To become a follower to Darlene's blog, click on the "follow" tab at the very bottom of the screen.

Friday, August 8, 2014

READING AND WRITING (August 1-7, 2014)

I did read the final fifty pages of The Fires of Alexandria. It did answer the central questions of the book while leaving room for further stories. The central character, Ada/Heron, is engaging.  Go for it!

I read a second book this week, Breeders, another first book that felt like the first one or two episodes of a TV show, but nonetheless one that pulled me to read it in one book. (only 100 pages).  Sci fi future thriller, where the heroine has been chosen as the "breeder" of a specific gene. She even loses her name, and becomes "Breeder 107."  A take on genetic engineering.

Now I'm reading Felix Francis's continuation of his father's one continuing character, Sid Halley. So far his books haven't quite lived up to his father's standards (Dick Francis is probably my all-time favorite author). But, any Sid Halley story is bound to be good.

I'm up to 41% on An Apple for Christmas and 63% on Runaway Love. Slowly but surely.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

POETRY ZONE (July 30 - August 5, 2014)

The Granada Camp for Wayward Poets has officially ended.

Here is my final camp poem. The assignments was a "three-legged race," three stanzas long, where the final words of one stanza are the first words of the next. My words took inspiration from Tolkien and The Old Rugged Cross.

On a hill faraway
He was nailed to our cross
Please forgive, his prayer
In His death, our sin lost
One King will rule us all

Rule us all? I think not
I refuse to bow down
Your wide nets cast for naught
Till in sin’s sea I drown
Long He sings to find us

Find us? While He waits
Ripened fields I will reap
Prayers for souls carry weight
Sowing seeds I will weep
Unseen wings bring us all
To His home eternal

Now we are writing on our usual schedule, and this is my poem describing my muse:


Once upon a time my muse was black
Her brand’s harsh heat marked me hers
Coal-dark eyes lasered my memories
Rearranging slices of pain as art
Red spilled down her ebony arms
Her lifeblood filling my pen
Raven tresses wrapped around me
The cocoon a safe place to write and feel

I emerge from my cocoon to find my muse has changed
My golden years have turned to silver                              
Black cotton threads are now shiny silk
Her dress, a metallic sheen, robes her crooked back
Beauty and strength shine from her shrunken form
Poetry drips from silver-tipped fingernails
Painting images formerly frozen as prose
Penny dreadful words now polished utensils

Finally, here is the poem I wrote about turning sixty.

One life, divided by six tens
Each decade shorter than the last
First day, first year, so much to ken
By ten years old, so much amassed
The teens I changed from chick to hen
Plans set in stone, my future vast
At twenty-two, I hit first wall
My music studies caused to halt

But thirty found me satisfied
A husband, children, and a church
By forty, perfect life proved lie
Divorce and illness made me search
My story world escape supplied
Secure while day by day I lurched
Half century my life span climbed
At last my books had found their time

The last ten years have brought more tests
My daughter died, and then my Mom
But new life flourished in its quest
To place grandchildren in my palms
My prayer, the years ahead my best
My final words, a praise-filled psalm
Will I reach seventy or more?
Or spend that day on heaven’s shore?

Friday, August 1, 2014

READING AND WRITING (July 25-31, 2014)

Good, steady progress this week. Phew, wipe my forehead with relief.  I figured out that I didn't need to write quite so much every day to meet my goals. What a relief! 

So, I have reached the 55% of Runaway Love and 26% of An Apple for Christmas.

A piece featuring my story is going to appear in the local paper soon. I'll publish a link when I have one (if it's online), but until then, here are the pic from the interview:

I have almost finished Fires of Alexandria, and find it as complex and compelling as from the beginning. Now I see it's the first of three books. I hope this isn't one of those books that leave important questions unanswered at the end! I'll let you know next week.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

POETRY ZONE (July 23-29, 2014)

This week I jumped back into the month-long poetry camp. 

