Conversation Stopper

The Old Testament prophet Isaiah wrote about Jesus some 740 years before Jesus was born. Isaiah may have been martyred—sawn in two—during the reign of Manasseh for speaking truth. He condemned the wealthy for oppressing the poor; he condemned women who neglected their families in the quest of carnal pleasure; he condemned priests and prophets who became drunken men-pleasers instead of teaching and keeping God’s law.

Isaiah declared God’s displeasure with sin and endeavored to turn his generation away from disobedience to God. He paved a foundation of hope and promise for those who remained true to God by telling them about the birth of Jesus, Savior and Redeemer.

Speaking out against sin and injustice, Isaiah said, “Woe unto…” Yet after he had a vision of the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, Isaiah said of himself, “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips.” (Isaiah 6:5) Faced with God’s holiness, Isaiah realized that the same sinfulness he had prophesied against in others was found within himself.

That’s why I wrote gritty, real “Killer Conversations.” I’ve been criticized because the narrative of child abuse creating a serial killer is not a fairy tale—it’s painful and haunting. It’s the only book I’ve ever written that has received a one-star review. As Christians, we sometimes use what we perceive as our goodness as an excuse to criticize others. We use the fact that we don’t smoke, drink, curse, etc. as a battering ram against other believers. It’s a temptation to set ourselves up and put others down. We forget: “There by the grace of God go I.”

Things I Love, Things I Hate

I hate cold, I hate winter, I hate snow – I hate Santa. That sounds more like an opening line for “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” than my usual upbeat, positive blog, yet all these statements are true.

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I hate snow because it’s cold and I hate cold and being cold. Probably dates back to childhood, surviving in sub-standard houses, some of which had no heat. Then cutting and gathering firewood in the ice and snow with no gloves or warm outer garments. As for Santa, he gets bashed because if you teach children Santa brings them gifts and then they learn it’s not true, will they believe in God?

Thanks to all of you who read my blogs. I love and am thankful for each one of you. And I’ll forget about stacking icy firewood with raw bleeding hands and take a positive turn.  I’ve just released a new mystery-romance-suspense book, “I’m the Grasshopper.” Releasing a new book always raises my cheerful volume, even in the cold, cold winter.

Newspaper staff writer Stacy Estes has never forgotten the fate of her childhood pet – a grasshopper – when it encountered a spider. Her failed romances make her view herself as the grasshopper and men as spiders. She. Is. Done. With. Romance.

Stacy is a runner and hider. Until she trips over a body at her grandmother’s house and goes from reporting the news to being the news. Stacy fights to keep her secrets intact, including her physical disability, especially from the first love of her life who has moved back to the community. Lost treasure? Gold mining in Texas? Flying saucers on her grandmother’s hill? And what about the men who go into the Comanche Cliff store – but never come out again? Mysteries entangle and endanger Stacy. When a local poacher is jailed for murder, Stay’s life unravels.

Her investigation into the murder victim on her grandmother’s property takes her to the strange world of boanthropy, where people believe they are cows. It sends her into a confrontation with satanic worshiper “Snake.” And she is slated for the next sacrifice.

“I’m the Grasshopper” is a great Christmas read, clean enough that the kids or Grandma can pick it up and read it, yet packed with excitement, adventure, mystery and love. Stacy has a physical disability, but does that make her a “cripple,” as a heartless co-worker labels her?

To give credit where it belongs, the Bible promises in Romans 8:28 that “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord.” Being in extreme pain and on crutches for months gave me the idea for the story and characters. God is always faithful to His word. I’ve since had successful spinal surgery, so it will be a very Merry Christmas for me.

To all of you reading this blog, have a Very Merry Christmas and a Deeply Blessed New Year. Thanks for being there! God bless.

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https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0787RWNSG/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1513147845&sr=8-1&keywords=I%27m+the+Grasshopper+stephanie+parker+mckean

No Fear…Absolutely

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There are no easy answers for why bad things happen to good people, and why a loving God allows them to happen.

There are a lot of chipper, upbeat standard answers that sometimes make those afflicted with pain and suffering angry. Sure, they may be true – but in the midst of pain who wants to hear: Everything that happens in your life is a consequence of the decisions you’ve made and your actions. True or not, I can’t imagine walking into a hospice ward to visit a person with lung cancer and saying, “Well, this is your fault for smoking.”

