As school resumes preschool through college, I am anticipating getting into substitute teaching.
I’m also looking back on our road trip to Thief River Falls, Minnesota, for an all- school reunion. I have never been back for any of my class reunions and next year marks 40 years since I graduated. UGH!
This gathering afforded a great opportunity to drag my husband to my hometown to meet some old pals. I had plenty of friends in high school, but most of them graduated before me and I only hung out with two girlfriends in my grade.
I hoped to connect with others from my year and maybe begin as adults. I sat expectantly at my grade level table. I walked around and searched nametags, hoping to find more from my year. I found a neighbor I grew up with.
But as pictures were taken by decade and then singled out into years, our class had a dismal showing of only 11, compared to older classes with enough members to pack a grandstand. The older groups seemed to have stayed in touch, as they were hugging, laughing and having a great time.
The few from ’83 invited my BFF and me to the VFW to hang out and have dinner, but when we arrived, they were nowhere to be found, so we sat with our older friends.
When I got up, who should be sitting behind us in the darkened and noisy room but our classmates. My bubble of hope burst with disappointment. They were just inches away. Some things never change.
My BFF reminded me our class never had connections like the ones I was witnessing from the older graduates. Yes, we are adults, but sometimes as the parade of time marches on, there are still others sitting on the sidewalks, watching it pass them by.
Betrayed by his fiancée and best friend, he left forever. When Jake Reynolds left Archer Springs, Texas, in June 1957, he planned to return at the end of the summer, but that was before he found out his best friend and his fiancée had eloped together. Devastated and betrayed, he never returned to his hometown.
Fast forward twenty-five years. Jake receives a letter from a local land developer stating the property willed to him by his aunt and uncle will be destroyed and used for other purposes unless he returns and sells the land and house. A long-ago promise to his aunt and uncle that he would always keep the property in the family comes back to haunt him.
Now he needs to return and keep his promise, but that means coming face to face with the two people who betrayed him twenty-five years ago.
Vickie Phelps is a native Texan and has been writing since 1988. She loves to mentor other writers and in 2009 founded the East Texas Christian Writer’s Group which meets monthly for the purpose of encouraging and instructing writers in their pursuit of publication.
When she’s not writing, Vickie loves nothing more than reading a good book or discussing them with other readers. She spent eighteen years working for an independent bookstore, first as a bookseller, then as manager and buyer for the store. She retired from the store in 2012 and writes fulltime from her home in the piney woods of East Texas.
If you like romance filled with suspense, then this book is for you. As I got involved with the characters’ lives, the historical setting of morals and values made me long for simpler times when your word was your word and sweethearts fell in love and were committed to each other no matter what.
It’s a little bit historical romance mixed with modern troubles. It becomes a page-turner as trouble compounds from the size of a lit match to a raging inferno.
Prepare to anticipate the unthinkable as good and evil battle due to miscommunication and assumptions from years gone by.
As I visit my BFF from high school who lives in Wisconsin, I realize she lives just a few minutes from the lake mentioned in this book, Nebagamon.
I am so excited – no; I’m jumping-up-and-down thrilled – because for the first time ever reviewing a book, I can actually go to the place it talks about. Lake Nebagamon is a real place, not a fictional location made up by the author of the book I’m enjoying. This is non-fiction at its best.
When things like this happen, they are called a “God-wink” because I don’t believe in coincidences.
It’s a refreshing read. Every page I turned brought me thoughtful delight and encouragement, not only with scripture, but also design. This book is eye-pleasing in every way, as each page flows into the next story.
It’s a devotional you won’t want to wait for the next day to read and you will not want to put it down. Marci Seither has crafted a masterpiece from her heart. It’s the perfect devotional to supplement anyone’s personal quiet time.
It’s full of resources. Lakeside Retreat will add relaxing and thoughtful personal lake-time stories, scriptures, and prayers as well as surprise additions like games, crafts, recipes and even emergency supply bag suggestions to sustain you for 72 hours.
What other devotional can you name that comes packed with so much information and fun?
Marci, I LOVE this book and can’t wait to share it with my lake-loving friends.
We’ve been in Tennessee about five months now. With all our combined health issues, I knew that the transition from one type of healthcare to the next would not be easy. We stored up our prescriptions and supplies just in case things took longer.
It takes many different supplies to keep my medical equipment running properly. If I run out of one (and I did) it messes up the whole system and blood sugars get out of control quickly.
In California, our healthcare came from one system, with most offices and services located in the same building or not far away. With our new insurance, my healthcare is spread out around our city. I have more freedom to choose which doctors I see, but not how my diabetes is cared for.
I’ve been longing for a new diabetes treatment system, but my insurance keeps denying the request. I refuse to give up. I’ve been with the same system for 27 years and its time for a change. I’m ready to go tubeless!
“Mom, your blood sugar is getting high.” Aiden is concerned because my blood sugars have gone crazy while trying to work out new insurance issues, I don’t have access to my doctor as readily as I had before.
Every diabetic knows that they are the one who best knows how to regulate their diabetes. We cannot be put in a box, even by insurance. I feel like David up against Goliath, but I will continue to fight for the kind of treatment I know will benefit me best and keep me healthy for years to come.
In the words from one of my favorite sci-fi movie spoofs, “Never give up! Never surrender!”
If you could ask Jesus only one question, what would it be?
As an adult I can’t think of just one question I would ask. However, the little girl in my latest book knows exactly what she wants to ask Jesus.
How it began…
Whenever I tell the story of how this picture book came about, I feel the presence of God fill me. At a writing conference ten years ago, this story was an idea pitched to a Focus on the Family editor who said the words every writer loves to hear, “Send it in. I want it.”
