Thursday, May 30, 2013

What Can be Learned from a Eulogy?



 
The picture above was taken by my son who lives in Colorado. He captured this on one of his hunting trips. It's a peaceful scene, but one which shows things in the distance which leave much to the imagination. This seemed fitting for the today's topic.

This week I attended a funeral for a friend from church. This beautiful lady always had a smile on her face and was always sweet and kind. I didn't know much about her personal life as we only interacted through our Sunday morning Bible Study class.

I learned so much more about her today during the service. She had never been married, while I had assumed she was a widower. She loved to travel and had been to so many places around the world. She worked for a bank for 38 years until she retired. Not having any children, she doted on her nieces and nephews. When each one graduated from high school, she would take them on a trip. The niece who was giving the eulogy said she was treated to three weeks in Europe! There were so many interesting things about her life I never knew. What a full life she led.

A woman of deep faith, she always had a smile on her face and her joy was bright, shining like the sun for all to see. She might not have always been happy, but she was always joyful.

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)''

After the service, I thought about my friend and what a full life she had lived. This made me think about the characters in my books. How much bigger they would be if I gave them backgrounds out of the ordinary! What if they had an aunt who took them to Europe? Or grandparents who took them on a scenic railroad trip across country? There are so many possibilities. All  I need to do is open my mind and dream of things I would like to have experienced and give those to my characters.

Sadly, I must admit that in the past I hadn't though about anything other than the mundane every day things I'm familiar with. This makes for boring characters. The funeral service taught me a unique way to approach the task. I'm going to write a eulogy for each of my main characters.

This will allow me to develop all aspects of my characters' lives. While they won't have experienced all the things I'll write in their eulogy during their time in my story, I can lay the foundations. I want to be able to say, "They lived a full rich life until they went to their forever home."





Friday, May 24, 2013

Going Back is Never the Same

Have you ever longed to go back to visit a place that meant a lot to you as a child?

When I was young, I lived with my grandparents. My grandmother worked as a clean-up lady on a factory line at American Distillery in a small town in Illinois. Grandpa stayed home all day because he had lost an eye in a factory accident when he was younger. He supplemented the household income by delivering bleach and cards to homes.

My grandparents also raised chickens at one time and later changed to raising rabbits. No, we didn't live on a farm! Things were different back then. Much different.

I remember riding my tricycle, which had a huge wheel in front, not like the ones our children today ride. I would travel the sidewalk from the garage to the fence at the alley. There were flowers and vegetables growing on either side of the walk. I would pretend I was driving the car in the country like we did on Sunday afternoons. Grandpa always kept a bag of pink mint candies in the glove compartment. We'd stop and Grandma taught me about "Queen Anne's Lace" and other wildflowers. Sometimes we would stop for an ice cream sundae from the local Dairy Queen.

My heart and mind travel back to that place ofen.

Several years ago my hubby and I had the opportunity to visit the area where I'd grown up. The house looked the same from the outside. A large front porch with windows. Same siding. But it seemed much smaller, as did the yard. The hill I'd learned to ride my bike on was not as much of a hill as I had remembered. Nothing seemed the same.

A sense of sadness set in. Things change. Nothing remains the same. We can't go back to the "good old days" except in our memories.

People change, too. But Jesus never changes. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 NIV) This is one thing I hold close in heart. My relationship with Jesus changes. It grows stronger and closer because He teaches me how to love deeply and whole-heartedly. But He never changes. He is the way, the truth, and the light. He is the One who was, who is, and who is to come.

HEBREWS 13:1-9 (THE MESSAGE)
Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love. Be ready with a meal or a bed when it's needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it! Regard prisoners as if you were in prison with them. Look on victims of abuse as if what happened to them had happened to you. Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. God draws a firm line against casual and illicit sex.

Don't be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, "I'll never let you down, never walk off and leave you," we can boldly quote.

God is there, ready to help;
I'm fearless no matter what.
Who or what can get to me?