True or not, in the center of a storm of pain, hardship, and suffering – telling someone that God created a perfect world, which was ruined by sin, and that God never intended bad to enter His perfect creation is not much comfort. Action to help the person is needed more than all the glib clichés one can deliver.

Please, I welcome your prayers, but the following is Not a plea for sympathy. When my hip pain started a few years ago, I ignored it. I declared stoutly, “I don’t need to go to the doctor. Even if an x-ray shows a problem, I will never let anyone cut me open. So why go?” So I exercised, ran, and prayed the pain away. I was a Texan, after all, and just like my character Texas Miz Mike in my mystery-romance-suspense “Bridge” series, Texans stand up to crisis. They don’t back down even from rattlesnakes.

Prayer works. From the time I was a new Christian and God removed my warts, to the time my son was scheduled to have a metal rod inserted in his spine and God healed him instead, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever – and Jesus heals. Prayer works. But sometimes we don’t get the answer we want or expect. Sometimes God answers “No.” Sometimes He answers “Wait.” For me this time, God’s answer was “NO.” For whatever reason, God did not heal me and I became increasingly worse. By worse, I am on crutches. I can’t open my mouth to take a bite of food without throwing the utensil down and hollering in pain.  Sneezing, yawning, coughing – the pain is so intense that it would knock down an elephant. Fortunately, I’m a Texan.

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The MRI showed a “huge” bulging disc in my spine that presses directly into the nerve. Instead of my right hip, the pain has spread to both hips and makes it impossible for me to drive because I can’t lift my foot and press down on the clutch. Why do I have this pain? Why has God not healed me? I don’t know. I do know that the Bible says to give thanks in everything, because this is the will of God for me in Christ Jesus. So I give thanks. I know that everything works together for good to those who love the Lord. Everything. How is this horrific pain working together for my good? I don’t know exactly, but I have an idea.

No fear. The greatest fear a person faces in life is death. Once that fear is eliminated – there’s nothing to fear. I lost my fear of death when my 37-year-old son died in a plane crash four years ago. He’s in Heaven and I will get to see him again when I get there. Everyone must walk through the valley of the shadow of death to get to Heaven. But shadows aren’t real. They can’t hurt. Shadows are an illusion. No fear.

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However, I love mobility. I want to walk, run, swim, climb mountains – keep moving. Therefore…I was determined that no doctor, no surgeon was ever going to touch my spine. Until…the pain. It took severe pain to grow me past the fear of having surgery. My surgery is scheduled for next week and I would be jumping in joy – if jumping didn’t hurt so much and if I could lift my feet. I am thrilled. I am totally unafraid and totally ready to surrender my life, health, and spine to whatever surgeon God provides. Trusting God totally and totally without fear.

I can’t answer the question of why bad things happen, or why Jesus didn’t heal me this time as He has in the past. Mysteries belong to God, even though I write them in books. But this I know, pain has pushed me to grow beyond fear. Totally.

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http://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-Parker-McKean/e/B00BOX90OO/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Non-Verbal Communication

Our dog Angel Joy is skilled in non-verbal communication. Without using words—or even her voice—she chooses directions on walks, tells us when to refill her food dish, when to stop everything and spend time with her, and when it’s bedtime. Sometimes she uses her voice to remind us of when it’s time to take her pills or when she deserves a treat, but those reminders are elucidated without benefit of words.

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Words are not needed to convey the emotions behind a child’s tears, a smile, a hug, a kiss. Without words, a person’s face transmits messages: a grimace of pain, a glimmer of amusement, joy and expectation, despair and disillusionment. Words are powerful, the swords of our spirits, but non-verbal communication can be equally powerful.

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Even silence speaks. The quiet of an enchanting forest, the sparks of glory in a sunrise, the rolling splendor of an unspoiled landscape, the marvel of flower faces.

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As a writer, I love words. It’s hard to admit that the world can survive and continue without the addition of my words. Foolish pride. No matter how much time I put into crafting a perfect sentence, my words fall short of describing or explaining this marvelous universe created by God.

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“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork.” Psalm 19:1. A witness without words.

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Yet, as writers, we use our words. Words keep us alive. Thankfully, sometimes they are needed.

http://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-Parker-McKean/e/B00BOX90OO/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Write What You Know

18362492_1238027982976551_1361060936_o“Write what you know,” the weathered writing instructor with grey-streaked red hair and periwinkle glasses told us, holding up two lackluster books that had probably not sold more than 30 copies each. Still, her two-day class was cheap, and at 20-something with a gathering stack of rejection slips, I figured some knowledge was better than no knowledge.

