Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lori Z. Scott...Kids Who Grew Up to Write for Kids

A Kid Who Grew Up to Write for Kids: Lori Z. Scott


Happy Birthday, Lori! (Way back when) 

Lori Scott achieved two of her childhood ambitions--to be a teacher and a writer.  Her illustrator for her book, a guy named Stacy Curtis, at least got Lori's  Meghan Rose into the form of a cartoon character, so the characters she wrote about are in cartoon-form (she wanted to be a cartoonist, too.)

The first book was released in July of 2007 from Standard Publishing (ages 4-8) with several more coming out this next year. While Lori now has books for the children, she also has written tons of devotionals for moms and writes articles, too.

Lori's books are delightful and she has sent TWO copies of Meghan Rose on Stage! for a drawing. I will select two winners (from the U.S. only) from comments left here. Be sure to include in your comment what Lori's favorite indulgences are. Some early reader will love this book.

Let's find out about Lori as a child:


Childhood Ambition:

Growing up, I wanted to be a teacher (classroom or music), an artist (specifically a cartoonist), or maybe a writer.

Fondest Memory:

I have so many fond memories, but I’ll narrow it down!

First, I remember laughter. After dinner, our family used to sit around the table telling jokes. My dad’s a hoot, so we had a grand time! My sisters and I also put on performances (music or skits) peppered with a large dose of humor. (Part of our living room was upraised, and it served as our stage.)

Second, I remember playing. I played Scrabble for hours with my grandparents, card games with relatives, volleyball with my dad, and space monsters on the monkey bars with my friends.

Finally, I remember love. My parents always supported and encouraged me to follow my interests and dreams AND they always made me feel unique and wonderful. As one singer put it, love was in our house, and our house was full.

Proudest Moment:

As an adult, my proudest moment was giving birth to my children. As a child, my proudest moment would have to be…hmmm…being born. No, honestly, I have had so many blessings in my life, it would take too long to list them all.


Lori as the Bride

Biggest Challenge as a Child or Teen:

You’ll probably find this hard to believe, but I don’t view challenges in a negative light. For me, most challenges came in the form of music or sports competition, and those, of course, I embraced with fierce determination. Whenever I stepped on the court or picked up my instrument, I did so with the conviction that I was the best player in the room…whether or not I actually was! LOL. Even the intense training helped me become a highly disciplined person.

I suppose I faced my biggest challenge when I was almost out of the teen years. I was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. But, as I said, even the challenge of living with a chronic disease proved to be a blessing. I faced the disease with the same fierce determination and discipline I developed growing up. Because of that, diabetes helped me develop compassion, understanding, and a healthy dose of humility.

My First Job:

In college, I worked in the college post office. My first out of college job was as an elementary teacher.

Childhood Indulgence:

I LOVED ice cream and reading comic books.

Favorite Outfit as a Child:

In Kindergarten I owned a pair of bell-bottomed Raggedy Ann jeans. I loved them because they could stand up on their own, which reminded me of the Dr. Seuss story, “What Was I Scared Of?” about a pair of scary, pale blue pants with nobody inside them.

Favorite Childhood Movie:

The Aristocats. I still remember watching it in the movie theater.


Yep, I caught that fish all by myself!

Favorite Childhood Book:

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Favorite Chapter Books of Childhood:

Nancy Drew mysteries (my dad used to deliver newspapers to the author when he was a kid—just thought I’d throw that tidbit in there…) and, later on, The Hobbit

Favorite Childhood Teacher Who Inspired You:

Besides my mom and dad, who were both teachers? Probably Mr. Debes. He was my band director, and he rocked. His passion motivated him to work hard…and inspired his students to follow suit.

Favorite Childhood Activity:

Drawing. Though I never took formal art lessons, I devoured those “How to Draw” books. I still love to doodle. In fact, I can draw with both hands at the same time! (It’s a cool trick kids love.)


These are my babies now, but when I grow up they will be real!

Childhood Hero:

Batman (I loved that show! POW! CRASH!) My real life heroes would be my parents, and I always held a special fondness for my Grandma Wright.

Any other Childhood Tidbits:

  • I grew up with three sisters. Our television only got two channels—maybe three on a good day—so we spent a lot of time playing together. They are still my favorite people, and I used the names of their children for characters in the Meghan Rose books.
  • My mom said I had an imaginary dog that sat on top of the refrigerator, although I don’t remember it. However, my own daughter has a roomful of imaginary friends, so it’s possible! My character Meghan Rose carries that same strong imagination with her.
  • In second grade, I colored the entire surface of my desk at school. My teacher didn’t appreciate my stunning artwork and made me clean all the desks in the room. That’s just the type of thing my character Meghan Rose might do…and the exact thing Mrs. Arnold (Meghan Rose’s teacher) would do.
  • In high school, I wrote “The Adventures of Super Cat” cartoon up and down the margins of my science notebook. Super Cat still inspires me…he turned up in my winning MOPS entry, in my first children’s short story publication, and in the Meghan Rose series. Maybe someday my illustrator, Stacy Curtis, will make Super Cat (and the villainous Poultry Gang) into a comic book series! Wouldn’t that be something?
  • As a kid, I was always making up lame jokes. In the Meghan Rose series, my character Ryan reflects that joking side of me. I also make up the jokes on my web site and explain to kids how they can make up their own jokes.
  • I love fun words! My dad used to recite “Jabberwocky” to us, as well as other crazy songs and rhymes. You see some of that word play reflected in the jump rope chants Meghan Rose makes up.

How the books came to be:

I taught in the public schools for nine years, then retired so I could stay at home and raise my kids. It was during my time off of teaching that I came across an amateur science fiction/fantasy writing contest. I decided to enter.

It’s hard to describe how creating that first story felt. I suppose it mirrored how Alice felt in Wonderland after chasing the rabbit into a hole and falling into an enchanted world. It’s amazing to me that simple words, woven together in just the right way, can capture and hold a certain kind of magic.
At any rate, my story won second place. Encouraged by my success, I entered a MOPS International story writing contest…and WON! After that, I joined a writer’s group, started learning more about the publishing industry, and eventually landed a contract from Standard Publishing for my new children’s fiction series.

The Meghan Rose series is especially unique because I didn’t write the books with publication in mind. I wrote the books because my daughter asked me to write them. (When she was in first grade, we wanted an entertaining chapter book and a main character she could relate to. I also wanted God to figure into the equation. When I couldn’t find a book like that, my daughter told me to write it myself. So I did!)

