"IT'S TEA TIME WITH CHERI', COME ON IN AND LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO MY FRIENDS..."
Coffee or Tea?
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
I met Janice on a prayer chain we both belong to and thought immediately, "Hey, I really like this gal!". She is the best friend you picture in your mind; the funny friend on a girls' night out; the loyal prayer partner you can always count on. I had no idea when I met her she was also an accomplished screen writer, and had a long string of successful books published...or that she was such a wonderful mentor for many beginning writers needing guidance. She has produced several Christian theater shows such as "Zaney Muldaney, on the Road to Kingdom Come",a fun musical with wild costumes and crazy characters that bring out a new way of understanding the Bible that she co-produced with friend, Brenda White. You can see some of the fun pictures here... https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150457262925386.642170.899110385
Janice Hanna (also published as Janice Thompson) has published more than seventy novels and non-fiction books. She has also published more than fifty magazine articles and several musical comedies for the stage. Janice makes her home in the Houston area near her children and grandchildren.
Her books are enjoyable to read and remind me of simpler times and the old sit-coms of my childhood. I first read "Fools Rush In" after I read about a free download for my Kindle. I had just bought "Love Me Tender" and hadn't had time to read it yet, but with Kindle I could take "Fools Rush In" with me wherever I went. After an hour of reading I knew that would never happen...I wasn't going to put it down until the very last page! Inside the pages of "Fools Rush In" I met two delightful families that reminded me of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets Little House on the Prairie". There was a parrot that once belonged to the mob, that Uncle Lazlo wanted to get saved so he could be returned to his mobster friend and lead him to salvation. There was D.J. who became a DeeJay for Bella's wedding facility, the Spendora Sisters who are the epitome of a good Texas woman; Bubba (D.J.'s brother who sings opera) is an award winning BBQ champion, and a whole cast of unique characters that delight the soul and tickle the sense of humor. I had to read the whole series...and am thrilled to hear there are rumors of more Bella books to come! The Splendora sisters even share their favorite beauty secrets with you!
Janice's latest release is one I am really excited about. In 1999 when my kids and I moved East from California we were thrilled to see the giant cross that stood beside the road in a little town in Texas. In 1995 Steve Thomas was so tired of all the XXX adult entertainment billboards along I-40 he decided to build a cross as a testament to his faith, and from there produced an entire sculpture garden of the life of Christ. Although this is NOT in her book, the location is...and what better place for a "Love Finds You" book than in...GROOM, TEXAS?
Without further delay I would like to introduce you to one of MY favorite people, and a terrific writer...Janice Hanna Thompson!
Me: I notice you write under two names (Janice Hanna and Janice Thompson). Why?
My dad was the president of the University of Houston Cougar Cagers Club, so my birthdays, holidays, etc. were spent at basketball games. Our family traveled to Mexico with the U of H Cougars to watch them compete, which was great fun. When I was eleven, I got to play (for fun, of course) with the Harlem Globetrotters, who came to Houston for a visit. To this day, I love a good basketball game.
Me: Tell us a little about your hero? Is he true hero material?
Me: Give us one sentence that shows/tells us something about your heroine as a child.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Annabelle is turning one year old on the 20th (the same day my precious granddaughter Sara turns 11). Krista (also my daughter's name, now that I think about it! More similarities!) is busy planning a pretty pink birthday party for her youngest princess...AT HOME!!! That is a HUGE Praise!
In the worst of my recent fight with the devil I felt so weak and could fight no more and I laid out flat on the floor before God, crying my heart out. Then I remembered something I read in "Something Stirs"! Thomas wrote that the battle was too much for man, and only Jesus could take on this demon! I lifted my voice to Heaven and asked Jesus to take this battle for me because I knew only Jesus could win this one! Thank you Thomas for writing this so that it could come to my memory so that I had it just when I needed it most. Praise you Father God for taking over the battle for me!
Amy and Joseph Clipston are both home after the kidney transplant surgery...Praise you Jesus! More answered prayers! No one was happier to see the come home than their kids.
