only seven miles away. Sorry, not that day. That day she was working out of the downtown office. She was only twelve miles and nineteen stories away. She might as well have been a hundred miles away. She was in the middle of interviewing candidates for an IT job. She said, “Mom, really? You’ve got a screwdriver in the tool box on your truck. Surely you can take the door off its hinges or take out a window or something!” Nope, I can’t. The key to my tool box is in the house. The key to the shed where I can probably find a dozen helpful tools is also in the house. She laughed and hung up after reassuring me that if I could get the broken key out, I could come get her key. She was right. It wasn’t going to do any good to get a key if both locks had gotten jinky.
Well, I thought, my handsome prince charming is only 26 miles away. He said I could come get his key, or he could take a half day and come fix it for me. I’m not sure he’d do a better job than I could. I told him I’d call him back if I couldn’t get it. Lowes is only six and a half miles away and the front lock needed to be replaced anyway. Surely Lowes would have a cute little tool to remove crises from locks. Don’t bother looking for such a thing there–they don’t have anything close. They had several beautiful lock combinations though. I got new locks for the front and for the back door. I even got them keyed alike. But, they had nothing with which to remove the broken key. Fortunately, I do not give up easily. Unfortunately in this situation, I didn’t have the luxury of giving up. In real life we seldom do.
I stopped in at Sally’s Beauty and the incredibly compassionate clerk showed me where the tweezers were. Eventually, she did. She had to stop laughing hysterically and catch her breath first. When she could breathe halfway normally, she giggled her way past the nail clippers and polish to the eyebrow tweezers.
Considering all of the opportunities I’d already had to lose my joy, I got the broken key out of the lock easily. I was still locked out!
By then it was 12:30 and time to pick up my young teen from band. I explained what all I’d dealt with that morning and made her give me her key. She complied giggling, but asked, “If we can’t get in the house, can we go to Subway for lunch. I really want a meatball marinara.”
That was a request I could honor. “IfF we can’t get in, yes. A 6″ chicken bacon ranch sounds good to me.”
To her dismay and my delight, the backdoor opened easily. After she’d eaten something far less worthy than the meatball sub she wanted, I delivered her sans key back to the high school for another session of summer band.
I put her key in the back door lock and I was shocked again. The door unlocked and opened easily for the second time in a row. After the morning I’d had I expected another crisis. In less than two hours I’d found the necessary tools and had changed out all the locks. I gathered up the spare keys and the errant locks and even put my tools away.
I don’t think this should count as locking myself out of the house even though I locked myself out of the house. I think I need to plant a tree so I will have shade when I park by the back door.