Thursday, May 22, 2008

Not So Hot Today...

I'm having a not-so-hot day.

It's one of those days when I'm feeling the weight of my responsibilities and, I guess, allowing the enemy's arrows into my heart.

It's one of those days when I try to reach out to a few people, and get shot down... When the best "advice" I get is that I knew what I was getting into when I adopted these kids; basically, it's the same "advice" my mom got from my Grandmother decades ago when she was having trouble in her marriage: you made your bed, now you have to lie in it. That was when dad was having multiple affairs, and my mom wanted to leave him and come home to Grandma.

Wow. Incredible empathy and tender-heartedness. Can't we allow the people we say we love to have bad days, and let them hurt? Can't we be a place where it's okay to be hurting?

Charlie Peacock wrote a song based on Job called Now is The Time For Tears. It said, in part, "Stay with me, don't try to fix me, friend. That's how you'll comfort me."

Today, I need some comfort. The kind that comes from a person and has two ears, two arms, and a big heart.

See what I mean? I'm letting the enemy beat me up. The fact that I'm alone in this gig -- both the parenting thing and the world in general -- is a super-tough place for me. Sometimes it's much harder than others. I've been doing it for over eighteen years and sometimes it wears me down.

My family members are few and scattered. I've got a brother somewhere in California, and my mother is in Colorado. That's about it.

I had some really fun news yesterday, but found myself with no one to call. No one to share the fun with. Well, that's not true. I tried to share it with a few people, but no one really cared. No one grasped how special it was to me, personally.

That's what started this little spiral down.

Today, I'd like a drink.

And a man.

And a trip to Mexico or something.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ahh... To Have An Active Imagination...

My seven-year-old, Kobi, gets... shall I say, fascinated? Obsessed may be closer to the truth, but fascinated sounds kinder.

He will latch on to something -- a book, a movie, an idea -- and will spend days or weeks or months involved with this new object of his attention.

The object has changed a few times. The first time I noticed it, he was freaking out over the movie version of

Kobi's seen that movie maybe thirty times. Possibly more. When he was allowed his time on the family computer, he would Google the songs, and watch the YouTube videos over and over and over and over. He knows all the songs and all the dance moves. He says the lines along with every part.


Thankfully, he has a good voice, and can dance. So it's pretty entertaining, in a super-annoying kind of way.

Then, it was learning to French braid hair. He found a YouTube video on that. It took him a few days, and the grudging cooperation of his older sister, and Kobi taught himself how to French braid. He actually does a very good job.

This is my seven year old.

Recently, he watched the Johnny Depp version of Charlie and the Chocolate factory. He is-- even as I write this--rolling around on the floor wrapped in his blue Nemo comforter. His tummy is stuffed with some pillows.

He is a Blueberry.

Boy, if I had just a smidgen of his imagination...

As it is, he kind of makes me tired.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My son is off to Colorado...

It was a busy weekend, but lots of fun. In keeping with the amazing weather in the Northwest, my little family and I went to the ocean Saturday for a whirlwind day of kite flying on the beach, picnicking, and shell collecting.

Sunday was church, then a late lunch out and Prince Caspian. Lots of fun, but not much resting up for the week ahead, and not much writing!

I did have some good time revising my thumbnail outline, and got some great input from my police expert, so as soon as I can carve out a few more hours, the second, and possibly third chapters will be done.

My babies are sick, though. Kameron has ongoing issues with his brain; he's scheduled to go back into the hospital the first week of June for more embolization; and now, Kobi has a persistent, hacking cough. Since he's had serious lung issues in the past, I probably need to take him into the doctor tomorrow.

Meanwhile, my oldest son, Kris, is going back to Colorado Springs for a week-long visit. This is super for him, but the timing is never great for me! =)

I know that I need to lean more on God and less on my two oldest children, though. They both go back to college at the end of the summer, and it will be on me to provide the care for the three munchkins left behind. Hey, He won't take us where He can't keep us--right?

I'm off to bed. Busy day ahead!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sunshine in Seattle!

It's the rare sunny and hot day here!

In Seattle, when the weather gets warm - say above 50 - we all slip into our summer shorts and venture out into the world.

People call in sick. Parents keep children home from school. Picnic lunches are packed, and we all head outside.

See, up here in the Great Northwet, I mean west, we appreciate our sunshine. Folks in California and Florida and places like that don't understand.

They think 50 degrees is chilly. They bust out a sweatshirt when the temp dips below 65.

Well, you all can keep it; and your skin cancer and leathery skin. I'll keep my pale skin and dewy soft complexion. And the big fat earthworms, and slugs, and mildew, and rust...

Ah, but today, the sun is shining!

Monday, May 12, 2008

What a Tremendous Mother's Day

Hey, I have to tell you all what a super-duper Mother's Day weekend I had. It started Friday night in downtown Seattle celebrating my friend's twenty year anniversary. Tom and Stephanie came to Christ later in life, and "found" each other. They have a yours, mine, and ours family, with grandchildren now.

Tom and Steph were one of the first couples I met as a new believer. They welcomed me and my wacko family with open arms, and haven't been able to get rid of us, yet!