This first poem was inspired by a 3-legged race, where each stanza began with the end of the previous stanza. I named it "A La Tolkien." Tell me if you can guess why.

On a hill faraway
He was nailed to our cross
Please forgive, his prayer
In His death, our sin lost
One King will rule us all

Rule us all? I think not
I refuse to bow down
Your wide nets cast for naught
Till in sin’s sea I drown
Long He sings to find us

Find us? While He waits
Ripened fields I will reap
Prayers for souls carry weight
Sowing seeds I will weep
Unseen wings bring us all
To His home eternal

The next poem was written for "At Your Service," when the campers visited a nursing home. I wrote about the differences I have noticed between adults and children who come to visit.


Don’t go, our personal advice
The children will pull back, afraid
The nature place is much more nice
Preserve the beauty of the glade
They need us, Pastor Bob’s word swayed
Two lines from cabins one to four
Marched northward to the rest home’s door

One step inside our fears confirmed
The smell! The noise! The wheelchair bound
We hid behind the kids and squirmed
The mobile patients gathered round
The childish voices siren’s sound
A pat, a hug, a kiss or two
The young and old together grew

Their hearts saw past the li-ned flesh
Into a person, same as them
The games of childhood both thought best
Their laughs and smiles, no one condemned
Examples we should craft as gems
Our heads hung, the blow our shame
A lesson learned, our fears so lame

This last poem is not for the "camp," but a form called bokkektto.  It's a syllable-based poem, written about what I saw straight ahead of me.


Side by side, TVs divide
Our room in half, hers and mine
Hers the latch hook, mine the books
Two beds, two clocks
Twelve pictures between

Complaints in common—the food
Laugh together, ads and aides

Monday, July 28, 2014


Next Sunday is my birthday. I will celebrate, with so much has happened and that I hope to happen.

For this week, I will look back.

On my birthday, I said:

There is a sign in the nursing home that reads, "A hundred years from now, it won't matter what kind of car I drove or where I lived, but the difference I made in other peoples' lives." Mentally I add to the list, "how many books I wrote." 

This year I read a quote that helped me put my short time, and whatever success I have in my remaining years, in focus. It said something to the effect of, "Don't worry about the hundred people who read your books today, or even the ten people who will read them in ten years. Write for the one person who will read them a 100 years from now."

I have never expected someone to read my books in a hundred year. My goal has never been to write the great American novel, that will become required reading in classrooms. But. . .they are lasting. My first book came out nine years ago; it was repacked with the two follow up books this summer,
Colorado Melodies. Romanian Rhapsody came from my heart and while now somewhat outdated, it touches all who read it.

I also said:
My birthday greetings from relative strangers called me dear, sweet, precious, beautiful. 
This week, I posted a picture, asking people to describe me in one word. People said:
  • Overcomer
  • special
  • diligent
  • awesome
  • writer
  • steadfast
  • hard working
  • tolerant
  • perseverant
  • talented
  • friend
  • talented
  • saved
Each of those are qualities that I treasure.
I ended my thinking with:
But this one thing I know: God has me here, at this time and in this place, for a reason. If that reason includes daily pain and sleeplessness--so it does. He will comfort and speak to me in the pain, and He will use it to help others as well.
Daily pain? Pretty much, but not bad (except for bad knee pain this week, but that will pass). Sleeplessness, praise God, is pretty much a thing of the past.
And God has used me to touch others, close friends with a resident many consider irritating, an older sister to a troubled resident, a listening ear to someone who shuts herself away from most people. I have been here, for a reason.
Next week I will look more at the future--what it looks like at this point in time. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

READING AND WRITING (July 18-24, 2014)

Christmas Traditions Series
Progress at last!  I have reached the 20% mark on my Christmas novella, An Apple for Christmas; and I am almost at the halfway point (49%) for Runaway Love. Woo hoo!

