Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Emotional Stages of Writing a Novel

I have yet to see a video that more completely captures the process of writing a novel than the following. If you are a writer or even if you are not, you will get a kick out of this video clip. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Betrayal - A Precinct 11 Novel by Jerry Jenkins

What a perfect time for this family friendly, murder/suspense novel set on the gang-infested streets of Chicago.  This book took me back to the Golden Age of TV, when you could sit down with your parents and watch a great detective show chock-full of suspense and intrigue, but minus the foul language, gore, and sexually inappropriate scenes. Think McMillan and Wife, The Rockford Files, Canon, and Hart to Hart. Detective Boone Drake of the Chicago Police Department has just suffered a bullet to the shoulder while protecting a very important gang informant, making him a hero to the vast city. Lying low from all the hullaballoo of heroism, he works through the pain of his injury as he sets out to clear his new love interest, Haeley Lamonica, of felony charges. Suspects are crawling out of the woodwork and Boone is forced to consider those he respects and honors as possible snitches (responsible for leaking information to the shooter), not to mention the accusations whirling around Haeley. This fast paced, clinch the bottom of your chair, sometimes humorous novel has bestseller written all over it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Katie and Angelique

This is just a small excerpt from "The Secret Kingdom". The link below is a song that truly touches my heart and casts a great deal of meaning to the book as a whole. It also carries the feel of the following scene. I think watching the video might help in visualizing the scene. Yeah, I know, I'm supposed to take care of the visualization. But I feel it never hurts to include additional elements. :) Love and Blessings! Any and all comments welcome!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIkQ7YVys_A

Copyright by Laura L. Kirk 8-22-2011


Friday, August 19, 2011

The Kingdom Above the Clouds

The Picture at left, is called “Clouds of Creation”, and viewed from an Observatory Telescope.

As many of you know, I have written a book that has required much research regarding heaven – the home of God, as well as, our solar, planetary, and star systems.

As far as the home of God is concerned, the doctrine waters are quite muddy. No one really knows exactly what Heaven will be like. We have some idea from the scriptures, scholars, and near-death accounts. Yet, even still, much remains mysterious and unknown. In my book, I have stretched Biblical accounts of Heaven to the fictional limit including Paul’s account of being caught up into the Third Heaven, and The Transfiguration of Jesus.
Scripture states that Paul was caught up to the Third Heaven (2 Cor. 12:2). Among the Jews in the apostolic ages the heavens were divided into three: (1)  clouds, atmosphere, what is above us until we come to the stars, (2) where sun, moon, and stars appear, (3) residence of God, angels and holy spirits, Christ seated at the right hand of the Father, where spirits of the just are assembled. I personally refer to (3) as the Kingdom above the clouds. I LOVE that!

In the Gospels, Jesus takes Peter, James, son of Zebedee, and John the Apostle with him and goes to a mountain, which is not named (yet we now refer to it as the Mount of Transfiguration). Once on the mountain, Matthew 17:2 states that Jesus was transfigured before them; his face shining as the sun, and his garments became white as the light. At that point the prophets Elijah and Moses (deceased at that time) appear and Jesus begins to talk to them. Luke is specific in describing Jesus in a state of glory.

I have to tell you, such research has brought much excitement to my writing. I LOVE thinking about and researching the mysteries of God! I hope this has stirred excitement in you about the God and Creator of our Universe!

Until Next Time,
Love and Blessings!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Where There's a Will There's a Way

This picture is of handicapped dancers during a training session in Minsk, Belarus, a land-locked country in Eastern Europe.

When I first saw this picture, my mind went immediately to the question. “How do they dance in a wheelchair?”

Although, I’m not exactly sure how they manage this task, I understand their desire and motivation. I, myself, love to dance. The opportunity to perform professionally never rose its swan-like neck, so I have resolved to choreograph and perform my dance numbers in the privacy and obscurity of my own family room - my only viewing audience, the Lord of the Universe.

Whoa, wait a minute. Let’s back that up. I must be quite a dancer to draw such a royal following.

Life Lesson 101 – don’t become haughty just because your father is the King. ;) I just ran, face-first, into the stop sign at the end of this rabbit trail.

Actually, I do have a point in here… somewhere.

They have an incredible need to dance, or else they would not be determined to accomplish such in the obvious face of limitation.

I’ve watched old movies that begin the plot’s climatic arch with a terrible accident that leaves the protagonist without the use of her legs, which is huge since her life work is that of a dancer’s. Or, the protagonist loses use of his hands, tragic, since he is a concert pianist. And so it goes. And traditionally that individual is left to the task of inspiring or teaching others to do the thing they feel they were born to do. As noble a sentiment as that becomes, the protagonist is still left to daily deal with the inability to experience the pure joy of twirling the dance floor or running their fingers along the cool ivory producing soul-soothing melodies.