Appreciate your pastoral leaders who gave you the Word of God. Take a good look at the way they live, and let their faithfulness instruct you, as well as their truthfulness. There should be a consistency that runs through us all. For Jesus doesn't change--yesterday, today, tomorrow, he's always totally himself.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Poems, Songs, and Short Stories from THE GALLERY


Collection of three short poems titled … Per la Rinascita del Romanticismo (The rebirth of romanticism)

By Daniel Kemp

Don’t label me by a name.
Don’t label me by a colour.
I am me. I am no other.

To rise from a barren earth.
To soar above, to wing away.
To escape from all that's lacking, and live to love another day.

A whisper on a silent breeze,
Of love that needs no speech.
A glance that never was,
towards a hand stretched out to reach.

Bio for Daniel Kemp:

A former London Police Officer. Once arrested for attempted murder in England, and being found not-guilty, Danny Kemp decided that a career in writing was for him.

No different than Nicholas Sparks, Mr. Kemp's first novel The Desolate Garden was picked up in a snap, and published in March 2012.

The novel is available on forty-one internet sites worldwide and either in, or by order from, all major bookshops in the United Kingdom, including Waterstones ~ the largest book retailer in the UK ~for whom he recently finished a sixteen week signing tour.  Waterstones has likened Kemps witting to that of Graham Greene. 

Having been compared to The 39 Steps, The Constant Gardener and North By North-West, The Desolate Garden is being converted into a film by a  London Film Production Company. A ‘set’ is being constructed in The Arab United Emirates.

Outside the field of "run-ins with the law”, Kemp draws on decades of experience, encompassing the Metropolitan Police, the tenancy of three English Public Houses, and the Licensed Taxi Trade in London, as well as being a radio voice-over artist in several radio plays, where he honed his sense of story and pacing.

He lives with his beloved wife in London, England, and is rather proud of his two step-children and four grandchildren.

You can find out more about author Daniel Kemp and his writing here: 



Monday, May 20, 2013

To Register or Not to Register?

by Kathryn Page Camp

            Obtaining a copyright is as easy as getting the material out of your head and putting it down on paper or a computer drive. The minute you put it in tangible form, it is copyrighted.

            “Wait,” you say, “don’t I have to register it with the government?”

            No. You can, but you don’t have to.

            There is a $35 registration fee for every work you register online, and the fee is higher if you do it the old-fashioned way. For multiple copyrights, both the time and the money can add up.

            Most copyright violators are unintentional infringers who simply don’t realize that the work is copyrighted. The easiest way to solve that problem is free: just add a copyright notice. You don’t have to register the material or even publish it to do that.

            So why would anyone register a copyright?

            Registration provides a record that you created the material, which tends to discourage intentional infringers. You can’t sue for copyright infringement until you have registered your copyright. And if you register it before the infringement occurs or no later than three months after publication, you can get statutory damages. That means the court can award you money even if you can’t prove that you lost any.

            If you sign a book contract, check to see who is responsible for registering the copyright. If you publish an article in a print magazine or an e-zine, the magazine’s registration will not cover your article (unless the magazine owns the copyright).

            I can’t tell you when to register a copyright. That’s a personal decision. But here are the guidelines I use.

1.         Unpublished manuscripts. Contrary to what many people believe, it is almost unheard of for publishers and agents to steal material. Besides, you can’t copyright ideas and the elements that flow naturally from those ideas, so registration does not protect you if a publisher thinks you have a great idea but asks someone else to write it. I have never registered my unpublished material.

2.         Short published items, such as blog posts. I weigh the time and expense against the harm—emotional as well as economic—if someone steals the material and consider whether a copyright notice is sufficient. A magazine article that I intend to resell numerous times is worth registering. A blog post that I am unlikely to reuse isn’t.

3.         Longer published items, such as books. For longer material that could reach a sizeable audience, registration becomes more time- and cost-effective. Although the law does not require registration, it does require two copies of each hardcopy book (including books published only in paperback) to be deposited with the Library of Congress, and registration serves both functions. In my opinion, all published books (e-books or hardcopy) should be registered.

