Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Some times I wonder if my children got computer classes in heaven. They seem to have come hard-wired to work that mouse and know instinctively how to surf the net. I was 21 when my room-mate called me to her room to show me this "new thing" called the Internet and e-mail. Nowadays instead of teaching our children to use the computer, we have to teach them what a record player is; and they look at you like you're some sort of pre-historic creature.

When I see this video I can't help think that perhaps this little girl (now a teenager)took a lot of art classes in heaven, before coming to Earth.

How about this other little girl who most likely was one of those angels who she now sings about...

Whatever our talents and gifts in this life might be, one thing I know for sure. They are God given and they are meant to be shared.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Larry King Live Part I

Many authors are trying to capitalize on the popularity of youtube videos to promote their books. So I thought I would do the same!

When a friend of mine posted a funny video from I knew I would have to check it out! One hour later, and with the help of my ten year old, we had this funny interview.

It's addicting and terribly fun, so I'm sorry to say that you'll be subjected to Part II and quite possibly Part III of this interview throughout the next few weeks!
I would love for this video to go viral, so if you feel inclined to share it, go to , type in sbniccum and you'll see it!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hook Lines, Book Covers and Potty Training.

(still a work in progress, but almost done!)

As women we are expert multi-taskers. We can wipe a butt, think of a cool hook line and muse on the shade of our upcoming book cover all at the same time! No big deal!
Sure, we get a little frazzled in the process, but it's all part of life.

I often wonder how many books I could boast of if I had no potty training to worry about, or didn't have to stop and teach my son decimals all while trying to keep a clean house and my carpet puppy urine free!

I imagine, none.

When I first started writing I felt that life got in my way. But now I realize that if it wasn't for my life I would have nothing to write about.

My crazy life is my inspiration and I am Thankful for it!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What is Christian Speculative Fiction?

When I started writing this story I didn’t know what genre it would fall under. In fact it wasn’t until it was written that I found out.

I went to a Writers Guild of Texas meeting, where a Christian author and Agent was conducting a lecture. After doing his best to dismay us, and tell us how impossible it would be for us to get published, he opened the floor to questions.

Don’t get me wrong, he was doing what he thought would be best: telling us how it is. He was right about a lot of things, but I found his well rehearsed bubble popping session a little condescending.

Look, I know, getting published through a BIG publishing house is very hard, impossible even. Getting an Agent is equally hard and time consuming. But I’m the kind of person who believes that when there is a will, there is a way—paved that is, with hard work and patience.

This agent did one thing though, that I am very grateful to him for; he gave my book a Genre. After the meeting was over, I approached him and briefly described my book to him. He irrevocably pronounced it “Christian Speculative Fiction”.

So what is this mysterious genre that I had never heard of?
Commonly called CSF, this genre is fast growing in popularity among those who want fast pased, action packed, yet clean fiction. The themes are biblical and morally uplifting. The settings vary between science fiction, futuristic, superhero, time travel, supernatural, end-of-the world “Armageddon” type and alternate realities to list a few.

The best known examples that fall under these categories are “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “The Lord of the Rings”. We have in fact C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien to thank for the renaissance of this genre. They, in my opinion, did in the twentieth century what poets like Dante and Milton have done in their time.
Now days a slew of new authors are bringing this old genre back to life.

Most of us are however still in the fringes of the Christian market—not for lack of demand—but rather due to an inability for large publishers to change old set in traditions.

Another reason why CSF writers are opting to get published through smaller publishing houses, like TreasureLine Books, is because these publishers offer Print on Demand (POD) services.

This is a low cost, no middle man (agent) way to get your book into the reader’s hands. These books will most likely never hit a “Big Bookstore” shelf, but it will be online at popular booksellers like Amazon, Amazon's Kindle, Smashwords and the Publisher’s and Author’s web site. The benefits of POD for the readers are obvious—low cost.

For me and many other authors that choose to go this route, the benefits are that we get to live our dreams of writing good, clean stories, and keep our current lives. No traveling, no life altering careers, just our life and our dreams!
Reading is a great form of entertainment and a powerful way to shape our world and CSF writers are doing both!

Pictures by Gustave Dore'

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Everything Creative: Group Dis. 7 - Programs - Mormon Channel

Everything Creative: Group Dis. 7 - Programs - Mormon Channel

This is perhaps a bit long, but well worth listening to. As four authors sit and talk about the creative aspect of writing, family life and religion.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Vote Here!

Take your pick of the best hook line for the book cover and get your name in the acknowledgement page!

