Coffee, Anyone?

coffee, cup, laptop, memeThe weather here in Kentucky has taken a definite turn toward winter. I’m warming my hands on a fresh cup of coffee as I work on the answers to some of last week’s questions. Most of those were easily addressed in the comments section (last week), but my friend, Jennifer Hallmark did her best to stump me with several more difficult ones. I’ll handle those, starting with today’s post–so pour another cup, and join me.

Oh, Kentucky! I love my beautiful home state. Yes, it can be steamy-hot in the summer, but most of the time, it shines like an emerald. Some years, the grass stays green all winter. Last year, the neighbors were still mowing their lawns in December.

They call it bluegrass, but it’s really green. And honestly, bluegrass is not all that hardy. Many Louisvillians replaced it in their lawns, after an especially dry summer killed their bluegrass.

I love this picture! ❤

When most people hear the name Kentucky, they think of “My Old Kentucky Home,” horse racing, and a few famous drinks. But Kentucky is a lot more. We have plenty of lakes and mountains (small mountains) and rivers, and in between, lay peaceful rolling pastures lined with black fences. Follow the narrow roads–the scenic byways–and you’ll catch sight of some gorgeous animals, along with their equally beautiful abodes. These thoroughbreds live quite well.

Over the mountains and through the woods, you’ll find one of nature’s more incredible phenomenons–the natural bridges, along with some awe-inspiring scenery, as you approach our border with West Virginia.

Ever seen a moonbow? Certain times of year, you can witness one over Cumberland Falls (picture from many moons ago, and not at night, when the moonbow appears).

And a really big ark park. Encounter a replica of Noah’s Ark, in Williamstown, Kentucky, near Lexington and within easy distance of Cincinnati, Ohio. I’ve never been, but we’re planning a trip soon. I’ll write an entire post, complete with pictures! 🙂

Photo by Karen Jurgens

We have a little cave–OK, a Mammoth Cave–situated near I-65, on the Green River. Hike through the underground caverns, then take a relaxing cruise on the river. No matter how warm it is outside, take a jacket or sweater, it’s cold underground.

Bardstown, Kentucky is a beautiful small town, one you won’t want to miss. My Old Kentucky Home is located there, along with some wonderful home-cooking restaurants. The countryside in all directions is scenic, sometimes breathtaking. Watch for deer, though. Especially early morning and early evening.

I’ve saved Louisville till last. Churchill Downs is open year round, though a lot more exciting in spring and summer. This resident has never attended a Derby, but I have been to the races on less hectic days. They also have a wonderful museum.

Visit the Louisville Slugger in downtown Louisville, if you’re into baseball, or just interested in seeing the big baseball bat (photo-op!). Located nearby, the beautiful Muhammad Ali Center, the Ohio River,  and its locks and riverboats.

Some of the top cuisine in America is located in Louisville. And we have a miles-long riverside park with a ped-bridge over the Ohio. Down River Road a ways, toward the beautiful new East End bridge, is a place called Captain’s Quarters, a restaurant best known for its scenic views and ambience. One of my favorite spots.

And there’s so much more.

I know, this sounds a bit like a travelogue. Can you tell I’m proud of my home state? (And I didn’t even mention basketball).  Yes, we’re land-locked. We don’t have ocean access, but if your vacation needs don’t require hot, sandy beaches, you might like it here. Especially if you love beautiful horses, lakes, and rivers.

By the way, this post is by no means an exhaustive list of the many places to visit in Kentucky. You’ll find that here: Kentucky Tourism.

Have you visited Kentucky? What’s your favorite attraction?

Click to Tweet: #Kentucky – a beautiful place to visit, and a nice place to live. #travel #ontheroad

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Questions, Anyone?

coffee, cup, laptop, memeWhen I renovated my blog, I wanted to have fun with it. Thus the theme, “Hello! Thursday Mornings!”

Opinions–mostly mine–are welcome, and every few weeks, I’ll open the “floor” (so to speak) for questions.

If you have a question you’d like me to discuss (I may or may not have an answer), please send it to me via the comments section below. If you send a really good one, it may become the subject of a blog post! How’s that?

In the meantime, I’ll answer the question, WHO am I, really? You can find most of that information in the tabs above, or I can tell you: I’m a Christian believer, married almost forty-three years to my wonderful husband, Bob. Besides my part-time pursuit of bookkeeping, he supports me in my writing venture. We have three grown sons, all of them married, and they’ve given us eight grandchildren.

I’ve been writing for about thirty years now. But I’ve only been a published writer for a decade. Next year, I will have seven books in publication. I started out writing fantasy-adventure stories. They were somewhat inspired by Tolkien’s LOTR. Okay, possibly more than somewhat inspired by Peter Jackson’s interpretation of Tolkien’s LOTR. Okay, maybe a lot more than somewhat inspired by Viggo Mortenson’s Aragorn/Strider role. Ahem!

I moved away from fantasy/adventure, to write historical stories. Since you can find most of this information in the tabs above, I won’t go into great detail. I’m working on two different (very different) series at the moment, and though I feel blessed to have them, I’ve vowed never to do that again.

My current work-in-progress will finish up the Legacy series with the story of Amy Juliana Emerson. If you’re a reader, you may think that name sounds familiar. That’s because Amy’s mother and dad are in Book 1, Amelia’s Legacy.

Amy is another rich, young heiress who is struggling against her destiny. World War II has recently ended as the story begins, and this girl is ready to launch herself on the world. But her dad has other plans. He’s trying to keep her high spirits in check, and not just to protect her reputation (or his own). Though Amy doesn’t realize it, she is in actual danger, and her antics have brought her the wrong kind of attention.