            For more information on copyright registration, go to www.copyright.gov and download the publication called “Copyright Basics.” One warning, however. The Copyright Office’s publications stay close to the statutory language, so they do not directly address blogs and other formats that did not exist when the laws were written.


A licensed attorney, Kathryn Page Camp is the author of two books, Writers in Wonderland: Keeping Your Words Legal (KP/PK Publishing, 2013) and In God We Trust: How the Supreme Court’s First Amendment Decisions Affect Organized Religion (FaithWalk Publishing, 2006) and numerous articles. To learn more about Kathryn, visit her on the web at www.kathrynpagecamp.com.  

Friday, May 17, 2013

Three Reasons to Listen to the Enemy

Three Reasons to Listen to the Enemy
By Lynn Hare

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.     – James 4:7 (ESV)

Pay attention to the enemy of your soul. He’s got something you need.

Following a car accident in February, I was laid up with leg, back, neck, and facial injuries. By March, I was still in so much pain, I couldn't even get comfortable in bed.

I told my husband, “This morning I didn't want to get out of bed. The pain is winning.” My head dropped to my chest.

But I listened for Jesus’ voice. I heard Him whisper, “Those thoughts are not yours. The enemy is in your head.”

How do we wage war? By listening to the enemy. Here are three reasons:

1.) The enemy will show you where on the battlefield to fight.
When we hear, “I’m not making any progress,” we need to look for growth.
When I said, “I’m not getting better,” I frowned at the bald-faced lie. “Hey,” I said, “No wonder I’m under attack. I’m about to improve!” Determined, I rode my exercise bike and stretched my leg muscles. I was rewarded with a surge of energy. The next day, instead of two crutches, I was on one.

2. Like negatives from a camera, the enemy shows you the reverse of the truth.
Like photos developed in a dark room, black becomes white. Red turns green. Yellow is soon purple. When the enemy shows us an image, we need to declare its precise opposite.

I caught myself saying, “I feel lonely and isolated.” But then I glanced at the stack of get-well-soon cards and meals friends had dropped off. “NO!” I said aloud. “I have lots of friends!”

I determined to write two letters of encouragement each night.

3.) The enemy unwittingly drops hints that point to our future.
When I looked in the mirror, I thought, “Look at the swelling over my eye. What a loser!”

But instead, I looked ahead to what God was shaping me to become. I said aloud, “I'm a winner!” I doubled my words of encouragement to others. Several told me they were uplifted and strengthened.

And now the enemy was no longer in my head. I grinned, leaned forward and asked, “What else have you got?” 

He scowled and backed away. “Forget it.”
What lies from the enemy are pointing you to the Truth?


Lynn Hare Bio:
Author, speaker, and certified teacher Lynn Hare enthusiastically provides grace-filled messages about encouragement, prayer, and practicing the presence of the Holy Spirit. A member of Oregon Christian Writers, she lives in Portland with her husband, Tim, of thirty-two years. Her inspirational pieces appear in numerous Christian periodicals. Website: www.lynnhare.com

This article content is provided free of charge by the author through Kathy Carlton Willis Communications. You are welcome to place this article on your site or in your publication as long as: 1) it’s used in its entirety, 2) the full bio is also used, and 3) you previously request permission through KCWC at kathy@kathycarltonwillis.com. All other standard copyrights apply.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May: Women’s Healthcare Month


A Stealth Attack
By Joanie Shawhan

Do you know the symptoms of one of the most insidious diseases assaulting women today? I thought I did. But despite my background in oncology nursing, I had missed a cardinal symptom of ovarian cancer—nausea. Over the course of several months, I had experienced a few episodes of queasiness, mistaking it for the flu. Fleeting thoughts of ovarian cancer even crept into my mind, but I brushed them away. This nausea is just too infrequent, I rationalized.