Later, through various conversations with bookstore owners, other mothers, and editors, I found out there were a lot of mothers like me out there looking for a book like Meghan Rose on Stage. I took the next logical step and pitched the book series to editors at a writer’s conference.

And now the first two titles in that series—MEGHAN ROSE ON STAGE and MEGHAN ROSE HAS ANTS IN HER PANTS—are on the bookshelves. Two more are on the way later this year! The books are funny (I figure, if it doesn’t amuse me, why write it?) and bursting with energy. The main character, Meghan Rose, is a strong, out-spoken first grader. Her bubble-gum blowing, best buddy Ryan and silly, duck-loving pal Kayla help round out the cast.

So far, I’ve found that even though the stories are chapter books, most kids read them in one sitting because they just can’t stop!


Article by Lori Z. Scott online:

Shape Up Your Career: Nine Success Qualities

Other books and things about Lori:

Lori Z. Scott, author of Busy Moms’ Devotions To Go, has contributed to over a dozen books, including Real Moms and 2007 Eppie Award winning science fiction book, Infinite Space, Infinite God. A freelance writer and former first grade teacher, Lori has also published thirty-plus devotions, short stories, poems, articles, and puzzles for children, teens, and adults.




Lori talking to a group of kids


Lori Z. Scott's Books:

Meghan Rose Has Ants in Her Pants 


Meghan Rose on Stage! 


  • Details of Meghan Rose on Stage!
  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Paperback: 79 pages
  • Publisher: Standard Publishing Company (July 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0784721033
  • ISBN-13: 978-0784721032
  • To win a copy (one of two) of Meghan Rose on Stage! leave a comment telling us what Lori's favorite indulgences as a child were (and name one of yours!) Check back here on Saturday for the winners.

    Winners of Susan Marlow's books

    Little Susan K. Marlow eating an ice cream cone

    Courage is being scared to death--but saddling up anyway." --Susan's motto

    I think Susan enjoyed reading the comments on her interview as much as I did (smile!)We really want to thank each of you for the sweet comments and for entering the drawing.

    Be looking for more children's books (to enter for drawings this week) in the interviews coming up. One author has a whole slew of books and she is offering the entire collection. You DO want to sign up comments on that one, too. (Great biographies.) I've had some internet issues, or I would've had another one up already.

    These are the children's/teen authors set to be featured:
    Lori Z. Scott
    Pam Halter
    Max Elliot Anderson
    Andy McGuire
    Jill Lord
    Mona Hodgson
    Sarah Anne Sumpolec
    Wendy Lawton
    Terry Burns (this is a "special" case--he's not exactly a "children's" author)
    Marti Kramer Suddarth (a book of children's sermons)

    Last night Max (my youngest of four sons) drew the two winners of Susan K. Marlow's books, The Long Ride and Dangerous Decision. It was a full box of names! Thank you all for leaving comments and please email me privately your snail mail address if you would like to get a business card size preview of Susan's new book information, Family Secret coming out in February. The first 20 who email me will get one in the mail.

    Email crystal.mrsinewa[AT]gmailDOTcom with your snail mail addresses in the next 24 hours (or I will draw a new name): Leave a message here if you are having troubles.

    I need Joann to email me for The Long Ride Home!

    The Long Ride Home

    Kregel Publications

    Twelve-year-old Andrea Carter can't seem to stay out of trouble. Now her beloved horse, Taffy, is missing and it's Andi's fault. The daring young girl will do anything to find the thief and recover Taffy. But her choices plunge her into danger, and Andi discovers that life on her own in the Old West can be downright terrifying!

    And Walk1969 won Dangerous Decision:

    Dangerous Decision

    Kregel Publications

    Andi nearly tramples her new teacher in a reckless, impromptu horserace down the main street of Fresno, California--not a good way to begin the fall, 1880 school term. Her troubles multiply when she must decide if she should deliberately walk into a dangerous situation to rescue the teacher’s mean-spirited, trouble-making daughter.

    Congratulations to the winners and stay tuned for more.

    Monday, November 26, 2007

    Kids Who Grew Up to Write for Kids...Susan K. Marlow

    Little Susan eating an ice cream cone

    Courage is being scared to death--but saddling up anyway." --Susan's motto

    Susan K. Marlow, mischievious tomboy and dreamer of stars, had a rich childhood that shaped the author she would become. Susan says, "I was nine when I wrote my first 'published" poem. The teacher hung it in the teacher's lounge for everyone to see."

    What's really great about this particular Kid Interview is that Susan has photos of some of the most shaping events and impressions from her childhood. She writes historical fiction for kids and if you leave a comment(see the end,) you will be entered to win one of TWO of her titles, autographed with bookmarks! I will draw two names from the comments section on Wednesday,November 28th, and send one copy to each person. So leave a comment! Also, below you can see the books, as well as links to Chapter 1 of both books.

    Since I was a teacher,too, one of her books was of special interest to me--a book of writing activities for children, grades 3-7. But because Susan has a degree in elementary education and she loves to teach, she not only knows about kids--she knows how to reach them. Teachers, parents, homeschoolers, and authors who speak to school groups might want to check out her book, Reach for the Stars.

    Susan told us, "I taught in Christian schools before I began homeschooling. Right now I'm homeschooling the last of my four children. I teach writing workshops for kids, speak at schools about the writing process, and am a freelance editor. I enjoy my seven grandkids, work in our church's AWANA Bible club, and....write stories, of course."

    Let's see what shaped Susan to write stories for kids when she was just a kid:

    Susan, 10 months old with her own baby

    Childhood Ambition:

    I wanted to be an astronaut, an astronomer, a marine biologist, a medical technologist, or a nurse--not necessarily in that order. Why isn't "writer" on this list? Honestly, I thought writing stories was something you did as a child; when you grew up you put your imagination away and entered "real life." The hard part was that I couldn't seem to get away from the stories playing in living color in my head, no matter how hard I tried to be an adult. I ended up becoming a teacher, which worked out great. It allowed me to hang out with my peer group--other kids.

    Being buried up to our necks in sand

    In the water at Juniper Beach

    Fondest Memory:

    The two weeks our family spent at our beachplace on Camano Island, WA, every summer. I remember catching mud crabs, being buried up to our necks in sand, and my sister and I walking out to the channel when the tide was out. From our cabin's deck, we watched with great expectation as the tide slipped in around the point as a sparkling silver strip. We played tag on the sand cliffs as the sun went down, and searched for agates along the shoreline. No other memory measures up to Juniper Beach.