The picture above is the entire collection including my book. See my single cover here:

I am busy reading The Fires of Alexandria by Thomas Carpenter. So far, it's a fascinating story of a woman passing a man to pursue the craft of a sculptor, an educated "Barbarian," and the mystery of the fire which destroyed the great library of Alexandria.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

POETRY ZONE (July 16-22, 2014)

Of the poems I wrote for the Camp challenge this week, I'm sharing the two that tell a story about me.

One of the lakes mentioned in the poem below is the place where our best friends from church lived, and where I was baptized.


The town of Winthrop, Maine boasts many things
Activities for all the whole year through
Of long, hot days at lakes upon a string
Cobboseecontee, Carlton, naming two
But most of all, their cooks compete to wring
The last, sweet taste of fish fixed in a stew
The lakes take part, but poor Maranacook
Must always lose to Annabessacook.

When we were challenged to write about camp food, I thought about the times Mom packed up the grill--and my growing admiration for all she did for me.


My mom would pack up grill and coals
And take us a site untold
At campgrounds at both streams and lakes
She lit the fires that made my days
For flames to flare and sizzling meat
Add icy pop, s’mores that can’t be beat
~I never bought a grill or coals~
One camping trip with Dad and kids
Made future tries ones I forbid
Marshmallows brown on gas stove top
Hot dogs burn black in the right pot.
I don’t cook out—inside’s my thing
But where indoors can children swing?

Monday, July 21, 2014


This week, like several times before in this place, God has reminded me of the importance of taking time with the people who cross my path.

My dinner table, where I had finally become comfortable with my assorted companions, has changed. By the time I arrive, it is normally full. I miss my companions. Miss W. often sleeps and rarely talks; but she is given to a hearty laugh and speaks with clear understanding when she does speak. Miss P. repeats the same questions every day, several times each day, and is the most difficult to communicate with; but she loves company. Miss V. has become a close friend. Her abrasive manner and unpleasant voice drive many people away, and repeats her life story many times. Over the months. we have gotten past the surface to the pain we have shared--and the love God has for both of us.

A couple of days ago, Miss V. demanded a hug the next time we saw each other. So, yesterday, I hugged her. Miss P. asked why I didn't hug her. So I hugged her as well. Then Miss V. wanted another hug, because I had given Miss P. a better hug. . .shades of "mother, do you love me best?"

But as I've said, lately I've had to take a seat elsewhere. If I can, I choose to sit with people who enjoy a conversation.  Miss P. (different than the one I mentioned above) lady sits alone at a back table. Sometimes, when I have tried to sit there, she has growled at me. Other times, we've had a pleasant conversation. So recently I told her I try to guess if she wants company or not before I join her.

She seemed so surprised--and very open to me joining her. "You can sit with me any time you want." Shades of Miss V., desperate for friendship while her armor shouts "don't come near me."

Today I sat with Miss D. While not suffering from Downs Syndrome, she has the same affect of someone who is lacking in intelligence but who says "I love you" to almost total strangers. But I will comment on her new dresses, or the stuffed animals and dolls she carries with her, or ask after her health. Today she told me a little of her sad story. (Several of us here come from very painful childhoods.) When I left, she said, "please don't tell this to anyone else. You're like my big sister." Tears glistening in her eyes.

The other day I tried to come down to my room after lunch. Two people stopped me on the way. I don't remember the question the first one had. The second was man, almost a century old, wanting to know where room 5 was. We found it, but I pointed out it wasn't his room. So I took him to his room--14--and he said, "four and one make five."  I had to laugh at his logic.

My point is, the people here have become my family.  I have made a difference in a small pond. If I leave--as seems more and more likely--I know myself. I have a tendency to hide away from people. I have always hoarded my time, and God prods me to give more generously of myself. I am gifted with people (I think) but I fight it.

Kind of like writing. Huh. Never thought of it that way.

So pray that I will remain and increase in openness to people in need of a friend.

