Posted on December 9, 2013 - by Kim
Just imagine the rehearsal room of the heavenly host in the months leading up to the birthday bash in Bethlehem. Nervous anticipation rippled along the rows of musicians as the director handed out the sheet music.
There would be no solos.
But that didn’t matter.
There would be no duets.
But that didn’t matter.
There would be no trios, no quartets or quintets.
But that didn’t matter.
There are no divas in the heavenly choir.
All that mattered was being part of this. Being able to participate, to lend a voice to the announcement of the King of Kings’ arrival among humanity. This was Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, and the Royal Albert Hall all rolled up into one. This was the performance of an eternity!
And if given the opportunity, I’d gladly have sat in the last seat on the alto row just to be part of that glorious Alleluia!
Posted on November 25, 2013 - by Kim
To be perfectly honest, I’ve never really thought about being blessed by my own attempts at putting pen to paper. I’ve been blessed by others who have chosen (or been chosen) to live the slightly abnormal life of a writer. And I hope my feeble attempts have blessed others, but I’ve never really considered that it would bless me.
Until this past week.
You see, I wrote a grant for work, requesting funds from a foundation for the purchase of some advanced audiometric testing equipment. Although my office is flush with updated equipment, this particular piece is not used in the day-to-day assessment process. It is specialized, used on those who, because of age, delay, or willingness to comply with traditional testing techniques, cannot be tested in the conventional way.
And with this grant, these kids, my kids, wouldn’t have to spend two hours driving to another city.
When I sat down to compose the proposal and write the grant, I found I utilized skills learned in front of the computer composing fiction. Things like ‘what will this audience want to hear?’ and ‘what words do I choose to catch their attention?’.”
And guess what? I must have done a pretty good job using those writing skills. I got the grant!
So, my writing had blessed me mightily. And for that, I am truly thankful.
Posted on November 11, 2013 - by Kim
As we finish up our little trips down memory lane this week, I would like to take a moment to remember those military men and women who made and continue to make it possible to enjoy freedom. From all us Inspirational Messengers, thank you for your service and your sacrifice.
We’re celebrating the release of Shannon’s latest title, Rodeo Queen for the next two weeks. Shannon is giving away 2 print copies. All comments will go into a drawing. Deadline: Nov 16, 11:59 pm central time.
Until she starts receiving threatening letters from a stalker. The good news is, the Texas Ranger assigned to her case is none other than her former sweetheart Mitch Warren—the man who chose his career over love.
Mitch vows to focus on protecting the woman he’s never forgotten. But Caitlyn stirs up memories best left in the past. When Mitch insists on hiding Caitlyn away on his family’s San Antonio ranch, will he keep things professional or seek out a second chance?
Posted on October 28, 2013 - by Kim
While it would be next to impossible to pinpoint one author who has influenced me over the years, I do know the first person to offer encouragement to the blossoming storyteller in me. I was in fifth grade and her name was Mrs. Jeri Shellhorse, Language Arts teacher extraordinaire.
Mrs. Shellhorse, perhaps unknowingly, did more to encourage a young writer than all the kudos in the world. She allowed me to write. Story after story from cards pulled from her little box of story starters. Sheaf after sheaf of notebook paper filled with words I’m not even sure she ever read.
But that didn’t matter. What did matter was that she let me write. And, by doing so, taught me the most important lesson about encouraging young writers.
Let them write. As much as they want. As often as they want. For as long as they want.
Let them write.
Posted on October 14, 2013 - by Kim
James 5:7 – 11 7 Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. 8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9 Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! 10 Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
I have a bountiful harvest of many wondrous things in my life: a job I love, family, friends, a fantastic church I can be an active part of. But as much abundance as I have in my life, I am severely lacking in the patience department. In fact, if I were a farmer, I’d lose a crop by digging the seeds back up within an hour of planting just to see if they’d sprouted yet.
I jest not.
And yet, just as God proves the fruitfulness of the earth through the patience of men and women who till the soil, he has shown me time and time again that being still and waiting provides baskets-full of blessings. Take my current job for example.
For over a year, I was extremely unhappy in the position I had held since a month before graduating with my Master’s degree. Within ten minutes of walking through the office door, anger and irritation eroded any joy that might have gathered in the twelve or so hours since I left. And this anger and irritation bled over into my private life. It seems if Kim wasn’t happy, she didn’t want anyone to be happy. Quitting the shooting match was the thought foremost in my brain.
