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!)
I've been married to Rich for over 40 years, and we feel blessed to have a close-knit family. We have two beautiful daughters, five fun-loving grandchildren, a niece and nephew, and two great son-in-law's, too!
I retired from nursing and now have the pleasure of focusing my energy on writing. Presently I am working on two book projects. When not writing, I play harp for patients at the bedside, and also play guitar and sing in our church band, known as "Heartfire." Other instruments beckon as well: accordion, Finnish kantele, djembe drum, harmonicas, piano, bowed psaltery and ukulele.
Spending time with the grandkids makes me feel young again. In the summer, I enjoy playing harp under the cool pines, and we enjoy fishing (even if we're not "catching") and spending time with family and friends.
I love the pine trees as much as the desert saguaros. Nature inspires me to write. My husband is a Master Gardener, so he brings crops to life from tiny seedlings. 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 zucchini, carrots, onions, or melons that come from your own garden.
When it comes to writing, I want it to be "homegrown," 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 affirmations and the truth that comes from God's Word.
I am a member of a Christian writer's group in the town where I live. It is a blessing to be part of this group. We share much of our lives together through writing. 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're like family and I 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 republished as a hardcover book titled "44 Animalsof the Bible" in 2014. An e-book format is also available. My books are available through Master Books/New Leaf Press, Amazon.com, and a various other websites on the internet.
Upcoming Books: Book #1: Tentative Title: "One Good Thing: 28 Days to Optimism--God's Way"
This is a book of 28 true stories which promote optimism. The stories are based on the lives of people today--and in Jesus' time--and shows how they flipped negative situations into positive ones by focusing on God's Word. Included at the end of each chapter are self-assessment worksheets, as well as space to include your own good thoughts.
I head a chronic habit of thinking negatively which eventually spiraled into sadness, then depression. I wasn't happy, and no one could convince me that there was anything good to look forward to. In desperation, I turned back to faith. Just when I didn't think I could handle things anymore, God intervened. Twelve simple words would change my life.
When I put God's plan to work, I chiseled away at the negative thought patterns I'd built up over the years and replaced them with positive ones. I found good things to be happy about, despite life's daily challenges and inconsistencies.
In time, the sadness and depression lifted. It took a leap of faith for me to trust that God's plan would work, but it did. I doubted at first, but then surrendered and gave up all my worries to Him. I'm glad I did. It's the reason I wrote this book. If God's plan could help me, it could help others, too.
I am in the process of searching for a publisher for my book at this time.
Book #2: "Love, Unexpected" (An Adoptee's Search for the Family She Never Knew) Based on my own experience, I am currently writing the story of how I was placed in a foundling home after birth, adopted at age one, and the many questions I grappled with for years: "Who am I?" and "Where do I come from?" After much searching and a lot of prayer, I reached a breakthrough and was able to find all of my birth family.
The expected release date of "Love, Unexpected" is Spring 2021.
Stay tuned for further episodes of my "Joyful Jotting" blogs. Please feel free to comment. I appreciate you visiting my page!
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.