So… I commend these wheel-chair dancers for finding a way to enjoy what makes them happiest by relearning their craft. By allowing that deep desire to flow from them in an unconventional way. Using their arms instead of their legs to channel the God-given creativity they so passionately desire to express.

Sort of gives new meaning to the old adage, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way!”

May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your purpose. Psalm 20:4

Love and Blessings, Laura K.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Gertrude and Helga!

When I sat down to start this blog today, I had no idea what to write. My mind has been so dedicated to my novel lately, I am having a particularly hard time with reality.

As many of you know, writing requires that you observe every little detail happening around you. You think about the way the trees sway in the wind, the way the sun falls on the brick sidewalk outside your office window at 3:00 pm, the conversation going on at the table next to you at Borders.

The picture to the left was taken in Belarus, a landlocked country in Eastern Europe.

What in the world could these two have to say to one another? For a little writing excercise I decided to write a little dialog.

Hmmm, I thought, attempting to be all scholarly. Of course, where there is no scholar there is no scholarly.

Well, Here goes!


 
“Hey, Gertrude, where did you get that lovely leopard-print umbrella?”

“Was given me by me kids.”

“Well, I tell you what’s the truth, if I didn’t have so many of these ol’ potatoes to get rid of, I’d of stayed at home. Fer one thing, this ol’ black umbrella was damaged in that horrible rain storm we got ourselves into the last time we tried this. Just look at the ratty old thing.”

“Oh, Helga! Don’t be so negative. Your umbrella is fine. ‘Tis keepin’ off the rain isn’t it?” Gertrude looked over her shoulder. “Don’t look now Little Miss Sunshine, but there’s a beautiful rainbow arched right over our stand.”

She didn’t want to, but tilting her black umbrella carefully to the left, she peered over her shoulder. “Humph! So, that’s why that funny lookin’ feller is standing over there taking our picture.”

Gertrude peeked from under her umbrella, and then snapped it back into place in front of her face. “Lands, Helga, you could have told me he was standin’ there.”

“I thought you knew.”

No, I didn’t know, if I’d of known, I’d snatched that ratty ol’ umbrella of yours out of your hand and replaced it with a potato!”


My feeble attempt at improv.

Love and Blessings, Laura K.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

New York, New York!

This is a photo of my daughter, Leslie, and Al Roker.  With Bible School, Big Apple Adventure, coming up this week, I decided to relive a very fun trip by looking through the many pictures we snapped during our four-day vaca to New York.

Karen Jones, Leslie and I boarded a plane at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in July of 2006 at 7:00 am. Excited does not even begin to cover Leslie’s mood.

If she told us once, she told us a hundred times that she was going to be on the Today Show.  And, that she was going to talk to Al Roker.

Karen and I humored her. Karen quipping, “Okay… just don’t get too carried away when you get in front of those cameras.”

We were at best skeptical. But we didn’t want to break her positive cheer, so we put on our hopeful faces and thoroughly enjoyed our first day in the big city.

I awoke at 2:00 am the following morning and had us all in one of those famous, yellow cabs by 4:00 am.  We arrived on the plaza a few minutes later to embark on a very long wait.  I can confidently say, hands down, that is the longest line in which I have ever stood!

If you want to call it a line. It was actually us three plus two or three others scattered out amongst the plaza. Plus a very bored police bobby, dressed appropriately, who ordered us to stand and not sit.

As the morning wore on, we were advised to migrate to the appropriate location (evidently we were wrongfully directed upon arrival) and took our place in line.  Finding ourselves ten or so people back caused us some fret, to say the least, since we had been there three hours before those ahead of us.

Reminding ourselves that it was going to take a miracle to pull off Leslie’s prediction, we decided that every event that morning was to be guided by the Almighty hand of God.

So just before we were tempted to announce to the group ahead of us that we had been there since 4:00 am! Karen said, “Evidently, God wants us to be right where we are.” Thanks again to Karen we were spared unnecessary embarrassment.

We watched the crew come out and set up the stage (they were shooting the show outside during that time due to studio remodeling), our excitement building by the minute.

At last, the gate was moved and we poured into what resembled a cattle loading chute. When the pushing and shoving slowed to only a few still attempting to poke their heads through our shoulders, Karen and I stood looking astonished that we were indeed front and center.

And the intrigue only grew as two chairs were positioned for the on-air talent. Leslie’s precious, smiling face would fall precisely in the nucleus of the morning’s interviews. If you saw Ann Curry, you saw Leslie Kirk.

Yep, it gets better. As many of you Today Show watchers already know, the cast of the show periodically peruses the gathered, outside audience to chat and interact. During commercials, they walk back and forth along the temporary, metal fence setting prompts, reviewing news copy and having their faces occasionally dusted.

