Friday, October 28, 2011

Weekend Peek In #12

Week 12 is here! This week's reader's question leaves us asking, "What if?"

If you wouldn't have chosen teaching as your career, what do you think you would have become?.

I have so many jobs I'd love to do! Let's explore a few:

Neo-natal nurse? Few things tug at my heart more than brand new babies, particularly wee ones with special medical needs like my granddaughter, pictured below. She took an emergency helicopter ride with paramedics to a St. Louis hospital when she was thirteen days old.

Historian? Every community should have a museum of local history. Interviewing residents, collecting memorabilia, taking photos, and building displays are tasks right up my alley.

Archaeologist? Unearthing artifacts to study how people lived in other cultures and other eras would be an adventure. And of course, I'd have my camera ready to document each finding!

Shopkeeper? I sometimes dream of owning a quaint boutique, a place with atmosphere where townsfolk could hang out, sip coffee, browse books, purchase flowers, and listen to live music--my husband on piano, my daughter on guitar, my son on . . . tuba? Okay, maybe I'd nix the tuba--even if he did make All-State Band.

Of course, I have experience in other areas besides teaching--art, photography, and floral designing, to name a few. But for me, the career of all careers encompasses these professions and more.

If I could choose a profession besides teaching, I'd become a novelist! Fiction writers are blessed to experience a multitude of careers vicariously through their characters. Hmmmm. I think I'll give it a whirl! :-)

What if YOU had chosen a different career? What would you be doing now? Please share your dream job in the comment section below. And don't forget to enter my Share the Gift Double Kindle 3G Giveaway!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekend Peek In #11

Welcome to Week 11 of my Share the Gift Double Kindle 3G Giveaway. On December 16, 2011, one lucky person will win a Kindle 3G AND choose the recipient of a second Kindle 3G--just in time for Christmas. Have you entered yet? The reader who submitted this week's Weekend Peek In question has!

In writing about Ida's decline, did you have to do medical research into signs and symptoms of her condition?

William Wordsworth writes, "Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility." Fiction often takes its origin in that way as well. My depiction of my character Ida's decline is one example.

Ida's character is not based upon my grandmother, but as my beloved grandma neared the end of her life on earth, she suffered some devastating effects of dementia. To write certain scenes in Delivery, I drew not only from memories of events surrounding my grandma's illness but also from my resulting emotions, as Wordsworth so aptly put, "recollected in tranquility."

Walking a loved one through a terminal illness can bring both hardship and blessings to all involved. My emotions warred while I held my grandmother's hand as she departed this life. I shed joyful tears that she was leaving behind a broken body to join her Savior for a pain-free eternity. I shed mournful tears that she was leaving me as well. I later channeled those emotions into similar scenes in Delivery, which I hope brings those scenes to life and touches readers' hearts.

When I needed medical facts and statistics, for instance to create a realistic timeline for Ida's decline, I turned to credible internet sources and to Linda, a best friend from childhood who happens to be a registered nurse.

In fact, Linda read my manuscript to check for medical accuracy, allowing me to concentrate more on the creative side of the story. It helps to know people in the know!

While a novel is a product of the author's imagination, fiction needs accurate roots. A novelist should check facts with expert sources, but emotions ring most true when the author draws from life experiences, authenticating the story world.

I hope Delivery's readers find Ida's journey and her daughter Livi's growth through it not only authentic but heart-stirring as well!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Weekend Peek In #10

We're officially on the downhill slide now with my Share the Gift Double Kindle 3G Giveaway. Ten weeks down, nine to go until we learn the name of the lucky winner. Don't forget to enter daily for more chances to win!

This week's reader's question allows us to dream, so please be sure to share your answer, too.

If you could choose anywhere in the world to live, other than Missouri (insert your home state), where would it be and why?

Where? Anywhere near the Rocky Mountains or Door County, Wisconsin.

Why? I'll let a few of our family vacation pictures speak my thousand words.

Now, it's YOUR turn! Other than your current state, where in the world would you choose to live and why?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Weekend Peek In #9

We're almost to the half-way point with my Share the Gift Double Kindle 3G Giveaway. Nine weeks down, ten weeks to go!

Babies are the topic of this week's reader's question. I'd love for all you parents and grandparents to chime in with your answers, too!

As a mother and grandmother, what is the most important piece of advice that you would give to a brand new mommy-to-be?

This question comes at a perfect time for me, since my eldest daughter and her husband are expecting their first child this winter. (Aren't they an adorable family already?)

(Photo courtesy of Miranda Prusik)

I could rattle off a long list of helpful parenting tips for new and expectant moms and dads, but choosing "the most important piece of advice" requires more thought. So much goes into being a good parent that even the most effective parents can hardly accomplish it all.

But when I focus on what's most important, my answer boils down to two words: Be intentional.

Be intentional in nurturing your baby's physical needs.

Be intentional in nurturing your baby's emotional needs.

And perhaps most importantly, be intentional in nurturing your baby's spiritual needs.

Feed her body.

(Photo by Diana Prusk)

Feed her heart.

(Photo courtesy of Miranda Prusik)

Feed her soul.

(Photo courtesy of Steve Prusik)

I can't take credit for this advice, since it comes from scripture: "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (KJV Proverbs 22:6).

And that "when he is old" part? Parents, hang on to those words. In some cases, it may take that long to see the fruits of your efforts.

Seasoned parents and grandparents, now it's your turn. Please share your wisdom with parents-to-be like my daughter and son-in-love in the comment section below. Help them prepare for that special delivery!

Speaking of delivery, I'm celebrating the release of my novel by that name: Delivery. On December 16, 2011, I'll announce the winner of my Share the Gift Double Kindle 3G Giveaway, just in time for Christmas. The contest closes to entries at midnight on December 14. That means if you enter daily, you have 68 more chances to win. What are you waiting for?