During the blackness of night, a late warning sign emerged. I rolled over on a firm grapefruit-sized mass in my abdomen. When I pressed on the growth, stabbing pain clutched my abdomen and sucked my breath away. I hope this is just a uterine fibroid.

My doctor agreed that a fibroid was the most probable diagnosis, but we needed to schedule an ultrasound. In the darkened room, the ultrasound technician shot me a glance. I knew something was wrong. After the scan, I tucked the films under my arm and strode into my doctor’s office. She examined the images, then spun around and faced me. Her verdict? Ovarian cancer—the size of a cantaloupe. While she rattled off the tests and surgery that still needed to be scheduled, I sat numb. Words spilled over her lips, but the syllables sounded foreign and distant. Is she talking to me?

After surgery, I endured the ravages of chemotherapy: baldness, crushing chest pain, nausea and brain fog. Fatigue siphoned my strength and left me winded.

My sister said, “We have to make this fun,” and she sent me my first installment of hats. Fun? Hats—yes. Chemotherapy—no.

But after a while, my hair grew back with perfect summer highlights. A spring returned to my step and the fog lifted off my mind. The anxiety that gripped my chest prior to each follow-up appointment has dissolved into what I now dub “a social visit.”

I won my race against cancer.
  

May is Women’s Health Care month:

Do you know the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

v Pain or pressure in the pelvis, abdomen or lower back
v Abdominal bloating or a sense of fullness
v Nausea, constipation, diarrhea, gas or indigestion
v Urinary frequency or urgency
v Fatigue

If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your doctor.

The life you save? Your own.


     Joanie Shawhan Bio:
Joanie Shawhan is an ovarian cancer survivor and a registered nurse. She writes encouraging articles for women undergoing chemotherapy and is available for speaking engagements. Publishing credits include Coping with Cancer magazine and God Still Meets Needs. When not writing or attending book club, Joanie enjoys designing jewelry, knitting, and playing guitar. Website: http://joanieshawhan.com/.

This article content is provided free of charge by the author through Kathy Carlton Willis Communications. You are welcome to place this article on your site or in your publication as long as: 1) it’s used in its entirety, 2) the full bio is also used, and 3) you previously request permission through KCWC at kathy@kathycarltonwillis.com.
All other standard copyrights apply.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Answering Your Questions About Twitter Part 1


Only one thing is certain in the day and times that we live in. And that is the fact that we live in changing times.

Years ago a writer… wrote. The battle cry of the day was BIC (keep your butt in the chair and write).

But after the book is written—what then? Multitudes of books are published every year. How can your readers—the people who love to read the type of book you write—how can they find you?

That is where marketing comes in. And this series of posts will focus on twitter.

First twitter is not as scary as it may first seem. In fact it is best to get an account long before you need one and get comfortable with it.

When you first click on Twitter.com you get the message: Welcome to Twitter.
Find out what’s happening, right now, with the people and organizations you care about.

To sign up you give your full name and your email address and you are taken to a form that lets you choose a password and a username. Your username will have @ added to the front of it and that is your twitter handle. Please remember this as it is important.

Oh, you have already forgotten it? And people are asking you to share it so they can follow you? Well here is how you find it. Log into your twitter account. Your full name will come up and under it the words View my profile page. Click on this and viola:  Your twitter handle @yourusername is posted right under your Photo and your Full name. Also the Http to find this page (to share with those who would like to follow you is in the web bar at the top just under the tabs in your internet toolbar of choice.)

Whenever you post something your Name and twitter handle (@yourusername) is shown above your twitter message. If you post things that others find useful or interesting they will re-tweet them. Your @yourusernamename will be used. This is helpful because twitter sends you a message and you can then thank the other person for sharing your tweet.

Please don't forget that Twitter is for Social Networking first. In fact if all you do use twitter for is to market your work—you will lose followers. So the first order of business is to tweet useful information.  80% of your post should be giving. Only 20% or less should be outright marketing.

And the beautiful thing I learned early on is that twitter considers RT’s as tweets. I learned this when I went crazy retweeting. If you tweet too many times in an hour Twitter sends you a message to slow down. And your tweets don’t post until some time has passed.