    The Sears telescope I bought with babysitting money

    Proudest Moment:

    When I saved up my babysitting money and bought myself a deluxe-model, Sears telescope ($79.99). No ordinary telescope this! It had setting circles, with instructions on how to find nearly every object in the sky, using the North Star as a fixed point (if I could only figure out how to use those settings!). I was pretty proud of that telescope, especially when I saw the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn; a comet, sun spots and solar eclipses.

    Biggest Challenge as a Child or Teen:

    Patience, and learning to keep my mouth shut. I got into so much trouble as a teenager because I knew I was right. It was too bad my folks couldn't figure it out and give in gracefully to my way of looking at things. I was an "Open Mouth--Change Foot" teenager, which resulted in lots of conflict. I was also very quick, which made me impatient with others not quite as on-the-ball as I was.

    First Job: Candy-striper and my Candy-striper outfit

    My First Job:
    Does it count if I didn't get paid? I worked as a candy-striper (teen volunteer) at a hospital that will remain unnamed in this blog. I must have been out of my mind. I do not have good memories of that place, mostly because there wasn't much for me to do. I was bored to death most of the time. I was scared of the patients, and I think the nurses believed I was in the way. However, I did like volunteering in Central Supply, folding towels and chatting with the employees. The good news: I eventually landed a job in the dietary department of the same hospital--my first real paying job. And I decided I definitely did not want to become a nurse.

    By now, my "Career Choice List" was (sadly) a lot shorter than before. My marine biology career "drowned" when I took scuba lessons and discovered I didn't like having all that water between me and the surface; astronaut was out because I wore glasses; astronomer was too much math and physics, and not enough "oohing and aahing" at the wonders of outer space. So....I took my parents' advice ("You'd make a great teacher, Susan," they said) and decided to pursue a degree in education. I'm very glad I did. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)

    Childhood Indulgence:

    For three summers we accompanied my dad to Washington State University in the middle of the wheatfields of Eastern Washington, where he was getting his masters degree in mathematics. Those three summers were total indulgence--exploring cow pastures, sliding down grassy hills on cardboard, and generally experiencing freedom on a scale not possible where we lived in Tacoma. Every Friday or Saturday night we loaded up our Oldsmobile station wagon with sleeping bags and treats and headed to The Big Sky, the drive-in theater outside of town. There I remember seeing the Disney movie, The Three Lives of Thomasina (one of my all-time favorite movies), and West Side Story (a boring movie my folks were enjoying. I fell asleep).

    First-Day-of-School Dress

    Favorite Outfit as a Child:

    Every year my mother took me back-to-school shopping, when I could pick out a first-day-of-school dress. Then we went to lunch. One year I spotted The Dress right away, and after that there was no other. It was orange (my favorite color) and brown, with a white collar. It was more money than my mom wanted to pay, but I wouldn't look at or try on any other dress.

    Favorite Childhood Movie:

    I loved the Hayley Mills' The Parent Trap. The movie gave this ten-year-old ideas on how to make gooey traps with honey and string, which we attempted to try out on the neighbors. I don't remember how it turned out--which is probably just as well. I also loved The Sound of Music.

    Favorite Childhood Book:

    As a small child, Mimi the Merry-Go-Round Cat, a Golden Book;

    As a middle-grade book lover: Caddie Woodlawn

    As a teen: Trixie Belden mystery series

    Little Joe Cartwright

    Childhood Hero:

    It's a toss-up between Little Jo Cartwright and Captain James Kirk. Both had loads of fun while exploring strange, new worlds in the Old West or outer space. When you think about it, there really isn't much difference between a western and a space story. Heroes and villains are universal; danger, adventure, and excitement face both heroes. Unexplored territory waits to be conquered with a Winchester rifle or a phaser.

    Feeding Ducks with Grandmother

    Favorite Childhood Pets:

    Cats, cats, and more cats, although a snake would serve in a pinch. I liked snakes, mostly because I knew girls weren't supposed to like them. I took a perverse pleasure in finding them and chasing people with them. I once chased our junior high youth group leader through the campground with a garter snake. She was an older lady, and it's a wonder she didn't end up in the ER room with a heart attack.

    Anything else you'd like readers to know about you as a child that affected the writer you are today:

    This may sound odd, but even more than my rich childhood memories, I think being a child during the Golden Age of Television in the 60s influenced the writer I am today. Television was brand new, and the visual imagery seared in my head the ability to "see" my stories playing out as real events. When I wrote stories, I knew nothing about hooks, climaxes, plot, or character development. I wrote my stories as if I were watching an hour-long television story. If you take apart a well-made dramatic episode, it really does have all the elements of a good story. I guess watching TV as a kid was my "writing class" for the future.

    Susan K. Marlow today, who still looks youthful!

    Blogs to check out for homeschooling and writing workshop:

    Suzy's Scribbles

    Writing Workshop for Kids

    Susan's Books! Wholesome Books for Kids

    Circle C Adventures:
    #1-Andrea Carter and the Long Ride Home (Kregel, 2005)

    #2- Andrea Carter and the Dangerous Decision (2007)

    #3- Andrea Carter and the Family Secret (2008)

    Reach for the Stars, young author's fiction workbook

    Click to watch her book trailer

    The story behind the book covers:

    The girl on the cover of Susan's books("Andrea Carter") has her own story and is a daughter of Susan's homeschooling friend. To see the story of model, Jessica, click here.

    The Long Ride Home (Click to read Chapter 1)

    Kregel Publications

    Twelve-year-old Andrea Carter can't seem to stay out of trouble. Now her beloved horse, Taffy, is missing and it's Andi's fault. The daring young girl will do anything to find the thief and recover Taffy. But her choices plunge her into danger, and Andi discovers that life on her own in the Old West can be downright terrifying!

    Dangerous Decision (Click to read Chapter 1)

    Kregel Publications

    Andi nearly tramples her new teacher in a reckless, impromptu horserace down the main street of Fresno, California--not a good way to begin the fall, 1880 school term. Her troubles multiply when she must decide if she should deliberately walk into a dangerous situation to rescue the teacher’s mean-spirited, trouble-making daughter.

    Family Secret (coming Feb. 2008)

    Kregel Publications
    Strange things are happening on the Circle C. Who is the lifeless man Andi and her friends find lying in the creek? Who is the travel-weary young woman with three unruly children who suddenly show up at the ranch? Why has Andi never been told the secret her older brothers and sisters all know?

    Writing Workbook for Kids

    This 45-page workbook for budding young authors includes sections on creating your characters, how to "show-don't tell" your characters' emotions, beginnings that "hook" the reader, creating a scene, plotting your story and MUCH MORE! Great for classrooms, individuals, and home-schooled students.