Friday, July 18, 2014


The good news: I started again on Runaway Love. The bad news: I seem to have lost 5-6K words somewhere, which I've had to recover. Oh, well, I have time!

More good news!  I received copies of my two new books this week. Saving Felicity is book #7 set in Maple Notch, Vermont, a contemporary romance between the owner of a failing B&B and the TV personality who comes to save her business. Colorado Melodies includes three contemporary romances with ties to Colorado (and common characters), including my first-ever book, Romanian Rhapsody.


As far as reading goes--I've started two books (about 50 pages), Anvil of the Craftsman and Yesterday's Road. Both were okay--but I've decided to set them aside. I've got over 80 books in the queue (mostly free), so why waste weeks on mediocre books? Shows the importance of a good start to a book.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


I'm still involved in the poem-a-day challenge, but I'll share a couple of favorites from the week.


Worried and broke, unable to provide
My needs are met by my Lord, the Shepherd
I camp by cool waters, soft grass my bed
I follow His map, my Lord, the Shepherd
My natural cravings destroy my life
He remakes my heart, my Lord, the Shepherd
I walk through life’s darkest hours
While He holds my hand, my Lord, the Shepherd
Enemies attack and friends fall away
I wine and dine with my Lord, the Shepherd
Today and always, we walk hand in hand
My home’s in His land, my Lord, the Shepherd
Step by step and day by day He leads me
He’s Yahweh Shamah, my Lord, the Shepherd
Trail map left out leafy, barky log
Taking us through mossy, scary bog

Monday, July 14, 2014


My son just left with his wife and the two little ones. With Isaiah competing for my attention along with Jordan, my heart is delighted (they are borrowing two of my bears until their next visit) but the best part was climbing into the van and taking off to Braums!

So a short but happy post for the day. . .my heart is singing at the thought of leaving this place.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Yes, Priceless Pearl is written, edited, and submitted!  Hurrah!

I have even added 1K on Runaway Love.  When I read through what I've written, relief, it's pretty good. I hope. So . . .

I'm even working on a possible Christmas novella. An Apple for Christmas

As for reading:

A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin. Christian historical romance during WWII. A great book, one that I greatly enjoyed and heartily endorse. It even managed to give the nitty gritty of bombing raids without boring me to tears (I'm not big into battle scenes in general)

The Beam by Johnny B. Truant. Some kind of sci-fi/fantasy which I didn't enjoy at all. Unlike Gameland, the Zombie book which drew me in and made me want to read more.

Infinite Sacrifice by L.E. Waters features reincarnation. I don't believe in reincarnation, but I did enjoy the ongoing stories, through ancient Sparta, Vikings in Denmark, and plague-ridden London. But instead of wrapping up the character's journey at the end, the "guide" says how all religions lead to the same God and how her journey is continuing on to the next life. . .a decent story ruined by an unsatisfactory ending.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


NEWS FLASH! For the first time, I have a poem published in a journal. Find "Confusion" at page 18 at

At the moment I'm working on a Poem-a-Day challenge for July--which I won't share with you just now. Any non-PAD poems will come here. :)


The heart of any marriage is true love
But divorce attests the lie of true love.

A single dry rose is all that remains
When summer heat drains her dreams of true love.

Wedding rings symbolize promises made
Lest any threat trade the fake for true love.

If a man search for meaning all his days, 
His quest is sure to fail short of true love.

Darlene my darling, God’s lullaby,
Calls me the apple of His eye, true love.


Memories fade, unless she glides through dreams
A wisp of smoke, no warmer than a dream.

Grief sets its own timetable, yesteryear
Joins with today in the sphere of my dreams.

A stranger’s profile, a grandchild’s smile, both
Direct me through the aisles that store my dreams.

A meal with lemon pie and crisp hash browns
Sits me down at the table of my dreams

In heaven, to dance and play, forever
Alive, never glum, a realized dream.

The sight, the sound, the smell of you only
Tease me with the spree that awaits, no dream.