Last week we asked for questions about twitter and I will answer one of them before signing off on part one.

Q. What are hashtags used for and how do you find the best ones to use?

A. That is a very good question and there is more than one answer. And I can only tell you what has worked for me.

If you only have a handful of followers, which is true of anyone starting out, how do you spread your message? With a hashtag. Many tweeters follow hashtags.

Those who are willing to retweet and share your message are called twitter angels. If you belong to a group that has agreed to retweet each other, use the proper hashtag when you want that groups attention. By trial and error I have learned which groups do indeed follow through.

Q. If you want to use a special tweet to show the type or category of the tweet—how to you know what to use?

The most important tip is to use the fewest characters possible. Most groups use the initials of their group so that their members have plenty of characters remaining to use for the message.

Another consideration is to use a tag that is already followed by others. For instance many are posting one line of their novel. For this use the hashtag #novellines.

One example I will share here for published authors. @BookYrNextRead will retweet one message daily about your book. This is a true twitter angel. Now their twitter handle is 15 characters. But like a true angel this hashtag is provided #BYNR. Only five characters. Like I said, a true angel.

Having said that shorter is better—WHY do I use the tag #RelationshipwithJesus when it is much shorter to use  #God #Jesus #jesustweeters #Christian and many others that have already been created by others?

In this case it is because of my Mission Statement. Which I have yet to put into actual words. (Another blogging topic) But every Christian Writer needs a mission statement. And mine is based on the fact that it is not enough to call ourselves a Christian. It is not enough to go to church regularly. It is not enough to be baptized, or hold membership in a Christian group. NO—the only thing that will last through out all eternity is a Relationship With Jesus. So even though it takes 22 characters I aim to use use #RelationshipwithJesus 12 times a day on one twitter account and 8 times a day on the other. And I aim to do this before I post one marketing tweet. So I use a scheduler.

Writers are starting to say Sharon A. Lavy has a grip on how to use twitter. And at our recent ACFWOhio chapter meeting the attendees asked for more information. Which led to a suggestion that we write and post a series of blog posts on the subject to help other writers. Leave comments below on things you would like to know about twitter and we will try to address them in a future post!

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Blessing in Spilled Salad Dressing

Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. --Philippians 4:5

After church this past Sunday, hubby and I stopped at our regular Sunday brunch restaurant. We've been frequenting this place for years. After enjoying our meal, we prepared to leave. A busboy was cleaning the booth across from us and a waitress came by and grabbed my salad plate, which had a 2 oz. cup filled with salad dressing sitting on top. She shoved it into the cart without removing the dressing. The poor busboy had no idea what she'd done, and when he added dishes, my plate came sliding out and before I could react the salad dressing had spilled all over my skirt and shoe.

Oh, what a mess! I also had on a white (nylon) sweater and it, too, was splattered. The waitress went on her way oblivious to what had happened. The busboy was so apologetic. He began to wipe at my skirt with a wet rag and handed me a stack of napkins. I was soaked through to the skin with brown balsamic vinagrette dressing. I smelled like a walking salad! (grin) Poor kid looked so frightened and kept apologizing over and over.

I assured him it wasn't his fault. He probably thought I would complain to the manager when I went to the counter to pay. Many people would have done that. Perhaps I might have said something if my outfit had been an expensive one, but I don't purchase expensive clothing.

Our Pastor had just preached on the true meaning of blessings. When I look around, I see I am truly blessed because God has provided so much. But blessings aren't just accepting what God bestows. True blessings come from passing blessings on to others. Only then are we truly blessed.

We left the restaurant without saying a word about the accident, for it was not intentional. Accidents do happen. I put myself into the place of the busboy and the waitress. They work hard to make a living, and because of me, they have to work on Sunday! How could I then penalize them for my inconvenience?