#1 “Can love withstand the forgetting effects of the Veil?”
#2 “Will love survive the forgetting effects of the Veil?”
#3 “Will their love be strong enough to overcome the forgetting effects of the Veil?”

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What Lies Within.

I am sure many of you have seen this many times before, I personally never get tired of watching it. The callousness of the judges and the people toward this frumpy looking woman, then the change once she sings that first note.

What I see when I watch this clip is not just a social problem, but a metaphor for the soul.

To me this proves that we are not just our crust. We are much much more! Inside each and every one of us lies a soul with infinite talent, beauty and worth. A soul that has the capacity to change the world, to influence people and shine so brightly at times that others can't help but notice.

Susan Boyle brought more than cheers to that audience, she brought change. She made us look inward for a moment and helped us see the beauty that lies within each of us.

Never doubt we are Divine! Never.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Silvina harvested her first Love Potato on Framville today

Blogging is not the only way I shamelessly promote my book. Facebook, Twitter, and a slew of other networking things are great ways of promotion. Not just for books, but for everything!
I know some of you get annoyed when someone tries to push their business on you while you are trying to shoot the breeze with your long lost elementary school friends, and your second cousin twice removed—but it happens.
It smells a little bit of telemarketing, you may say. But such is life, you find a way to reach a large number of people for free and WHAM! You get someone trying to sell you something or…in my case, trying to promote something. 
Bragging, promoting and even selling on Facebook, I get. What I don’t get is Farmville and Fronteerville (I didn’t even know about the latter until a few days ago). Perhaps someone should educate me on those things and their obscure messages.
I’m inclined to bet that half the people that post from Farmville have no idea what’s going on, or that they are doing it.
Just the other day I was in a hurry. I was checking my e-mail right before starting school (always a bad idea), and I made the mistake of leaving my Facebook page open on the desktop. I walked away and got my kids started on their math, and forgot all about the computer and leaving that page open.
Later I saw my three year old banging on the computer keyboard and all kinds of things popping up on Facebook as she did so. One of those things was an invitation to Fronteerville. Time seemed to slow down as her little hand was suspended above the keyboard and she smiled at me knowingly.
I told her to “Step away from that computer”, but that only seemed to confirm to her what her next move should be. I ran to the computer as her hand lowered one more time, but it was too late!
I desperately tried undo the damage, but there seemed to be no way out. There was no decline button, no escape at all from Fronteerville. There were only two choices, accept or enter. I clicked the X and got out of Dodge—hopefully for good.
So now, you should thank me. Because you will not be seeing any cryptic Fronteerville entries from me—only my shameless book promoting!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Judge tenderly of me.

I don't want to wake up at six every morning! I've always been a night owl, not an early bird. But my children have turned me into an early bird because they are night owls, and they sleep in until 7 or 8 am. This gives me exactly two hours to write!

This time is precious for me, not only do I get to unload this story on to my computer's memory, but I also get to be alone...all alone. I don't even turn on the lights! I just sit here and write by the light of my screen.

While I wait and wait and wait for the next step in the publishing world to take place, I have been writing the second book in my series, called "LIVING SOUL".

This story--I thought--would be easier to write, since I had to pretty much figure out what happened in this part of the story, before I finished the first one. Oh... it was hard to focus on the first novel and get that done, before I jumped into this one. I wrote bits and pieces of it here and there, when I couldn't restrain myself.

But now, that VEILED is done and third in line (I'm told) to be published, I am having a hard time with Living Soul. Inspiration is not really a problem, I make sure I wake up and inspire myself by drinking a hot sip of mate.

The trouble seems to be rooted more in that innate insecurity that we all feel at times. Emily Dickinson said it best, when she wrote:

"THIS is my letter to the world,
That never wrote to me,—
The simple news that Nature told,
With tender majesty.

Her message is committed 5
To hands I cannot see;
For love of her, sweet countrymen,
Judge tenderly of me!"

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Parallel Story

There is a whole other side to the story behind the story. And that is the story of Mack and our Homeschooling journey. We do a type of homeschool called "Thomas Jefferson Education" (TJED). It is based on the premise of Classics and Mentors, just like the education of Thomas Jefferson.

I've always known that educating my oldest would not be as easy as loading him on a school bus every morning and sitting him down to homework every evening after soccer.
He has ADHD and Aspberger's, making it virtually impossible for him to focus in a public school environment. So while he was still in first grade I started looking of other options. A friend suggested I read "A Thomas Jefferson Education" by Oliver DeMille, and after I did, I realized that that would be the only way to give Mack an education.