Dearest Jolene, both too close and too far
At the bar with the mirror of my dreams.

Beauty crowds me till I die
Sucking my breath with
Pollen-swollen floss
Sloughing off my skin in
Pursuit of summer sun
Cacophony of judgment
Stills the voice of my drum
Until a single word cracks
The dam, releasing fear
The pursuit of beauty squashes me,
Flattening, crushing, draining me
Till I die inside, leaving
Only a brittle outer shell       
Darlene Franklin ©2014


Never a box a cat
Does not love, nor a
Bag left unexplored
Whiskers quivering
Measure for green light         
Head first, paws on springs
Legs hugging body    
As snug as bird’s wings

Dangling tail swishes
Warning to leave alone
Or face his claws in war
Backing out, his wish
demands more comfort
Legs first, not too squished    
around him, tail swings
In box, cat is king


Hand-painted box fort
Felled by driving rain
Do-it-yourself Dad
Questions the standard
PVC pipe and
Camouflage replace
Thinks outside the box
Creates something new                                                                                                              

The Man Upstairs and
The Good Book both speak
Casual truth, facts
Made from cardboard, pricked
And torn, thrown around
Easy to replace
Throw out inept box
Nothing contains God


Sunday, July 6, 2014


I posted this in facebook a few days ago:

Don't worry about who reads your books today. Write for the one person who reads it a hundred years from now.--I heard that quote recently

Today God banged me over the head twice about trusting Him with my dreams. So--for reasons that have nothing to do with my skill or faith, but because of our awesome God--I am praying for God to expand my ministry through time and space in ways I cannot imagine.

It sparked a lot of comment so I thought I would expand on the subject.

The first mention was quoted in my prayer journal: Father God, please help me to accomplish Your dreams for my life.

About half an hour later, this appeared on the ACFW email loop: We live in a country where we are blessed to be able to pursue our dreams - and pursue them to the glory of God! Let us know how we can help. We are here for you!  from Betsy St. Amant and Georgiana Daniels

So what are my dreams?

I asked myself that last year, starting down my 60th birthday (four weeks from yesterday,  if you/re interested), and already living in a nursing home.

I felt more at peace--I thought perhaps God would open the door to writing about/for/advocating residents in centers such as this.

Not much has happened on that front. Instead, I got suckered into writing poetry. In February, I took a week off from writing fiction and got hooked. I've been encouraged to write more by having my poems chosen as "best of the week" four times already and also have a poem published in a literary journal for the first time.

So one dream is to write a "chapbook" of poetry with Jolene's poems and mine. . .

And my novels? I don't know. I'm still aiming for a 50-book mark, and hoping to self-publish more. I want to put together a devotional book to sell as an e-book. But no new, big dreams.

Another dream which I could never have envisioned a year ago--but which my physical therapist is aiming for--is living independently. Some form of assisted living, but in a private dwelling/apartment/however they work.

I basically laughed when she told me that. . .so many things I still can't do. . .but the reminder about dreams made me realize I have to believe it's possible. The day may come. . . not next month. . .but by next July? I may be out of here.

If anyone reads this. . .I would love to hear your dreams.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


I am running into a time crunch with my next deadline. For that reason, I will stop writing in this blog until July.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Another week with little reading--I am turning up the focus on my next book.

I have passed the halfway point of my novella, Priceless Pearl.  Hurrah!

And I received the cover of my August release, Preacher Brides, which includes my story Miss Bliss and the Bear.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


No blooms awarded this week, but encouragement from a multi-published poet to submit my poem Angel for publication.  I also sent off my poem about "Please tell me I'm not a bad mother" to a possible compilation.

But here are my poems for the week.

The prompt was about lies--white lies like "How are you?" "Fine, thank you."

So this first poem is about which is: to lie or go along with a friend's delusion

The Angel

She holds her angel with newborn care
Feeding her spoons of applesauce.
The food dribbles down Angel’s chin.
“Look. She has two new teeth.”
Two perfectly shaped teeth
Peek over the bottom lip.