Wrong! I was quick to realize that at 20-something, I basically knew nothing. I should have given up writing then. Because by the time I knew enough to write books—reaping that knowledge had imprinted bloodstains on my heart. Some people like pain. I don’t.

When I attended those writing classes, I didn’t know God. When I started to realize God might be real, I prayed for Him to remove every doubt. He did. Accomplishing that meant sending me into the desert at night with a young child to support, no money, no job, no place to stay, and no vehicle. When you’re crying your heart out in the desert at night matching coyote wails, and the next day you receive everything you prayed for—it kind of removes the doubt element. Except, it’s mighty scary and uncomfortable at the time. Oh…almost everything. The vehicle arrived a few weeks later after we had started attending church and my four-year-old son said, “Mom, why don’t you pray for a truck?” I didn’t have enough faith to pray for that, but he did—and the next day—we had our truck.

A failed first marriage, fleeing and hiding from an abusive husband, supporting a child by myself, and working two to three jobs—knowledge is costly.

I must confess that my newest book, “Bridge to Texas,” is a comical mystery-romance-suspense not based on personal knowledge…exactly. I’ve never done a nude calendar shoot and at my age and weight—no one would buy the calendars. However, I covered a story when I was working for a Bandera, Texas newspaper that gave me the idea. Older women raising money for charity took off their clothes and made history, so to speak, plus a lot of money!

I must thank my husband Alan T McKean, talented author in his own right, for “Bridge to Texas.” The entire story grew out of a comment he made: “You should write another Texas Miz Mike. You could have Evan get kidnapped.” Does he get kidnapped? Read the book. Oh, and here’s a link to Alan’s books: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alan-T.-McKean/e/B00BR1PM5Y/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

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The differences between Scotland and Texas spin comedy effortlessly in “Bridge to Texas,” and the characters are a bossy bunch who grab a’holt of a story plot and corral it for their own rodeo. So you can say the book wrote itself. I say God wrote and I typed it. But whatever your personal outlook, you will probably enjoy this romping mystery-romance-suspense that can make you laugh…yes…out loud!

Even the cover and cover blurb are the result of knowledge: photographer Don Davis’ genius with a camera; Paul Garrison III’s mule training advice, and friend Shawn Petersen’s riding skill.

So that jaded teacher was right. Write what you know. And if you’re too young yet to know a lot…be thankful and wait. Don’t rush the knowledge—unless you’re one of those peculiar folks who enjoy pain.

Moving Chair

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We first spotted it in the woods along a dog-walking path. A strange place to find a wooden chair from someone’s dining set, but the mystery deepened when the chair moved to the beach.

Being a writer, my head spun stories about the moving chair: a thief stole it and abandoned it when spotted. Said thief went back to retrieve the chair, but was caught again. Or perhaps one ex was getting back at the other by cleaning out the house, one chair at a time. Or an angry teen with a lazy parent moved the chair to make the parent question his or her sanity when things vanished. Being lazy, said parent would never go looking for the missing item. Or perhaps some kind person thought older dog walkers would appreciate a comfortable place to rest.

My favorite story is dedicated to the memory of Bandera County, Texas pioneer Edwina Boyle—because it mirrors her real life story.

An old woman lived in the woods near the beach. She couldn’t watch the sea from her house, but each day she walked through the woods to the beach. She threw stranded starfish back into the waves. She rescued baby seals. She carried injured sea birds home with her and nursed them back to health…until…until the day she suffered a stroke.

Usually a mild person, the old woman experienced anger when she heard negative, disparaging words about her condition. “It was a severe stroke,” the doctor said. “She’ll never recover. She’ll never walk again. She needs to go to a nursing home.”

Family members were just as pessimistic. “She can’t walk. She can’t even move her legs. There’s no choice. She will have to go into a home.”

The angry woman mounted a secret campaign against her bleak prognosis. She prayed, asking God over and over to heal her legs. Daring even to demand that God heal her! Every time she was alone, she concentrated all her thoughts and energy into making a toe move, then a foot, then a leg. One day before her scheduled hospital release, she slipped out of bed and teetered around the room.

Once home, the determined woman continued her self-imposed physical therapy. She propped her back door open and carried one of her kitchen chairs out to the porch. The next day, she carried the chair down the steps. Each day, the woman carried the chair further, sat in it to rest, then returned home. Before long, she was sitting in her chair at the beach reading moments of joy and fury from the voice of the waves. Neighbors stopped to ask her to forecast the weather because they knew the water talked to its faithful friend.

