2016 Cultivating Gratitude: The Blessing of Writing

thumbnail_WF_fullcover_6-17-16    This week I have a guest on the blog, Janet  K. Brown.  Worth Forgiving is the second in her Wharton Rock Series.

Prejudice and mistrust hinders an ex-con, drug addict’s new beginning.

The state of Texas releases from prison Katie Smith. Full of optimism, she sets out to get a job, rent her own place, and make a home for her eight-year-old daughter, but Katie gave away her daughter three years ago. She could use a friend, but her past choices threaten to doom her to continued failure.

Larry Pullman graduated from seminary with high marks, but the fact that he has no wife makes finding a preaching job almost impossible. It doesn’t help that running from God as a teenager gave him a past that he can’t undo. All he needs is an ex-con, drug addict messing up his life, but then why did God lead him to her? Or did He?

Isn’t it enough that Lacey Chandler gave her sister’s daughter a home? Does that mean she has to clean up Katie’s messes forever?

Could it be that Katie is not Worth Forgiving?

Worth Forgiving, an inspirational women’s fiction, is the second in her Wharton Rock series. Her only non-fiction is Divine Dining: 365 Devotions to Guide You to Healthier Weight and Abundant Wellness.

Worth Forgiving marks Brown’s fourth book. Who knew she had a penchant for teens and ghosts? She released her debut novel, an inspirational young adult, Victoria and the Ghost, in July, 2012.

Until Sept. 1, the book can be pre-ordered at this link: http://www.pen-l.com/WorthForgiving.html On Sept. 1, it should be on Amazon, Nook, & retail everywhere.

Janet lives in Wichita Falls, Texas with her husband, Charles.  Janet

Janet and her husband love to travel with their RV, work in their church, and visit their three daughters, two sons-in-law and three perfect grandchildren.

Janet teaches workshops on writing, weight loss, and the historical settings of her teen books. The author uses her platform of recovering compulsive overeater to weave stories of hope for addiction, compulsion, or impossible situations.

Find her at http:/ /www.janetkbrown.com, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/janetkbrowntx, on Facebook  http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Janet-K-Brown-Author/143915285641707 E-mail: Janet.hope@att.net

The Blessing of Writing

An attitude of gratitude enriches our life in so many ways. Quite often, especially near Thanksgiving Day, we count our blessings and thank God for the good things in our lives. However, the exercise is wise to do throughout the year.

After I read some posts on Peggy’s blog, I started thinking that one thing I was grateful for was writing. Ever since a junior high school teacher encouraged me, I’ve been writing something. When my girls were young, I wrote and sold a few short stories. In 2006, I retired. My goal was to write and visit grandkids.

I launched into what has become a second career. I studied and submitted until I found some bit of success in writing. Here is my list of the blessings of writing.

1. Satisfaction

I love to write. I get lost in a story of my own making. I live my adventures through the pen or the keyboard. Writing brings me peace.

2. New friends

I could never imagine the friendships forged by the love of writing and reading.

Nowadays, one of my best new friends lives in Oklahoma. I see her two to three times a year. When one of us gets down, we call and encourage each other.

A group of authors from Australia took me in and let me join their anthology. We pray for each other’s needs. We’ll probably never see each other this side of heaven.

A sweet friend that steered my career in an unimaginable way lives in Colorado. One time when I was driving near her home, she met me on the road. What a treasure that was.

Authors at conferences from all over have touched my life and breathed in wisdom.

Writing gives a wealth in friendships, and we speak the same language.

3. My new ministry

I’ve taught Sunday School. I sang in the choir. I’ve visited newcomers to church. Who could’ve known that writing could become a way of touching peoples lives for God. During a class with DiAnn Mills, I wrote my mission statement and for the first time, recognized the career as a ministry. How blessed I am to do something I love that touches people for Christ. E-mails, posts, and even a review have told me my book led them back to Christ.

4. Free or discounted books

No, I don’t have to write to win free books, but I’m more aware of bargains from authors I like. I’m also more likely to meet authors and purchase signed copies.

5. Recognition

Who would’ve realized how nice it is to be recognized for doing something you enjoy doing, like writing.

6. I can do it anywhere.

Who else but writers can work while staring at a mountain top or sitting on a beach?

So, that’s my list of blessings. Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to write. If I stopped tomorrow, I would swell with enough gratitude to last a lifetime.