 She knows I know Angel is a doll.
But I tell her that’s okay.
She needs something to cherish
And protect and live for.
Living flesh or plastic doesn’t matter

 Now others bring their babies too
Meal time has become a nursery
And she has changed her tune.
“I know Angel is a doll.”
She tucks the baby in a blanket.
“I’m not stupid.”

Only confused.

Darlene Franklin ©2014

Please Tell Me I’m Not a Bad Mother

 I’m such a bad mother—consider
The facts—my son danced with drugs ‘til
His arrest, stomping my heart
Mental illness coiled ‘round
My girl, squeezing joy
‘Til she gave in
To despair                  
Bad, bad

Didn’t you hear?
Her heavenly song
He reads God’s word all day
I’m proud to claim him—surprise
He’s proud too. Mistakes? Too many
But in God’s rule, He rewrites the past

Darlene Franklin ©2014

Form: Quintella


I run from gunshots ev’ry time
A fire shoots sparks, and I draw back 
Those few who answer the attack
Go to not from that scary clime
From all deserve respect sublime

Imago Dei

In hands You made I feel the rain
My eyes search far across the plain
A single whiff smells stormy night
Go, taste the drops before they gain  
Ears hear the roll of thunder’s fright

Darlene Franklin ©2014


Monday, June 9, 2014


Recently I read a devotional on Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides. The book is Daily Reflections on the Names of God by Ava Pennington.

In the devotional, she talked about how Joseph's presence in Egypt allowed him to answer his family's prayer for food. Her challenge: How might Yahweh Jireh want me to provide for someone I am praying for today?

I prayed that God would help me be a friend to people who are hurting, instead of getting angry. (I was thinking of my aides.)

I even prayed that God would give me the grace to take action when the opportunity presented itself.  You know, how when you pray for patience and so God gives you the opportunity to be patient?

Flash forward a few hours. A lady who has become a good friend came to lunch late and then, as always, took a very long time to eat. When I finished eating, I prepared to leave. She begged me, "please stay."

I left anyway . . .and felt guilty but didn't turn back,

Today I took an extra ten minutes with her. Feeling virtuous, I headed for my room. Said hi to another dear lady.

Who asked me--you guessed it--to come in to visit.

I said no, but no further than a foot past her door before I turned back.

I still have to figure out the puzzle of churly aides.

Anyhow--maybe my challenge is yours as well. Maybe we already know what we should do, and pray for grace--and "just do it."

Thursday, June 5, 2014

READING AND WRITING May 29-June 4, 201

Not much to report this week. I've written 1 2/3 chapters of my novella, Priceless Pearl. Not as much as I need to have written . . .

And I've only 60 pages or so of my WWII romance. I've enjoyed it so far, but time has been short.

Hopefully I will have more news to report next week!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

POETRY ZONE MAY 28-June 3, 2014

Today is one of those high-as-a-kite days. Two of this week's poems, My World is Blue and Maya Angelou is Dead, were chosen as this week's blooms at

So here they are:

Prompt: "I Dreamed About. . ."


Once upon a time I was a Musketeer
Living a dream I didn’t know I wanted
Death knocked at my door, leaving me

Alone I entered my nursing home jail
Living a nightmare I earned by bad choices
Hospitals blew down my house of cards

Crippled I dozed in my chair on wheels
Existing in a vacuum I need help to survive
Air warmed me, body and spirit

Waiting I sensed unseen angel wings
Not believing, I could not deny them
Musketeers reunited, hope reignited

Form: Royal Rime


Today my world is blue and I am blessed
Pastel walls framed with wood and white welcome
Me, dressed in sky blue and sunflowers, guest
Blanket of walnut and fern, rub my thumb
Accents of tropical blooms my anthem
Shower cleanses me behind violet blue sheets
Aqua to robin’s egg, my life is sweet

Darlene Franklin ©2014

Maya Angelou is dead

Maya Angelou is dead
She spoke for rock, river and tree
Word-wrought spell brought light as it spread

She spoke for nations, worlds and me
Unique yet united are we

No longer caged by mortality
Her song leaps from star to star, free

Darlene Franklin ©2014

Monday, June 2, 2014


Where did May go? To a week in the hospital and. . .what?

