Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Computer Misfit vs. Technology

I should have been born in the 1800's. I think I'm allergic to computers. Either that or I have some sort of electromagnetic field that I give off that jams them from functioning properly for me, but they do just fine for everyone else. I have had a number of friends comment via e-mail that they can not leave comments on my blog. I have pushed every button, enabled every field, even leaving it open to spam in hopes of getting that little "comment" word to show up at the bottom of my posts. It used to. Take a look at my earlier blogs. The only thing I can think of is that when I started to use my fancy background it somehow interfered with the ability to leave a comment. I don't want to wiped it out to find out. That took forever to get it to stick (and then I had to recruit the help of my 13 year old daughter to help.

I'm pathetic, I know, but if anyone can give me some tips I would appreciate it. I'm going to try one more time to enable my comment ability. If you want to lend help, but still can leave a comment, try my e-mail.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Quick Book Review: The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum

If you liked Twilight, you'll love this book. It has the same teen and romance elements, but I felt a lot stronger plot and character development. The fantasy element was more believeable. You know it is a fantasy because there is no such thing as time travel, but she does it in a way that the fantasy element does not blare in your face with its ficticious element. Because she is a debut author I could detect some of the pitfalls that new writers often succomb to, such as the over use of adverbs and lengthy superflous descriptions. But if I were not a writer I would have never noticed these flaws. They didn't distract from the story.

This review would not be complete without mentioning the response of my 13 year old daughter. She is an absolute Twilight fan. I recomended this book to her. She read it in two day and has now listed it in her top three favorite books of all time, (and she is an avid reader). Her favorite book/books is the Twilight series. Her second is A Walk to Remember, by Nickolus Sparks, and her third now is The Hourglass Door. If you happen to read this review Lisa (fat chance), then you should feel good, and give yourself kudos for ranking up there with such famous authors.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Story about Cookies . . . and Life

The following is an awesome story I heard a few months ago. A day or so ago I recieved it as part of a newsletter from our commercial real estate broker. I liked it so much I thought I would pass it on. (Please note that I typed it in as written in the newsletter. As a writer, the liberal use of exclaimation marks made me a bit squeamish, but the message in the story compensated for them).

It is entitled simply, The Cookies.

A young lady was waiting for her flight in the boarding room of a big airport. As she would need to wait many hours, she deieded to buy a book to spend her time. She also bought a packet of cookies. She sat down in an armchir, in the VIP room of the airport, to rest and read in peace.

Beside the arm chir where the packet of cookies lay, a man sat down in the next seat, opening his magazine and started reading. When she took out the first cookie, the man took one also. She felt irritated but said nothing. She just thought: "What nerve! If I was in the mood, I would punch him for daring!" For each cookie she took, the man took one too. This was infuriating her but she didn't want to cause a scene.

When only one cookie remained, she thought: "What is this man to do mow?" Then, the man, taking the last cookie, divided it into half, givging her one half. Ah! That was too much! She was much too angry now! In a huff, she took her book, her things and stormed to the boarding gate. When she sat down in her seat, inside the plane, she looked into her purse to get her eyeglasses, and, to her surprise, her packet of cookies was there, untouched, unopened!

She felt so ashamed! She realized that she was wrong . . .she had forgotten that her cookies were in her purse. The man had divided his cookies with her, without feeling angered or bitter . . . while she was dividing her cookies with him. And now there was no chance to explain herself or to apologize.

There are some things that you cannot recover:
The stone . . . after it's thrown.
The word . . . after it's said.
The time . . . after it's gone.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Joan of Arc, a Woman of Courage and Faith

Less than two years ago Joan of Arc was nothing more to me than some historical figure that got burned at the stake. The mention of her name affected me about as much as a five mile per hour breeze on an August afternoon. Ignorance is not bliss.
When my neighborhood book club read Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc by Mark Twain it was as if a gale force wind engulfed me. Her story stirred something inside of me. Now the mention of her name evokes passion and a desire to speak up and tell others of the amazing young life of this courageous girl.
I say courageous rather than brave—for many think of her as brave, leading armies into battle against insurmountable odds—because of what she did before her infamous storming of bastilles. What she did required much more than bravery. Bravery implies fearlessness in meeting danger. Courage means dealing with something difficult instead of withdrawing from it. She received communication from God and acted upon it with pure child-like faith, nothing wavering. That took tremendous courage.
Imagine yourself in her shoes. How would you react if God asked you to leave your family, go in search for a disinherited king in enemy territory, persuade him to let you lead his demoralized army against a parasitic military power that is taking over your country, and then promise to be victorious within a few months time—and help the king gain his rightful crown to boot? I would dare say you would be more qualified than her, having an education and living in a day when women are recognized as something more than a free servant or a step above the livestock
I know how I would react; shun the impossible task. I would not have the courage to do what God asked of me. I would lack the faith.
She was an unschooled peasant girl of seventeen who never stepped foot out of her home village of Domremy, and filled her days by tending sheep. But when the call came she did not doubt her worth in God’s eyes. She did not doubt God’s power to accomplish His task, even if His chosen vessel appeared in the view of the world as the most unlikely candidate for the job.
She believed that with God all things were possible. Her willingness to listen to God and follow in faith inspired me with a desire to improve my own ability to do this.
The inspiration of Joan’s story didn’t stop there.
As I read the book, often a question arose in my mind. Why did God care so much about France that He had to send this young girl to save it from the clutches of the English? Throughout time hundreds of countries had been taken over by their neighbors. Why was this conflict any different?
And then the answer came. It slipped into my thoughts, starting as a quiet whispering, then spreading through my entire body with an “ah-ha” realization of truth. France needed to remain free so they could help America to be free. And America needed to be free so that God could re-establish the truth of His gospel once again on the earth.
What I gained from Joan’s story moved me such that I shelved the idea of the book I was writing and started on a new one. I needed to tell Joan’s story in a way that would reach young readers. That is the impetus for my current work in progress, Literary Loom. This manuscript has pulled me further into Joan’s life, as well as other great figures in history, and enlightened me as to God’s hand in history.
Thank you, Joan, for your story.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Combat Arthritis: cut out refined foods

I promised I would eat better this week. Well, the first of the week I started out with a bang. Big salads with lots of healthy greens for lunch or a freshly juiced glass of carrot apple juice, that was Monday and Tuesday. Immediately my knees started feeling better.

Let me backtrack for a minute. Last January I went in for a bit of same day surgery. I had a torn miniscus on my left knee. It seemed like forever before the pain went a way and I could walk again for fun. Just as my knee started to feel somewhat normal, I moved my business. I over-worked my knees, along with bumping them around more than was good. It sent my knees back to how they felt in January.

Now you might be thinking, hey, I thought she said she had surgery on only one knee. Why is she suddenly refering to pain in both of them. Well, my other knee has been diagnosis with arthritis.

Now comes the cool part. Both knees have started feeling better immediately upon illiminating refined foods from my diet and increasing the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables. The latter part of the week I attended a paraeducator's conference in Salt Lake City, where I sold some puppets left over from my previous business. It's hard to eat good when you sit all day in a hotel conference room selling stuff. The pain in my knees has returned to some degree.

I'm thinking the knee that had surgery is maybe succumbing to arthritis. The doctor said it should be healed from surgery by now. I have heard that there is a correation between nutrition and the natural cortizone that your body produces. I'm going to try again this week to eat lots of fresh food and illiminate the junk. We'll see how my knees are doing next week.