March 14, 2014 | 0 comments

Sometimes we don’t recognize the mentors we’ve had until we grow up and look back over our lives.  At the time, they may have been someone we saw on a regular basis because of school or church schedules, odd jobs around the neighborhood, going to piano lessons.  The main character of Bridge to Haven, Abra, has several mentors, but one in particular has a warm spot in my heart. She’s a non-conformist, embarrasses her family on a regular basis, speaks truth even when it’s uncomfortable and doesn’t give a hoot what other people think about her.  She’s old, has a lot of life behind her, and knows the opinion of One is all that really matters.  She’s ditzy, too, with an interesting past.  So I gave her a name to fit, and you’ll know her when (if) you meet her. 

My mother was my mentor.  She was a constant in my life, always ready to listen and only dispensed advice in short doses.  Dad tended to lecture.  I loved him, but he...

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March 7, 2014 | 0 comments

One of the scenes in the new novel is in a photo studio when agent, Franklin Moss, arranges for publicity shots for “Lena Scott” (Abra). She feels shy in the beginning, but after a few glasses of champagne quickly gets into the swing of being a model and playing to the camera.  She will find out that stills are different than acting in front of a camera crew, director, make-up artists, and a cast of other workers necessary in making a motion picture.  She remains camera-shy, but learns to play her role well in a fantasy world that chews people up and spits them out.

I have never been comfortable in front of a camera.  As a child, I would stick out my tongue every time my mom or dad tried to get a picture.  My mother would become downright annoyed with me.  “Wait until you grow up and all we have are pictures of you making faces.”   I tried to behave.  Even when I did smile, I couldn’t be anyone else but who I was: a plain girl with a...

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March 2, 2014 | 0 comments

It seems most high school students have a favorite place to hang out. In Bridge to Haven, Abra and her friends cross the street to Eddie’s, a hamburger joint run by a proprietor who has a soft spot for troubled teens, hiring and rehabilitating them before they end up in the pen.  We had a couple of hangouts in my home town.  I worked in one called “The Ivory” during the summer and after school.  I could make a “mean” banana split and even slung some hamburgers. Friends would come in and order fries.  Rick left me a 25 cent tip, which was generous in the sixties when fries were about 25 cents.  So was a gallon of gas!   I had one admirer who came by frequently.  He was older.  I was sixteen, he was twenty or so.  And he drove a Corvette.  What a car!  He asked me out, but I felt a little leery of him and said I’d need to talk to my parents.  He had lots of plans and didn’t mind sharing them.  After he...

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February 20, 2014 | 0 comments

Over the past months, I have posted several times on sex trafficking.  Rick and I support Crossing the Jordan, a local ministry that is on the front lines.  Recently, my daughter, grand-daughter and I attended a rally put on by the Sonoma County Task Force Against Sex Trafficking.  Our city and county have become increasingly aware of the problem and are joining the fight to end human trafficking.  Public meetings last year brought together representatives from our local police department, homeland security, FBI, non-government agencies and several ministries and encouraged citizens to become involved.  We now have billboards up and down the 101 freeway announcing our county is actively fighting sex trafficking, with a list of those groups involved. 

Thankfully, there is a growing understanding of the connections between oppression, childhood sexual abuse, poverty and violence and the commercial sex trade which are helping to debunk the myth that...

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February 14, 2014 | 0 comments

The tabloids are always full of Hollywood love stories, often involving adultery, broken hearts, aberrant practices that the rest of the population is told not only to “tolerate”, but embrace.  The Hollywood power couples usually fall apart in a life of constant perusal, flash bulbs popping and what-happened-to-the-happily-ever-after predictions.  I don’t read the tabloids, but I confess I go to my dentist’s office early to catch up on People Magazine.  All that glitz and glamor seldom brings anything but a crash and burn and a new partner in the dance.  Some make me grieve.  Others make me wonder why anyone is surprised enough to make it a headline.

I’m delighted there are exceptions to the tabloid rule.  Charlton and Lydia Heston had been married 64 years when Charlton died.  They beat out Rick’s grandparents and parents; both couples made it past their 61th wedding anniversaries before one or the other went home to be with the...