During this time, Leslie began to call out, “hey” to Al Roker. He eventually stopped by to chat with us off-camera. It was at that time we snapped shots of Leslie with Al and each of the other cast members, Ann Curry taking special time to speak intimately with Leslie. I was very impressed with her kindness.

A little later we were advised that Al Roker would be chatting on-air with Leslie.


Back home my husband, Walter, recorded the event.

video





Gone with the Wind

What is it about us modern Americans that we must know the outcome of everything right now?  We fail to see the value in the journey. What might happen – what could happen.  The mystery and intrigue of the adventure tempts us no longer. Its what you could say… gone with the wind.

Exercising thoughtful planning and wise maneuvers seems unattainable to our otherwise focused brains.

Indiana Jones jumps to mind. Now, that’s my dream of adventure. My husband fails to see the reason behind my obsession in these classic adventure flicks. I don’t understand it really; I just know it sparks something within me.

Several years ago some of the “off” stations ran a very exciting missions oriented show. The title eludes me, but it was something like Radical Missions. It was Christian based, and followed the journeys of two twenty-something missionaries as they foraged the jungles of Africa, Brazil, and other such exotic places in search of an isolate tribe in need of the gospel.

My heart of hearts yearned to be a part of their quest into the unknown. Searching, praying, and then finding the forgotten people. Sharing the rich inheritance of God’s chosen, thereby planting a seed that would be watered by succeeding groups until at last… a conversion. Woo Hoo!

Granted these types of lifestyle patterns require patience and, yes, sometimes longsuffering… and, dare I say, sacrifice. Yet, I would be amiss not to mention the most important element we continue to jilt ourselves of – reward!

The concept of hard work reaping a reward has long been deleted from the pages of Vogue. But maybe, just maybe it could soon make a comeback.

Some of you are saying, “Hey! Wait a minute! I work hard.” And I wholeheartedly agree. Yet, I have to personally admit that my idea of working hard falls just short of my grandparent’s philosophy on the subject.

How I’m going to tie this all into my latest interest is a mystery even to me. But let me try it a whirl.

My husband informed me of an upcoming special on PBS in which he felt sure I would be highly interested. Margaret Mitchell’s 75th anniversary of her book Gone with the Wind. It will air June 30th, and will include adaptations of her life story.

As I devoured all the details of the upcoming event – benefit gala at the Georgia Terrace and a Margaret Mitchell Tour, I was reminded of the years of hard work put into her one and only manuscript. Yep, she sure reaped the reward - the book has sold over thirty million copies to date and continues to be a great American classic. Refreshingly, she used her success to fund many great charities.

The information on the website gave me a sense of pride in our state and the city of Atlanta, but I also took note of the story. Even though Mitchell portrayed African Americans in an undesirable light, it was real. It was not meant to degrade but to provide a springboard for change. She later funded the education for Georgia’s first African American doctors.

Then, the long-awaited, red carpet portion of this blog… Rhett and Scarlett. Their tumultuous relationship’s dips and curves, snaking around the ever-adored Ashley Wilkes. Only to culminate into the literary industry’s greatest cliffhanger.

And we all remember the famous, final line in the movie – “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a ___.”

Can you believe it?  We rose from our theatre seats, laid down the book and walked away fulfilled.

We did not have need of a complete resolution to their relationship. We were satisfied to give full license to our imaginations. We ended it the way we so chose. No one needed to make that decision for us. Wow!

Just my musings…

Until Next Time,
Love and Blessings, Laura K.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Ireland

Today as I perused some very interesting pictures from albums labeled such things as “Capturing the American Character” to “Thrill Seekers and World Wonders”; to “Children of War” I felt air trickle from my lungs in slow, short puffs just before tears began their journey down my cheeks to drip from my chin. My heart crushed for the smiling or down-trodden looks on the faces of children living in war-torn countries, my adrenaline heightened at various acts of adventure, followed by the inevitable aha moment!

Who are we as Americans, anyway?

Under the heading Capturing the American Character I viewed children at Lemonade Stands, learning early lessons in entrepreneurship (the American dream), a boy named Pierre working in a potato field in Washington, a Chinese woman cultivating carnations on a flower farm in Carnation, Washington, Palestinian berry harvesters in Upstate New York, a small Swedish girl cradling a chicken on a farm in the Southeast, and a seventy-year-old Irish man holding a large watermelon grown in California.

It seems that many parts of the world have developed an entirely separate category for those of us sojourning here in the States. We’re simply Americans.  A calloused, greedy lot.  

