My God bag, WIP “ed” short story publishing, and blog tags.

As Henny put it this is a Karen Joy style post.  Not topically but because of the random nature of the stuff flitting through my mind that I’ve been wanting to share with you.

 My God purse:

Saturday I had the opportunity to start the day – well – really bad!  I’ve been without a vehicle for about three weeks now and with winter setting in it is quite cold for the kids to play outside.  Cold, as in negative digits with wind chill factor.  Many days the warm has stayed below 10 degrees F.   Friday night Matt had a small yearly job as a “security guy” (which really amounts to sleeping at the church) for a holiday bazaar in town.  The great part is it brings in a tiny bit of extra money.  Sometimes he spends it on me at the bazaar, this year we needed it.

I may have already mentioned, I am NOT a morning person but Saturday had hope of being THE day for purchasing a new very used car for Matt to commute in so I can have my rig back. It also had hope of being a “girls day” with my mom.  Sooo, I woke up early-ish and hustled the kids out the door.  The Bubba wouldn’t go for the “here kid, have a banana and get in the car routine”  he is much too conditioned.  I had to coax him with peanut butter rice cakes (thank goodness he can eat peanuts) and shuffle him out with it all over his face and hair.  We tease that his love language is food.

Once I finally had everyone in the car I was already late for my 8am arrangement to pick Matt up.

Click…click…click…  The Suburban battery was dead. Someone left a dome light on in sub zero weather.

I’m trying to give you the short version here but I’m terrible at that so bear with me. 🙂

No only would it not start but when I went to pop the hood the latch broke and I couldn’t get the hood undone.  I called Matt in a tiff and he tried to tell me if I would just hit the latch it would open.   Let me tell you, I slammed that thing and cursed and slammed it again.  My husband was on the phone trying to talk me down 🙂  but I was having none of it.  Not to mention my phone battery was dying.  I finally hung up on him because I couldn’t do all of it at once and he wouldn’t stop talking to let me tell him the phone was about to quit.

– Meanwhile Dear husband calls a neighbor kid.

The only other vehicle that runs on the property is my highschool car (a 66 Mustang).  It usually sits parked under a cover (it’s not in great shape) and gets turned on once in a blue moon.  I hopped in it and miraculously it started right up but I just HAD to sit a good two or three minutes and rev the engine.  Boy, I love that sound!  I pulled it over and tried to turn it around to get in position to jump the Burb and I killed it on our “Indiana Jones Ride” driveway.  Rrrrr  I was so angry at that point that I flooded the engine with my impatience trying to start it back up.

I plugged in my phone, called Matt and brewed myself a cup of coffee.  I’d waited, hoping to get foo-foo coffee in town.

The neighbor kid showed up and in no time had me on the road.


We go to the church and Bubba had peed his pants.  I yanked him out of the car while Matt grabbed the other kids and we went into the bathroom.  I had no change of clothes so he ran back out of there pantless, shirt on backward (he put it on himself), with peanut butter all over.  Thank goodness he had shoes on!  Matt laughed and took the boys outside so I could “shop” a minute with PeeWee.

In one of the first booths I saw the most adorable purses that some mom’s my age had made.  Now, may I remind you, I’m not a girlie girl.  I don’t usually do shoes or purses or scarves etc.  I like practical, comfortable attire and sometimes big earrings to get my “bling” fix.  But these bags were CUTE!  Plus I’d had a really bad day.  Another thing I don’t usually do is shop to self soothe. 🙂  But these bags were CUTE! 

I picked up the brown one with the big flower made of burlap and admired it, showing it to PeeWee and then spied the tag.  $35  Shoot!  That is really too much during the Christmas season especially and I don’t spend money on me.  So, reluctantly I put it back and perused the other items in the booth.

Matt found me shortly after and told me he was free to go as soon as his boss cut him a check.  She tracked us down (not hard with four a-tow) and she had the bag I’d been looking at.   She ripped the tag off in front of me and said, “Someone wanted you to have this.  It wasn’t me.  Not that I dont’ want you to have it.  Here you go, Merry Christmas!”

It was just one of those moments when I really felt like the Lord had specifically put me on someone heart simply to bless me with something completely frivolous so He could say “I love you and you are doing a good job.  You are my daughter!”

I am thankful to whoever did this kind act but more than that I felt hugged by the Lord.   When I told one of my Bible study friends she said, “It’s your God bag!”

Even my husband was amazed saying “It’s so you.”

WIP “ed”

For months I’ve been trying to attend a Christian Writers Critique that is held locally.  There are several published authors that attend as well as aspiring authors, retiree’s, mom’s etc.  Once I even hired a babysitter and showed up on the WRONG day!

Finally, yesterday I made it!

On the advice of my husband I took a short story that I’m not really attached to.  He thought it would be a good idea to get a feel for the venue before bearing my soul. 🙂  Especially since the soul purpose of the group is critique.  So I did not take any part of my WIP a contempory, coming of age novel.

I’d written the story as a writing exercise one day when the kids were napping.  I didn’t spend a whole lot of time editing but the idea had been mulling around in my brain for several days so I pretty much purged my brain and left it at that.

The group sits at a round table and each person reads a 5-6min piece that they have brought while the rest of the members edit the page she has handed out. 

