Thursday, May 26, 2011
Friday, May 20, 2011
Well after having problems at Write2Life with adding a manuscript for publication, I decided to go back to Lulu to publish my poetry book Second Thoughts: A Collection of Poetry. I researched other self-publishing outfits, but they were more expensive than Lulu.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
My church goes on Work and Witness trips every summer to “exotic” places to build churches, and have fun getting to know each other better. In May 2007, the church got a group together to go to
What was so great about going on this trip was getting to turn a donated strip club into a church and soup kitchen. There is a man in the congregation that owned twelve strip clubs throughout
It was enjoyable and hard work the entire two weeks my group was there. Everybody on the team, which was thirteen of us, worked their hands at a little bit of everything from carpentry to electrical to installing insulation. I was given jobs that nobody else really wanted, but I did them joyfully because I was serving my Lord. Even the pain and exhaustion at the end of the day left me with a sense of satisfaction for a job well done.
Our group would start each day by getting up at 6 AM, gather for breakfast at 7 AM, and be to the work site by 8 AM where we’d work until lunch, during the lunch we’d have a devotion time and someone would share their testimony, we’d be back to work at 1 PM and stay until 5 PM or so, then back to the campground for dinner.
We weren’t all work and no play. One Saturday, some women got a group together to go shopping in
One day, I got to go with a husband and wife in the group to check out Happy Trails Kennels, home to Iditarod racer Martin Buser, who kept 75 sled dogs. The place was located just down the road from our campground, so we left work early one day to check it out. That’s another experience to go into more detail about later.
In the end, I didn’t want to leave. I liked
Friday, May 13, 2011
Truly “Chicken Soup for the Soul”
This year, I started submitting stories to “Chicken Soup for the Soul” because I’ve always enjoyed the books as a reader, and felt a bit of jealousy because I wanted to be included very badly as an author. At first, I didn’t think I had anything worth sharing, but then I came across a “Chicken Soup” book that made me relive some of my own life experiences through other people’s stories. That got the wheels turning to start thinking if I’d be any good at it. Then, a friend of mine submitted one of her own stories, was accepted and asked to submit more in future books, and that gave me the push I needed to find out how to do it, too. I already have a couple books under my belt that have been self-published, one which I co-wrote with a friend, and have had mixed reviews about but mostly good.
When I came across a book topic on the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” website called “Devotional Stories for Tough Times” I knew I just had to try, and submitted one of many stories I had to choose from. I had recently lost my father after a battle with prostate cancer, and have come to rely on my Heavenly Father to fill the void. My only problem that I had was to cut the story down to the required word length. That started me on a road I am now revisiting: finding my happiness.
There was an unexplainable joy that filled me when I was typing and submitting that story, which I titled “An Answer to Prayer.” It brought back a special memory I’ll always cherish, and one I’ll be grateful to God for giving me. I am my happiest whenever I am writing, especially when I’m writing about my faith. I thank everyone behind “Chicken Soup for the Soul” for giving me the opportunity to share my stories, love on my God more, and find my happiness.
I too am a "Crumpled Paper Doll," and I just hope my own poetry has the same effect on readers as Matthew Nolan has had on me, and my life.
What really opened my eyes was the poems about Hurricane Katrina. Living on the opposite coast of the United States, and away from the wreckage of altered lives, I never took into account the feelings of those left homeless by the natural disaster. I believe Matthew Nolan is a phoenix rising from the ashes, and his uses of words made me long for New Orleans like I've never felt before. I'm so glad he was able to return to the town he loved, and was actually left hoping I could have that kind of feeling for my hometown. I even fantasized about visiting New Orleans, bumping into Matthew on the Street of Dreams, and possibly sharing my own poetry with him. He would make an excellent tour guide!