I've always been a great fan of reading the "Classics" in literature, I myself have had the privilege of learning from the classics, so I knew that it would work.
There's a saying in Spanish, "Del dicho al hecho hay largo trecho", which translated means: From saying to doing, there is a long road.
Homeschooling is not easy, especially when you have to shed so many preconceived notions about how schooling should be done. Here I had to trust the process, that if you "inspire and not require" your child will willingly learn to love learning.

As you can imagine, this is not something that happens in a week or a month--it takes years and it's been a bumpy ride. But I've learned a few things along the way.
One, you need mentors. So if you can't be a mentor, find one.
My sister-in-law Heidi, came to my rescue when we were just getting started. She took Mack on Fridays and played Math games with Mack and her kids. She loves math, so she was the perfect mentor for him.
Heidi got him out of his mental math block and freed up the way for me to do math again with him.

Then we had to tackle reading. This I could mentor him in, because I love to read.
I started to read to him out loud every day, from a children's classic. We read "Black Beauty" first, because he was taking Horseback riding lessons. Then we read "The Chronicles of Narnia" all of them!
He started reading on his own, books like "Ready Freddy" and "The Magic Tree House" and from there he jumped into "The Lightning Thief" and "Fablehaven". We still read books out loud, and we are currently reading "Johnny Tremain".

The last issue with school that I had to address was his complete refusal to write, and this is where my book comes in. As you can imagine a lot of these things have happened simultaneously for us, and writing has been one of the these things.
It was incomprehensible to me how he could hate to write, because I've always enjoyed writing. Right at the same time I started reading Oliver and Rachael DeMille's follow up book called "Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning". Here they give those trying to educate a recipe, their recipe. They say "you, not them" meaning if you want them to do something, you do it. If you want them to play the piano--you play the piano every day. In short, model the behaviour that you want them to have.

This gave me the courage to work on a dream of mine, that elusive dream "that one day I'll write a book". I always thought that I would have to put that dream on hold until I was retired or had all my kids in school! Well... that was not going to happen now, so I decided to start.
Every time I sat down to work on my book I would tell Mack, "I love working on my book! It's so much fun to make up stuff and write it down.". Yea...I laid it on really thick, but it worked!

A few months ago he came up to me and said: "Mom, I want to write a book too. Will you publish me, if I write a book?"
I told him that I most certainly would, and he has been writing on his own; full sentences at a time! I know that this might not sound too miraculous for you, but it is for me.

For him to sit down and willingly and happily to pick up a pencil and write is nothing short of a miracle! It is a thing of beauty that brings tears to my eyes.
If nothing else, this alone makes this journey worth it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The rest of the Story

I first got the idea for Veiled while reading the scriptures one morning. Yea... I know it sounds very churchy, but it's the truth, so...there.
I was in fact reading about pre-mortal life, something that us LDS (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) people believe in.

I wondered what it was like, to be there in the Spirit World, waiting for our chance to live. I wondered how we might have felt at the thought of crossing the veil and forgetting all we knew. All our loved ones, all our knowledge, all about God and Heaven....

That's when I saw them. The two main characters standing before this great mass of whiteness (made that up, no one knows what the veil looks like). They were holding hands, they loved each other, they wanted to be together but they knew that as soon as they stepped through they would be born into this life and forget!
They were looking at each other for the last time, wracking their brains trying to figure out how they were going to remember...

From that moment on the story spilled out. It was like I had just turned on the faucet full blast, and I only had a teaspoon to fill my bucket. I immediately wrote the last chapter of my book by hand.

I set up a schedule for writing, because I have a life--a very full life, complete with three homeschooled children and a husband. I only wrote for two hours a day, at first during nap time. When that was done away with, and I grieved its loss, I started waking up two hours earlier--not an easy task for me.
When the story was done, I started learning about the publishing industry.

Fortunately for me, my great friend Naomi Delatorre--also a writer and a blogger (www.organicmotherhoodwithcoolwhip) and a homeschooler--patched me through a blogger friend of hers. Swatti had just recently been picked up by a publishing house , and was kind enough to introduce me.

So that--my friends--is the rest of the story.

I skipped a lot of parts, like the many friends and family members who kindly read my manuscript and still are reading it, so it could be the best.
So thanks Mom, Naomi, Jen McG., Erin C., Allison B., Allison N., Lexi M., Brigitte H.(I hope you guys read my book for book club--I'll host!), both my brothers and the girls (Ally H., Isabelle M. and Stephanie W.) who participated in my target audience experiment. And of course to my hubby, who is my rudder,the one who steers me in the right direction and slows me down (in a good way).

