Saturday, April 30, 2005


Okay. Everyone knows that children mimick what they see. So tell me. WHY would I think my children would be immune to this? *Cough* Confession time here. I, sort of, well, sometimessmackmyhusbandonthebuttwhenhepassesbymeinaroom. There. I said it. AAAAAND... sometimes I happen to do that when my children are present in said room. Ahem. Yes. I know. BAAAAAD Mommy. So anyway, tonight we're coming out or church and my four year old runs after our pastor, catches up with him and...


Smacks him right on the caboose.

If there was ever a time when I wished the asphalt would open up and swallow me, that would be it. (Sondor', if you ever read this--you have no idea how embarrassed I was.)

So. Moral of the story? When you pat your honey's patootie...make sure the children are not gawking.

The Bible says "and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make (or set) you free.
The cool thing about this is...truth is a person.
Jesus is The Truth. He called Himself The Truth, The Way, The Life.
Pretty cool double meaning, huh?
VERSES for your viewing pleasure:
Jn 8:32
Jn 14:6
I Ti 2:4
Jn 16:13
Borrowed Prayers
Dear God, help us to cling to your Truth. . . in every sense of the word.


Monday, April 25, 2005


Congratulations to M.R. for winning "Squirrel's Story Starters" for April!!!! She penned a delightful story.

Congratulations also goes out to K.M. for honorable mention.

Both of these stories ran neck and neck and I had to have outside help to decide a winner. Congratulations, girls!!!!!!!!!!!

When I was at ACRW conference last year, Kathy Ide's parents drove us to a four story bookstore in Denver. The story I was working on at the time features a S.W.A.T. officer for the hero. I found a S.W.A.T. magazine there and bought it, not realizing it had a picture of a very intense individual aiming a machine gun on the front cover. That issue was all about weaponry. Also during the conference, they gave these floating hand things away. So I switch flights at St. Louis and of all the people in line, guess who they pull out to go through their suitcase in front of all the other people?

Yep. Me.

So the nice, tall, latex-gloved security officer places my suitcase on the table and proceeds to unzip it. What's the first thing he sees? That S.W.A.T. magazine and that floating body part. He just stops what he's doing, lifts the magazine with two fingers, and his left eyebrow as he's staring at me. I giggle when I get nervous. So I begin to giggle. And I can't stop. And he's holding this magazine up, his questioning gaze turning from me to it and back. Then he picks up the severed hand with his other gloved hand. I'm giggling uncontrollably now and have hives all over my neck, back and arms because everyone around us is staring, wondering what the hold up is. I finally figure out he's waiting for an explanation. I look at him, shrug, smile sweetly and blushingly, and say, "You don't want to know."
Brow lifts higher and brow number two joins it, he says, "Oh yes. I do. And you're going to tell me."
I realize he's serious. But I feel another wave of giggles erupting as I envision my husband having to come rescue me after I've been apprehended by security, and interrogated in some dark airport boardroom by the FBI and CIA. (You have to remember, I have a writer's imagination.)
I tell him, "Well, I bought it at the Tattered Cover."
He blinks exactly three times and I can tell this answer is not going to get me through security. This is St. Louis, MO. And the Tattered Cover was the bookstore in Denver.
"I'm a writer. I just came back from a writer's conference and I bought that for research."
"Hmm-Hmm," he says. Now there are three, count them, three security guards going through my stuff and a LOOOOONG line of irritated, yet curious onlookers behind me who are about to miss their flights because of the delay caused by this fake severed hand and this magazine.
He dug through my dirty clothes (How embarrassing) and lifts up my Bible. Shew. I see the grin erupt over his face and the sparkle glimmer in his eye.
"Am I going to find any other severed body parts in here?" he asks, a smile tugging one side of his mouth higher than the other.
Relieved, because I now realize he's kidding with me, in my nervous state, I blurt the first thing that comes to mind, "No, sir, you certainly won't. I hid the rest better."

He chuckled, closed the suitcase and waved me through while the stream of passengers behind me zoomed past in all their glaring glory. At some point on the flight home, I stopped trembling and began to chuckle about it.

You, God, created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created. Revelation 4:11 NLT

Dear God, as you have delighted yourself in us, even when we had no thoughts of you, please help us to delight ourselves in you. Let nothing take your rightful place in our hearts. Be first. Help us love you laps ahead of everything and everyone else.


