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general blog

Smuckers and the toe

I had some half-baked, pseudo-intellectual ramblings taking shape in my mind this week, gearing themselves up to become a blog post, but then I went grocery shopping and a two-pound jar of Smucker’s strawberry jam interfered with my toe and with my mental processes, such as they are, and all I can think about is that painful digit, which is…

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Spring surprises

It seems like the trees were bare just days ago, and now they’re dense and green with leaves. How did May get here so soon? This is my first spring in this particular house, so I’m enjoying the surprises. We didn’t know we had a star magnolia in the back yard, for instance. It just looked like an ordinary little…

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Ever prayed for a synopsis?

For a week or two now, off and on, I’ve been wrestling with a synopsis–a six-page summary of a novel, written in present tense, for my agent to use in selling the book. Sounds easy enough, except I was also revising the whole manuscript, so the synopsis kept changing. Once the plot finally stopped changing, you’d think it wouldn’t be…

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My Sadly Neglected Blog

That’s exactly what I called this thing a few months ago when I was chatting with somebody. I can’t remember who it was, but he/she said: “That sounds like a great name for a blog. My Sadly Neglected Blog.” It certainly fits. It’s not that I lack something to write about, because I own plenty of opinions to inflict upon…

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A legacy of kindness

I learned this morning of the death of Virginia Ellis, author of The Wedding Dress and The Photograph. I hardly knew Gin, but a few years ago when I was a member of Georgia Romance Writers, she read and critiqued the first chapter of a novel I was working on. She offered the critique as part of GRW’s March workshop,…

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Soul Survivor

I recently re-read Soul Survivor by Philip Yancey. Subtitled “How My Faith Survived the Church,” it follows his journey through disillusionment to a stronger, smarter faith, informed not only by experience but by books that gave him glimpses into great minds. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one of the writers who influenced Yancey, who grew up in what he describes…

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An Eloise-ish Christmas

This is our first Christmas in our new-to-us house and our first Christmas with our eldest child having flown the coop via marriage. So the routine is a little different now. Decorating the tree, for instance. For years, my husband has been in charge of assembling our big, phony tree and stringing the lights on it, and then I take…

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Found Things

I love finding surprises in old books from flea markets and garage sales. A little piece of somebody’s life, somebody’s story, left behind for me to wonder about. Maybe it’s a note written in the margin, a clue to a previous owner’s opinions. Sometimes it’s a bill, a receipt, a bookmark or a pressed flower. I’ve never found an old…

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Of Panama, Russia, and Dixie

I indulged in my favorite kind of shopping last Saturday morning. My husband and I strolled down the frosty sidewalk to a garage sale a few doors down. We’ve lived here less than six months and hadn’t met these particular neighbors yet, so it was part social call, part business. Soon another neighbor showed up with a box of books…

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The airplane in my garage

A man down the street from me seems to be building a small plane in his garage, or maybe he’s refurbishing an old one. I can’t tell from a quick drive-by. It’s just the skeleton of a fuselage. No skin, no wings. I catch a glimpse of it every couple of weeks when the garage door is open. Once in…

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