In reality we are Dutch, French, Irish, British, Chinese, Japanese, German, Hungarian, Indian, Native American, Australian, Swedish, Jewish, Scottish, Palestinian, Mexican, Italian, African… and any combination thereof.  In every instance some sort of sacrifice was made.

Growing up I was told that I was Irish/Dutch. That brought a mysterious swell of pride to my chest. A sense of belonging – belonging to something bigger than me.

To this day, Celtic music ignites an amazing sense of familiarity within my soul.  So many are the times I feel transported.  Flown over ocean and vale to overlook the rolling hills of my homeland, finding myself right in the middle of an Irish celebration for which I had somehow never left.  As if my ancestors had never immigrated to America and fallen to their knees in thanks to their God as the grand Statue of Liberty came into view, exciting a sense of victory down to their very marrow.

The picture at the beginning of this blog is of my grandmother, Nettie Leigh (Delcie) Kelly Ayers.  She provided a large helping of my Irish heritage.  The picture at left is of my grandmother, Delcie, and my grandfather, Iverson (Bo) Ayers, Irish as well.  Can’t you just see him standing atop one of those luscious green hills, the wind blowing through his wavy, Irish hair? I can and it fills me with thanksgiving for my rich heritage.

You knew this would lead to something about my God.  It had to. 

An overused cliché some may call it, but it is as true as rain, fresh as spring and as comforting as a cup of hot mint tea on a cool May morning – we all, as Christians, are also sojourners here.  We belong to a different land, a kingdom, and a grand kingdom it is. Full of abundant heritage, provided to us through the great sacrifice of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ.

As much as I long to stand proud on a high, green hill in Ireland, Celtic music vibrating the foggy mist above the water, I long for the Kingdom of Heaven far more. John 14:2-3, Rev. 3:12, Mark 13:27

Ireland beckons me come, more so, Heaven calls me home!


Love and Blessings, Laura K.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Truck and The Sippy Cup

This is a picture of my nephew, Isaac, just after his adenoid removal surgery. The look on his precious face makes me smile every time I look at it. He looks so satisfied. His mother, Joanna, told me, “Yep, he had his truck, his Sippy cup and he was good to go.”

Wow! Can you imagine the joy we could have if all we needed was a cup and a toy truck?

This really got me thinking. What two things could I rest in?

Dare I honestly proclaim to you today, “Yep, I’ve got Jesus, and the Word of God and I’m good to go”?

I so wish I could. And at the beginning of each day that is a very real statement. Yet, as the day progresses, my arms get loaded down with numerous, unnecessary things.

Worries, fear, heartbreak, selfishness, chores, work, wants, needs, and the list just goes on and on.

So… what’s a girl to do?

Let’s climb into the lap of Jesus together. 

Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, across from the king’s house, while the king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, facing the entrance of the house. Ester 5:1

Have you ever imagined that you are dressed in your royal robes as you come to Jesus?

I have. Sometimes I even imagine that I am standing in His royal court. He beckons me to come. I get so excited and giddy I almost trip over the jewel-toned, iridescent fabric in my haste, hoisting it up as I plop down in His lap.

The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace; her clothing is woven with gold. Psalm 35:14

Wow!

You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. Isaiah 62:3

Euphoria does not even begin to explain my joy!

Then, He speaks to me.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Psalm 37:23

Uphold my steps in Your paths, that my footsteps may not slip. Psalm 17:5

Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad. Psalm 12:25

A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is! Psalm 15:23

Yet, I leave my Lord’s lap to drudge on with my menial life, allowing every vexation to knock “the truck and Sippy cup” out of my hands.

So… I have a proposition for you. Let’s make a pact. We will make it a point to remind ourselves at least five times throughout the day of who we are in Jesus.

Swish that imaginary gown, straighten that crown, and speak those royal words to the nations! (Or… well, your neighborhood, place of business… J)

Can’t wait to hear how it goes.

Hmm, Now I have to come up with some princely scriptures for Isaac!

Until next time!

Love and Blessings, Laura K.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mamas and Their Babies

Today, I was perusing Mamas and Their Babies in Pictures (I have included some of those here), and viewed some of the sweetest animal mamas loving their babies.

Some of them reminding me of Leslie and me when she was a little one. We went together like peanut butter and jelly; hogs and slop; bread and butter; a fluffy white cloud and a baby blue sky. I carried her perched on my hip until she was four. At that point she was almost bigger than me, so I had to give it up!

Yes, at times, it was tiring. But I loved her so much (and still do); walking barefoot over hot coals would have seemed like a walk in the park when doing it for her.

Mamas love their babies.

After beholding some of the nurturing photos, I came upon a tigress looking as if someone had threatened her young cub. On the surface, um, not a loving sight. Nope, not one little bit.

Motherhood is randomly etched with very fine lines. Knowing when to and when to not cross those almost invisible plumb lines can be most bewildering.