All kinds of issues have been resolved.

  • I actually have therapy five days a week. I am standing more easily and walking more. My arms are stretching higher, as well as my "core." I am so very glad.
  • The rapid weight gain has finally stopped. Not losing weight yet, but it's a step in the right direction.
  • I finished the Women of the Bible devotional project. It challenged and blessed me in a zillion ways. I wrote about women R-T. From the Matriarchs Rachel, Rebekah and Sarah to women of infamy (Sapphira, anyone?) and many others I didn't even recognize, my eyes having glazed over their names in those long genealogy lists.
  • Started a novella for Barbour. I am delighted to be working with Barbour again.
  • Seeing real progress in the ladies I eat with every day. I can count on one lady saying the same thing every day, but the other three of us have conversations on a variety of topics.
  • I am sleeping well.  I go through long spells of not sleeping well, so it's a blessing.
  • My oldest granddaughter graduated from high school. A happy time for the family indeed.
  • Apparently without my knowledge I am now on both Medicaid and Medicare, which allows me a lot more versatility in medical coverage.
  • After years of suspecting I have sleep apnea, it was confirmed. And the hospital doctor told me the bipap machine I'm using could add 5 years to my life.  (Why didn't we check this earlier?)
  • Winning a bloom of the week for two poems at  I'm still treating poetry as a fragile Christmas ornament that I have no idea what to do with it. But apparently I'm a good poet. (Three wins on three months)
I've made several changes, all at once, which leave me feeling drained. And downright hungry at others. I didn't think my rapid weight gain was due to my eating habits. They hadn't changed, but the rate of gain did. But. . .I did change my diet. I'm actually eating most vegetables now. (Shock, I know, for those of you who know me in person).  Double portions of protein to help with wound healing. Half of carbs, literally. One slice of bread on sandwiches. Bottom half of a hamburger bun. And so on. No added sugar. Little salt and butter, but I had already made that change.

I already mentioned the daily therapy--welcome but exhausting.

But then they finally identified the biggest problem with the weight: I've been drinking too much! Close to my six to eight cups of water. . .plus 1-2 diet cokes, 1 cup of coffee, and 2 drinks with each meal. I've been cut to half of that. 2 tiny glasses (milk and juice) for breakfast, a cup of water with miralax, 1 small glass of tea at lunch and supper, 1 cup of water for taking meds throughout the day. And one final cup that I can use any way I wish. I'm sure they would prefer I drink water but I choose between juice, diet coke, and coffee.

So when my mouth gets during therapy, I pop a couple of ice chips in my mouth. When I cough. . .that's a problem.

None of the changes by themselves have been difficult. Surprisingly so. But every now and then I want to splurge. To have cup of coffee in the morning. To have two pieces of birthday cake, or two cookies instead of one. (I know, I'm blessed that I still get small portions of desserts). For me to be the one to remind a nurse, "I can't have that."

So thanks for you for "listening." It helps to remember all the reasons for rejoicing.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Ah, back to writing. I spent most of the week editing thirty devotionals for Women of the Bible. I had women from very well known matriarchs (Sarah and Rebekah) to women mentioned only once (Rufus's mother). A challenging, fulfilling study.

I am now in the throes of starting a novella for Homestead Brides, due out next year. Barbour has assembled a great group of writers for nine novellas in the anthology. My story is Priceless Pearl, set during the 1893 Oklahoma Land Run.

I finished Gameland--without a clear ending, of course, so I will buy the next installment. :) But I won't, as much as I enjoyed the story.