    Grades 3-7.

    To order Reach for the Stars ($8.00 + $2.50 s/h):

    e-mail: susankmarlow[AT]

    If you are a teacher and would like reproducible Black-line masters for classroom use, the cost is $20.00 + s/h.

    For speaking and other school writing events, including an eight-week course in writing for kids, click here.

    Do you have kids? Want to learn to draw a horse? Other activities? Click here for cool stuff for kids.

    Also, want to know about Fresno, the San Joaquin Valley in California in the 1880s?
    Click on this.

    Susan and a horse friend

    "Courage is being scared to death--but saddling up anyway."


    REMEMBER!! if you leave a comment, you will be entered to win one of TWO of her titles, autographed with bookmarks! I will draw two names from the comments section on November 28th, Wednesday, and send one copy to each person chosen. So leave a comment answering this question:

    What did Susan buy with her babysitting money that she was so proud to have?

    Also, below you can see the books, as well as links to Chapter 1 of both books.

    The Long Ride Home

    Dangerous Decision

    Also, a bonus! If you don't win the books, I have a stack of small book business cards with all the information to pre-order for Susan's book coming out in February 2008, Family Secret, and I'll send you one if you indicate "yes, I want a card" on your comment. I'll need your mailing information, so you must leave an email, and to battle the bottom feeders put into this format:


    or email me at crystal.mrsinewa[AT]gmailDOTcom

    with When I Was Just a Kid in the subject line.

    Sunday, November 25, 2007

    Ramona K. Cecil: Hoosier Heartland Historical Romance Writer


    This is 10-month-old Ramona(seated) with her older sister

    Ramona is a true Hoosier girl, born and raised.It's the home where she was born, grew up, married, had children and watched them marry and have children of their own. She loved Hoosier writers Gene Stratton Porter and James Whitcomb Riley.  If what Ramona says as her childhood ambitions were truly the desires of her faithful heart(and I believe they were,) then she has been able to see each one come to fruition.

    Ramona has loved the history of her Indiana home state her whole life, and when she visited Conner Prairie Farm near Indianapolis, Indiana, an 1836 living history museum, she may have even spoken to my aunt who was an interpreter there back during the time Ramona was there (in Dr. Campbell's home and in The Whitaker’s Home & Store.)

    This was in 1983,  and from that point she began to revive her dream of writing fiction that she had even as a young girl. In 2002 Ramona headed for Houston (where I met her, and now she belongs to the American Christian Fiction Writers Indiana chapter) to her first American Christian Romance Writers conference (now American Christian Fiction Writers.) Her first book came out this month in 2007, so she has been faithful to her craft and love for historical romance writing. She has now sold several more stories, and Ramona continues to plot her romances--all remaining true to her Hoosier roots and predecessors.


    Let's see what shaped Ramona into the romance writer who writes stories of the Hoosier Heartland History:

    Childhood Ambition:

    To be a wife, mom, and author. God has granted me all three. When I was fourteen, county historians buried a time capsule on the courthouse square. The capsule would be dug up in fifty years. They invited folks to write letters to their descendants and place them in the capsule. My folks thought that was a neat idea, so we each wrote letters on the onion paper they recommended. One of the things I wrote was that I hoped to be published in poetry and fiction.

    They can dig that thing up any time now.

    Fondest Memory : 

    As I watch a montage of fond scenes from my childhood drift past my mind's eye, it's hard to pick one. But I like the memory of Mom and Dad, my sister, brother, and I loading up in my dad's old panel truck with a grocery-bag full of popcorn my mom popped and a thermos of Kool-Aid and heading to the local drive-in movie theater on a warm summer's evening.


    Ramona's First Grade Photo

    Proudest Moment:

    When I was in the first grade(we didn't have kindergarten then) and the teacher asked if anyone could tell her the name of the President. Mine was among only two or three hands that went up. When the teacher called on me I stuttered for a moment, afraid I'd not say it right, then correctly blurted out "Ei--Eisenhower!" That dates me, doesn't it?

    Biggest Challenge as a Child or Teen:

    Being overweight. My weight problem has plagued me practically since babyhood. I'm a life-long yo-yo dieter. And as I believe it was Erma Bombeck who once said, "I've lost enough weight in my life that by all accounts, I should be hanging from someone's charm bracelet." And whether I'm thinner or heavier at any one time, that one thing has always colored my self-image. I really struggle to love myself as God loves me----unconditionally.

    My First Job:

    My first job beyond my chores around our rural Indiana home was as a car-hop at the local Dog'N Suds when I was sixteen.

    Childhood Indulgence:

    Reading. Slipping away with a good book. Sometimes it took me up a cottonwood tree, where I'd sit and read and daydream. As a child, I kept a book called Fifty Famous Fairy Tales beside my bed and read one----only one, mind you---each evening before I said my prayers and went to sleep.

    The summer I was twelve, I fashioned a teepee from some sapling poles and covered it with an old comforter. I'd sit in there and read Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn and Gene Stratton Porter's Laddie, Freckles,and Girl of the Limberlost.


    From Girl of the Limberlost

    Favorite Outfit as a Child:

    I was a tomboy. I remember a pair of denim jeans with blue and white checkered cuffs. Loved those pants! I've always had short feet, so whenever my younger brother, who had big feet for his age and grew very fast outgrew a pair of his black high-topped boys basketball shoes, I'd latch onto them. Add a red and white gingham blouse and a white sailor's cap, and you have a good picture of my favorite childhood outfit.

    Favorite Childhood Movie:

    The animated Disney movie, Lady and The Tramp. Loved those dogs!

    Favorite Childhood Book:

    Aside from my aforementioned "Fifty Famous Fairy Tales," it had to be Gene Stratton Porter's "Laddie." Hands down, my all-time favorite book as a child reader.

    Favorite Childhood Activity:

    Have I mentioned reading? Other than that, it had to be composing nature poetry while riding my bike along the country roads near our rural Indiana home.

    Childhood Hero:

    That would be "Heroes," plural. My parents were my heroes. My mom instilled in us an unwavering and abiding faith in God while my dad gave us a strong work ethic. Poets in their own right, they both loved the written word and encouraged my writing. Yet they set aside any personal dreams of publication they might have had, devoting their lives to providing security for us kids.


    Anything else you can share with readers about your childhood that developed you into the writer you are today?

    The encouragement my parents gave me to read and write. We had two editions of the complete works of James Whitcomb Riley, the Hoosier poet in our home. I remember both parents sitting and reading those poems to us. Vacation trips often had literary themes. I remember visiting James Whitcomb Riley's boyhood home in Greenfield, Indiana, Gene Stratton Porter's home in Geneva, Indiana, and Mark Twain's home in Hannibal, Missouri.