And when you find yourself the mother of a developmentally delayed child, the ante is upped one hundred percent.

So… what’s a girl to do?

Pray, pray, pray! Sometimes the gleaned answers are unexpected. Causing us mothers to move outside our comfort zones. And believe me, I LOVE my comfort zone.

We are asked to go to bat for our children when we would rather sit tight and “wait on the Lord”. I like that phrase – wait on the Lord. It just rolls off the tongue. Don’t you think?

Just recently I found myself sitting in the lap of Jesus relishing in that very phrase when, out of nowhere, He stood up and I hit reality with a boom! “Go. Say what I tell you to say. I will be there with you.”


Whew! You can imagine my response. “Yes, sir!” I said, as I stood rubbing my backside. “But… I was just thinking. Wouldn’t it be more effective if you said it and I sort of hung out there for You?” I’m not sure, but I think He chucked just before He gave me a gentle push.

I love that Man, God, King! And I gotta tell ya, it was for Him that I obeyed. My Leslie’s sweet spirit is enough to cause me to do just about anything on her behalf. So you can imagine how much I love my Jesus. I hope beyond hope that, if it came down to it, I would have the courage to die for Him.

What He was asking me to do was huge, but compared to what He did for me and Leslie (suffering on the cross), it was a tiny drop in the ocean.

I obeyed Him. Now I just wait for the results. Whatever that might be.

Please join me this week in praying for Leslie’s future. May it, above all, honor and glorify the King!

Until Next Time!
Love and Blessings, Laura K.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Princess of the Most High God!

Today I decided to get a little personal.

As many of you know, my daughter, Leslie, is developmentally delayed. A condition that will follow her the rest of her life unless, of course, God decides to heal her. Her reading is very limited, her vision is poor, she is susceptible to seizures, she needs help grooming, and she is unclear on some daily tasks as to their complete meaning.

For instance, I can tell her, “Lock the door, and do not open it for anyone while I run to the Post Office.” She will do what I say, but she might or might not understand why. Even though I have explained it to her numerous times.

This leads me to my origin for this blog. I am Facebook friends with Carol Kent. Her son is serving life in prison for fatally shooting his wife’s ex-husband.  I mentioned him in a previous blog, but today I felt I wanted to muse a little regarding my and Carol’s common ground as mothers.

Her son will not have an opportunity to experience a “normal” life. That’s where I find my thoughts at inopportune times throughout my day when thinking about Leslie. I have read that Carol, as well, allows herself to meander down that road from time to time when focusing on her son.

For different reasons we as mothers (Carol and I) must face all the life-limitations that our children have been dealt. I know with her son it was a choice. In an attempt to protect his new step-daughter, he killed the man that continued to abuse her. Leslie’s confines were decided as no choice of her own. Yet, still, their situations are similar when viewed through a mother’s eyes. He in actual mortar and bars prison – my Leslie in the prison of her mind and body.

Every mother wants the best for her child. Better than she had or will ever have. So when she finds that her child will not have the best life can offer, and there is nothing she can do to change that, depression, hopelessness and defeat rush at her like a tidal wave.

Mornings dawn and shock renders her motionless. The realization, that she is still trapped inside the nightmare of her child’s life limitations, brings more waves crashing down. She wants to go back to sleep and try again and again. Hoping beyond hope that she will eventually wake up and the storm will be over.

She prays and knocks at the gates of Heaven. She begs God to give her child a chance. She attempts to strike a deal. “I will never sin again, if you will just heal my child.” She pleads. “What did I do to cause my child to suffer in this way? Is there any chance to remedy my wrongful ways?”

I know many of you immediately think to respond with encouraging words. “It was nothing you did. God loves your child and has a plan for her life.” And, please know those words are appreciated, but still do not completely dispel the torturous thoughts of the mother.

She hears the words, “God must think your child is very special. She’s so innocent and sweet. You are truly blessed.” Yet, would any one of them trade places? Would they really want to worry about their child’s future - the one without them? In old age, absent the ones she depends on for her day to day livelihood? Left to strangers who may or may not take care of her. Knowing she must completely depend on these people she may or may not have chosen. No possibility of a joyous wedding day. No children.

So… What’s a girl to do?

Whew! (I said that for you)

She crawls up into the lap of Jesus and cries her eyes out. Then she wipes her eyes and blows her nose, and hugs him real tight. He tells her it will be okay, and hugs her back. He tells her to look at the beautiful flowers and listen to the melodious song of the birds. He tells her of all the ways He has protected and provided for her and her child.