There is parallel part to this story as well, but I'll save that for another entry.

Thank you! Thank you! for your warm congratulatroy facebook comments, they mean a lot to me! And thank you Linda Boulanger for picking me up!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Edited Part III

After the whole camp was up, dressed, and fed they mounted their horses and set off to meet the Dauphin.

I kept a sharp lookout for those around her that might show the slightest sign of treachery. But I didn’t sense anything, not until we got to our destination. The Dauphin, was surrounded by the type of people who said one thing, but thought quite another.

After some waiting, Joan at last was invited in to see the Dauphin—having been warned beforehand by Valerie that a trick would be played on her—Joan was ready for anything.

Sitting on a throne at the end of the room was a man, I quickly discerned his thoughts, and knew that he was deceiving her. In fact all those present were draped in the same aura of deceit.

Most of them hid their thoughts quite well, and some of them were giddy with the fun of the trick and their thoughts were easy enough to discern.

“Joan” I whispered in her ear as she entered the room. “The man sitting on that throne is not the Prince you are looking for. The real Dauphin hides in the crowd.” I told her and she set out to look for the man through the crowd. But she had never known or seen this Dauphin, so it was up to me to guide her through the sea of strange faces.

Hidden in the shadows I saw a man, who was dressed as any other man in the group, but this man’s thoughts were racing, he seemed nervous and had a shroud of pride around his aura. He caught my interest so I waited, then a thought escaped him and I caught it.

“What? She does not go straight to the throne? She has never seen me, how could she know?” He thought, as he retreated further into the shadows.

“Here!” I shouted to Joan, who immediately turned toward the sound of my voice.

“Your Dauphin is dressed as a common man, and he stands here.” I pointed to the man.

She cut through the crowd deliberately now, making a straight line for the spot where I hovered over the prince. He looked ashen and beads of perspiration were forming on his forehead.

Joan's eyes were riveted on the man I was pointing to her, and made no sound as she bowed to him. Gasps were heard throughout the room, the Dauphin himself stood frozen with his mouth agape.

There was complete silence for a moment, “I’m at your service.” She humbly said to her prince.

“How did you know…?” The dauphin could not finish. She made no reply, she feared being miss-interpreted.

The crowd gathered around her and the Dauphin helped her to her feet.

“Well done Tess!” Valerie exulted as she flew to my side. “I knew you could do it!”

“I'm afraid that this test was easy. In fact, I'm pretty sure that this has sealed her fate." I whispered to Valerie, for fear that Joan might hear me. "This miraculous display, may have won her the support of some, but it has also stirred the jealousies of others."

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sarah Brightman's Album cover

I often listen to ,it's an online free radio that plays the music you like. I draw a lot of my inspiration for my writing from Celtic music. My personal favorites are Hayley Westerna (I uploaded one of her songs in one of my earlier posts) and Lorena McKennitt. Lots of other artists pop up as well when you listen to Pandora radio, so that's when I saw this. I first approached the computer because I liked her singing, and I wanted to see who was singing. Then I saw the cover! I loved it! If I could choose a cover for my book today it would be this one. There are only a few things I would change about this, her tiara, I would make that to look more like an aura...not a halo, an aura--brightness emanating from her.

I have other ideas as well, but this has my favorite colors and is so beautiful... like her singing!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Edited Part II

Joan was a sweet and mild mannered girl who had been chosen by the Eternals to free her people. This mission she accepted before she was born, and now she had to accomplish it. She had the added benefit of her gift that allowed her to see and speak with angels. All this she took in stride, while carefully managing a whole army of rough grown men.

Once the introductions were made, Joan excused herself and went back to her training. Valerie and I looked after her with awe.

“…Half the people she meets think she is crazy, and the other half believe her and follow her. It’s amazing Tess, to see how quickly mortals forget about our side of the Veil.” Valerie said, half musing to herself.

“That’s the whole purpose of the veil—to forget.” I said with a tinge of bitterness. I dreaded the veil and its consequences; I hated the thought of losing all my memories of heaven, of friends and more importantly, Alex.

“I know that” Valerie said reproachfully, “but some people seem to retain a certain… memory or imprint of what was, while others fear it and reject it completely. I wonder why?” Valerie said absentmindedly. “It wasn’t so long ago that we were all together.” She made a sweeping motion with her hand, signaling to all the mortals that surrounded us.

“I can tell this mission has given you a lot to think about.” I told her.