It was published in Clubhouse Jr Magazine in 2013 with full-color illustrations.
The gift of a talented illustrator
In May of 2021 at a women’s conference, I read the story on talent show night and received a standing ovation. Afterwards, an artist, Kerstin Fletcher, approached me and said she wanted to illustrate my book.
Since publication in the magazine, I’d always dreamed of it becoming a picture book and in God’s perfect timing, here it is:
How were the illustrations done?
The illustrations are made with watercolor, one of my favorite art mediums, and then converted to digital files. Kerstin Fletcher painstakingly spent hours developing them.
To get the initial ideas, she gathered church attenders and they posed in costume by her direction. Can you imagine young children standing still for long periods of time so Kerstin could get the pose she is looking for?
I’m so grateful for her talent that makes this “book of my heart” come to life, beyond my greatest dreams.
My Question for Jesus is available on Amazon in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle versions.
I remember that feeling from the very first conference I attended back in 2008. I wanted to turn the car around and go home, despite the beauty of the mountains surrounding us.
Why did I feel this way? I’ve been attending conferences for more than 15 years. I am certainly not inexperienced. Maybe it was the three-year break due to COVID or maybe it was because I am in need of some serious change as a writer.
As things got started and the first general session’s speaker began, my exuberance bubbled out. I couldn’t help but shout a few “amens.” Afterwards a writer turned around and told me how she appreciated hearing them and she gave me a beautiful card and pen.
I met up with a friend from Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.
To be truthful, it reminded me of my first conference: navigating a new campus, figuring out what workshops to take, and making appointments. But this time, the appointments were with old friends.
Needless to say, the nerves went away quickly. And thanks to my praying friends and time on my knees, the conference is now a priority for me, not only to attend, but to be involved in.
God gave me some divine appointments, including one with the director of the conference just as we were preparing to leave.
God is making all things new. Keep praying for me and the future of my writing. I will always keep you posted.
Childbirth is hard, but so is publishing a book. The fun part is writing; the hard part is refining, editing, communicating, cover art, and many other things that a reader may not realize happens before they hold the hard copy in their hands and turn the first page.
Most authors must do all the marketing themselves. I recently enjoyed marketing by sharing a booth with a family friend at a local fair.
I loved talking to interested readers and making connections which I hope will turn into speaking engagements.
The Rocky-as-Elvis prop drew interest, and I had a few posers.
One had to show off her Elvis tattoo.
Yes, It’s hard work to be a writer, but I love my dream career. No matter what pains I must go through, I am going to keep bringing my writing babies into the world.
If you have ever been to summer camp, I guarantee you will enjoy the Rubber Band’s newest adventure. I couldn’t resist writing this light-hearted, fun-filled, nonstop adventure for the band (but not without its serious message that I am hoping will encourage strength in my readers).
One week at Bible camp was always the highlight of my summer, giving me something to look forward to.
I’m on the far right, in the smiley-face t-shirt.
The week always ended too soon for me. Fresh out of high school, I flew to Southern California and worked as a counselor for inner-city kids at a Salvation Army camp in Malibu.
Me with campers, circa 1987.
It was so much fun that I worked three more summers at various camps on the East Coast and then two more back in Malibu. It was inevitable I would write about the experiences.
Although this is a fictional story, some of it is based on reality. Bearskin Meadow Diabetes Camp does exist and some of the names I used are real people who have given me permission to honor them and what they do. Becca’s exaggerated outdoor adventure camp is, however, purely non-existent and based only on my imagination.
I have many fun and crazy stories of my camp experiences, and I’d love to hear your stories of summer camp.
This book has come into my life at the most appropriate time. My life has been turned upside down, packed up, moved out and on to new things, thousands of miles away from my normal life, permanently.
In the process, I am hurting and struggle every day. Dr. Michelle Bengtson’s book, Today is Going to Be a Good Day: 90 Promises from God to Start Your Day Off Right, has come to my rescue.
Dr. Michelle has been struggling with cancer, which has caused major health issues for months. Yet through her ongoing pain, she published a book to encourage and uplift its readers.
Dr. Michelle’s strength through a difficult trial, in and of itself, should inspire us. But she has opened her heart and bared her soul to share personal thoughts she kept through her days of painful struggles.
I have been reading her book daily and love how she includes scripture and a suggested piece of music to listen to. I find myself singing the song and if I’m not familiar with it, I will look it up. Christian music always lifts my spirits.
What is really cool is I already had a reminder on my wall about having a good day.
Dr. Michelle’s book is compact, making it easy to tuck into in a purse or briefcase. It’s one I plan on sharing with hurting friends.
God knows what He is doing if we trust Him, and I believe there is a bright side to life no matter how crazy it can get. This book has truly been a blessing to me, and I am grateful Dr. Michelle chose to share it with the world.
Recently I read a blog post on writing. I try to read things that are uplifting and encouraging, but after reading this one, I crashed into a deep, dark hole of writing woes.
The article said that if you don’t have anything to offer your readers, why write?
So, I asked myself, “Why do I write?”
It goes all the way back to second grade. I dreamed of writing all my life. Now that I am published, my purpose for writing is to keep telling stories.
But why do I write a blog?
Does anyone care about what I have to say?
After much evaluation, I have come to the conclusion that I write because I want to connect with people. I want my readers to know I am a real, imperfect person with all kinds of problems, pursuing her life’s dream of being an author.
The point is, people need each other. If I reach one person with my musings, that is why I write.
I also have stories roaming around in my head that demand I put them to the page. If I don’t get them out, the characters will drive me crazy!
Also, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt God has called me to write for Him.