Writing is like that moving chair. At times, it’s hard not to listen to the negative, derogatory predictions for success. Rejections, lack of sales, bad reviews—it’s enough disappointment and broken dreams to send authors to retirement homes.

Don’t give up and surrender yourself to a retirement home. Keep moving the chair. Oh—and when it gets too heavy for you to carry, ask God to help.

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http://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-Parker-McKean/e/B00BOX90OO/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Pee on Crabs

Our rough collie is a lady. If she became homeless and had to “dumpster dive” for food—she would starve.

So, too, with her bathroom habits. She simply will not do her business on: a road, a sidewalk (pavement in the UK), the golf course, or manicured lawns. Heck—she will hardly defecate in her own yard!

A dead crab on the beach, however, fails to benefit from her gracious habits. She will pee on it in a heartbeat. It seems unseemly to abuse a corpse, but Angel Joy shows no remorse. A dead crab shell on the beach is a fair target. Most uncouth, but there you have it.

So I looked up information on crabs to find out what’s wrong with them—from a doggy perspective. Nothing. They wear a thick exoskeleton, which they shed and replace as they grow, and range in size from the aptly named tiny “pea crab,” to the Japanese spider crab with a leg span of 13 feet. They are renowned for their sideways walking, but that’s no different from politicians skirting questions. Crabs are aggressive, yet they are also known to work together to provide food and protection to their families.

And there you have it: the secret to writing interesting fiction characters that will nab readers. Complex. Layered. Not all good, not all bad. As a writer, don’t hesitate to pee on the crab.

As to why Angel Joy, who is not a writer, pees on crabs…well, I will probably never know.

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http://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-Parker-McKean/e/B00BOX90OO/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Not Offended

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Still find it hard to believe that the British Medical Association told its staff not to use the term ‘expectant mother’ as it could offend transgender people.

We are heading toward a future population who will find cause to be offended at myriad incidents instead of using the opportunity of opposition to grow in strength and character.

Like any other “handicapped” child, Aimee Mullins was mocked. She was born without calf bones and both her legs were amputated when she was a year old. Instead of hiding away “offended” by cruel remarks – she learned to fly. She is a world class runner who broke world records in 100 meters, 200 meters and the long jump – while competing against “able-bodied” athletes.

Shakespeare’s poems and plays are still popular around the world some 400 years after his death. He used more words from the English language than any other writer ever has – and was taunted by some of his contemporaries, including Robert Greene who called him among other things an “upstart crow.”

Vincent Van Gogh painted his inner feelings of depression and was labeled a failure and “mentally ill.” He rose from poverty and mocking to praise and riches. His “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” was one of the world’s most expensive paintings and is now valued at $155 million.

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, couldn’t get into law school, borrowed money for a business and went bankrupt, and lost five elections before he became President. Personal tragedies included losing his mother when he was nine; the deaths of a sister, a sweetheart, and three of four sons. He also suffered a broken engagement and was diagnosed with clinical depression, spending six months in bed after a nervous breakdown.

The world was perfect when God created it. But when sin came into the world, that perfection was marred. We now live in a world of “hard knocks.” Being given permission to be offended at every real and imagined slight will never build us into individuals who can grow in grace, character, and strength.

I am so thankful that I never “fit in” as a child. Because I learned at an early age not to seek peer approval, I escaped the rampant drug culture when I went to college. Because I care more what God thinks about me than what other people do, I can write hard books that get flak: pro-life “Heart Shadows;” abused child turned serial killer “Killer Conversations,” and soon-to-be-released Texas Miz Mike mystery-romance-suspense #7, “Bridge Home.” The easy to love, bonkers Miz Mike is the same in “Bridge Home,” but there is an added dimension. Should Christians be in favor of, or opposed to same sex marriage? Miz Mike faces that dilemma when her fiancé is falsely arrested for killing one of two women who requested a same-sex marriage ceremony in his church.

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The release of “Bridge Home” should prove interesting. My hope and prayer is that readers will love it and welcome it as another of Miz Mike’s “pickle-making” mysteries. But I’m prepared for flak and one-star reviews because, thankfully, when I was growing up I didn’t have the British Medical Association looking out for me.

