Praise creates an atmosphere of worship and change.
Praise creates an atmosphere of worship and change.
Have you ever thought you had… say, sweet tea, in your glass–you’re craving tea–but you take a big swig and it’s lemonade?
You turn your nose up because it wasn’t what you expected in the least. It’s a shock at first. It’s not what you wanted, but you drink it anyway because you like lemonade and you’re thirsty.
That’s how I felt about Sweet Valley Confidential.
If you know me well, you know I loved the Sweet Valley High books growing up. While many girls were reading Babysitter club books, or Anne of Green Gables, I was all up in Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield’s business.
When my mom told me I could go to B. Dalton books, the only bookstore in our small town, I remember being giddy all day. I’d march straight back and buy 2 or 3 books. Sometimes, I’d get to purchase 4! I couldn’t read them fast enough. I’d trade with friends, if we were missing one of the consecutive book stories.
I fell in love with the Wakefield twins and their lives. I was always partial to bad-girl sister, Jessica Wakefield, but I adored Elizabeth and her boyfriend, Todd’s romance and true love. When the series ended, I knew they’d be together forever. They’d endured so many things, for so long.
I could relate to a little of each character. I was invested in their lives and what they went through. I knew what it was like to have a sister to occasionally…or often, fight with. Stealing clothes, shoes, and jewelry from a sibling made sense. I swooned over Todd and even Bruce. Which is really odd saying that last statement because my dad’s name is Bruce and something about the word swoon with his name in the same sentence freaks me out slightly.
When I found out that Francine Pascal was writing a ten-years-later book, I thought I’d come out of my skin, but so much was going on I didn’t have time to nab it. Last night. I did. Sent it right to my kindle, and it’s so odd how quickly it all came back as I started reading. Things I thought I’d forgotten, nope. All there. Right back into their lives and you know, it brought back memories of my youth that I enjoyed.
But it was like drinking lemonade when I thought I was getting sweet tea. Can you be disappointed in something and yet still like it? I dare say…you can. Because it happened to me. Those teenage dreams of having true love, all those books that I sighed with satisfaction, gone. Doused with the ice-water of reality. Fictional reality.
I was angry for half the book, yet I kept reading because I’d poured half my teenage life into those books and that young girl had to know what the heck was going on and why?
Sweet Elizabeth wasn’t so sweet anymore. In fact, she made her away around men more than Jessica ever did. Friends with Benefits. That’s not Elizabeth! I did love reading what happened to everyone, especially the way Pascal did it at the end. I smiled because I remembered those crazy kids. Not all of them had happy endings, but let’s be honest. The stars sometimes don’t go on to do these amazing things we think they will. In fact, some of them do very little. She resolved the conflict, and while I was happy to see them sisters again and Elizabeth happy, I could still taste the lemons and not the sugary goodness of southern sweet tea.
I did learn something new about my writing from this book. I have another author besides Nora Roberts to blame for my former head-hopping. LOL I had no idea that’s what she was doing all those years ago, but I caught it quick last night and I thought, “So you did this to me! You and Nora.”
Here’s a small peek:
Hey, everyone! It’s Friday and today is another vlog! It’s a little longer than 2-3 minutes, but I’m telling a story thanks to Lacie Nezbeth and her question so…
Also a thanks to Martha Ramirez for the Liebster Award! Yay!
I’m hosting at Living By Grace, an online devotional community for women. Come by and chat or encourage someone who needs it!
So…my website isn’t quite ready and that’s okay. But with the website comes my new tagline.
If I’ve emailed you recently, you’ve seen it.
What is a tagline? It’s kind of a guarantee. It’s the “what and who” you are or what your product is all about.
In a few short words.
Less is better.
“Coke is it.”
“Just Do It.” Easy to remember and easy to associate with the product or person. “Have it Your Way.” “The Un-Cola.” All tags to products. I bet you recognized them didn’t you?
Now, many will say our name is our brand and I agree. I know names and don’t know all of their tags, if they even have one, but when I visit a site, especially one I’m not familiar with, in a few words, I want to know what it is I’m getting or who I’m getting. That’s a personal thing–that’s me. What I want. So a tagline is important for me because I look for them.
My tagline was romantic suspense…overflowing hope and thus the waterfall on this blog. I liked it. But I don’t just write romantic suspense. I’m not a steam-punk, historical fiction, paranormal YA cross-over or anything like that.
You will get romance in all of my novels, but they aren’t all suspenseful (50/50). So I had to think about me. Who am I? I’m not just a writer. I’m a speaker. I need a tag that fits both.
What can I promise to audiences and readers–whether a book, article, or blog post?
I prayed about it. Beat my head against the wall, trying to come up with something clever. Waiting on God, as usual. I’m always waiting around on Him. 😉
I didn’t want to lose my “overflowing hope.” I loved that line. And that’s when I realized what I give readers. What ALL writers want to give readers. An experience.
What is an experience? Webster’s dictionary says,”the fact or state of having been affected by or gained knowledge through direct observation or participation.”
What can I guarantee people? What am I all about?
HOPE. “A wish or desire accompanied by confident expectation of its fulfillment.”
So my new tagline:
Flashy, clever, witty? No. But it’s who I am. It’s what I say. And it’s what I write.
I will also have a melt down if someone tells me, “Oh so and so has had that for 10 years.”
|DH playing in the sand
with DD 10 years ago
…notice how she copies
his stance and moves?
“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children…” Ephesians 5:1
Okay, before we even begin, let’s all take a deep breath and push the envy down. I know. She’s gorgeous. And not just on the outside. Kimberley has one of the most beautiful insides! She loves Jesus with every part of her being and it shines like a beacon.
I rode on a plane with her to Denver last year for the Writing for the Soul conference–and never knew it! We’re from the same area. It was at the conference, where she finaled, that we met and discovered this.
Since then we’ve kept in touch and even had coffee at the fabulous bookstore she likes to write in. She’s witty and clever and so much fun to be around. I’ve had the chance to read the book that she’s finaled with AGAIN! It’s a beautiful story. Truly literary fiction at its finest. The winner will be revealed this Thursday!
***Thanks everyone for all the encouragement and questions this past Friday on my first vlog! You can watch it HERE! If you still want to ask questions or throw out a topic for me to ramble about it, email me at jrpatch(at)yahoo(dot)com, twitter me a DM, or leave me a message on FB (links at the sidebar)
***Wednesday, we’ll pick up with our series on strength! Talking about how to protect yourself from an unseen enemy.
Oh, and Happy Valentines Day tomorrow!
First of all, thank you to Cheryl Linn Martin for awarding me the Irresistibly Sweet blogger award! Glad you did it before today’s episode!
Yep, I took the plunge. I’m vlogging. Thanks to Katie Ganshert for her brilliant suggestions. If they didn’t work it’s all on me. Oh, and at the end, it keeps saying “My Movie”…ignore it. I haven’t worked out all the glitches. Whatever!
Join me on Monday when you’ll get to meet the amazing woman and writer, Kimberley Gardner Graham–an Operation First Novel finalist! (and my friend)