The party was at the New Orleans in Pioneer Square in downtown Seattle. Terrific music and authentic food. We sat up in the balcony where we had an excellent view of the couples dancing on the cozy floor to some awesome blues. That was a great start to three days of celebrating... me!

Well, I'm not the only one who got to celebrate, I guess.

Saturday, we had our annual Women's Brunch at church. Our Pastor pretty much single-handedly planned the meal, shopped, prepped, cooked, and served fifty-six women. He did have three of our older teens and two of the men to help serve and clean up. But really, Pastor David did almost all of it.

And it was delicious! I invited a friend from the foster care system, and took my three daughters with me. Everyone felt pampered and ministered to. Following that, five of us went out and cruised the garage sales. I found a great rice-cooker for $4. Super!

Sunday was, of course, the Day. My eighteen year old bought, cooked, and served me breakfast in bed. I've never had breakfast in bed (well, on a few hospital trips...but that certainly doesn't count!). She took care of getting all the kids ready for church, and did it all with a smile. Wow.

Then, coffee with the Pastor's wife, church, and finally a trip downtown with my oldest son, Kris. He took me to a sweet indoor mall, Pacific Place for dinner at Todai (a Japanese buffet). Then he took me to a movie (Iron Man, and I do recommend it!), and THEN we went to the Cheesecake factory and Starbucks for (duh) cheesecake to go, and coffee. Make mine a triple short breve latte, please!

Wow. I tell you, that is enough celebrating to keep me happy for at least a few years. Or until October. That's when my birthday is!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Feeling a Little More Authentic

Well, I have my initial outlining for Finding Joy done. That's a HUGE Woo Hoo. I'm realizing that while I really hate outlining, my brain just can't progress neatly along a logical path without some sort of bare bones plan. For me, what seems to be working is using Google Notebook (which I LOVE), to keep all my scattered thoughts in one easily accessible, internet-stashed, place. Then, I'm doing a simple flow chart of scenes.

I have my first chapter and prologue done, and the initial feedback is encouraging. Equally important, I like it!

Anyway...back to it.

TTFN and have a terrific weekend!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Random Thoughts

I finished my first chapter late Sunday night. The prologue has a dark feel to it, but I want to be real. Jesus was as real as they come. His life and death (and resurrection!) were all depicted in the Bible honestly, and if you want something racy to read, check out Song of Solomon. I think we as Christians have a hard time discussing the world around us. We are in it, not of it. To not talk about it openly is denial, and how do you help people, or be transparent before them if you try to tidy everything up.

I'm not saying let's be intentionally titlating, but I don't think we should hold back the story line for the sake of looking pure. Now, I write mysteries. And the characters in them probably want to swear. That's problematic, because I seriously doubt any CBA agent or publisher will accept bad language. So, I have to craft my story to show the character's capablilities without actually having them swear. Or, I can let some language come in, and see if I can market it to the ABA as a "missionary" kind of book.

I don't know about how to address this. I personally feel like I need to tell the story as it really is. The underlying theme of all my work is Redemption. Redemption by it's very nature requires that the person being redeemed needs it. Right? My stories are set in the city. Cities don't tend to have sweet, innocent individuals that just need Jesus. There are people who appear way beyond redemption - Rahab comes to mind, or the woman at the well, Peter, Saul, and more - they aren't pretty people, and as a writer, do I try to clean them up so as not to offend?

Sticky thoughts for a Tuesday as I get ready to tackle chapter two.

By the way, I find that I really like revising my work. I could re-write chapter one forever. So, I will leave it as is, and move on. Immediately.

HEY - a big shout out to Shelly Beach, author of Hallie's Heart! I met her at my retreat a few weeks back in Stanwood, Washington, and I see that her book is nominated for a Christy!!

Way to go Shelly!

Friday, May 02, 2008

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Just a Quickie!

A few random thoughts for today:

I was arguing with myself at the kid's bus stop this afternoon. It went something like this:

"I really want to buy that flash. I NEED it."
"You NEED to budget for it and have some self discipline."
"Well, what if I die tomorrow without that flash?" (seriously, I said that to myself)
"Then you won't need a flash, will you?"

I also had an ongoing internal discussion all day about my attitude (which fluctuated between lousy and horrendous). That discussion wasn't entirely G rated, so I will spare you, but I got pretty mad at myself and apologized to God (and to my son, in writing), and thankfully, HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR ME, and His sacrifice for my sins paid it all! So, I can say with confidence, that I am forgiven for my bad behavior and will move on- all Fresh and Shiney.

Last thought - I've been a Christian for a lot of years, nineteen, I think. Somewhere along the way my walk began to get complicated. You might even say I've been pretty legalistic with myself and (UGH) others (especially my family). Big old news flash: "Faith like a child, Kat. Faith like a child." And huge heaping buckets full of grace. That's all we need, faith and grace.

Amen and amen.

Scripture for the day:

May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May He send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
May He remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings. Selah
May He give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the LORD grant all your requests.
Now I know that the LORD saves His Annointed;
He answers him from His holy heaven
with the saving power of His right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the Name of the LORD our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.
O LORD save the king!
Answer us when we call!

Psalm 20 (thanks, Beverly!)