Green Beans and M&Ms

I take my breakfast and lunch to work every day, except for the rare occasion when I go out for lunch. The galley kitchenette closest to my office has a microwave, fridge, and small sink. To get to the microwave, I have to walk by a few vending machines with tempting contents, and four gumball-type machines where you can put in a quarter and get a handful of various candy and nuts.

Every morning, I go there to heat up my overnight oats in the microwave. One day as I was leaving with my jar, two male colleagues were getting their “breakfast” out of the vending machines. As I walked by, one of them said to the other, “that’s too healthy for me.”

I caught up with them later in the day and they laughed when I told them that I knew they thought I was eating a healthy breakfast. “Have you ever heard my green bean story?” I asked.

Before being hired at my present job, I worked at another company as a contractor, and brought my breakfast and lunch every day. One day, I was standing by the microwave waiting for my green beans to cook (I probably had a piece of leftover chicken or something else, too) and my co-worker Lisa walked up. “Are you heating up your green beans?” She asked with a smile.

“Yes,” I replied.

“You put the rest of us to shame with your healthy eating,” she said.

I smiled and looked at her, and opened my hand. It was filled with M&Ms. (I had to have something to graze on while I waited for the green beans to cook). We had a good laugh over that.

For every bowl of green beans or jar of overnight oats, you can be sure that I’m balancing them out with my favorite indulgence.

What does this have to do with writing books? Absolutely nothing. We all need a break every once in a while. :)

Ye Have Not, Because Ye Ask Not (James 4:2)

When it came time to think about design elements for the second book in the St. Clair Family series, Home to You, I got feedback from beta readers saying that they really wanted to see an actual home on the front cover.

So the search began.


At the end of the book, the characters moved into a log home (one of my lifelong dreams) so I started looking online for a good photo. I finally landed on the perfect one, but couldn’t find it in any of the stock photo libraries, so I began to trace it to its source, and found it on a website for Town + Country Cedar Homes, a custom log and cedar home company in Michigan. It was their Stoney Creek model.

I decided to simply ask them if I could use the image on the book cover. The worst that could happen is that they would say no, or ignore the request. So I clicked on the “contact us” button, and began my e-mail: This is probably the craziest request you will ever receive…

The next morning, I had both an e-mail and a phone call from their VP of Marketing. They were thrilled and honored. So was I! I offered to give them credit for the photo and include their web address. And they posted this on their website when the links were up. Everybody wins! Feel free to visit and like their page.

I’m still dreaming of a log home. I told them that if the book gets made into a movie, I’ll buy a piece of land and have them build this home on it!

What's in a Name? How This Author Names Places and Things

What's in a Name? How This Author Names Places and Things

When I began meeting with my writers’ group about four years ago, I encountered a new term, world building. It seemed to be used mainly by those in the group who wrote in the science fiction or fantasy genres.

Sure enough, I found the definition online. Whatever did we do before Wikipedia, or the internet, for that matter? But that is a discussion for another blog, perhaps.

Worldbuilding is the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe. The resulting world may be called a constructed world.

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Why Do I Write Inspirational Fiction?

Why Do I Write Inspirational Fiction?

You may have heard me say that my books fall into the genre of “inspirational fiction.” That may be a term that you’re not familiar with, or perhaps you’ve heard it but don’t know exactly what it means.

Many of you know I like to begin researching a topic by looking at a dictionary definition. In this case, hard as it may be for me to admit, Wikipedia is the best place to begin.

“Inspiration fiction is fiction that focuses on religious values; it provides readers with content that is non-offensive and lacks explicit storylines.”, accessed 8.13.18

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