“Yes, it has. Listen Tess, tomorrow she will go before the Dauphin—a prince of sorts—she needs his permission to lead his armies, even though she’s been doing it for a while already.” Valerie rolled her eyes. I could tell she didn’t think too highly of this Dauphin. “In my vision I saw him being persuaded to trick her somehow, I don’t know how exactly, but whatever it is, it’s supposed to expose her as a fraud. You see, she has a reputation as someone who receives Heavenly help, and there are those who are jealous of this, they are the ones who want her to fail.”

“I’ll do my best Val, I promise.” I said, hoping that all my training and all those Gifts classes would pay off.

Valerie and I watched as evening turned into night, and all the mortals fell asleep. Hovering over Joan’s bed I studied her face. She rested peacefully, but I could tell that her mind was burdened.

Now that she was asleep, her unconscious thoughts came to me freely. She didn’t like the life of a soldier, but this was her mission; she had accepted it before she was born and now she was going to see it through.

I couldn’t help wonder what I would be asked to do. What mission would I be entrusted with? Would I embrace it like Joan or ignore it, like so many other mortals do? Was I strong enough to see whatever the Eternals asked of me through?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Edited Part I

This is a portion of my manuscript that I cut out. I thought it would be fun for you guys to read it anyway.
The main character, Tess is an angel who just got sent on a Ministering Mission to Earth. She will be working with one of her friends Valerie, who has been assigned as the mortals Guardian Angel.

To my surprise I found Valerie, protectively hovering near the spirit I had come to see. I discerned Valerie's mood, it was somber—not unusual for her—but this time it was founded on real worry over the human that she stood next to.

“She is surrounded by traitors!” Valerie came to my side in flurry of emotions. "Even her own people are trying to sell her out!” She exclaimed with horror and collapsed with relief in my outstretched arms.

“Who are you talking about?” I asked while I patted her back.

“My mortal, Joan.” She said as she moved back in shock at my lack of knowledge.

“Your mortal?”

“You know what I mean! I am her Guardian Angel, I consider her my mortal.” She shrugged. “So what brings you here? I thought you were training with that Seraph?”

“Dayspring? ...Yea I was, but now I am here as a Ministering Angel—to her.” I pointed at her mortal.

“Oh… well, she gets lots of visitors from our side.” She said in a huff. “She has the Gift of Beholding Spirits, so she sees us all—and hears us too.”

“Wow… that's amazing. If she sees all of us, does she ever get mortals and spirits confused?”

“No!” Valerie said with a look of disgust. “We are see-through, and we wear white robes!”

I laughed.

“I’m really glad they sent someone I know." Valerie said as she gave me a friendly shove on the shoulder. "It can get kind of lonesome sometimes. I haven’t seen Dane in… a few centuries.”

“Sorry" I said understanding her plight, "I rarely get to see Alex anymore." I told her, but Valerie didn't seem to be paying any attention to me anymore. Her features looked frozen and her eyes were glazed over.

"Val? Are you..."

She shook her head and snapped out of her trance.

"She's in trouble--again!"


"Joan, my mortal. She'll be betrayed tomorrow, she is walking into a trap!"

"A trap? What do you mean?"

"Did I tell you how happy I am They sent you Tess." She said again, but with a new kind of meaning. "We really need a discerner, especially tomorrow." Valerie said as she looked back at Joan.

In the distance I could see Joan. She couldn't have been older than eighteen, she looked weary, determined and oddly out of place in what looked like a military training ground.

Out of breath she rested her hands on her knees and turned her head toward us. She looked straight at us and squinted a little when her eyes focused on my form.
She excused herself from the training and came toward us. Valerie exchanged looks with her and told me to follow her into a nearby tent.

"Tess, this is Joan. She's the leader of the French army."

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Creating... me.

Our True Identity

So many of the desions we make are hinged on how we view ourselves. We think we are a certain way, therefore we must act the part--much like in a play.

But who are we really?

There is a quote that I came across when I was 22 yrs. old, I can't remember where I read it, or who said it...but it has stuck with me and has changed the way I see myself and my life.

"Life is not about FINDING yourself, its about CREATING yourself."

I always thought I had to find myself, by experiencing things, life... . But I soon found that some of those experiences left me empty, hollow and unrecognizable even to myself. This quote helped me realize that those experiences were creating something else, someone I didn't know.

So I set to work at creating the person I wanted to be. Then, I found myself again--it was me all along who I wanted to be.

It was in finding myself that I lost myself. It was in loosing myslef to creating, through service, that I found myself again.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Novela Watching Grandma Who Fortells the Future

You could say that I am a little obsessed by the supernatural, I can’t help it. You see, it runs in my family.