And in the end my praises surpassed my prayer requests this week...God is Good...ALL THE TIME!
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Writing is a ministry, just as preaching, teaching, and missionary work. If you do your job right, then you will leave your readers pondering the thoughts you planted in their minds long after that last page is finished. For some, it might mean making a decision to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. For others it might be the catalyst to wake their spiritual life up and get them on fire again. I remember when I read "Love Finds You In Paradise, Pa." by Loree Lough, I talked about it to everyone for weeks. There was an element to the story that challenged what I was willing to do for Christ. Where was I drawing the line? At what would I, and what wouldn't I do to be more Christ-like? Could I have the relationship with Jesus that Loree gave her characters in the book? Or would I stay within my comfort zone?
This really upsets the enemy and he wants to distract us from finishing, at any cost. Just like tonight...my keyboard refuses to type every letter I hit and has decided to pick and choose the ones that will work. Of course I need to clean it, but it is frustrating none-the-less.
That is all trivial in contrast to the things I have received prayer requests for this week. E-mail after e-mail has come through to ask for prayer for some of the hardest times these people have ever had to go through. Some have faced death in their family, and others facing foreclosure and loosing their homes. For me it has mean my youngest son going through the worst rebellion in his 19 years and moving out of my home. The enemy has done his homework and knows our Achilles Heel. Husbands have lost their jobs, and children have faced health issues that threatened their lives. But the true writer keeps on typing....believing this is their ministry. One precious writer, Sandi Rog, continues to blog from her hospital room as she fights stage four cancer. Now that is a precious child of God! My own trials seemed so small next to hers...I signed in my blog and prayed that God would help me get through this day.
These are just a few of the things that you have to face as you dedicate your talent to God and choose to write for Him. Today, would you take just a few minutes to lift up everyone who has made that choice? I will return soon with an inspiring interview with Laurie Alice Eakes, and a recipe for her favorite dish! The week of July 11, watch for an interview with another favorite of mine Janice Hanna Thompson and her newest release "Love Finds You In Groom Texas" and her recipe for Chicken Fried Steak (Hey she is a Texas girl!)...
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
How hard can it be? After all you did get an A in English, and creative writing was one of your favorite subjects! Hey, you read "Twilight" and look at how popular it was, even if it wasn't very well written in your opinion!
Suddenly you see yourself riding in a limo on premier night...walking the red carpet...signing your autograph for thousands of screaming fans clamoring for your attention. You jump on craigslist to see how much those fancy motor homes are going for, there will be book signings and interviews to attend. Dollar signs fill your thoughts, and you can't wait for all that extra money!
BUT WAIT!!! I hate to throw water on your fire, but it doesn't work exactly like that! In the next few weeks we are going to be introducing you to some published authors and they are going to share their experiences along the yellow brick road to seeing their name on the cover of their sweat and tears in a material form. Rules change, styles change, and everything you thought you knew about writing changes...are you ready to start learning all over again? Some of the great writers of all time would be rejected by today's rules.
Once you get your story written, you have to pull up your steel plated granny panties and face the critiques...and trust me this is the hard part! You thought your work was awesome! You gave it your all! And then people start telling you what they really think. You are handed a list of no-no words, what!?! Why can't I use a word ending in ly? You are told that the middle of your story starts to drag, you are telling and not showing! Your dialogue is slow. You better rewrite and submit it again..."But Mom liked it!" you whine.
Before we really get into the minds of some of my favorite writers, I would like you to visit the blog of Suzanne Hartmann. She has some wonderful links on her blog, and it is very insightful. I found her blog a good place to begin...so take a look, and don't be afraid to ask questions.
In the coming weeks I am going to feature some wonderful writers in a variety of genres, let them tell you about why they write and how they got started, and give you a few of their favorite tips to reaching success in publishing your work. If there is anything you would like me to ask, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to ask for you! Now...get back to that computer and start that next Great American Novel!