Greetings! Welcome to "Joyful Jottings!" I 'm glad you came to visit. About me: I am a Christian freelance author. I wrote my first poem when I was nine years old. That was a long time ago. The writing bug took hold, and I became "infected, afflicted, and addicted," as I like to say (to writing, that is!)
I've been married to Rich for 36 years, and we feel blessed to have a good family: two wonderful daughters, five grandchildren, and great son-in-law's, too!
I retired from nursing, and now feel content focusing my energy on writing. Presently I am working on two book projects. When not writing, I play harp, and also share this music with patients in rehab. I play guitar and sing in a church worship band called "Heartfire," and also play organ, piano, and other instruments.
Spending time with the kids and grand kids is a delight, and makes me feel young again. We like to get away to the mountains in the summer to cool off, relax beneath the tall pines, and go fishing (which is often "fishing," but not necessarily "catching!")
I love the pine trees as much as I love the desert saguaros. They are both uniquely beautiful. Nature inspires me to write. My husband is an avid gardener, so he brings a bit of nature to our backyard, too. There is nothing quite like the taste of a homegrown heirloom tomato, the crispness of your own lettuce or celery, and the sweet taste of home grown zucchini, carrots, onions, or melons.
When it comes to my writing, I want it to be "home grown," much like my husband's vegetable garden. I want it to be rooted solid in faith, but sweetened with joy that comes from the Son. And I want to spread that joy through positive thought and the truth that comes from God's Word.
I am a member of a Christian writer's group in the Mesa-Gilbert area. We share a blog entitled, "5 Scribes and Their Stories." I very glad to be part of this group. We share a lot of our lives together, through our writing, and through our meeting together. We give each other honest feedback about our work, rejoice in the good times, and help each other through the struggles. I don't know what I'd do without my writing friends. They are like family, and I really depend on them.
My writing has appeared in a variety of Christian publications, such as Junior Trails, Starlight Magazine, Parenting Treasures, Evergreen Publications, Project: Proclaim God, Friends of Inspire Faith, and others.
I am the author of a children's book, "95 Animals of the Bible," published by Master Books in 1997. It was newly reformatted as "44 Animalsof the Bible," (hardcover) in 2014. An e-book format is also available. My books are available through Master Books/New Leaf Press, Amazon.com, and a number of other websites on the internet.
Book #1: Book One of a series entitled, "One Good Thing: God"
Book #1 is an inspirational book of 30 stories, geared to promote positive thinking. If a proclaimed born pessimist like me can learn to banish negative self-talk, I feel confident that others can learn to do this, too.
My chronic habit of negative thinking spiraled into sadness, then depression. I wasn't happy, and no one could convince me that there was anything good to look forward to. Desperate, I prayed - a lot. Just when I didn't think I could handle it any more, God intervened. His answer? Seven simple words that would change my life.
Once I put God's plan to work, I was able to chisel away at the negative thought patterns I'd built up for many years, and replace them with positive ones. I learned I could find good things to be happy about, despite life's daily challenges and inconsistencies.
It took time, but my sadness and depression gradually lifted. It took a leap of faith for me to believe God's plan would work, but it did. I doubted at first, but then had to just give it all up to Him. And I'm glad I did. The reason I am writing this book, is because I knew that if God's plan could help me , it could help other people like me, going through similar suffering.
This book (yet untitled) will be Book One of my "One Good Thing:God" series. It consists of 30 true stories of people's lives today--and those of Jesus' time--and reveals how they flipped negative situations into positive ones by focusing on God's Word. Included at the end of each chapter are self-assessment work sheets, as well as space to journal your own "good thought" for the day.
The expected release date of this book is December 2017.
Book #2: "Love, Unexpected" (An Adoptee's Search for the Family She Never Knew) Based on my own experience, I tell the story of placement in a foundling home, being adopted, and the many years I spent questioning who I was, until I reached a breakthrough on the road to finding my birth family.
The expected release date of "Love, Unexpected" is Spring 2017.
Stay tuned for further episodes of "Joyful Jottings." It's about time I returned, and I'm happy to be back again, and sharing my thoughts with you. Feel free to write or to comment. I'd love to hear from you!
A Mini Short-Story: "Nancy at Age 9: How I Started Writing" In fourth grade my teacher introduced us to poetry. The day before Spring break, she encouraged us to think about writing our own poem. I didn't give it much thought. The next day would be the first day of Spring break, and I couldn't wait for vacation.
My parents and younger brother and I left the crisp, cool climes of Boulder, Colorado at daybreak. The drive would be long, at least eighteen hours to our destination in the desert Southwest.
How my father loved to drive! By late afternoon, tired of cereal box games, paper dolls, and puzzles, I was fidgeting in the back seat of the station wagon (a 1962 Ford). I grumbled as we passed through miles of sparse desert. "There's nothing to see!" I grumbled. My parents didn't pay attention to my complaints. Out of boredom I finally submitted by settling into the back seat and staring out the window.
As the sun lowered into a peach-orange sky, I rested my head against the seat. Looking out the window, words and images came to my mind. A revelation struck. I grabbed notebook paper and a pencil and began jotting down words and phrases. "Maybe this is what Mrs. Connors wanted us to do," I thought. I played with the words. Erase here. Rewrite there. I smiled. I was done. I had just written my first poem, which I proudly called "Ode to a Telephone Pole." My love of words was born. It was the day before Easter.
It was dark when we pulled into the travel-trailer park. The next morning we watched a glorious sunrise at an outdoor Easter church service. I had to smile. I was thankful for God's goodness, and that He had put the love of words in my heart.
Years later, to my excitement, we moved to the desert Southwest. The Station Wagon was only a memory now, but I must admit I still find myself staring out the window. Sometimes I'm staring out of the truck window as my husband and I travel through saguaros to reach the pine trees of the mountains, and other times it is just me sitting at home looking out at the desert landscape in my yard. I reflect on God, His creation, and I continue to write...because of Him.