Beautiful stories flow from the mouth of her Savior that encourage her and strengthen her. She finds that she is not of this world, but of a kingdom. A kingdom where angels sing, the streets are the purest gold, her purpose is clear and her daughter is whole. She sees her precious child running through a meadow, happy and free - reading and achieving, thinking and understanding – making friends and soaring with the eagles. Angels are revealed as protectors, warriors and teachers.

She wonders if her daughter has a very special gift after all? To possibly aid in the healing of others even if her own healing goes undone? But how?

Then she is told that her little Leslie is a very important princess of the Most High God!

Thus, the story of Katie Milady…

Please check back next time for an excerpt from The Secret Kingdom.

Love and Blessings, Laura K.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Synopsis!!

I’m working on my synopsis, and I’m pretty sure God did not invent the idea.  It was obviously thought up by a torture inducing, misanthrope-sadist.  You’re probably thinking what an extra savvy writer I must be because I used the word misanthrope. Well, think again. I had to look it up.  It means “hater of all people”.

As much as I love to write, the word synopsis has now been struck from my dictionary.  Seriously, I found the Webster’s on my bookshelf, searched for the word “synopsis”, took out my red marker, and X’ed it out! Whew, I need some Krispy Kreme donuts, and a Dr. Pepper.

I’ve been thinking about this (I’m stalling), and I have deduced from hours of research (like I said – I’m stalling) that it is an absolute, ineluctable requirement to send in a synopsis with your first three chapters.  Don’t be impressed with the word ineluctable either.  I looked it up when I was defacing my dictionary.

Okay, I’ve stalled long enough.  Since it’s pretty certain I’m not going to find an agent that will forgo the synopsis and just let me drone on and on about my fabulous book. In person. In my living room. I’ll go back to my desk, pull up my synopsis on my computer and… eat a donut.

All prayers are (and will always be) greatly appreciated!

Until next time, love and blessings!


On Sunday, May 1, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI gave personal effort in moving his predecessor, John Paul II, one step closer to sainthood in the form of a resounding Mass drawing more than a million people to Rome.

Benedict beatified John Paul II, proclaiming him “blessed” by openly venerating his life work.

If you are like me, you might need a definition for beatify. If so, I have included one at the end of the blog, as well as, an explanation of canonization.

During said ceremony Cardinals kissed the casket of the late Pope John Paul, II in St. Peter’s Basilica following his beatification. (Picture above)

Later, the reliquary containing the blood of Pope John Paul II was placed on a pedestal by Sister Marie Simon Pierre.  Sister Marie testified that she was cured of Parkinson’s disease after praying to John Paul II.

A picture of the reliquary is at left.

Cristiana Arru, a lawyer from Rome, said, “Anyone who was in the piazza when he spoke felt as though he was speaking directly to them.”

The pomp and circumstance around the event seemed displaced. To use an old adage taken from a Shakespearean play, it was a lot of “much ado about nothing”. 

As I researched Sunday’s Vatican soiree I could not help but think of Jesus. After all He is the only true intercessor (Romans 8:34). And if you want someone to speak directly to you, try having a little talk with Him.

My imagination began to run wild.  For those that know me this does not come as a surprise. I imagined all the celebratory goings on in Heaven when one becomes a Christian (a saint), acknowledges the blood sacrifice and accepts the free gift of salvation.

Celestial beings, prophets of old, sacrificial saints, and all manner of animals jumping and cheering, while clanking cymbals; tinkling, drumming and blowing on an assortment of shimmering, silver instruments. Large choirs of angels singing as one smooth voice, rising and falling in volume. The beautiful smiling face of Jesus. Wow!  What a sight!

Now that's much ado about something!

Until next time, love and blessings!


Beatify - A recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person’s entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name (intercession of saints). Beatification is the third of the four steps in the canonization process.  A person who is beatified is given the title “Blessed”.

Canonization - It is the act by which a Christian church declares a deceased person to be a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the canon, or list, of recognized saints. Originally, individuals were recognized as saints without any formal process.Canonization, whether formal or informal, does not make someone a saint; it is only a declaration that the person is a saint and was a saint even before canonization.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Thou Dost Protest Too Much

Thou dost protest too much is an old saying that suggests when someone goes to great lengths to deny their involvement or interest in a certain subject, they are actually guilty of the aforementioned.

Amazing how the media consortium goes to great lengths to keep the name of Jesus out of movies, books, newspapers… yet if they can conjure up a great story centered around searching or discovering an artifact related to Jesus they are convinced it will be the next big phenomenon.

A popular news item at present is a nail covered in bone displayed alongside two additional nails at Tel Aviv University.  The film The Nail of the Cross by veteran investigator Simcha Jacobovici suggests that these nails, discovered in a 2,000-year-old tomb in Jerusalem, were used to crucify Jesus. Jacobovici is being accused of using these alleged “fake” nails for cheesy monetary gain.