When I came to my turn I was a bit nervous, many of the pieces read were breathtaking and my short story was quite different to say the least.  There were mostly older women, one lady my age writing a cowboy type novel based on some family history and a man who is published who brought the most beautiful piece of poetry and always had a lot to say about others work.  Yikes!

I read “Who Did” about Jonah.

There were some excellent suggestions and they pointed out that I’d gone out of order with some of the events but no critical remarks.

After I got done the lady who heads up the group said something to the effect of… “I’m sure you already have some place to pitch this but if you don’t I really think you should consider looking into a house that would be interested in this type of short story.”

WHOA!  She blew me away.  “already have a plan to pitch”

I’d never once considered my short stories anything other than sanity.  A way to put on paper what God is teaching me, almost a journal of sorts.  When I feel it could be a blessing to others I’ll share it with you ladies, but publish!!!

The “cranky” man (that’s what the ladies called him) put a remark on his copy that was returned to me at the end. “Look into a publisher of study material, this would be a good piece for a lesson idea”  He also wrote, “Powerful writing!  Don’t let my scribbles be discouraging.  I liked it.”

WHOA, whoa and triple whoa!

Not only did they have incredibly good suggestions, they LIKED IT!  It also got me thinking outside of my little box into some other things I’ve written.  Previous to this meeting I had been thinking I had to create something entirely new but I’ve got tons of short stories.  Now to find who publishes short stories.   At Karen Joy’s suggestion I’m going to pick up the Christian Writer’s Market Guide 2010 when it comes out.  AND continue praying that God will guide my steps in this possible new adventure.

I feel so encouraged and I can’t wait to go back and take them the “meat”!

Blog Tags:

Can someone please school me on how to use blog tags?  I’ve read a couple tutorials online and I thought I had it down but I’ve noticed that people tend to find my blog by typing in completely random things like…

“all boys same”

“bah humbug”

“why do our eyes dialate when back of neck is squeezed”

Now that I’ve repeated them I’ll probably get more hits on those topics. 🙂 Oh well.

While I’m happy to oblidge I never put any of those terms in the tags on my blog. Some of the words appear in posts but not anything relating.  I’ve had other random searches but I dont’ believe anyone has found my blog for anything they intended.  The food blog was easy.  Food ingredients, allergy lists etc.

Maybe I’m just overthinking it!

Any ideas?



Filed under My WIP, Random, Reality, Ruse

10 responses to “My God bag, WIP “ed” short story publishing, and blog tags.

  1. Whoa! Congrats on the short story reviews! By all means check out the Christian Writer’s Guide. If you have wheels 😉 you might want to take a trip to the library and see if they have last year’s. That could tide you over until the 2010 Edition arrives.

    Or you can start here for now:

  2. Pingback: ¤ Useful Tips for Writing ¤

  3. wow you and Karen Joy have some mad writing skills… if I had the time I would feel inadequate! lol luckily I’m too busy and exhausted by life to even think about such things! 😉

    really though it’s so awesome that you were able to feel so encouraged by the writing group! that a lovely gift – and that purse!? how wonderful! God is so good to us. it can be so confusing when he doesn’t answer our prayers but then He gives us nice little unexpected gifts to let us know he still cares for us.

    it seems it’s been a good week for you!

    • Ah henny, I’m constantly having to put my “ideas” into check. I heard this week “There are two types of people 1.those types of people who learn from their mistakes 2. the others” I’m one of those others, always forging ahead having a hrd time seeing how God is using me NOW, TODAY, HERE! It is good to have dreams and talents as well as to use them but MOM is a HUGE accomplishment as well as just about all a body can take literally!

      I’m proud of you for doing your job and doing it well without the distractions like I create with my crazy hobbies and ideas. I often wish I was a different personality to get through these little kid years and then go back to me- driven, creative, busy body ole me (once the kids are gone :))

      Yes it has been a blessing of a week. I am thankful for those every once in a while!

  4. Answering my own question about tags, key words and search terms, this is a good article.

  5. Elaina Avalos

    Very cool about the critique group and the encouragement!! I have a love, hate relationship with critique groups but I have found that God has always used them, whether by encouraging me to forge ahead and keep writing or to refine areas of my fiction writing that’s not so strong.

    In terms of the blog searches that are bringing people to your site…the search engines like Google have their bots that “crawl” sites and so even if you didn’t use those exact phrases, you may find that people show up at your blog because somewhere at some point you used parts of those phrases. Or that part of their search time shows up over more than one of your posts. I get that all of the time. Sometimes it’s for random stuff that’s not related to anything I’ve written. I do get some funny searches though.

    I think tags are helpful for a lot of reasons. One of which is that regular readers can use them to find other posts in that category or to refer back to something you’ve written previously. But it’s also really good for first time visitors. If I have someone new pop up on my personal blog and I’ve posted a photo for instance, I’ll notice that sometimes they’ll take the time to click on the photo tag and they’ll see all the others I’ve posted. I think it really does help, beyond all that search engine business, to make it easier to readers to get to know your site.

    • Thanks for all the tips!

      Yes I can understand the love/hate with a critique group. It was quite the dynamic group and many were almost crabby but their advice was deeply helpful. Something I don’t get from family members and friends. 🙂

  6. purplemoose

    Awesome about the bag! I wonder if there are any writer groups around here, I’ve never thought about joining one but maybe that would be helpful. Just need the time to get out and do it. HA HA HA HA HA.

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