I set my clothes to soak in Oxiclean. Perhaps they will be wearable again...or perhaps not. That doesn't matter, truly. What matters is that God presented an opportunity for me to be a blessing to someone else.

Matthew 20:25-28 Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave--just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Matthew 5:7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy."

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Thank A Teacher

National Teacher Appreciation Week is celebrated May 6-10
  
Just Icing on the Cake
By Hally Franz

Teachers deserve our appreciation. There are many ways my daughter’s school commemorates National Teacher Appreciation Week, held this year May 6-10. Parents serve themed, private, and, most importantly, long lunches to teachers and staff, while monitoring classrooms during these respites. Students bring in flowers to build a vibrant and bountiful spring bouquet. Kids supply treat bags with candy bars and microwave popcorn to satisfy afternoon blood sugar dips. You can brainstorm your own ways to show teachers appreciation this year.

It’s wonderful to close the school year with a celebration of teachers and their hard work, but perhaps we should view this week of pampering as icing on the cake, a final thank you that follows a year of appreciation and support for those educating our children each day. Here are some ways parents can show we value teachers throughout the school year.

Partner with Your Child’s Teacher
Fifty years ago, parents just naturally supported teachers. Children understood that parents held the same expectations for classroom behavior and academic performance as the teacher; there was solidarity between the two. When parents provide that support, it means a lot to a teacher, and it benefits kids. Not only do children clearly know what’s acceptable, they learn to respect authority figures.

Take the Initiative on Communication      
We may have unrealistic expectations regarding communications from teachers. Fortunately, technology in many school districts makes it convenient to check grades, attendance and lunch accounts as often as we like. However, it may be more difficult to get that personal conversation or note from a teacher, especially at the secondary level. With the job of teachers becoming more difficult each year due to larger class sizes and/or increased state mandates, we should take time to address concerns or check-in on things ourselves. That lets the teacher know we’re attentive and, at the same time, we recognize the demands teachers face.  

Words of Thanks Throughout the Year
When school programs or events occur during the year, teachers appreciate not only our attendance, but also our thanks for the extra time they’ve spent to spotlight our children. A bit of praise or a heartfelt compliment means a lot to these hard-working professionals.

Final Assessment
Most teachers are genuinely devoted to their students and the goal of educating. If we find that to be so, let’s give them our appreciation all year long, knowing that this special week in May will be yet another rewarding moment in a year of a job well done!

About the Author:
Hally Franz writes about her observations on family, faith, parenting and people. A former high school guidance counselor turned stay-at-home mom, Hally is a 4-H leader, and she serves as her church secretary and a Bible class teacher. She enjoys traveling with family and monthly book club meetings with pals.

 This article content is provided free of charge by the author through Kathy Carlton Willis Communications. You are welcome to place this article on your site or in your publication as long as: 1) it’s used in its entirety, 2) the full bio is also used, and 3) you previously request permission through KCWC at kathy@kathycarltonwillis.com.
All other standard copyrights apply.

       

Monday, May 6, 2013

What Would You Like To Know About Twitter Marketing?

"So what is all the hoop-la about twitter?" 

"Should an author bother to use it?"

"Isn't it ... scary?"

"It is too hard to learn?"

"I'll never get any followers!"

"Woe is me!"

"Okay, okay, so how do I get a twitter account?"

"What do I do with an account after I get it?"

"What do I do then?"

"People keep asking for my twitter handle. What is it? Do I even have one? If so, how do I find out what it is?"

Writers are starting to say Sharon A. Lavy has a grip on how to use twitter. And at our recent ACFWOhio chapter meeting the attendees asked for more information. Which led to a suggestion that we write and post a series of blog posts on the subject to help other writers. Leave comments below on things you would like to know about twitter and we will try to address them in a future post!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The beautiful Wisteria

Dear Friends,

Here I am a day late in posting my devotion for the week. It has been an eventful past few days...but that's to share another day.

The beautiful wisteria shown here used to grace my backyard. My wonderful hubby planted it, and trained it to grow around a post. By keeping the lower branches trimmed, it became a beautiful "tree."