The Shroud of Turin, a linen cloth that appears to bear the resemblance of Christ with markings consistent to the crucifixion, is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, northern Italy.  People from every dialect and religion travel miles in hopes of laying a hand on or simply viewing the cloth for physical healing and/or financial success.







We saw it with Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indiana deduces that the Nazis are searching for Tanis, because it is the location of the Ark of the Covenant (the biblical chest built by the Israelites to contain the fragments of the Ten Commandments). If the Nazis acquire it, they believe their armies will be invincible.








Then again with Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade. The Holy Grail (a plate or cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper) is the hot item in this adventure. Even though the movie distorts the true story using Celtic Myth and Christian Lore, it is still thought of as something highly valuable because of its connection to Jesus.

Many other similar events show and tell the obvious.

So, what is my point? It is my belief that every human being longs for Jesus whether they realize it or not. The name of Jesus is alive and full of power even when thou dost protest too much.



Until next time, love and blessings
Laura K.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Christians Celebrate Palm Sunday in Jerusalem

Thinking about Palm Sunday, I decided to do a little research by surfing the internet. I found the picture at left. Titled - Christians celebrating Palm Sunday at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. For some reason this got me thinking, and a scene came into my heart. So, today I thought I would try my hand at just jotting down that scene and posting it here.

On the Way to Worship


“So, Master, what do you think?” The short, wiry man took quick, clipped steps.

“Josiah, my brother, I do not believe you can handle my thoughts.”

“But, look. Do you not see the sacrilege?” He scanned their surroundings with his outstretched arm.

He laughed heartily. “Sacrilege. I believe this requires a stronger word.”

Josiah picked up his pace to fall alongside his master’s smooth, long stride. “But, l…look, that man – he still scoffs at those that believe in your second coming.” He pointed farther ahead. “And, him, he worships false gods and plots to kill your followers.”

He smiled. It was a generous smile, set in wisdom. “I knew all this would come to pass before I wept over Jerusalem. Such blasphemies do not surprise me.”

“So why did you come here today? Is there one you wish to condemn? I know many men, if there is one, I can find him.”

“I did not come to condemn man; I came seeking those who will join me in the New Jerusalem.”

“Yes, yes.” Twisting his hands as one might conjure up spirits; Josiah lifted first one shoulder and then the other. “But, do you not want to set your chosen apart? In safety.”

“Why would I want to do that? Who then would go into the fields?”

“But look, my Lord, they are killing innocent babies. We must destroy them.”

“I love them. I must beckon them, come follow me.”

“Oil, a much needed resource, is being horded by those that plot against us. They want to kill us!”

“Rest safely. I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in My name.”

The horn of the taxi pierced Josiah’s ear and he jumped away from the encroaching bumper. “See, Master, so much hate. No consideration for their fellow man.”

He reached and tousled his hair. “I order My angels to protect you wherever you go.”

At last they entered the elaborate cathedral. Hundreds stood waving palm and olive branches. Josiah held the donkey as Jesus mounted. The fragrant incense washed over them.

His garments, white as snow, glowing, giving notice to the deep scars in his hands and feet, billowed over the sides of the donkey.

Two muscular heavenly beings walked on either side of them adorned in the same light.

Josiah lowered his voice. “I do not understand my King. Why did you come here today?”

“I am here to inhabit the praise and worship of My people.”

As they drew closer to the worshipers, heaven opened wide revealing a choir of angels who joined in their song of praise. “Hosanna to the King of Kings, whose blood sacrifice, has saved us all! Praise and glory to His name forever and ever!”

Love and Blessings, Laura K.

Friday, April 15, 2011

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden

At left, a man and two boys walk on a street covered with rose petals spread by wholesale dealers to dry in the outskirts of Lahore, Pakistan.

When I found this picture, I couldn't help but think about Heaven. When we all get to Heaven, I expect wonders so amazing words could never capture such extravagance. Yet, I think God has put imagination in our hearts, so when I see beautiful things, my mind just automatically goes into what if mode. Streets of gold, flower petal streets, flowers that sway in the wind and sing. I just get so excited thinking about what Heaven might me like!

God is a good God and He wants us to have the desires of our hearts.  Of course, we know that He expects obedience, sacrifice and above all love (unselfishness). But I also believe that He delights in us.

As I sat pondering an old song came to mind. I'm sure at least some of you remember the song, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. Our lives will not be without trouble, is the age-old moral to that song.

To be quite honest, as a child, I thought very little about the true meaning of some of its lyrics: You better look before you leap, still waters run deep, and there won't always be someone there to pull you out.

Wow.  As an adult, I am so glad that those lyrics are not the final word.

