A Little Ordinary Miracle

2010-09-06 08.50.16I sat down, fingers poised to write the story about what happened last week. But then I remembered what I said at choir…

So we had this choir retreat–a long day of getting back together after a long summer break–and I raised my hand and said I wanted to tell a quick story, something that had just happened to me.

Now if you know me, you know I’m not very good at telling quick stories. I mean, I tend to have little asides and a big build-up, not to mention the occasional backstory. It’s a gift. Anyway, I told my story, and as I was heading back to my seat, I said, “Now, that’s a Chicken Soup for the Soul story!”

Yep, everyone agreed that it’d make a great Chicken Soup story. And then I forgot about the story till just this minute when I thought about sharing it with you. When bam! The Chicken Soup memory came to me and a little voice said, “Maybe you should check the website, just in case.”

I haven’t sent anything in to Chicken Soup in forever, and the last story I sent in hasn’t gone anywhere. But hope springs eternal and all that so I checked out the Possible Topics page and saw this:

Miracles and More 
When Good Things Happen to Good People
All of us have experienced events in our lives that are completely unexplainable: the strange premonition that made you take a different route home only, causing you to miss an accident; the eerie feeling that you should call home… now, saving someone’s life; the mysterious communication from a loved one who has passed on. Angels, divine timing, miraculous coincidences, answered prayers, premonitions that come true. Good things do happen to good people. Please share your unbelievable and amazing stories about the unexplainable events that have occurred to you. Share the awe, the faith, and the wonder with our readers. The deadline date for story and poem submissions is August 31, 2017.

Okay, whoa. My story was one of those completely inexplicable things, an unbelievable story or miraculous coincidence if you will. So I’m afraid I won’t be sharing it here with you today. I’ve got to write it up and send it in to Chicken Soup. You saw that deadline date.

And this whole thing right here? A last minute checking of the Chicken Soup website and seeing exactly the topic I needed? It could almost be a “Miracles and More” story, too. 

Just sayin’. The world’s one miracle after another, if you know where to look.

(And P.S. Maybe you have one, too. Send it in!)

When Irony Slaps You in the Face


pexels-photo-164661So this morning, I was paying bills. Naturally, I was already in a foul humor because finances and addition and subtraction and such is not really my strong suit, right? And then I came to my cable bill and I was like, “ALL right, enough!” And I snatched up my phone and vehemently punched in the 800 number.

I waited patiently–yes, I was patient–for a helpful cable person. In this case, Andre.

Me: Hello, Andre. (I started out very politely.) I’m wondering why I pay more for my cable THAN ANYONE ELSE I KNOW. (It took a very sudden turn to not-so-polite.)

Andre: Well, let’s just check your cable bill, shall we?

(Lots of other side comments were made. But eventually Andre found me a “deal”.)

Andre: So you’ll get three services and pay less than what you’re paying now for two! Does that sound like something you’d like?

Me: Why, yes, Andre, it does, indeed. Although I don’t need that third service. So what would that special price be, after we add fees and taxes and such?

Andre (figuring quietly): Ah! It’s only this little amount!

Me: Andre, that’s only twenty bucks or so less than what I’m paying now. Call me crazy, but I could go with a different service (One that streams, once I figure out all that streaming stuff) for about A HUNDRED DOLLARS LESS.

Andre (who did not skip a beat): So will you be switching to this new and improved package plan?

Me: *sigh*

I did not switch. At some point during the next month, I will be researching my options. In the meantime, perhaps you’d like to take a look at my Muffin post today (and here’s where the irony comes in, dear friends, because I wrote this long before my little chat with Andre) called, “The Writing and Cable Company Connection.”


Momma Said There’d Be Days Like This

Ever want to do something–just a simple something–and it morphs into this complicated something?

Yeah, I’m having that kind of day. And it’s not even lunch yet.

It started with a package that’s being delivered. After 20 minutes of signing up, logging in, tracking down, and practically promising my first-born Junior Hall, I still only know that the package will arrive by 8 PM.

