Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you're surrounded by loved ones today, bless you. If you're lonely and without those dear to you today, bless you.

May your heart be full of goodness, joy, compassion, and generosity. May God bless you with riches that can't be stored in a bank, and may your prayers be answered in delightful ways.

The illustration is part of a trade card collection from the Rensselaer County Historical Society.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A good read! --> Cecelia Jackson's Last Chance

*Interested in winning a copy of Cecilia Jackson’s Last Chance? Leave a comment about friendship, and we'll draw a winner.

 I'm delighted to host my friend Robbie Iobst today. I met Robbie about six or seven years ago when she joined one of the local writers groups I was involved with. That's a photo of Robbie at her book launch party a few weeks ago. It was a thrill to celebrate with her. I also had the pleasure of reading this novel and the honor of endorsing it:

I laughed, I cried. Cecilia Jackson’s Last Chance is a new take on the traditional buddy story—in this case, the three “inseparable” friends haven’t been in touch for 20 years. Laced with southern flavor, Iobst’s debut novel takes you on a journey punctuated with grief, grudges, and a dose of hope. I fell in love with the characters, their world, and the themes of forgiveness. Beautifully crafted, this is a novel not to be missed!

Here's what the story's about:
Can tuna fish sandwiches bring reconciliation and redemption?

Cecilia Jackson thought so and made it her final wish to have three women come home to Boots, Texas and make her top-secret, award-winning, sought-after tuna fish recipe for her funeral fixins.

Belinda Kite, Donna Dougans and Maggie Shanks haven’t been back to Boots since the incident that destroyed their friendship twenty-five years ago. Belinda is running from the law, Donna is desperate to find love, and Maggie holds a secret that could take her life.

Amidst tensions from the past, they begrudgingly make the sandwiches, and find themselves fighting not only each other, but the people around them.

Imogene and Lola Bee, cohorts of Cecilia, are frantic to get their hands on that recipe and not let citified young’uns high tail it out of Boots with the town’s coveted covert document.

Will the recipe bring reconciliation and redemption or all-out war to the West Texas desert?

Robbie, what would you like to tell readers about Cecelia Jackson's Last Chance?
RI: Cecelia Jackson’s Last Chance is a story about three broken women who head to their hometown of Boots, Texas for Cecelia’s funeral. After an incident on their high school graduation night destroyed their friendship, they reluctantly reunite after 25 years.

I want this novel to tell women that it is never too late to reconnect with Jesus or old friends. Redemption is always available and sometimes God uses the surprising situations and people to love us and bring us back to Him.

What’s your favorite turn of phrase or word picture, in literature or movie?
RI:Without a doubt, I love it when Mr. Darcy says to Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, “You have bewitched me body and soul and I love you.”
I’d pay money for my husband to say that spontaneously. It will never happen. 

What makes you feel alive?
RI: I love speaking in front of a group of people. It’s in my blood and bones and God nudged me to become a speaker when I was a little girl.

What's your greatest roadblock in writing, and how did you overcome it?
RI: Comparison. I often get in my own way in writing because I feel my writing will not be as good as “So and So.” I have to pray and allow God to give me the courage to just be myself and let His Spirit flow through me when I write. So many times I don’t and I write very little on a day when I thought I would right quite a bit. I think the way I am overcoming it is to pray and remember I cannot be anyone but me, so I need to be the best me I can be. Period. Most days it works.

How can readers find your book on the Internet?
RI: Cecilia Jackson’s Last Chance is available on Amazon

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Does MSNBC & Comcast have a war on women or a war on decency?

I'm not a confrontational person. I don't force my opinions and beliefs on others.

I'm a polite, middle-aged lady who lets other people participate in public disagreements. Truly.

The last time I felt compelled to stand up and make my voice heard was about in 1990 when my school district was forcing a propaganda program on early elementary students. My point was that if there was extra time in the school day, let's teach more math or science, and stay out of personal family decisions. I started by discussing my concerns with the volunteers who presented the program. Then I went to the teacher. Then I went to the principal. Then I ended up presenting to the school board. They changed the  district-wide program to eliminate the inappropriate content.

But that was then, and this is now. For nearly seven years I've been distressed by the so-called war on women that has been manufactured by politicians and talking heads. The recent "war on women" was nothing more than a distraction from real issues.

I'm old enough to remember the actual war on women in the 60s and 70s, so when all that talk was thrown around for the past six years or so, I was annoyed. I wanted to stand up and scream, "Wake up, little sisters! The war on women was fought decades ago, and we won!" The issues of free birth control, etc. that were a part of the so-called war on women were manufactured to elicit a knee-jerk response. Imposing upon others the obligation for buying your birth control is handing over your own welfare and responsibilities to bureaucrats. Any mature, intelligent woman can see that's a disastrous road to start down.

But now I'm wondering if there truly is a war on women--that perhaps it's acceptable to say any vile or disgusting things about women you disagree with. Or perhaps it's simply a war on decency.

What's pushed me to speak out are the disgusting comments made by an MSNBC personality. And I am outraged that MSNBC and their owner Comcast support this type of discourse. I'm referring to the repulsive comments made by Martin Bashir toward Sarah Palin. I can't bring myself to describe what was said. It's too disgusting. If you curious, google it.

I'm not one to publicly get involved in political conversations, and my concern is outside of that realm. My concern is that a "professional" would use such reprehensible language in a public setting without incurring disciplinary action. The entire team that was complicit in preparing that broadcast should be disciplined as well.

Where are the people standing up for decency in public discourse? I know folks on both sides of the issues can stoop to vile name calling, but I'VE HAD IT!!

Isn't it time to say, "ENOUGH!"

Can't we reign in our language to reflect a certain level of civility? For the love of all that's decent, please join me in no longer remaining silent as our culture slides into the garbage pit of indecency.

*If any disrespectful or potty-mouth comments are made to this post, they will be deleted. Don't waste your time if you can't speak respectfully, please.