In John 16:33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me.  Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7

But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD; he is their strength in the time of trouble.  Psalm 37:39

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. Psalm 50:15

I'm sure God knows that we will not always look before we leap.  After all, He created us!  You see, He loves us! Even though we may not always do the right thing, God is always there to pull us out!

Maybe we are not promised a rose garden.  But take heart, our Father has overcome the world!

And I will glorify Him all the days of my life!

Love and Blessings, Laura K.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hey, Do You Remember the Story of Esther?

Can you guess what the picture at left has to do with Esther?

If you're like me you answered, "Uh, no."

Apparently Hassidic Jews celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim in this way. This picture was taken straight from one such party.

For those of you who do not know what the Purim Holiday represents, I will tell you. It is a celebration of the Jews' salvation from genocide in ancient Persia. Yep, you know me; I have a definition of genocide for you - the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.

The book of Esther tells us that King Ahasuerus' Grand Vizier, Haman, plots to completely wipe out the entire Jewish population in Persia.

Esther approaches King Ahasuerus and requests of him to save her people from a self-centered mad man.

As the story goes, the King is enraged to learn that the man Esther speaks of is his, so called, right-hand-man, Haman. He then orders that Haman be hanged from the gallows prepared for Esther's uncle, Mordecai.

This being ironic, because Haman had been the one to order that the gallows be constructed after Mordecai had refused to bow down to him. (Esther 1 - 9)

How often has God saved us from total destruction? Well, personally speaking, "many a time!"
I can't deny that I am known to kick up my heels to the beat of a praise song, but only while alone in my family room.

In such tumultuous times wouldn't a big ol' party in celebration of all the wonderful things God has done for us, not to mention all the figurative train wrecks he has prevented, be very appropriate?

I, for one, would be the first to arrive and the last to leave. Um... although, I think I would forgo the table dance.

Until next time, love and blessings, Laura K.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Castles...

Castle… a retreat safe against intrusion or invasion.  Hmm, when I looked up castle in the dictionary, I found the aforementioned definition.  There were two others, but I found this one to be the most interesting.  I use castles quite a bit in my book for different reasons.  I will not go into all those just now, but I have decided to share a scene in my book that takes place in one of these strongholds.  I hope you enjoy it.


“Welcome, my friend.” The voice of Almighty God lay smooth on the atmosphere, majestic yet hushed.
“Your Majesty.” Aiteo became aware of his wide unchecked grin. Clearing his throat, he pulled his lips together. He many times expressed his joy with such abandon before his master, but they were there to discuss a royal princess of the King, and he wanted to show his sincerity, and level-headedness for the task.
            He, like all the other assigned protectors, always saw the face of God. Yet, at this moment, he had been honored with a private meeting with the Almighty.
The angel breathed in the scent of olive wood and myrrh and thought about the majesty of his Lord – inescapably capturing, encompassed with great knowledge and wisdom. His white hair, like lightening and fire at war with one another, billowed around His all-knowing eyes that reflected every tiny morsel of existence’s history, and His mouth, when open, spoke endless truth and love.
Instead of the majestic throne room, they sat within a grand castle, an original model for the ones on earth. He allowed a slight chuckle to escape his lips as he thought of man’s arrogance in believing they had initiated the ideas.
            “What do you find so fascinating, Aiteo?” the Almighty inquired.
            Of course the great being knew his Master would already be aware of his thoughts. After all, he reads minds. He was being humored. “Just thinking of your man, my King.”
            “Oh?”
            “It is extraordinary how he actually believes he is wise in and of himself. Very few realize how mindless they would be without Your inspiration. And, well, I find that fascinating.”      
“Yes, man entertains me with his meditations. But today we are here to discuss one who has a mind set for my work. She is after my heart, Aiteo, and I can use her for my great purpose. As you know, my eyes go to and fro throughout the earth searching for a faithful servant.”
“This one reminds me of David.” Aiteo gazed out the window at the comings and goings of the saints. “Are you saying Katie’s heart is pure toward you in this way?”
“Ah, yes, and just as you saw David become a great king, you will see Katie Mylady become a great princess.”
“Her life is so hard, Master.” Aiteo’s strong confidence began to wobble.

God smiled. “Her day is coming. You know the process too well, my friend.”

Aiteo realized he was more than personally involved in this one. “Tornado, earthquake… tsunami?” He hoped her trial would not be too great.
“On a scale of tornado to tsunami, huh?” God seemed to be enjoying this. He handed the heavenly being his assignment.
After scanning the eternal plan Aiteo jerked his head up and then back to the plan. “How will You do this, my King?”
“Just be patient my trusted servant and watch My will unfold.
His mind began to race at the possibilities. “I will not fail You, my King. Thousands will move under my command to assist your royal princess.” He rose and bowed low with due respect.