She runs down a deserted beach, the sun setting on the horizon. She looks back, her dark long hair gets tangled around her face and she stumbles. Driven by some unseen force she gets up again and on shaky legs takes to running again—she is begins to cry and wipes her tears with the back of her hand.
In the distance, his horse kicks up a cloud of sand, and in no time catches up to her. She looks back and stumbles again. In one flawless move he dismounts and catches her. She beats her fists against his bare chest; he draws her to him and kisses her. She slaps him and shouts something in that passionate language—Spanish. He smiles that crooked smoldering smile… she relents… [we sigh] they kiss and kiss some more.

“I wish I spoke Spanish.” You may say still riveted to the screen. “I wonder what she was so mad about?” You sit down, still watching—you are sucked in—just like my grandma.

My Spanish grandmother spent her time doing two things…well three—she did two of them at the same time. She could tell the future and she watched novelas while she embroidered—the latter being an excuse to do the watching. I used to think she was weird and boring, but time has given me the opportunity to appreciate her life. In fact the older I get the more appreciative I am of her quirky influence. For one, I still have a table cloth that she embroidered and every time I pull it out, I wonder "how many hours of novela watching did this take?" The other thing I have grown to appreciate is her ability as a foreteller.
I still remember her bending over me, declaring certain things about my future…things that came true. I know what you are thinking, “Novela watching grandmothers can’t tell the future.”

Well… mine could. One of the times that stands out the most in my memory, happened on a stormy afternoon in Buenos Aires, where I grew up. She was visiting with us for a few weeks, my brother had invited his girlfriend to dinner and she lived in the other end of the City. He was anxious, because she was taking way too long, and in that pre-cell phone era, all you could do was sit and wait and bite your nails. She was in fact two hours overdue.

My brother paced in front of the window, lightning and thunder echoed through our house. My grandmother, more like a fixture than a member of this solemn group, embroidered in one corner of the room; lit by a single lamp.

My parents tried to offer hope, but my brother was full of reproach for himself, for not meeting her at the train station.

“She’ll be here soon.” My grandmother declared from her corner.
No one turned or said anything.

“…And she’ll be wearing something pink.” She added.

We turned and looked at her, half mystified, half believing. Not five minutes later the doorbell rings and my brother opens it. There, underneath those see through extra curvy umbrellas, was his girlfriend—wearing the only pink thing she owned in the world.

My grandmother had never met her, or talked to her. She didn’t know that my brother’s girlfriend disliked pink, and that this sweater was the only one she had.

My foretelling grandmother had a gift. She was wrong about a lot of things, but never about the future as she saw it through her gift.
Some say that these gifts get passed down, generation to generation…and they have.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


In 1831, French jurist, Alexis de Tocqueville, visited the United States with the aim to write a book about Democracy and culture. While he was here, he was impressed with how religion had no direct involvement in government, yet it shaped it most directly by way of personal conviction.

"America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." ("The 5,000-Year Leap" By W.Cleon Skousen P.84) De Tockqueville said. And I for one, agree whole heartedly.

We worry about our future, we worry about our children's future, but worry will not fix our problems. We will.

When I was finally allowed to become a citizen of this Country, I had pretty much been raised here. I attended high school in America and College, yet not once did I read the Constitution or the Declaration of Independance. It wasn't until I was faced with my Citizenship test that I had to study these most important charters.

I love this country and I honor the Founders for pledging their lives, their fortunes and their honor for our freedom. If we are to keep it, I firmly believe that we should heed the warning that Monseniour De Tocqueville issued so many years ago--by being good, and teaching our children to be good.

Whoever we are, whatever religion we might have, being good is a quest we must all share if we are to keep our freedom.

We may not be able to run for office, we might not have time to attend political rallies, but we can teach our children to be good and to read the Constitution.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day and Dia de los Muertos.

The Aztec Holiday known as "Dia de los Muertos" is celebrated in November, but its symbolism of remembering and honoring the dead, is akin to our own Memorial Day.

"The Aztecs and other Meso-American civilizations kept skulls as trophies and displayed them during the ritual. The skulls were used to symbolize death and rebirth.

"The skulls were used to honor the dead, whom the Aztecs and other Meso-American civilizations believed came back to visit during the month long ritual.

"[During the Colonization of Central America]...the Spaniards, viewed death as the end of life, [but] the natives viewed it as the continuation of life. Instead of fearing death, they embraced it. To them, life was a dream and only in death did they become truly awake."