Unfortunately, I am not independently wealthy and needed the income like a duck needs water.
So, I prayed. I gave up sweets and coffee. And I prayed.
And I kept on waiting.
Finally, something that could only be considered a God-thing happened. A new, perfect job seemingly came out of the blue and fell into my lap.
And I couldn’t be happier… or more thankful.
It was living proof that waiting for God’s perfect timing offered a harvest of joy beyond measure.
Unfortunately, I seem to be a slow learner in that department. Thankfully, God is an understanding teacher. And maybe, just maybe, this little writing journey I’m on is another lesson that, once learned, will once again fill the coffers of my soul with overflowing abundance.
Posted on September 30, 2013 - by Kim
Believe it or not, I am a very private person. Not a recluse, mind you. I love to be social as much as any G.R.I.T.S (Girl Raised In The South). I’m just not all that interested in sharing the calls of nature with every Mary, Sue, or Jane. Or Tom, Dick, or Harry for that matter.
You see, I much prefer hiding behind the mask of anonymity. To interact with people on a level playing field where there are no preconceived notions. Where I don’t have to censure a response based on how people who knew me when would react.
And I’ve found such a place at LiveJournal.
At LiveJournal, I can hide behind a username. I don’t have to explain my ramblings about writing to high school friends who are, no doubt, chuckling about the idea of the chubby class clown becoming published. I don’t have to make excuses about why I’d rather spend a quiet evening at home crafting lyrical paragraphs to convey a wayward soul’s journey toward redemption than roaming some dating site looking for Mr. Right-Now. I don’t have to defend the fact that today’s politics hold less appeal than a visit to the dentist while the social structures of Victorian England and how they influenced the politics of the day can keep me glued to the computer screen for hours. In short, at LiveJournal, I can just be me.
I know, I know. One of these days, if and/or when I become the newest New York Times bestselling author, I’m going to have to overcome this little eccentricity of mine. But for now, I’ll stick to checking Facebook for the happenings in friends’ lives while I live mine on LiveJournal.
Posted on September 16, 2013 - by Kim
Why, indulge in a few guilty pleasures, of course. And I have a million of them.
However, since the request is for ten, I’ll curb my enthusiasm a little.
So, here they are, listed from I-might-skip-a-snack-to-indulge to I’d-rather-indulge-than-eat-despite-the-gnaw-of-hunger-in-my-belly:
10. Animated Disney movies: Wholesome fun with some rather wicked comedic lines that kids would never understand as well as adults do.
9. Smule’s Magic Piano on the iPad: This game should come with a warning! It takes gaming addictions to a whole new level.!
8. Fairway Golf Solitaire on the iPad: See above.
7. Star Wars Angry Bird on the iPad: See above.
6. William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: You haven’t read literature until R2D2 beeps in Old English.
5. Duck Dynasty: Ain’t nothing wrong with a little Uncle Si fix, Jack.
4. Anything British… or Scottish… or Irish: I was an Anglophile before I could speak the language. Blame it on Julie Andrews and Mary Poppins.
3. Alan Rickman: As my secretary would say, he makes my teeth sweat.
2. Reading fanfiction: Hey, don’t laugh. There are some great writers out there!
1. Writing fanfiction: And don’t say you haven’t been tempted. For me, this goes way back to making up stories with my Barbie dolls to Tammy Wynette’s D-I-V-O-R-C-E when I was about eight years old. There’s no better way to hone your skills and stretch your creativity than this method. I’m, proud of what I write! Just don’t expect me to reveal my current penname, fandom obsession or one true pairing. However, if I have peaked your curiosity….
There you have it. Kim’s Top Ten Guilty Pleasures. What are yours?
Since we know most of our Inksper friends have reading on their list of guilty pleasures, we’re giving away a (gently used)copy of Sarah Sundin’s On Distant Shores to one lucky reader this week, and a copy of Laura’s Love’s Awakening to another reader. Every time you leave a comment over the next two weeks, your name will be entered.
The two winners will be chosen after midnight on Friday, Sept. 20 and posted on Saturday!
Posted on September 2, 2013 - by Kim
While they may not get wrinkles, books can benefit from facelifts as much as some humans do. With updated covers, these old favorites can arouse new interest and lure a whole new generation of readers.