Next I read another mystery, Stranger in Town by Cheryl Bradshaw. A PI mystery about a child abduction case--a few murders, but not the main mystery. Definitely a series I would revisit.

I just started A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin, a WWII story. I look forward to reading about the ugly duckling. (at least that's how the heroine sees herself)

This isn't a book, but I am enjoying the return of 24 to TV for a limited engagement.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Poetry Zone May 21-27, 2014

Prompt: Combine first lines or titles from your favorite musician into a poem. I thought about John Denver and Charles Wesley, but ended up with Fanny Crosby. Wesley and Crosby both wrote hymns, and her hymns are the ones I still sing.


Rescue the perishing for I am Thine, o Lord
Pass me not, o gentle Savior
Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it

Near the cross, tell me the stories of Jesus
He hideth my soul close to thee
Blessed assurance, to God be the glory

Take the world but give me Jesus
Savior, more than life to me
To God be the glory of unsearchable riches

Jesus is tenderly calling me home
All the way my Savior leads me
To that bright forever

Form: Staccatto

Two poems for this one.

He holds colored cones in a tow’ring stack
My arm stretches out, bones grinding on bones
Reach high! Reach high! Don’t dare to stop
Unfolding fingers brush air and miss
Undaunted, I extend my hand again
Reach high! At last the end, success


Proudly you march to pomp and circumstance
While your heart beats romp with joy on this day
Go forth! Go forth! The world’s your stage
Your choice to make, to hurl yourself
Into the future, grasping the brass ring
Go forth with confidence, clasping your dreams.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


I finished Lacy William's novella this week and now I'm in the middle of my first-ever foray into ya-zombie fiction. I don't know zombie mythology but the story is actually more compelling than I expected, with the heavy hand of big brother ready to fall on these nerdy kids' necks. The book is Gameland by S.W. Tanpepper.

Writing-wise, I figured out that at my revised goal of 1K a day, I have contracts to keep me busy through October (and beyond). So I hunkered done and revised 22 devotions of the 30 I need to turn in ASAP. This project, learning more about women whose names I didn't recognize (many are mentioned only once) has challenged and blessed me.

I also wrote a devotional for a summer handout at independent Christian bookstores--thanks to CAN (one of 30 we're doing). The theme was "summer." I struggled with it until I brainstormed sights and activities that I associate with summer. When I got to crops, my mind went ding! ding! ding! The story of how Egypt, Vermont got its name and the background of my story, Bride to Love. Bride to Love is one of a five-novel anthology coming out this summer: The New England Romance Collection.

And to cap off this week: Here is the cover of my next Heartsong book, Saving Felicity.  (Book #7 set in Maple Notch, but contemporary this time.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Poetry Zone May 14-20, 2014

Prompt was: Some things go without saying. And sometimes there isn’t a right time to say the obvious. Think of  about seven (7) of the worst things you could say to someone who was just dumped. Make three of them the first lines on a three (3) stanza poem on the subject! 

My response:

Happily Married—Not

Not good enough for you, my father said
Was I the fool for choosing him back then
When fears of dying lonely filled my head

 Too far away from them, my mother penned.
Her grandchildren on Mother’s Day—her due
More important for us, my man of men

 Control brought pleasure to him, friends saw clues
Too much, submit, too much, enough, no more
My head held high, my days unfold like new

The form was a Tyburn, "a six line poem consisting of 2,2,2,2,9,9 syllables. The first four lines rhyme and are all descriptive words. The last two lines rhyme and incorporate the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th lines as the 5th to 8th syllables." I missed the 9 and wrote 8 instead but these were more fun:

Children at Play
Children at play spinning, grinning,
We all fall down, pinning, winning

inspired by Jaran's description of Jordan and Isaiah playing at the local water park
Nature's Lace
The spider works weaving, reeving
When web is shred, grieving, leaving       

trying to think of "nature" themes, I thought of the rare spiders we see here. . .