I have always found these ancient, non-christian customs from other cultures very interesting. Though I do not claim to be a serious student of Theology, I find that the more we dig the closer world religions get. Sure... there are glaring differences, but I find it interesting that Aztecs thought of this life like a dream, and the next life as being truly awake. Basic Christian beliefs are, that this life is but one step in the great scheme of things. Thanks to Christ and his Resurrection we will all live again and be in essence "truly awake".

Read more:

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Vision

The first time I met Sapna, I thought, “Oh…she’s 25-27 yrs. tops.” But then she started talking about coming to the United States from India, in the 60’s! “What!” I thought, “That just can’t be right!” Somehow mother nature has blessed Sapna with immortal youth. She is also very spiritual, and that’s why I wanted to interview her.
Sapna, what is your religious background?
Do you believe that the spirit lives on after we die?
Have you had any experiences that have solidified this belief in spiritual life?
Most definitely, we feel that we are not the body but the spirit. We are just housed in this body to experience life and learn.
Do you believe that we existed before this life?
Yes. We have had many lives as we are recycled souls. We are born to learn from our mistakes and to then finally merge with God when we get it right! It can take many births before we realize this.
Have you had any experiences that have solidified this belief in spiritual life? If so, would you share it with us?
Yes, my father recently passed away and he lives in California and we live inTexas. He had been ill in the hospital and right before he passed away he came to me in Texas. I was sitting on a Tuesday morning waiting for my daughter to get out of a class and I was waiting in the car. All of a sudden I saw this man he looked like my dad and was standing in front of my car on a busy road and was carrying two bags. He dressed like him, walked like him and had the same mannerisms. He looked lost and was crossing the "road". I almost got out of the car and asked him if he needs help...but I didn't. I just kept praying that this man did not get hit by a car. I watched him walk across a busy road with many cars until he disappeared. I could not shake the feeling that it was my dad. I came home an hour later and there was a message on my machine from my mom that dad had passed. It is said that some souls either come to you in a dream or otherwise to tell you that they are leaving now. My husband and daughter have had dreams but I had this experience. I know it was his way of showing me that he was going to the other side which the "road" symbolized. I believe he did not get hit by a car because I was probably the only one that could see him.
Wow! That just gave me chills! What an amazing experience. Like Jen, who shared another amazing experience, these glimpses into eternity are meant to not only give us hope; but also to teach us something.
How do our lives change by knowing we have not only lived, but will continue to live on after this life? How are our relationships affected by this knowledge?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

True Heroes.

I was recently reading a blog about a lady that suffers from Bipolar Disorder. She made the comment that she believed that Satan had given her this torment. This was my comment to her.
“I actually disagree with you about why we have disorders or any other handicap. I obviously don’t think God gave them to us, but I don’t think Satan did either—he can’t.
I believe we chose them. Why would we choose them? Different reasons, why do we volunteer for anything that is hard? Why do we challenge ourselves? Why do we want to learn at all? I think that some of us (me not being one of them) were too strong, too bright, too brave in heaven—the heaven where we come from. I think that God asked for volunteers among those brave ones, and they raised their hands and said, “I will do it.” “I will come to earth and live with a handicap, because I can do it, I will endure it, will survive.” I believe that these brave ones did it, so the hardship didn’t fall on the rest of us
I have members of my family who were among those, who chose this in heaven; and I believe I signed up to help them, because I knew then that they were overachievers that always get in way over their head. So here I am… telling them that reality is very different from what they see—and that they need to trust me when I tell them, that they are great!”
I am certain that one day we will see them, and they will no longer be burdened by their challenges—whatever they were in life—and we will be able to see with awe how truly great they are. Our standing in the next life might just be more enjoyable if we can learn to treat those with disabilities with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Scent Freak

I firmly believe in Aromatherapy--as far as believing goes--I don't pray to it or anything.
I'm the type of person who is always burning scented candles, incense and essential oils.
But my passion for the right smell does not stop there...nooo. It spills over into other things, like body lotions, bath oils and salts, car air fresheners, room sprays, herbal tea blends, spices and as of late salad dressings! Yes... you heard me... .

I am a little bit of a witch when it comes to aroma therapy and herbal teas, I'm usually bent over a container mixing and blending until it smells just right. I'm a purist, I like the basic smells, and then I mix them. Like those Scentcy bars, I love those! I just bought a scent called Sugar and one called Enchanted Mist, mix them together and voila--a perfect clean house smell.

When I lock my bedroom door to do Yoga, I light an incense cone called Amber-Patchouli that sets the mood perfectly for relaxing and meditating.

Then when my kids have a cold I buy this super powerful Australian Eucalyptus oil called "Eucal" from ebay that clears the nasal passages of everyone within a mile radius.

