Thursday, November 2, 2017

Six Things I Learned in October

How long has it been since I’ve done a what-I’ve-learned post? Too long! I love how this style of post makes me reflect on the month and take note of the good and the bad as I move into the next month. Learning is a wonderful thing at any age.

Driving is my new down time.
No laundry to fold. No meal to fix. No dishes to wash.
I don’t talk on the phone. (I’m woman enough to admit that I don’t talk and drive well at the same time.)
Texting is completely out!
I can’t grade homeschool papers.
I can’t fritter away my time on social media.

I pray.
I talk to my children or husband without distraction.
I listen to uplifting music.
I brainstorm a book.
I listen to an audio book or radio theater drama.

Starbucks gives you a free drink for your birthday. I know, I know. I live under a rock. How could I learn this only a few days ago? I’ve had my smartphone a little over a year, and it’s been less than that since I downloaded the Starbucks app. I wasn’t sure what to do with it since I work hard NOT to be a regular Starbucks customer. But I received a notification the day before my birthday that I had a free drink or food something-or-other, good for only 48 hours. So, we slid through the drive-through late Saturday night and ordered a white chocolate mocha. (Thanks, Deb Raney, for the suggestion!) When we asked what size, my husband responded, “As large as we can get for the free drink.” 😊 Do you know that coffee would have cost over five dollars?!

I adore writing Amish suspense! Have I mentioned that I have another Love Inspired Suspense coming next September? I’m writing it now, due in November. I’ve read Amish fiction for more than a decade and never thought I would write it. But here I am, writing about a lovely Amish widow named Sarah and her six-year-old daughter with blonde curls who give aid to a handsome injured stranger who can’t remember his own name. White starched prayer kapps and apple pie and handwritten letters from Mamm mingled with intrigue and danger. I love it, and I hope you do, too!

Speaking of the Amish, they eat an interesting breakfast dish called scrapple. It’s also called pon hoss, and it’s made mostly of pork scraps. Basically, it’s the broth leftover after removing the bones and fat mixed with flour or cornmeal until it’s a thick paste, seasoned with salt and pepper, and then chilled overnight in a loaf pan. The next morning, the loaf is sliced and fried until golden brown on each side. I’m not a big pork fan, so I’m not sure I’m eager to try it, but I like that there’s no waste. My husband thinks it sounds delicious!

The National Bible Bee ministers to all in our family. If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you know of our involvement in the Bible Bee. It’s an annual competition that begins with a summer study that culminates in a computer-based test in early August. The test-takers with the top 120 scores in three age divisions then go on to compete at the national level in November. My 17yo daughter and 13yo boy both qualified for the national competition, so since mid-August, they’ve been studying in-depth the book of Colossians and memorizing Scripture. The 17yo, in the senior division, is memorizing over 900 verses, and the 13yo, in the junior division, is memorizing over 700 verses. To be prepared, they need to recite them out loud. Those recitations often result in fascinating discussion of the meaning and application of the verses. It’s a LOT of work for the contestants so there is great relief when it is over, but this time period of memorizing and discussion speaks to all us as the Word of God flows throughout our house and our family. I’ll be updating my children’s progress through the competition on Facebook, if you’d like to follow along.

My children make good thespians. Of course, there’s drama at home. 😊 But our church recently put together a drama team for skits on occasional Sundays. Apparently, those bursts of histrionics at home translate well to the platform.

And here’s a bonus – My author friends are incredibly generous! I’m sending out an author newsletter soon, and I asked my LIS author group if they wanted to give away any books. The answer was a resounding YES! {Forget the mug I mentioned in the last blog. How about books?!} So, not only am I giving away a set of my books {Under Duress and Deadly Disclosure}, but I also have books from Lynn Blackburn, Mary Ellen Porter, and Jenna Night. There will be lots of winners, just in time for Christmas, so sign up!

What have you learned this month? I’d love to know in the comments. 😊

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  1. I just let out a SQUEAL when I read about your next book! I love Amish stories and cannot wait to read yours!!

    1. Thank you, Amy! I really appreciate your kind words! :-)


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