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http://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-Parker-McKean/e/B00BOX90OO/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Author Val Poore, Life HER Way

Meet Author Valerie Poore, Living Life HER Way.

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Best selling author Valerie Poore’s books include “Watery Ways,” “Walloon Ways,” “African Ways,” “Harbour Ways,” “How to Breed Sheep, Geese And English Eccentrics, and “The Skipper’s Child.” Her secret to success could be her courage to live life her way, never abandoning dreams no matter how impossible they seem. I am honored that she agreed to share my blog this week.

Val, do you remember what age were you when you decided to become a writer and what inspired you to make that decision? What is the earliest writing success you remember? Have there been any heartbreak rejections? If so…what kept you going?

Oh my goodness, Steph, I cannot remember ever not writing something. I wrote reams of stories as a child and then later, I wrote more descriptive articles. I also had to write for my work as a communications manager, so that meant a lot of copywriting for ads and brochures as well as newsletters. But the actual decision to write seriously for myself started in South Africa. I spent so much time listening to the radio that I decided to try my hand at writing plays for broadcast. Sadly, I never had any luck and had a few rejections from the SABC (SA’s broadcasting corporation) as well as from the BBC, but I did have a short story broadcast on a Christian radio station. It was a story about a minister who finds a kitten and on returning it to its atheist owner, starts an unusual friendship that leads them into all sorts of philosophical discussions. It had a happy and (I still think) rather touching ending.

It sounds like a marvelous story. I would enjoy reading it – but then, I enjoy reading everything you write! Your young adult book “The Skipper’s Child” is fiction, based on history and fact which, I believe, gives it added dimension and interest for readers. It has – along with some of your other books – been a best seller. “How to Breed Sheep, Geese, and English Eccentrics” seems to be fictionalized non-fiction. The rest of your books are non-fiction in the memoir genre. Which do you enjoy writing most and why? Do you have a future writing project in mind that is different from the books you’ve already written? And if so, would you like to discus it?

Well, I’m not sure if you would call any of them real best sellers, but I’ve been lucky enough to have The Skipper’s Child and two of my memoirs at the top of their respective categories for a while, so that’s been a huge thrill. As for the mix between fact and fiction, yes, I can’t seem to get away from fact completely. All the same, I enjoy writing fiction as it allows me the creative freedom to invent things that I don’t have with memoir writing. I have never written anything as completely fictitious as you have though – not yet! My next book is a novel set in Africa but is still based on my life there. The one after that will be much more of a challenge as it involves more research into the history of the waterways than I’ve ever needed to do before and it will be completely fictitious story. I’m really excited about it, actually. The idea is for a novel about a Dutch skipper’s efforts to escape from the Germans during the war. It will start with the bombardment of Rotterdam, which was much more horrific than I ever realised.

What a great idea, Val. Like all your other books, I can’t wait to read it! Now, let me ask this: “Watery Ways,” “Harbour Ways,” and “Walloon Ways” all detail restoring barges and adapting to living on the water. I love what one reviewer said, “Val makes even plumbing interesting.” What are the disadvantages of barge living? Do you expect to always live on a barge or do you want to plant your life back on solid ground someday?

Ah, Steph, I am already in a kind of transitional phase. I don’t spend all the time on my barge anymore as my partner finds it too small and uncomfortable these days, so I live with him in a house at weekends and on my barge during the week when I’m alone in Rotterdam for work. The disadvantages I have are only because of the location of my home harbour, which is on a tidal river in the middle of the city. The challenges come from problems with excessively high or low tides combined with wind, and of noise from being in the city’s social hub. If I were to move to a different location, there wouldn’t be any disadvantages as far as I’m concerned, but it’s not a ‘switch on the light and turn on the tap’ kind of life. You have to sort out your own electrical connections, fix your own plumbing and fill up water tanks on a regular basis. It’s hard work, and I’ve had to learn how to do it all myself, but I don’t see that as a downside. Quite the reverse – it’s all be part of the adventure.

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I love your sense of adventure, Val! Along with brilliant writing, it’s what makes your books so much fun to read. Even though you might deny it, you are also courageous and that pops out from the words on the pages when you detail the difficulty and hard work involved in building your life on a floating foundation. Another question, from “Walloon Ways” and anecdotes about your dog Sindy, and from “How to Breed Sheep, Geese, and English Eccentrics, it’s obvious you love animals. Do you ever plan to retire from your barge and fill your life with animals again? How difficult is it to keep a dog on a barge?