    Ramona's historical romance book, Larkspur, just released in November:


    For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord.  Jer. 30:17

    Larkspur, Indiana, 1835 READ AN EXCERPT OR ORDER

    Becky Hale distrusts all university-educated doctors. Having watched her little cousin die at the hands of one of Cincinnati's most prominent physicians, she returns to her home in Larkspur, Indiana, a devotee of a more gentle, holistic medical approach.

    Ephraim Morgan, fresh from Kentucky's Transylvania University, arrives in Larkspur with plans to set up a medical practice. When mutual suspicion turns to admiration, and admiration to love, can God provide a remedy for the chronic differences keeping Becky and Ephraim apart? Will Becky allow her new love to succumb to a festering mistrust when old wounds are reopened?

    And when Becky falls ill, will Ephraim rely only on the holistic methods of healing to which Becky subscribes? Or in a valiant attempt to save her life, will he apply the more aggressive medicine he'd been taught in the university and risk losing her love?



    from Barbour Publishing

    Heartsong Presents in February 2008

    Sweet Forever

    The Hale siblings' saga continues. . .

    For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

    Madison, Indiana, 1845

    Rosaleen Archer thinks God hates her.  Born out of wedlock and raised by a riverboat gambler, she's been told her illegitimacy makes her hateful in God's eyes.  So she doesn't look to Divine help when she finds herself orphaned, widowed, and fleeing the man who killed her husband. Longing to be accepted by society, Rosaleen hopes her talent for playing the piano will be the conduit through which she will find that acceptance. But the steamboat accident that frees her from the clutches of her tormentor, deposits her on the banks of the Ohio River at Madison, Indiana, delaying her plans to travel to New York and pursue a career as a concert pianist.

    Jacob Hale is working to build the church that had been the dream of his late friend and mentor. But he is haunted by the fear that as a minister of the gospel, he will never live up to the legacy of the man who taught him the ministry and so, do both his late teacher and God, a disservice.  So when Rosaleen rebuffs his attempts to lead her to the Lord, it fuels his self-doubts. Can Jacob convince Rosaleen God's love is meant for her, too? And when her dark past come hunting, can he save them both from the man determined to own Rosaleen's life----whatever the cost?


    If you are interested in writing fiction or are specifically interested in Heartsong Presents books and the editors there, check out the links embedded here:


    American Christian Fiction Writers

    Barbour Editors The Edit Cafe' blogspot

    Heartsong Presents

    From Ramona's official Bio on the ACFW-IN chapter site:

    Ramona K. Cecil is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance poet, and award-winning inspirational romance writer. Now empty-nesters, she and Jim, her husband of thirty-four years, make their home in southern Indiana.

    Her creative writing credits began first, with the publication of her poetry. Between the mid 1980s and 1990s over eighty of her inspirational verses were published by Dickson, Inc., a leading publisher of inspirational and Christian gift items. It was about that time that a visit to Conner Prairie, a living history museum near Indianapolis, IN, inspired the story that would one day become Larkspur, her first inspirational historical romance novel. In 2002, she became serious about writing Christian fiction and joined American Christian Fiction Writers.

    Since then, she has written five novels, four novellas, and several short stories. Her work has won first place in three writing contests and placed highly in two others.

    Larkspur, her debut novel, was the 2005 winner of Vintage Romance Publishing’s Vintage Inspirations Contest. Part of first-place prize was a publishing contract with Vintage Romance Publishers, and the book was released November 2006. Since then, two more inspirational historical romance novels, also set in Indiana, have been accepted by Barbour Publishing’s Heartsong Presents line. Sweet Forever, is scheduled for release March 2008 and Everlasting Promise has not yet been given a release date. When not writing, her hobbies include reading, gardening, and visiting places of historical interest.

    Kids Who Grew Up to Write for Kids

    Crystal, age 7

    I used to be a kid. (I know, hard to believe.) But when I was growing up one of the things I wanted to be(of a whole list of things) was a colporter. I don't even know if I'm spelling that right! I only heard the name as a child--never saw it in writing. But every single day in my little 4-grades-in-a-room Seventh Day Adventist school,(I spent 5 years of my schooling in a SDA school) we prayed for these people. From what I could understand, they were missionary book sellers and influencers. They went around trying to sell religious books and Bibles to people, and sometimes they even left books and pamphlets with people. (Some of you may recall seeing large blue Bible story books in doctors' and dentists' offices. This was a result of a colporter.)

    I thought this must be the best job in the world--even better than being a librarian. As one of these book missionaries, you basically influenced the reader into reading about Jesus or His followers. I prayed as fervently for these people as I did for my missionary aunt, uncle and 3 cousins in Nigeria. I prayed that God would let me be one of these people! And of all the stories my uncle told of being a missionary in Africa (Nigeria during the Biafran war and Ghana)I thought the most amazing one was smuggling Bibles into Communist Russia (before the Iron Curtain fell) to the Christians there.

    Well, in a way, God answered that childish prayer in many ways. For one, I was a primary grade teacher in Christian schools for many years. I taught kids to read and to pick out books to read.I was the department head to the children's Sunday school and ministry department in my church for years. I taught and ran Vacation Bible School. I read tons to my own kids. Have given away tons of books and money for books. I learned to write for publication, and while I never realized my dream to write for children, I have published many articles and columns and over 500 published book reviews. (I lost track of how many now.) I have been working on many (other authors') fiction manuscripts in the pre-published stage as a book doctor and professional reader, but I've also been doing a feaure called, When I Was Just a Kid on this blog and at the Chat 'n' Chew Cafe'.

    Starting this week I am having a very special set of interviews on When I Was Just a Kid with Crystal Laine Miller. These are the Kids Who Grew Up to Write for Kids. Each one will feature a children's or teens' author, and a couple will be books written for adults who work with kids. For each one, either I or the author will give away one of his or her books. One author's book won't be out until spring, but he's such an interesting guy that I couldn't resist putting him into this line up now. (We'll get his book when it comes out.)

    I know there are other children's authors out there whom I didn't get something back from or who didn't get contacted for one reason or another. If you are one of these people, do email me [crystal.mrsinewa[AT]gmailDOTcom] with the subject line WHEN I WAS JUST A KID or leave me a comment, and we'll set something up. I love children's books and have stacks of my own. It's one of the questions I always ask, "Favorite Book as a Child?" You might have a special child in your life to whom you'd love to give a book this Christmas season. If so, come check out these books and authors.