Every spring the blooms brought a smile to my heart. Unfortunately, after hubby could no longer care for the yard, I tried to keep the wisteria trimmed, but was unable to keep it from spreading and growing across the yard. Sadly, last year, the tree had grown so heavy it was pulling the post out of the yard. You can see it leaning slightly to the left in this picture. We had to cut it down.

I was reminded of the words Jesus spoke in John 15, especially v1-3: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." Comparing how we as Christians grow and bear fruit by remaining in Jesus, and He in us, there are unbelievers who seek to cut us back. But like a beautifully tended vine, we continue to spread and bear fruit.

As writers, we spread the love of God in our words. When I am writing, I am filled with love and inspiration, just as I am when working in my gardens. God is everywhere we seek Him! And He speaks to us through beautiful images...like my wisteria tree.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Poems, Songs, and Short Stories from THE GALLERY

Working Together
a short story by Daniel Kemp

There was a man lovingly tending his garden one day when a passerby stopped and admired his craft. The stranger, an Englishman, stopped and glanced, then finding a need to comment, lingered and lent against the wall propping himself up by stretching out a hand onto the rotting gate post.
        He was uncomfortable in the heat so wiped his brow by taking out a handkerchief from his jacket pocket and then, when suitable composed, said.
        “Isn’t God wonderful. He gives us this sun and the rains and turns everything in THE DESOLATE GARDEN from a wilderness to what you have achieved here, before my weary eyes.”  He paused for a second, casting his vision over all what spread out before him then continued, with a slight approving shake of his head. “A truly marvelous sight you must be so proud of all your work.”
        The tired, but patient gardener, rose to his feet and braced his back, rubbing it gently to ease away the strain of his labours, then turned to face his new devotee and replied in a concerned Scottish tone.
        “Aye you’re right enough there, but he sends the rain at the wrong time and the sun when I want to do all my work. If only he was to ask me when I wanted them, then it would be more appreciated.”
The wanderer thought about this for a few seconds, nodding his head in agreement again until at last he made up his mind what to
say.
        “Yes, you are absolutely right there old chap but how does the
saying go....you don’t always get what you want, you get what you need….look at it that way my good fellow. Sometimes we should simply be grateful without complaint.” Silently he recalled how the Scots were never a race to expound on the joys of life.
        The gardener, none too keen on the English in general, and never accustomed to looking at life in a charitable way, saw no reason to change that philosophy. Suitably refreshed from his toils and struggles in the husbandry of God fine soil, quickly retorted.
        “Aye you’re right enough there but God needs me, otherwise, left on his own he would make a fine mess of my garden and no mistake. Look at some of the others that you passed on your way here!”

There is a moral in this story, one that few find. It is that we all have to work with God. Alone we muck it up that’s for sure.

Bio for Daniel Kemp:

A former London Police Officer. Once arrested for attempted murder in England, and being found not-guilty, Danny Kemp decided that a career in writing was for him.

No different than Nicholas Sparks, Mr. Kemp's first novel The Desolate Garden was picked up in a snap, and published in March 2012.

The novel is available on forty-one internet sites worldwide and either in, or by order from, all major bookshops in the United Kingdom, including Waterstones ~ the largest book retailer in the UK ~for whom he recently finished a sixteen week signing tour.  Waterstones has likened Kemps witting to that of Graham Greene. 

Having been compared to The 39 Steps, The Constant Gardener and North By North-West, The Desolate Garden is being converted into a film by a  London Film Production Company. A ‘set’ is being constructed in The Arab United Emirates.

Outside the field of "run-ins with the law”, Kemp draws on decades of experience, encompassing the Metropolitan Police, the tenancy of three English Public Houses, and the Licensed Taxi Trade in London, as well as being a radio voice-over artist in several radio plays, where he honed his sense of story and pacing.

He lives with his beloved wife in London, England, and is rather proud of his two step-children and four grandchildren.

You can find out more about author Daniel Kemp and his writing here