Oh yes, I love animals – probably more than most people really. Having a big dog on a barge was quite a challenge, and when Sindy got old, it was really difficult, especially as she hated being on the move too. Because of that, I won’t have another dog or cat until I lead a more settled life, but yes, I would love to have animals again. I miss Sindy terribly, even now. One day, though, I’ll have another dog, a small one though, and a cat too. I’d really like to have chickens as well. They are the funniest, most delightful creatures to have and to watch – just the job for when I get old and want to stay at home more, and then I can have my own eggs as well!  

I’m sure you will have all of that and more some day. You might even run your own farm when you exchange your watery ways for walking ways. It’s been so much fun having you here today. Delightful. Thank you. Before you leave to get back to your busy life, what would you most like readers to know about you and your books?

Wow, that’s a difficult question, but a good one! I think all I really want people to know is that life can always be an adventure if you just get up every day with a sense of wonder and curiosity, and I hope my books reflect this. Of course I’ve had my ups and downs, but my attitude is always to keep exploring, keep trying new things and keep enjoying every opportunity, however challenging it is. It’s taught me about places and introduced me to wonderful people I might never have encountered otherwise. I suffered from depression and crippling shyness as a teenager, but going to Africa cured me of both. It was the best thing I could have done and I think it’s what taught me to be open to everything and to cherish every experience, both good and bad.

I can’t imagine you ever having suffered from depression and crippling shyness, Val. You have done as marvelous a job of reinventing yourself as you have your lifestyle and your barges. That makes you an inspiration for others, especially those who are facing the same battles in their lives. Thank you so much for joining me today.

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http://www.amazon.com/Valerie-Poore/e/B008LSV6CE/

http://vallypee.blogspot.co.uk/

Loof Lirpa & Money in the Bank

While my brothers and sisters were honor roll students, I was a mediocre student, predictably in the middle of my class. Sadly, my high school math average is – F.

However, I loved writing. Writing was the only occupation I knew where you got paid to lie. As a fourth grader, my first check as a writer was for $5 from a magazine that bought my story about the enormous snapping turtle in our pond. There was a snapping turtle. It was a whooper – just like the whooper about how much of a whooper the thing was!

Our seventh grade history teacher assigned us homework over the weekend, a two-page story on the explorer Loof Lirpa, who had discovered America before Columbus. I promptly forgot the assignment until Monday morning when I heard complaints and groans from students who hadn’t written their two-page paper because they couldn’t find information on Lirpa. No problem. I sat down at my desk and zipped out two pages feeling snug that for once – just once – I would be ahead of my class instead of behind them.

Our teacher asked how many people had completed their homework assignment. I proudly raised my hand. I felt like a champ when he invited me up to the front of the room to read my two-page report on the famous explorer.

Then he wrote Loof Lirpa on the board. Under it, he wrote “April Fool.”

Later, when I was a brand new Christian and a single parent, our church scheduled a special offering for building repairs. I desperately wanted to give generously to the project, but I knew that I only had $25 in the bank until my next check – a week away. However, when I sat down and carefully added and subtracted everything, I found an extra $100. Elated, I wrote out a check to the church for the extra $100. A few days later, checks started bouncing. Sure, my math was bad. Sure, I failed math in school. But I had checked and rechecked…and the money should have been there.

I marched into the bank with my check book to show them the deposits. They agreed with me and stopped all the bouncing checks and put money from the bank fees back into my account. They kept my check stub so their financial wizard could solve the conundrum. By the time they found the problem, I had received my paycheck and was in the clear…because the $100 really wasn’t in the account and never had been in the account. One of their cashiers had written a $10 deposit so sloppily that – even to the bank – it had looked like $100. The church got their offering, I got a week’s interest-free loan and no bank charges…God has a sense of humor!

Perhaps the reason I’m so excited about my next Miz Mike Christian mystery-romance-suspense “Bridge Beyond Betrayal,” is that it’s funny. I love humor. Bridge Beyond Betrayal is scheduled for release by Sunpenny Publishing Group on June 30. I can’t wait! I’m going to read it all over again just to get a good laugh!

Hope a lot of folks will buy Bridge Beyond Betrayal and join me in laughter. Besides, I can’t keep adding to the Miz Mike series if the books don’t sell. Even with my limited math skills, I understand that.

Writing, I love it! What other occupation pays liars?

http://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-Parker-McKean/e/B00BOX90OO/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

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