So you can imagine how exited I got when I learned about this aromatherapy beauty secret from a friend of mine that is from India. She has a 7 year old daughter, who is beautiful and always smells so good! I asked my friend what Sumi was using that made her smell like an exotic wild flower. She said that in India, when you bathe your daughter you perform a ritual of rubbing them with scented olive oil. She said that she has a tray of essential oils and she just mixes them in a small glass container full of olive oil and--depending on how she wants Sumi to feel--creates the scent. On that particular day Sumi was wearing Geranium,Lavender and a little bit of Frankincense.

I was so thrilled! I have a ton of olive oil in my kitchen! It just never occurred to me to put it on my skin. It makes perfect sense though... olive oil on your skin and hair is one of the oldest tricks in the book--the Bible--that is.

Well... since then I have been mixing essential oils like crazy! Now I can mix them as I go. I just ask myself, "do I feel minty today, fruity, floral or earthy? Do I need to chill or to be energized?"

I also ventured out and put it on my hair one day(just the tips), and it took the frizz out!

...What can I say, I am a scent freak!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Guilty Pleasures

Why, you may ask is John Edwards a guilty pleasure?
I made the mistake of watching the show with my husband one time—big mistake. He would not let me enjoy it at all, he complained the whole time about how general this or that comment was and how he was fishing here or making it up there! He just took all the fun out of watching that show with him, so now the show has moved over to my long list of what I like to call “guilty pleasures”—not because I feel guilty for watching it alone, but because I don’t feel guilty!
The Ghost Whisperer is another such show, that I have to watch when he goes out of town. Add to that all the BBC shows that I love and now Twilight!
He has his own “guilty pleasures” shows—Man vs. Wild, Survivor Man or whoever those guys are that eat bugs and freeze to death in some remote part of the planet. Then he has the Mithbusters and Dirty Jobs, basically all the shows he loves to watch with the boys without the “euhs” and “yucks!” that he gets to hear from me.
…So why not, right? Why can’t John Edwards have a gift?
I guess part of me always wonders if he is for real or a total fraud. I lean toward believing in his gift… why not? Doesn’t the Bible say that we are all given gifts?

1 Corinthians 12: 7-10

While the jury is still out on John Edwards, I have to say that I do believe that some people have gifts. I have seen them in my family and friends. Prehaps you are gifted in some way?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

John Edward Special (2/5)

Jen's near death experience and spiritual journey.

About a year ago I had a liver cyst rupture and I almost bleed to death on my bathroom floor. I knew I was dying. I almost did die right in front of my 14 year old daughter. I had a near death experience in the hospital, I saw my Father in the emergency room, he has been dead for ten years now, I saw him come into the emergency while I was laying there deathly ill, I had been at the hospital emergency for about six hours waiting to see a Doctor and slowly bleeding to death which they hadn't yet figured out. My Dad looked good and just as I remembered him with his long beard and ponytail but he was different, he did look younger and healthier he was whole now. He didn't speak to me but he did communicate to me through body language and compassionate loving facial expressions and feelings, It was very comforting to see my Dad and it helped me. It seemed so normal and natural to see him sitting in the room with me. After my surgery I saw many other people on the other side. They were all around us in the hospital room. They are always with us. I had a nurse to my side whom only I could see, she was moving energies in my liver. I could could see her in my minds eye when I closed my physical eyes, I could see others this way too. I saw a black tunnel begin to materialize, I was so cool with it and I told nobody. I remember the feeling of total surrender and no resistance, I felt peace, no fear or attachment to this physical world.
The tunnel quickly disappeared. And I lived.
This is just a brief account of what I experienced. Now that I think about it, I have quite a few mystical experiences in my life. I think of them as little gems or gifts, they guide me and heal me. They polish the mirror of my soul.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Goose bumps

I love to hear stories that give you goose bumps, or that make the hairs on the back of your head stand on end.
More importantly I love to have those for myself. Not the creepy kind, the nice kind--like when I was sixteen and balling my head off in my bedroom because of some teenage drama that I can't even remember now. But what I do remember was the experience I had.
I was miserable, so I prayed. I wasn't kneeling, I was sitting on my bed in the fetal position, I had let loose and was sobbing like a mad woman--but still prayed.
Then I felt a hug.
I stopped sobbing and all my senses became keener. I strained my hearing and opened my eyes, expecting to see my mom there next to me.
But no... . I was alone.
By now I couldn't cry anymore and I tried to recall exactly what it was that I had just felt. It was a hug, a very real tangible hug--brief yes, but a hug none-the-less. I cannot deny it nor will I ever.