At a time when most young ladies of substance are either being given in marriage, or being given a voyage to see the world, Amy is sent to the country where she is expected to work. Rebecca Lewis Alvera, another of my characters from both Book 1 and Book 2 (Carlotta’s Legacy), takes on an important role in helping Amy curb her excessive energy.

A perfect storm is brewing as Amy’s stubborn resolve meets Dad’s resistance, along with an unknown force in the form of a familiar enemy. This is the section I am working on at present. The pressure is on as I not only end this particular story, but the series.

Oh, and I am a slow writer. It takes months for me to complete a story to my satisfaction. It takes my readers a matter of hours or a couple of days to read it. *Sigh*

That’s my story, and a little bit of my present situation. Add to the writing of this latest tome, about ten other roles in the writing/marketing world, and you have a vague idea of the daily life of a writer.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you’ll join the conversation, whether it is with a question, or just to encourage me. Or, maybe you don’t want to encourage me. Please don’t feed the  monkeys. Only some of you will get that.

If you click this link you’ll tweet this: Opinions, mostly mine, are welcome in my new weekly blog, Hello! Thursday Mornings!

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Daniel in the Den of Kings

coffee, cup, laptop, memeI’m a little sad. I’ve just finished the last chapter of Daniel. It’s seemed so short. Every time I read this book, I learn.

So, who is Daniel, really? Is he more than the man who defied the king’s edict and faced the lions’ den?

So much is revealed about the prophet Daniel in this book. If you do a bit of digging, you may be surprised by what you find.

He was a little like Joseph. Both men lived through dire circumstances, yet their obedience and great faith in God allowed them to prosper in the midst of difficult times.

Daniel rose to a position of authority that lasted through several sieges, from Nebuchadnezzar to Darius the Mede. Though Daniel served in the courts of kings, he was not ruled by them. Ultimately, he answered to God, as he proved over and over. And, no surprise, he suffered persecution for his faith.

Thus the den of lions.

This next statement of Daniel’s grabbed my attention and opened a window in my heart and mind:

And in the first year of Darius the Mede, I took my stand to support and protect him. Daniel 11:1 [NIV]

Daniel took his stand to support and protect Darius the Mede? I’m reminded of the scripture, “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:7 NIV)

Bring this home to your current situation. Do you “seek the peace and prosperity” of the company (occupation, job) in which God has placed you? Or do you constantly revile them, and curse them with your complaints and unkind words? (Gee, this could also apply to marriage.)

I have to tell you, I’ve done it in the past. Many of us pray for a job, a good position, and when we get it, we’re praising God. But time passes and the shiny newness wears off. The honeymoon is over. We become unhappy. We murmur and complain about the gift of God to us.

Daniel’s position was one of honor, and I imagine he had the ability to live pretty well, though he didn’t take everything given. He refused to eat the rich food of the kings. Anything that stood in the way of his worship of Almighty God, he tended to reject. But he prayed for the king who sat on the throne. He didn’t try to escape, because he knew God’s word. He knew God had a plan and he was in it.

It seems to me, if God truly has opened doors and placed me in a position, He might be a little displeased with my complaining. If I’m unhappy with a situation, maybe I should try praying, which is what Daniel did. And his obedience and faith brought this next statement from the angel, Gabriel:

He said, “Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you.” And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling.

Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.” {Daniel 10:11-12 NIV}

To hear words like these, in answer to your prayer! What a thrill!


 What would our life look like if we truly sought God’s presence in our situation? If we gave Him glory in the midst, and prayed for the prosperity of the place we’d been sent? Even if we feel it’s the wrong place…pray. Remain obedient until the time of God’s deliverance. It will come.

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Story Telling True or False

Just a Note, Maybe a Silly One~

coffee, cup, laptop, memeStorytelling. A lot of companies have gone there. It’s the latest trend–storytelling–a way to advertise that captures attention in a positive, uplifting manner.

A dog story or a heartwarming family tale grabs our attention, and may cause us to grab a tissue. A neighbor reaches out to help an elderly woman, a soldier returns home, surprising a family member, or even his or her dog. Grabs your attention.

Hallmark Cards was a forerunner in the storytelling ad field. How many remember the holiday card commercials? The special teacher, the wonderful daughter, and the list goes on.

And the coffee commercial, when big brother comes home for the holidays. He puts on a pot of coffee to wake up the parents and surprise them. One of my personal favorites.

Yes, they’re sharing a real-life experience, and that’s wonderful. These stories are designed to trigger memories and emotions. To give you a positive “vibe” about their company and their products.

Humor sells, too.  Like Mikey. Cute baby brother Mikey was a picky eater, so when Mikey liked something, his brothers knew it must be really good. Whoever came up with that one picked a winner.

So what happens when a story doesn’t quite ring true? I’m reminded of an old ad about a certain pair of shoes that were like “walking on a cloud.” I had to ask myself, how did they know? Has anyone ever walked on a cloud? Wouldn’t that be difficult?

What’s your favorite commercial falsehood?

Yes, I’m being funny, today. Short and sweet, for this week’s Hello! Thursday Morning. Storytelling ads are big business, and hopefully many of my freelance writer friends are cashing in on the trend.

I hope you find a Mikey. Then I can say, I knew you back when you were a struggling freelance writer. 🙂

Happy Thursday!

CLICK TO TWEET: Hello! Thursday Morning presents “When storytelling is big business.”