Goodness, gracious. This'll be a tough one for this ADD girl, but I'll try and sit down and focus for this interview. Thanks for asking. Although, having to narrow down my 'projects' to one 'project' is going to be the challenge. As a bit of an 'all over the place' kind of writer, I might just get a little fidgety as I force myself to answer these 10 great questions proffered forth to we who blog. But I will try.
Okay, brain - focus:
1. What are you currently working on?
My current project, HELP. . .I NEED A NEW FIG LEAF!
“Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh…” Encouraging stories for the descendants of Eve,was supposed to be ready for Christmas. Life happened and as a result my book manuscript didn't [happen]. But once again, I am excited to say that after this week I have set aside time to buckle down and work on my women's devotional.
2. Is it a new project or something you’ve been working on a while now?
HELP. . .I NEED A NEW FIG LEAF! is actually something I have been working on for a long time. A lot of the content is based on stories from my past - some that, although adapted for my book, appeared in my Sugar and Spice newspaper column which I wrote for over 11 years.
3. Is this a usual genre for you?
It's humorous. It's intention is to draw people closer to God. And it's based on my own kooky life, so yes, I guess I can say that it is usual for me to write in this genre. Although I do love writing for children as much as I love writing devotional material.
4. How did the idea come about?
Humor is a contagious emotion and a universal language. Laughter can bring unexpected gleams of joy and can break through the stresses and the hassles of the humdrum. As I wrote my columns for the secular paper over the years, I couldn't help thinking about all the scriptural analogies connected to my stories.
5. What do you want to accomplish by this writing?
I wrote Help…I Need a New Fig Leaf! for the Christian woman who needs to be encouraged and validated in her role and relationships, and to unite her with other women celebrating God’s gift of laughter. My prayer is that the reader is reassured that seemingly mundane tasks can be lifted to a spiritual level. There is nothing more reassuring to a wife and mother than to discover she is not alone in her experiences, wouldn't you say?
6. What is giving you joy or frustration at this time? Anything blocking the flow?
As per usual, time is my hindrance. I cannot believe how full my days are. I long to write full time. But priorities are what they are right now. I care for my elderly father so that takes up a lot of time - although I am happy to do so and thrilled that my almost 88 year old poppa bear is still up and running. I truly am blessed so I hesitate to complain too much about things. Like a friend of mine keeps reminding me, there are seasons in our lives. . .
Once I sit down to write, words flow like spring sap. All I need to do is to make the time to tap the tree. Things are looking hopeful. I have a few speaking events in May so with some good management I can do some focussed work on HELP. . .!
7. What are you discovering about how the writing is unfolding? Is it a surprise?
Even though many of these stories had their beginnings years ago, I am surprised each time by the freshness of the message. God is good. His Word is real. I love it when scripture jumps out at me and I can say 'Yup! That's it! That's the one that matches what I want to share.
8. Please share a paragraph or two to give us a teaser?
SHOPPING FOR TROUBLE
People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, He was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And He took the children in His arms and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16
The long awaited weekend finally arrived. Shopping in the city with my delightful children promised fun, frivolity and pleasurable purchases. I had two children, two hands, a full tank of gas and money to spend; all was well with the world.
The half-hour drive to the city gave me an opportunity to proffer wisdom and reminders about honoring and obeying. I was certain God was pleased with my approach. Both little darlings nodded in agreement at my instruction and vowed to get along and listen.
Our shopping expedition was underway. As we strolled near a ladies’ wear store, a rack of marvelous sale merchandise beckoned me to take a peek. I took the bait and began fumbling through the fine array of fashionable styles.
There had to be more inside, I deduced. We entered the trendy store and I whispered clear directives to my tagalong twosome about staying close and keeping hands off the merchandise. I headed to a rack of shimmering dresses. “Mommy…I need to go to the bathroom badly!’ a little voice soon called out.
Sharply dressed sales clerks stared at me, no doubt wondering what I would do. The old bathroom excuse was my son’s finest tactic for getting me to hurry up, but it wasn’t going to work this time. I needed a few more minutes to look around. “You’ll have to wait…” I whispered and resumed my browsing.
Moments later I saw my smiling son come strolling out of an employees only door. “See. There is a restroom, Mommy.” I reiterated my earlier command to join his sister on the bench outside the fitting rooms.
A sales clerk with a pasted on smile handed me a number and, clutching two stunning outfits, I entered a fitting room close to the bench where my fidgeting pair sat.
I had barely struggled to get out of my clothes when the flimsy door burst open. “I wanna’ see, too!” My son’s voice bounced off the walls of the posh store. I inadvertently let out a scream. There I stood, red-faced in my underwear. All heads turned my way. I hauled the culprit into the now cramped change room and with gritted teeth strongly advised him to never do that again.
After a difficult struggle in the tiny cubicle (complete with son) I managed to try on one of the outfits. I stepped outside the room to see if the mirror did me any justice. “They look like pajamas!” my daughter laughed. “Sshhh!” I hissed noticing eyes upon me again. I nipped back into the room with son in tow.
It was my daughter’s turn to get restless. She had spotted a circular revolving rack heavily laden with ‘just in’ designer clothing. I walked out of the fitting room in time to see the entire rack whiz around and fall to the floor. Fancy apparel flew in every direction. I could have screamed. My daughter did.
A thousand apologies later and short of placing sin offerings at the feet of the fuming sales clerks, I left - without frock or finery. I now had the undivided attention of the partners in crime and they could tell momma bear was not happy. “D’we hafta’ go home now?” a sheepish voice sensed the impending doom.
As I contemplated the purchase of two collars and one short leash, my heart softened. How many times had I gone to God with a sheepish voice and how many times had He forgiven me? Too often I have embarrassed God with thoughtless words and foolish choices. Yet He still loves me despite my imperfections and foibles.
In Psalm 127:3 we are reminded that children are a heritage from the Lord and are to be counted as blessings not burdens.
Relief was written on the faces of my dynamic duo and I was
especially happy when we read the sign in the next window -
CHILDREN WELCOME. I’m sure they’ll have that same
sign on the gates of heaven!
9. When do you plan to have it completed?
Well, a long time ago I sheepishly asked Phil Callaway if he might consider reading my manuscript for a possible endorsement. He said he would. Therefore, I will be shooting to get it done before the Inscribe Fall Conference in September - I'm going and so is Phil!
10. Anything else you’d like to add?
Thanks for listening. Happy writing.