Wednesday, April 6, 2016

What I Learnt On My Irish Vacation

The Cliffs of Moher
1.  I do not know what old is…We asked about the age of a cathedral and the guide said “It’s new, built in the 18th century...”
2.  If you have trouble immediately knowing your right from your left, it is exponentially exacerbated when you drive on the left-hand side of the road and are asked which way to turn next…I said the wrong direction 1,254 times. 
3.  Irish people are some of the friendliest people in the whole wide world.
4.  I do not like straight whisky.
5.  I do, however, like Irish coffee.
6.  Lambs are pure joy.  I’m convinced they set the standard for joy when God first created joy.
7.  Sheep run from the sound of a human voice.
8.  You don’t have to pay the VAT tax as a tourist…you can apply to get all taxes paid back to you.  
9.  “Half eight” is not four.  It is 8:30.
10.  Irish people eat a lot of “chips”…otherwise known as french fries.  They serve them with everything…even pizza.  Chips are called crisps.
11.  If it’s raining now, it won’t be in a wee bit.
12.  The Easter Rising for Ireland’s independence was 100 years ago…we went to a centenary celebration and learnt so much.
13.  An Irish breakfast is heavy on the protein…translation:  so much meat.
14.  Most Irish children are not chained to “entertainment”.  We spent several hours outside (rain and sunshine) at the Easter Rising celebration with many speeches and lots of music.  Literally hundreds of children of all ages played and chased and entertained themselves and we did not see a tablet or phone filled with games, babysitting a single child.  It was refreshing.
15.  Irish people are not afraid to talk to strangers…they will stop you in the street to chat.  I met a few characters that will most certainly appear in my writing someday.
16.  Castles are everywhere…in sheep fields, on the side of a winding road, in the yard of a more modern house…We imagined people saying, “I have an abandoned castle in my yard, no big deal”
17.  The Irish brogue is beautiful.
18.  The Irish love America…Americans…all things American.
19.  Irish people look surprised when you tell them what a beautiful country they have.  I suppose if you’ve lived there forever and have admired photos of other places, you might forget.
20.  Early barrel makers are some of the hardest-working people on earth…learnt that at the Guiness Storehouse.
21. Irish people love sweets.
22.  They do not, however, put maple syrup on their pancakes…and they eat a lot of pancakes.
23.  There is no definable border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.  You just arrive.  You can tell you’re there when the currency changes from Euro to Pound Sterling. 
24.  The conflicts in Belfast are still brewing right under the surface.  I understand it a bit better after taking a black cab tour around the “troubled” area.  It was eye-opening. 
25.  The Titanic museum in Belfast is worth every red pence.
We had a fabulous trip...we fell in love with Ireland.  We are so thankful to have had the opportunity to visit! 
*Learnt is an Irish/English word for those cringing spelling/grammar nazi''s okay... :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Why I'm writing a novel...

 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
John 21:25

I stumbled upon this verse this morning.  And by stumbled upon, I mean I was looking something up and mistook a two for a five and read John 21:25 instead of John 21:22. 
This was a blessing to my heart.
Because as I near the end of writing the first rough draft of my novel, I am filling in blanks and finding that some of the threads woven through my story do not answer the question "Why are you writing this?"
Why am I writing a novel titled:  The Grace Writers?
Because I am a recipient of lavish grace.
Because I want others to know the grace that is available to them.
Because I want to illustrate (with words) that nobody can out-sin grace.
Because I love the Lord so much, I can't keep this knowledge to myself.
Because I love people so much, I can't keep this knowledge to myself.
THAT is why I'm writing my (and by my, I mean His) novel.
And then this by mistake...but exactly what I needed to read.
This is why I'm writing...
I'm writing just one of the books that will tell of some of the things Jesus has done...
One of the books with some of the things, 
Because if they were all written down, the whole world would not have room for them. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

My Favorite Line From a Movie...(don't judge me...)

“What is your favorite line from a movie?”
            The prompt was given at a writing class I attended at the community college.  I chose my line, wrote my essay and then hesitated to read it.  As luck, or rather, misfortune would have it, I was the last to share.  Everyone else in the class had profound quotes from classic movies.  Their quotes had deep philosophical meaning, intellectual and influential.  The lines were serious…with political or moral significance.  Mine was from a chick flick with little depth.  As each person shared, I wondered how to share my line without appearing goofy or worse, stupid.  Then I began plotting how to get out of sharing at all.  I could say I drew a blank, except others had seen me writing feverishly during the exercise.   Darn.  It was my turn.  I decided to own my favorite line and be proud.  Who cares what anyone else thinks, right?  And so I read:
            "My favorite line from a movie is:  'Everyone is Tad Hamilton to somebody.” 
            A few of my classmates chuckled.  I continued:
            "As my kids began dating and thinking about finding “the one”, we discovered the movie Win a Date With Tad Hamilton.  In a light and breezy way, the assumption that only the most handsome or beautiful win the girl or guy is unequivocally blasted to rubble.
            Our hero Pete, is in love with the unassuming (and beautiful) Rosalee, who wins a date with a movie star, Tad Hamilton.  As a romance ensues, Pete tries desperately to win her heart as the virile Tad has only to wink and cause hearts to melt like butter on a sweet roll.
            Whan Rosalee seemingly chooses Tad forever, Pete seeks the advise of a barmaid who has always flirted with Pete, pining for his heart.  Hearing his plight and knowing without a doubt that she will not win him, she confesses that Pete is her Tad Hamilton.  Pete is surprised and humbled.  Then the line:  “Everyone is Tad Hamilton to somebody”. 
            Her words give him courage and he runs to Rosalee and declares his love but she rejects him and runs off with the movie star.  All hope seems lost, but as with all good stories, in the end, Rosalee realizes that the real Tad Hamilton is all buff and fluff but Pete has been her true love all along.  The movie ends with a sappy dance in the rain, and the confirmation that sometimes the good guy does win the girl." 
            When I finished reading, red-faced, I sensed understanding in my classmates.  It's a familiar angst.  The doubt, the feeling that we're not good enough, the intimidation and finally, hopefully, the realization that we are loved, we are enough, made to be who we are meant to be.  After all, it's true, you know..."Everyone is Tad Hamilton to somebody."