    Each day that I feature a children's author, please leave a comment on that blog and an email contact because I will draw one name (in a couple cases, maybe two names) for a book winner. Unfortunately, because most of these shipping costs come from my own pocket(and from the authors' pockets) and I have three boys in college (and one on the way) I can only accept a winner within the United States.

    But for now, this is my small way of focusing on the great people who get to write for children--and also to answer my childhood prayer and dream.

    Check back every day as these will go fast and furious. (I will set a time limit for each drawing, so check in!) And be sure to let all of your friends and moms' groups know, too. I want to also bring back a few past interviews because those authors either write for children/teens or write for adults working with children.

    Now, tell me what your favorite book was as a child, and why was it significant?

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007

    Richard L. Mabry, M.D.

    Dr. Richard in California with his mother, during the Depression
    I may get into trouble, but isn't this child the cutest thing?
    I feel honored that Dr. Richard Mabry allowed me to share his childhood photo with you. (He called his clothes "sissy," but he is a Dapper Diaper Richard!) But later he would trade these duds for a baseball uniform, an Air Force uniform and doctor's scrubs.
    All kidding aside, I have great respect for Dr. Richard and the things he has accomplished in his life, so far--and he is far from done. His first book, The Tender Scar:Life After The Death Of A Spouse, which was released in March, 2006 by Kregel Publishers, came out of his own grief and personal experience when his wife, Cynthia, died in 1999. His lifetime of helping others came into play, even when he was most vulnerable. Writing to give others help on such a journey healed him. And he found he wanted to continue to write.
    During his medical career he had over 100 medical papers published, as well as co-authored or edited eight medical textbooks. He says, "I had no idea that my writing would continue after retirement."
    In 2003 he met James Scott Bell at the Glorieta Christian Writers’ Conference. Somehow he ended up in Jim’s class on writing fiction, and Dr. Richard had always been a voracious reader, sooo this was the beginning of his schooling in plot, structure, characters and all that stuff that makes up fiction.
    With a background in medicine, Dr. Richard knows how to study, and his mentors and those he has taken classes from are a Who's Who in fiction. He says he also took a class in writing “edgy fiction,” taught by Alton Gansky, another writer who became a friend.
    Dr. Richard says, "Like Jim Bell, Al introduced me to many of the basics of Christian fiction. He told us, 'Once you try your hand at writing, you’ll never read in the same way again.'"
    Gansky was the one who introduced him to a nonfiction editor and things happened from there for his nonfiction book.
    You and I both know that with God there are no coincidences. Al introduced him to Gary Terashita, who at that time was with Broadman & Holman. After determining that B&H wasn’t in the market for the type of non-fiction book the doctor had planned, they chatted about baseball, which you are going to see, is a passion since his childhood.
    It's funny how everyone has their own journey into fiction, and Dr. Richard's story here is only beginning. Since Terashita is a big baseball fan, too, he said to Dr. Richard, “Why don’t you try your hand at a novel? Something combining baseball and medicine. Send me a proposal when you’re done.” This sounded like a good plan to Dr. Richard, as he has played semi-pro, coached and attended major league fantasy camps.
    He is on his way, studying the craft of fiction writing, getting all the way to committee with one fiction manuscript, and blogging about writing and his journey on his blog, Random Jottings. With a nonfiction book out there, he also speaks and writes articles and devotions. But, this all happened after 2003. Before that, he had a complete career in the practice of medicine as an ear, nose and throat specialist, and also served a stint overseas in the US Air Force, several periods as an interim music minister, and an all-too-brief experience as a semi-pro baseball player!
    He retired after a quarter of a century as a private practitioner and a decade as a professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and is now married to his "fiction first reader" and lovely wife, Kay, as he now works on fiction.
    If all this wasn't enough, he also has an interesting childhood/young adulthood.
    Let's see how his past shaped the writer he is and is becoming:
    When I was old enough to think about such things, there was no doubt in my mind about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was going to be a pilot. Not an airline pilot, though. My uncle was in the Air Force (this was during World War II) flying P-38’s in Italy. When he came home, he gave me his wings. I wore them constantly, even on my pajamas, until my mother made me give them back to him when he got married, so he could pass them on to his own children.
    When I figured out that my idea of earning a living wasn’t very practical, I decided that I’d like to be a lawyer. The girl I had the biggest crush on at the time was the daughter of our District Attorney, she said she was going to be a lawyer, and I had it all figured out that we’d get married and practice together. I knew I was good at speaking—later won State in Extemporaneous Speech as a senior in high school—so it was a lock.
    Dr. Richard practicing his public speaking. He was State champ in Extemporaneous Speech
    About my junior year in High School, I began to think seriously about what I wanted to do. I even took a series of aptitude tests offered at a nearby college. That’s when I first considered medicine. By my senior year, I felt a definite “call” into medicine. Sounds corny, but God impressed me that my future lay in that direction. He was right (as usual).
    My dad worked hard to support us. He passed on his love of baseball to me, and I played the sport for four years in high school. I was a pitcher, and the only way you can practice that discipline is with someone who’s willing to catch you. Most days my dad would come home, worn out (I now realize), and without being cajoled he’d pick up the catcher’s mitt, take his place behind the cardboard home plate I’d fashioned, and play catch with me until it was too dark to see.
    High School Baseball Team
    (He's in the front row, second from the right end)
    I was so proud to walk across the stage of Decatur High School and accept my diploma, then address my fellow students, the faculty, and the gathering of parents and relatives as Valedictorian of that class. My mother and father were there, and it was wonderful to show them that their support had meant so much to me and for them to see what I had achieved.
    Looking back, my challenge, frankly, was feeling as though I belonged. Oh, I played a sport, participated in a number of extracurricular activities, sang in the glee club. But I didn’t get into trouble, flaunt authority, run with the “beautiful people," hang with the popular crowd. It wasn’t that I didn’t have friends, but I never felt that I “fit in.” I guess it left me basically introverted, although I can put on the extrovert mask when I need to.
    I was hired as a salesman for a small record shop in a space that a local businessman leased in the back of my dad’s furniture store. I doubt seriously if he made any money at it. Record sales in Decatur, Texas, weren’t a big thing back then. I do recall that my salary wasn’t much but I got to listen to records all afternoon.
    As soon as I started college, I began working in the chemistry department, first as an attendant in the stockroom (issuing and stocking chemicals and equipment). After a year I’d been promoted to lab assistant and continued to work in the department until I left for med school.
    Down the block from my dad’s furniture store was a drugstore that sold warm nuts. After school, I’d beg my mother for a quarter so I could run down to the Rexall and get a quarter pound of warm cashews. They’d be gone by the time I got back to our store.
    Baseball was more than a sport. It was something at which I was pretty good. When I was with the team, I felt as though I belonged. I even pitched a two-hitter my senior year. (My college didn’t have a baseball team, but I played some semipro ball while I was in pre-med).
    My dad was a baseball fan. He loved the Brooklyn Dodgers, so (in the perverse way teenagers have) I rooted for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Dodgers’ rivals. I can still recall some of the names from those teams of the forties and fifties. I still love baseball, and it pleases me that both my sons played the sport and I was able to coach them.
    Whatever western was playing at the Ritz on the corner of the square on Saturday. I watched all the stars: Lash LaRue, Hopalong Cassidy, Johny Mack Brown. “Big Boy” Williams was from Decatur, so he was our local hero. My tastes were eclectic, so long as there was a western theme, without too much music or “mushy stuff.”
    I think the book that first captured my imagination was Treasure Island. I probably read it three or four times.
    There were a succession of these. My uncle was my hero while he was flying in the war. The movie stars of the Saturday matinees came next. Then the baseball stars like Marty Marion, Red Schoendienst, Enos Slaughter. Finally, when I had enough maturity to realize what they’d done for me, my parents.