Take my favorite picks, for instance:
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling – In honor of the fifteenth anniversary, Kazu Kibuishi has created cover art that is as magical as the stories within. The spines of the books, when arrange in order, offer a fantastic view of Hogwaarts itself. Add a decorative box, and I know I’m not the only one itching for the next pay day and a chance to make these special editions a part of my library.
If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m taken in my artistic renderings on a book’s face. Photos are fine, but for me, its brush strokes and pen lines that make my fingers tingle with the urge to pick it up and take a peek at what’s beneath the dust jacket.
Posted on August 19, 2013 - by Kim
Today is my nephew’s first day of kindergarten. Real kindergarten, in the big ol’ elementary school in Dadeville, Alabama. And I’m not sure who is more nervous, my nephew or my brother. Of course, I think my brother’s discomfort comes more from the fact his oldest is old enough to enter the hallowed halls of learning.
So with this in mind, here is my prayer for my brother’s sanity and my nephew’s fear:
For those who are sending their child through the school doors for the very first time, grant them calm confidence in the teacher’s ability to conquer a child’s fear and wipe away every tear.
For those who are just beginning their school years, keep them safe in the hollow of your hand. Give them peace. Grant them compassionate wisdom.
For those entrusted with these young minds, grant them the serenity needed to soothe fragile spirits without breaking them. Give them just a bit of your all-encompassing love so they are able to care for even the most unlovable amongst their charges. Provide them with grace and the ability to forgive. Grant them compassionate understanding for the emotions coursing through worried parents and apprehensive children.
Above all, keep them all safe both inside the school building and out.
In Jesus’ name,
And to help us remember that school is not all dull work and no play:
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not flunk?
He keepeth me from lying down when I should be studying?
He leadeth me beside the water cooler for a study break?
He restores my faith in study guides?
He leads me to better study habits?
For my grades’ sake.?
Yea, though I walk through the valley of borderline grades?
I will not have a nervous breakdown?
For thou art with me?
My prayers and my friends, they comfort me?
Thou givest me the answer in moments of blankness?
Thou anointest my head with understanding?
My test paper runneth over with questions I recognise.?
Surely passing grades and flying colours shall follow me?
All the days of my examinations?
And I shall not have to dwell in this exam hall forever. ??— Author Unknown (Found at godweb.org)
So as we embark on another school year, remember that where tests abide, prayer dwelleth.
Posted on August 5, 2013 - by Kim
Camp Comer in lovely Mentone, Alabama served as the launching pad for the proud members of the Cleburne County High School Marching Tiger Band every second week of August for years. From Sunday evening until just after noon on Friday, we’d skirmish against mosquitos the size of elephants while keeping a lookout for wiggling, hissing reptiles trolling the edges of the forest intent on encroaching on the practice field and devouring the entire rookie class. Between learning drills and memorizing music, we made memories centered around swimming in the lake and snogging like the teenagers we were on the big rock beside the mess hall. Well, my friends snogged, I was the appointed interference runner.
For five years, I had a love/hate relationship with the second week of August. I hated it because it meant a week away from my family, sweating like a wh… well, let’s just say I have a lot of sympathy for sinners confined to the heated basement of Lucifer’s inferno. I hated it because we worked until our knees knocked and our arms trembled from the effort of holding a fifteen pound bit of brass for hours. I hated the dirt, the bugs and the critters.
Yet as much as I loathed it, I wouldn’t trade the friendships and the memories for a million trips to Disney World. How could I when it meant a week spent with my best friends in the whole world, dancing to Prince and laughing at Bill Cosby? Laughter seemed to erase the tiredness. Camaraderie rendered the homesickness bearable. At the end, with Senior year beginning, I stood in the tiny kitchen are of the A-framed cabin my best friends – along with eight others we included in our fold – and I shared every second week of August for five years as the three of us took turns signing the wall. And I cried like a baby. We all did, clinging to one another like we’d never let go.
Of course we did, drifting apart as high school faded into college and careers. And yet, twenty-six years later, every second week of August, I’m drawn back down the tree-lined avenue of memory and arrive in the gritty, old camp, ready to once again skirmish with mosquitoes and wage war against the rattlesnakes as the faint voice of the PA announcer’s voice drifts on the breeze… And now entering the field for your halftime enjoyment, the Marchinnnnnnnnnng Tiger Band!