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February 7, 2014 | 0 comments

When I was a girl growing up in the fifties and early sixties in a small farm town in Northern California, Hollywood seemed like the most glamorous place in the world.  Once in a while, I’d buy a movie magazine, especially if I spotted a favorite television or movie star.  I had a crush on Little Joe Cartwright (Michael Landon) when I was twelve.  Remember Tab Hunter? Blonde, tan and gorgeous.  One of the first records I bought was “Young Love, True Love”, his one and only hit song. And, of course, there were stars like Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean, Natalie Wood, Bobby Darin, Sandra Dee, and the still idolized Marilyn Monroe. I’d sit with friends on the lawn and we’d dream of what it’d be like to be discovered on Hollywood and Vine and become famous.

I think my mother secretly wished I’d be the next Shirley Temple.  When I was in kindergarten, she had my hair in curls.  Sadly, mine were thin and tight against my head rather than...

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January 31, 2014 | 0 comments

Every story I’ve written has begun with a question or issue with which I’m wrestling.  I have particular struggles in my faith walk that seem to come up over and over again.  It is easier for me to trust the Lord with my life than it is to trust Him with the lives of those I love.  Why is that?  I know in my head He has a plan for each life, but when I witness slips, fear nibbles its way through my defenses.  I need a strong reminder that God loves the individual even more than I do, and no matter how life may look, God is at work.  I have no control over anything anyway; it is highly practical to let go and let God do what He wills. 

Such is the battle going on in the story of Abra, Zeke, Joshua and other characters in Bridge to Haven.  We often see those we love approaching dangerous waters and we cry out in warning, but that doesn’t mean they’ll listen.  Sometimes they’ll even look over their shoulder and spit words of...

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January 24, 2014 | 0 comments

When conception occurs, all the God-designed instructions of what the person will be are set; sex, eye color, physical attributes, intelligence, gifts.  By the second week, the baby attaches and burrows into the wall of his/her mother’s womb. Within the next week, blood vessels and sex cells form.  The foundations for the brain, spinal column and nervous system are established.

The baby’s heart beat can be heard at one month in the womb. Eyes, ears and lungs begin developing.  Tiny arms and legs and a baby’s face develop over the next seven days, and the blood now pumps separately from the mother. Tiny fingers and toes and the division of the brain into three parts for emotional and language, hearing and seeing develop. Seven more days and brain activity is detectable, 99% of the muscles are present and milk teeth form.

By the eighth week, the baby begins to move in the mother’s womb.  Every organ is present, and the skull, elbows and knees begin to...

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January 19, 2014 | 0 comments

I keep hoping 50s fashions will come back in style.  Women looked like women and not starving refugees or sex-trafficked teenagers looking for a john.   Fifties style showed off women’s hourglass figures without showing off a lot of skin.  Dresses were mid-calf full skirts, belted waists (where waists naturally are) and fitted bodices often buttoned-up to the collar.  Less is more, they say.  And that can be true in fashion.  A woman can be more alluring by NOT letting it all hang out.  Sorry if I’m offending anyone, but I’m downright embarrassed when I see a girl who leaves ribs and belly-button bare for all to see and a blouse so low I worry the “girls” will fall out if she stumbles in her platform shoes.  Children often make astute observations.  My grand-daughter gaped when she little.   “That girl has a butt on her chest!”  Yep.  That just about describes the look. 

Men in the 50s wore jackets,...

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January 14, 2014 | 0 comments

These two issues have grabbed hold of me and tear at my heart.  The first came upon me through my own personal experience with abortion. Oh, how a frightened girl will swallow lies that “it will be easy and you can just go on with your life”.  Maybe for some.  It took me years of living with guilt and shame before I sought counseling through a local pregnancy counseling center.  The second issue of human trafficking came upon me through sessions at a missions conference that made me shockingly aware that slavery isn’t limited to distant countries, but still is happening in our own country, our own hometown, maybe even in one of the houses on the block where we live.

In my mind, the two issues are a product of a growing mind-set in our nation comparable to the Biblical time of Judges: “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”  There is no right or wrong, only what is right for me (whoever me happens to be).  That’s what they say....

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