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2016 Cultivating Gratitude: An Oklahoma Fairytale

new cover    Summer is almost over and fall brings out festivals and fairs.  One of my favorites is the Heavener Runestone Viking and Celtic Fest.  It will be held on October 8 & 9, 2016 at Heavener, OK.  It is a fascinating place full of mystery and fun and I can’t wait to be a part of it again.

I was so enchanted by the area I wrote an Oklahoma fairytale called Glome’s Valley.  It is a young adult novel full of Vikings, ghosts, trolls, fairies and Norse gods set in the Oklahoma forest.

Ethan was bored because he was not home enjoying summer with his friends.  Instead he was stuck in the woods with Dad as he studied the Heavener Runestone.   Then he found new friends.

The silver sword glistened in the sun as Ethan swung it at the nearest troll. He took aim, sliced the air––and missed by a mile.  He had never tried to hit anything with a sword except in his video games back home. This was different.  This was real life.  The troll laughed and charged. 

Bob suddenly appeared at the end of the bridge, head down and running full speed.  His yellow fur glistened in the sunlight, knocking trolls off the bridge as he cut a swath through them until he reached the other end.  Bob turned to do the same with the remaining trolls.

Ethan held the sword in both hands and swung again.  Suddenly the sword started to vibrate and a low sound, almost like the deep tone of a church bell, echoed through the air.   At first Ethan didn’t know where the sound was coming from.  It was getting louder and louder, and then he realized it came from the sword in his own hands.  All the fighting stopped and everyone turned to look at him, even Bob. 

Glome’s Valley is a children’s book set in a real place in Oklahoma.  If you haven’t been to the park you should take the kids and go.  You will love autumn in the forests of southeast Oklahoma.  Heavener is near Poteau and the Talimena Drive.  By October the weather will be exquisite and you’ll be grateful to live in a state with so much diverse geography.

See you at the festival!

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2016 Cultivating Gratitude: Grateful for the anthology

EWC book cover   THE ANTHOLOGY IS OUT!!!!  The Enid Writers Club has published our first anthology in both e-book and paperback.  It is a compilation of the thoughts and feelings of fifteen of our members.  Titled The Warp and Weft of Things to show the weaving of intricate threads into a cohesive fabric.

In weaving, the weft is the term for the thread or yarn which is drawn through the warp yarns to create cloth. Warp is the lengthwise or longitudinal thread in a roll, while weft is the transverse thread. A single thread of the weft, crossing the warp, is called a pick.

These pieces were picked in 2016 from a multitude of writings the members had on their computers or in drawers secreted away for just such an event. Many have taken honors at Oklahoma Writer’s Federation, Inc., our local contest, or have been previously published and used with permission. This is our anthology of works of every kind, length, and nature.

These stories, poems, and memoirs from the members of the Enid Writers Club, weave a very intricate rug. A magic carpet that will transport you to places you’ve only dreamed about. Sit back and enjoy a little bit of the talent behind the pen of these writers as they weave a story you will not soon forget.

Check it out Amazon.com for The Warp and Weft of Things.


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2016 Cultivating Gratitude: And Basil

pesto    I made pesto today!  I decided to quit letting the thigh high-basil go to waste.  After all it worked so hard to come up from the seeds that fell from last year’s plants.  Volunteers my mother-in-law would have said.  I’d put it into salads and in marinades for meat but it grew back faster than I could use it.  I offered it to friends.  No one wanted the lonely little weed.  tall basil

Of course I had to go to the store for parmesan, walnuts and other ingredients.  But I made pesto in my food processor.  I spread it on chicken breasts and baked them, then used the leftovers in pasta the next evening (with a little more pesto for flavor).

I read somewhere that you could freeze pesto in ice cube trays and then have them to drop into soups and stews in the cold winter months when no basil is growing outside your kitchen window.  Sounded like a good idea except I didn’t own any ice cube trays anymore.  Back to the store. 

Let me see, the basil comes up each year in the cracks of the sidewalk so it is free, but I go to the store for ingredients to make pesto and then again for ice cube trays to freeze it in – maybe I should have let it go to waste.  Naw.

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2016 Cultivating Gratitude: Glome’s Valley and the Heavener Runestone Park

new cover    Ethan was bored.  Summer was for fun – and fun meant spending time with your friends.  But he had no friends in the valley.  Dad was trying to decipher the ancient writing on the runestone, and Ethan was trying to find something cool to do. Just another boring summer.

“We’ll have an adventure, just us guys,” Dad said.  Then Dad got busy.  So Ethan decided he had to find his own fun and he went for a walk in the forest of southeast Oklahoma near the Heavener Runestone – not realizing he was being watched.  And not realizing the ancient forest was full of magic and creatures he had never dreamed of.

