Mrs. Covington’s Here!

Mrs. Covington’s here! Behave yourself. She’ll be watching!

 

Video made with Animato.com

 

Ladies and Gentlemen: We Have A Title!

Ladies and Gentlemen: We have a title! You will recall how I was bemoaning – wait, I’m not sure that’s the right word – puzzled? No. Frustrated? Mmm, no. It’s that state of being where you know something isn’t right, but are having trouble knowing how to fix it. What is that? Well, whatever it is, it’s fixed!

And, Rhonda Jensen, you have earned yourself a free, autographed copy of my new book¬†fresh off the presses (when those presses print it ūüôā )¬†for your terrific suggestion! Yes, indeed. My publisher agreed to use the title, Mrs. Covington’s Sunday School Dropouts.¬†¬†003

I’m looking forward to August when it will be published! To whet your reading¬†appetites, I will tell you that each chapter begins with something the main character has said to her students. Here’s a sample:

Peter said, ‚ÄėLord, you know that I love you.‚Äô and then Jesus said, ‚ÄėTake care of my sheep.‚Äô Peter knew sheep were stupid and stubborn and could smell up the sheep pen, so he knew Jesus wasn‚Äôt saying this just because it had a pretty ring to it. No, Brandon, no one ever, ever adequately anticipates the clean up.

And so begins the clean up…

So Hallelujah and pass the coffee! I’m doing a little happy dance here in the hobbit-sized study where I write. I hope your day holds something as exciting for you as a new book title is for me!

Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It

Conundrum. That’s what I have. Maybe you can help.

I wrote a book that is set to be published the first week of August. There’s just one problem. I’m not crazy about the title. It’s a book about an old Sunday School teacher who gets a bit miffed when she realizes the number of her former students who no longer go to church. She decides to track them down. I love the thought of a Sunday School teacher tracking down her students. I mean, think about it.

Anyway, she and her cousin (everyone needs someone who makes trouble more fun) find themselves in places they would not otherwise be¬†but for this “project”. There are some subplots, of course: a town parade she has to chair (she lives in a town with some admittedly quirky traditions), a shady businessman involved in some unscrupulous dealings,¬†and a little family trouble. Oh, and there’s some found money involved.

The main character’s name is Cathy Covington. Her cousin’s name is Andi. I initially titled it Mrs. Covington’s Sunday School Class. I know. Not terribly riveting. Naming things is not one of my fortes. My publisher is thinking we’ll call it Mrs. Covington Calls Roll. If that title isn’t going to change, at least you have something to do on your snow/cold day.

Here’s something you need to know. When you sign a publishing contract, the publisher gets to make the big decisions. You can put in your two cents, but those final choices belong to the company store. However, I’d love to hear from you if you have any brilliant ideas for a title. I mean, really. Any readership that hits a high mark for my 2014¬†post entitled In Defense of Juan Pablo is admittedly in touch with popular culture.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to think of a title that will make this book jump off the shelves! This blog will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck.

Quotes and youtube clip: Mission Impossible, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA2KmJMKFrQ

 

Labor of Love

Labor Day was initiated to celebrate the laborer, to give the hard-working person a day off. I wonder how many of us use the long weekend that is a result to catch up on the work that we don’t have time for because of other work (work, in the non-scientific, cultural definition¬†being something most people would say is doing something for monetary payment)? And then there are times when the work done is not¬†paid in dollars, may not be noticed at all, and may not be defined by some as work,¬†but is time spent to help someone or some group and is noticed only by the angels – a labor of love.

The project I’m sharing with you today is certainly not a paid project. However, it is time spent to make life a little more interesting for those around me. Some years ago, I painted a checkerboard on our picnic table. Years passed, rain and snow fell, little animals scampered, and it grew¬†in obvious need of a little facelift. Ha. I’d forgotten the math involved, which makes this work even more a matter of love than it was originally.¬†So here is my little labor of love from last week. I hope you find one to do, too; even if the only witnesses are the angels.

001002I’m loving you right now because you’re reading this post written by a person I will generously describe as a non-crafter. My art teacher made sounds like exploding bombs when he looked at my drawing using perspective. I was in 7th grade. I haven’t changed that much. We all have our own aptitudes, but, you know, it’s good to stretch horizons, isn’t it? Let my weaknesses be your inspiration!

I bought a sander. I know, I can’t believe it either; but it was so helpful in sanding the original paint from the picnic table! I then measured the length and width of the table to get an idea of how big to make the checkerboard since I wasn’t sure I trusted the notes I’d taken before I¬†began the project, and¬†I’d sanded the other one off. *Welcome to my world.

I concluded I’d make a twenty-five inch square. Ta da!

003Okay, this is where it gets tricky, and to make it even trickier, I inadvertently threw away my notes before I wrote this blog entry¬†*, so if you actually want to try this, you’ll have to do the math yourself. However, maybe this will help: I marked every 3 1/8 inches. Then I taped with masking tape in order to make a checkerboard. In other words, along your border tape, mark every 3 1/8 inch.

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I measured for 3 inch squares, 8 across and eight down. I decided to just leave the squares that would be black on an original checkerboard unpainted. This is a picture after I moved the tape to accommodate the painting of squares the row down from the ones painted. The width of the tape must be taken into consideration when marking for painting. No, I can’t explain what I just said any better. You’re on your own. We’re supposed to be sitting by a fire talking here (see “welcome” page), so let’s leave specific project details to crafters, shall we? I’m not a visual arts genius (see “about me” page), so none of us should be surprised here. (Sing Kum Ba Ya and then continue.) The first time I did this years ago, I used a brush. This time I used a sponge. It looks better this way.

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Here it is: my labor of love, otherwise known as a checkerboard painted on our picnic table.

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011I painted twelve rocks red and twelve brown, turned them over and painted a cross on the other side to use as the king. Make your own religious conclusions here.

 

 

 

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There you go. A labor of love to enjoy on warm summer evenings and cool autumn days. King me!

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I’M HAPPY

Just because you’re late to the party, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it.

Growing up, I just naturally wrote poetry, like some people like to tinker with things or others like to cook or draw.¬†I’d put¬†my poems¬†on tag board and tack it to the wall or write in a little notebook or on¬†scraps of paper. All¬†eventually were lost or thrown away, though a few are still in my memory. When I had children, I’d make up stories for them. Those stories got told and retold.¬†Eventually, I wrote some of them down. Much later, in my 40’s, I started writing novel-length¬†stories.

I eventually began submitting book proposals and got some form letters and other encouraging, lovely rejection letters. It’s neither lovely nor encouraging being rejected. Then I would just give up for a while, but I kept writing. There are many good stories in this world that never get published.

I recently submitted a book again and had two publishing houses still considering my book when I was offered a publishing contract by a third publisher.

I’m pleased, so pleased to announce that my contemporary fiction¬†novel will be released on August 3, 2015!

I¬†am learning¬†things about marketing and technology that are more than a little daunting to me, but I’m hopeful I’ll get over it. If you’d like to do a book review (it never hurts to start thinking ahead),¬†let me know. I will keep you updated about this new journey either on my Facebook Author page or here on my blog. In fact – and let’s put this in the ‘you’re never done being surprised’ column –¬†Like me on Facebook! ūüôā¬†I invite you to join me in this journey.¬†Soli Deo Gloria. Get HAPPY!!!

P.S. Go ahead and clap, snap, or dance. No one’s watching. Most of our dreams are awaiting heaven’s arrival to take shape, but¬†you have¬†here and now to¬†think about some crazy dream you’d like to chase. Dreams are crazy only to those who don’t share them.

video: https://www.youtube.com Happy by Pharrell Williams