    How did my childhood shape my life? I learned to be independent, not follow the crowd or worry if they didn’t approve. I developed a love of sports that persists to this day and makes me weep when I see professional athletes who don’t take their status as role models seriously. I learned to appreciate the importance of family. And I learned to empathize and sympathize with others who are going through tough times. I believe that’s why The Tender Scar has had such a ministry—I was able to put into words the feelings that thousands of people, hurting from the loss of a loved one, had experienced, combining them with words of hope drawn from my own experience.
    If you know someone or you have lost a spouse to death, do get this book.
    Also, be sure to check his blog, Random Jottings.

    Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    Win A Copy of Canteen Dreams Over at Hijinks

    Still looking to get a copy of Canteen Dreams? Autographed?

    Head on over to Hijinks in the Heartland blog with my friend Sabrina Fox. She has a great interview with Cara Putnam and is offering a free autographed copy of Canteen Dreams if you can find the answer to her question.

    Monday, November 19, 2007

    When I Was Just a Kid...Lee Warren

    I am a Warren and I always kidded Lee that we are cousins. He actually has a family resemblance to my Warren kin! But then, of course, my brother is Rick Warren (a landscaper, not a pastor...ha) and we Warrens are legion.

    But Lee and I do have some preferences in common and tennis as a kid was one of them, as well as sports. I did coach and teach P.E. but my aspiration to be a sports reporter did not happen, like it has for Lee.

    But when I decided to start my own blog, he was one of the people who encouraged me and also gave me great information about them. See this link to find out how to start a blog if you are interested. He has been a Best Weblog Award finalist for two years straight and considering the number of blogs out there, that is impressive!



    --The tennis photo shows me playing in a tournament in St. Louis, shortly after college. Dad took the photo.--Lee

    Lee writes a blog called Little Nuances and some of the things he talks about are profound, some funny, some sad, some touching and some are about sports! He has blog posts that I sit there and wish I had written. He also has quite a few articles and some books and he has taught at writers' conferences.

    So what was Lee like as a kid?


    Childhood Ambition:

    I always wanted to be a professional athlete. I devoured books that I ordered in grade school about various different sports stars. I was partial to football early in my youth, probably because my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers were so good at the time. I dreamed about playing fullback or middle linebacker for them--never mind the fact that I had the body of an offensive lineman. Dreams are rarely subject to such realities, at least until they come face to face with it. In the ninth grade I tried out for school's football team and reality finally reared its ugly head. I was named as a third team offensive lineman. I didn't want to play that position so I decided that football wasn't for me. 

    By then, I'd already taken up a serious interest in tennis and I'd spent a lot of time on the court with my best friend. I tried out for my high school's tennis team during my sophomore year and saw a little playing time. By the time my senior year rolled around, I was ranked number two or three on the team. To be honest, I wasn't that good. But again, dreams have a way of distorting reality, and I began to dream about playing tennis at a higher level. I tried out for my college tennis team during my freshman year. The coach didn't make cuts, but you also didn't play unless you were ranked in the top ten. The highest I ever reached was twelfth. I actually won an intramural tournament on campus and then played in a few tournaments throughout the Midwest after college, but I never really made any noise, so my dream of playing professional sports died quietly. That hasn't stopped me from continuing to play the sport though. I still get out and play several times a year.

    --The picture of me as a young boy opening a Christmas present, shows my dad watching over my shoulder.


    (Crystal's note: I grew up with an aluminum tree just like that one!)


    Fondest Memory (then):

    My fondest memory during my childhood probably is a group of memories. My neighborhood was full of kids my age and often we'd get together for impromptu softball, basketball, and football games. Oh, how I loved those times.

    It was a time when you could forget that you were an overweight kid, or a kid with a speech impediment, or a kid who was shy, or whatever your problem may have been. We were just a bunch of kids playing sports that we loved. I was one of the overweight kids who often surprised people because I moved better than people anticipated. Well, I probably didn't move better, I just had better instincts that most people expected, so I could anticipate what was going to happen and that helped to make up for my lack of speed.

    When playing pick up football games, I often played receiver, which is sort of funny considering my size, but I always had a knack for getting open and then catching the ball. I remember one pick up game my neighborhood played against another neighborhood. The guy who was supposed to be covering me ignored me early in the game. I'm sure he took one look at me and thought that I didn't have a chance in the world of doing any damage. As we broke the huddle on one particular play, I could see that the guy was playing way off me.

    I was supposed to run a deep post and that's exactly what I did. By the time I made my cut I could see two things quite clearly. First, I was completely alone. Nobody was defending me. Second, I could see that the ball was thrown a long, long way and that I was going to have a difficult time catching up with it while also keeping my feet in bounds in the end zone. I raced toward the end zone, trying to get a feel for whether I had a chance to catch the ball in bounds or not. As the ball approached me, I could see that I was going to have to dive for the ball. I left my feet, being conscious of where the out of bounds marker was in the end zone, and I caught the ball about a foot off the ground. I dragged my feet in bounds and waited for the inevitable thud that my body was going to make as it hit the ground. I hit hard, rolled over, and then bounced up to let everyone see that I'd caught the ball. My teammates ran down the field and offered high-fives all around. I loved proving that I belonged on the field, in spit of my size, and this was one of those moments.