Glome had been this forest longer than he could remember.  His Viking Dad long since gone.  He found friends in the tiny fairies that glowed in the dark, Bob the huge dog who lived in the forest, and the beautiful wood nymph that was imprisoned in the flower valley.  Together they fought an ancient battle against the trolls. And then a new friend arrived.

Ethan soon found himself surrounded with more adventure than he might be able to handle, and he had to keep it a secret.  After all, how would he explain to Dad that he spent his days playing with Viking ghosts, fairies and a magic sword.

When the adventure finally meant he had to sneak out without Dad’s permission to save the beautiful princess, Ethan found out that the forest was much different after dark and he would end up fighting for his life and his new-found friends.

Glome’s Valley is a YA fairytale book set in the forests of southeastern Oklahoma at the Heavener Runestone.  The Heavener Runestone Park near Heavener, Oklahoma has a Viking and Celtic fest twice a year at the park to celebrate their heritage.  The next festival is October 8 & 9, 2016 at the Heavener Runestone  Park.  Come out and bring the kids and don’t forget to pick up a copy of the Oklahoma fairytale that is set in the same place. Glome’s Valley is available on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble (in paperback and ebook) and at the Heavener Runestone Park gift shop. The kids will love it.  Let me know what you think.

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2016 Cultivating Gratitude: The Apocalypse Sucks

1009952_10151834907161920_2018758238_n    What would you do if you were one of the last remaining survivors on earth?  What would you do if the person you were left to live with was not a friend; not someone you would have hung out with back in the day? What would you do if your last bra bit the dust leaving you to repair it with a safety pin?  Would you face the danger of the empty shopping mall for the remnants of the lingerie department?

Sandra and Molly are now stuck living together trying to survive a day-to-day existence.  But they are not alone.  There are a few people left alive in their small town, and then there are those things.

Living in the fifteen-story corporate tower they used to work in has its advantages – they are up high and can see everything.  But the climb up and down the stairs is getting to be harder and harder.  Food is getting scarce since they have looted every store left empty since the virus hit a year ago – and then the bat creature starts hanging on the window at night.  What it is and where it came from is the first question.  It looks sort of human with red skin, black eyes, huge wings, long tail, and dripping fangs.  But is it?

The Apocalypse Sucks is a story about survival and friendship written as a dark comedy.  Some things are still important even after the apocalyptic virus decimated most of the world. Humanity has changed, but the old problems still exist – problems like accepting people who don’t look like you.  Food and shelter come first, but friendship and cooperation must take place.

Molly and Sandra are now family – and nothing is more important than family, unless it is the survival of the human race.

Check out The Apocalypse Sucks published by Airship 27, with original art by Andy Fish and Zack Bruner.  A dark comedy about women, survival, acceptance – oh and about bras.

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2016 Cultivating Gratitude: Grateful for a Beach Read

SecretsofSandhillIsland_w8259    What makes a great beach read?  It has romance?  Suspense?  Is a page turner?  And as they say in the real estate world, Location, Location, Location! Secrets of Sandhill Island has all of those things.

Meg lost her fiancé in a storm when he went out fishing alone.  He was desperate for money, a baby on the way, he had to go.  It was the last thing he told her.  But was it really a storm that took him?  Now years later, the baby is a lawyer in a very prestigious firm on the mainland and manages a large charitable trust.  Meg has moved back home where she grew up, on Sandhill Island.  It seemed like a good place to hide out from her past and do what she loved, garden.

But your past has a way of haunting you.  She never felt like she belonged in the society world of Corpus Christi where her father insisted she mingle.  But with is death, she had the opportunity to take his fortune – now hers – and do some good with it. The complete opposite of her father’s evil business dealings.

Then Alex entered her life.  Alex had a past too when he appeared next door to her vegetable stand.  At first he was a good neighbor who wanted to help her rid her garden of the rabbit that was making a banquet of it. But the relationship soon took another turn just as her son announced his wedding.  Then the sparks started to fly.  Meg thought she had remained anonymous on the island, but soon found out she wasn’t hiding – everyone knew who she was.  And then the blackmail began just as a major hurricane zeroed in on the tiny island.

Check out Secrets of Sandhill Island on Amazon or Barnes & Noble in paperback or e-published.  Summer is half over, but you still have time for another beach read even if it is read under the air conditioner!

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