And then I just wanted to show you my latest Darakwon book. And I found a swell picture of the book on a Korean website (a book site, I think. I mean, I don’t speak Korean but there was a price in big bold numbers. Funny, isn’t it? Price tags are recognizable in any language.) But the website wouldn’t allow me to copy or download the picture of the book. So then I had to track down the book around here, and of course my camera battery was dead, so I had to track down my cell phone to take the picture. And that’s a whole new adventure, y’all. Just to show you this:


Yeah, I’m going extra-large. Because it’s been that kind of day.

(I’m taking my car to be serviced next. Wish me luck.)

Off the Grid and Off on a Tangent

2011-08-02 03.05.19Y’all already know about the epiphany I had when I returned from the beach, but I fine-tuned it a bit and shared over at the Muffin today in The Off the Grid Pay-off.

If I’m being perfectly honest, I’m finding it downright difficult to make the lifestyle changes that I know I should.

I’m still reading my paper every morning, even though I’ve watched Lester Holt on the news the night before and know most of the important stuff. But if I skip the paper, then I’d miss finding out about some pretty interesting things in the world. Like the 86-year-old jewel thief who’s been arrested yet again. At Wal-Mart.

And though I am dashing through my emails these days, I just can’t help reading/watching one or two of those emails about the wacky, weird, and wonderful world out there. Which would be fine, except that then I Google more about the wacky, weird, or wonderful subject of the email because dang, y’all. It’s just so interesting!

The Internet–and all of our electronics–have sucked us in and I don’t think there’s any going back. I mean, we have kids who’ve never used a card catalog, who’ve never experienced the hours of  joy/tedium of the Periodical Index, who probably don’t even know the word “microfiche.” But they sure know their way around the Internet.

I don’t know whether to be alarmed…or jealous.

Or maybe, just maybe, this is the way our parents felt when we disdained typewriters for word processors, network TV for Netflix, driving our own cars for car-driving services.


So where was I? Oh, yeah. The Internet and how there’s a payoff when you go off the grid. Stay strong, friends, and may you find plenty of writing time this summer!

SUCH a Good Book!

I’ve been…oh dear,what’s the word?

Oh, yeah, now I remember. Lazy.

Judy Fogarty bookSo today, I made a Very Serious To Do List because I did not want another 24 hours to go by without sharing a great summer read with you. The title is Breaking and Holding which, once you read the book, you’ll see is a very clever title. But for now, I’ll add that tennis plays a big part in the story and isn’t it serendipitous that Wimbledon’s going on?

Judy Fogarty is the lovely author and I met her when I was down at the beach. She came out for an afternoon chat and I learned all about her publisher (Lake Union Publishing, in the Amazon family), her writing group (a hard-working and well-published bunch!) and all about her journey to publication (a long road with a nicely successful ending).

I hadn’t quite finished the book when we met, but I’d read enough to know how much I liked it. Judy calls it a romance at heart–and it is–but it’s so much more.

Breaking and Holding is a beautifully written novel, a compelling literary debut. Whether on the South Carolina resort beaches or the high-rise advertising boardrooms of New York, you’ll be lost in this story of love and passion, deceptions and truths, of control and breaking free.

It’s a delightful bonus that the story takes place in the 1970s, a golden age of tennis, and a time when Mister Man and I played–and watched–a ton of tennis. I felt 20-something again, and I’m not going to lie: that’s quite a feat!

And it’s quite a feat to keep a reader like me, who’s not exactly a fan of romance, turning the pages. I think the book is classified as women’s fiction, but I hope you don’t let a label keep you from grabbing up this book. Because whatever it’s called–romance, women’s fiction, contemporary adult–it’s a thrilling ride with an authentic cast of well-developed characters. And a perfectly wonderful novel, guaranteed to jumpstart your summer reading.

Especially if you’ve been…oh, what’s that word again?

Yeah. You know what I’m talking about.