    I had another fond memory during a pick up basketball game before school one day. It was senior year. I stole a pass on our end of the court and I took off for the other end hoping to score with an easy lay-up. That hope died quickly when I saw a member of the basketball team running me down rather quickly from behind. I knew he was going to block my shot so I was trying to figure out whether I should pull up and try a jump shot or wait for assistance from a team member so I could pass it to him for an easy lay-up. Help never arrived and for some reason I left my feet as I got close to the basket thinking that I could find a way to get the ball around the defender's long out-stretched arms.

    Just as we were about to have a mid-air collision, I had an idea. I ducked under him and tried to hang in the air long enough to do a reverse lay up on the other side of the basket--a move I'd practiced many times in a park by my house. It caught him by surprise and I was able to get the shot off. I put a ton of spin on it and it kissed off the backboard and through the hoop. The entire gym erupted. I jogged back down the court as if it was no big deal. I didn't mind it one bit when a particular girl told me that she saw the play and she wondered how I'd pulled the move off.

    Fondest Memory:

    I have another memory that I'll always hold dear. My dad used to take me out golfing quite often. He'd take me to driving ranges, teach me the proper grip and how to address the ball, and then applaud me no matter how horrible my shot was. He was a salesman, so he'd often take me on golf outings with his clients and we'd have a blast. I don't think there's anything more exciting for a young boy than spending a Saturday afternoon with his dad doing something they both love to do.Anyway, not long ago, as I was going through some of the golf books that I inherited from my dad's collection, a photo fell out of one of them. The photo showed me swinging a golf club when I was 12 or 13 and I'm sure Dad took it during one of our many outings. I was so moved by finding the photo this way that I couldn't speak for several minutes. It was like Dad found one last way to connect with me even though he was already gone. 


    --The golf photo is the same photo that fell out of the book I inherited

    from my dad.


    My First Job:

    My first job was really my second job. My first first job was working for a shady telemarketer who I didn't last long with. My real first job was working at Taco Johns. A friend from high school told me about the job opening. I applied and was hired. My first day, I dropped the container of tomatoes that my friend had recently cut up for the night shift, so I got a crash course in how to cut up tomatoes. It took me several hours, but it provided some great comic relief for my co-workers. And even many months after it occurred, I could always count on somebody to bring it up and the laughter would start all over again. I laughed, too.

    After a couple of years, I became a manager there. I did the books, prepared the deposits, fired a few people, placed the occasional order for supplies, and made so many great friends that it's hard to count them all. We closed at 1:00 am on the weekends, but that didn't stop any of us from having fun. After we closed, we'd blare the latest hit album, usually something by Prince (we were all partial to "Purple Rain"), and we'd sing and dance as we cleaned up. Afterward, we'd play Frisbee in the parking lot, or play basketball in a nearby park (yes it was nearly 2:00 am by then, but we lived in a different world then), or we'd go back to someone's house and listen to music or watch a movie. To quote Russell Crowe from the movie "A Good Year," it was a "grand" time.

    --The Creighton Intramural Champion photo shows the shirt I won after winning a tennis tournament on my college campus.


     Favorite Childhood Book:

    It was called Benvenuto. It was about a dragon named Benvenuto and I thought he was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. I ran across the book recently and wrote a post about it on my blog. Here's the shortened version of what I said in that post. I loved Benvenuto so much that whenever I saw something that I thought was cool, I used Benvenuto's name as a replacement for the word "cool" and I'd say, "That was so Benavenuuuuuuto." To my dismay, after finding the book recently, I realized the I've been mispronouncing his name all this time. His name wasn't "Benavenuto," it was "Benvenuto." Oh well, I see no reason to make the correction now.


    --The photo of the Benvenuto book is the actual book I had when I was little.

    Childhood Hero:

    Spiderman was my childhood hero. I loved the way he was Peter Parker by day, a somewhat nerdy introverted guy, but a superhero by night. I guess I could relate to who he was in real life and I loved the fact that such a person could make a difference, even it is was without anybody's knowledge. I bought every issue of the Spiderman comic book for many years in a row and I always read every word.


    Lee's Web site:

    This web site has samples of his writing and links to his blogs. It also contains information about the services he offers to writers who need one-on-one attention, or critiquing and editing services.

    Little Nuances blog:

    This blog is about the little things of life. In Lee's opinion, we often overlook the small blessings in life because we are looking for bigger things to happen. Little Nuances is a bit artsy, a bit memories, and a bit observation.

    Some of my favorite posts:

    Do Men Read?

    "I read an article in the August 2006 edition of Writer's Digest magazine yesterday that confirmed what I've heard time and time again in the publishing industry. The title is, "Do Men Read?" written by Maria Schneider...."


    Drowning in Nostalgia

    "You should be warned that it becomes increasingly easy, as you get older, to drown in nostalgia. In fact, you can almost measure where you are in life by the degree to which you have begun looking back rather than ahead." --Ted Koppel, in a commencement speech to St. Mary's (MD) graduates in May 2006


    South Omaha Sun

    "Have you ever had a flashback about something you haven't thought about in years and it just warmed your soul? I had one recently. A friend was telling me about a college football pick 'em contest he entered and won second place in and I instantly flashed back to my childhood when a newspaper called "The South Omaha Sun" had a similar contest every week. The paper discontinued operations in the 1980's, I believe..."

    Another Topic Blog:

    Royal Reflections:

    Are you a Kansas City Royals fan? Lee is!

    A blog about the Kansas City Royals. He evaluates game play, up and coming talent, trends he sees with the team, and some good old-fashioned opinion.

    The Christian Sports Blog:

    A blog about the sports world from a Christian perspective. He  interviews professional athletes for Christian publications and gives readers a little taste of the articles he writes, as well as links to all of them that are published online. Readers also get Christian insight about the tough issues in sports such as steroids, character-related issues, etc.


    Books by Lee Warren:


    For singles:


    Single Servings: 90 Devotions to Feed Your Soul

    Many Christian singles struggle with loneliness, physical desires, and expectations. In Single Servings, author Lee Warren, offers ninety devotions for single Christians who find themselves pressured by one or more of these challenges.


    And if you are looking for a Christmas gift:


    The Experience of Christmas

    Slow down this Christmas and really enjoy the season with Lee Warren’s latest book, The Experience of Christmas. Use this 31-day devotional to help your family focus on the birth of Christ, through unique, two-stage devotions that can accommodate families with young children and families with older children.

    Lee's blog, Little Nuances is one I not only signed up to have put in my email box, but I go over to make a comment now and then. He's just a really super guy! So, go on over to see my cousin sometime.