Set up:
Hero's background: His mother was controlling. He thinks a wife will control him, therefore he avoids commitments at all cost. Has always been tought that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you want something, go after it. Has to feel like he's in control at all times.

Heroine's background: Shy, sweet, tought never to make waves. Don't pursue things, let them come to you. Avoids situations of control at all costs.

She catches his eye and he determines to "Chase her" even though he's never had to chase a woman in his life. A mishap causes them to meet.

Write a 500 word or less scene. I'd like you to use at least the hero, or heroine above, preferrably both in your story.

This sentence, or variant of it, MUST be in the story somewhere, preferable the Hook.

"As the slow heat from the blush of mortification crawled up her chest and neck, Murial cringed at the mess she'd made, and prayed for the sidewalk to open up and gobble her this instant."



Thursday, April 21, 2005

One more thing...

This month's prompt contest has officially ended. Winner will be notified by 4/25 via Email, and their initials posted in my blog. There were an extraordinary number of entries this month and all of you sent in such great entries, this one is going to be HARD to judge. Thanks to all who entered. Nothing would bless me more in regards to this contest than to see some of you take the scene you crafted from the seed of a story, and turn it into a full-length salable manuscript.



Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Wow, it's been too long since I posted! BUT, I've actually been writing. I'm about twenty pages away from finishing my next wip-the first in my new Spec Op series. Wooooo Hoooo.


We had a couple over for dinner who'd visited our church. The gentleman picked up the salt shaker and shook. Nothing happened. My husband tried to shake it. Nothing happened so he tapped the bottom and a few grains of salt broke free. Then he taps it again and here comes the salt. So he hands it to the man, who proceeds to salt his food. As a few of the clumps of salt (that had been blocking the last few holes) tumbled out onto his grilled chicken, I commented, "I guess steam from the water I boiled earlier must have clogged it." One of my preschoolers says, "No, mom, Eno licked it when we were setting the table and that's what clogged it." Our dinner guests chuckled. I was mortified. And you know, now that I think of it, that man didn't eat a bite of that chicken breast after that.......

God, when we are drowning in pain, whether it be emotional or physical, and there is no medication or balm to help or soothe us we are at Your mercy, which is the best place to be. We trust in You. You love us and hear our prayers. Thank You that the same compassion that compelled you, Jesus, to reach out to that hurting one in the crowd still flows with abundance from Your heart of love and mercy. You still heal today, and we are trusting you to do great things in our midst. Be magnified in our suffering, Lord. Be magnified.

He will not leave us orphaned. He will come to us.

Friday, April 08, 2005


Instead of a blush and cringe: My daughters decided to unfurl an entire roll of toilet paper and stuff it in the toilet. Not so bad. I could have dealt with that. They've put worse in the toilet. (Remind me to tell you the day my favorite candle went missing) So I am doing my typical "why did you guys do this, it makes no sense" rant and I hear the toilet flush and daughter number two going, "Uh oh! Mom! It's overflowing!" So now I'm launching into my "why did you flush it? I told you not to flush it!" rant, and trying desperately to get the childproof lock thingy off the cabinet door so I can get the plunger. "I flushed it because I had to poop and you always tell us to flush after we poop," she says. So now I'm watching the one foot in diameter, water-logged mountain of toilet paper slowly rising to the top of the toilet rim, looking like a billowing mass of whipped cream, only those little brown pebbles are NOT cherries on top. I ask the four year old to help me get the childproof lock open. She's succesful within seconds. I grab Mr. Plunger, skid across bathroom floor and realize the water stopped about a hair's length from the top of the toilet. Good news, right? Wrong. If I put Mr. Plunger in the water, it's going to overflow. Then I hear a gurgle, and another gurgle and realize that somehow, the water is s-l-o-w-l-y moving down. I wait an eternal five minutes, then lift the plunger, ready to insert, only to realize it's inside out. That's what I get for buying it at the dollar store. I don't know about you, but I'm not touching that thing with my bare hands to turn it back the way it's supposed to go. So I dash to the other bathroom, grab another plunger and race back down the long hall to bathroom number one where I am now hearing the unmistakeable sound of splashing. And laughter. "Dear God, please let that be the sink they're playing in," I pray and round the bend to find my older daughters (ages 3 and 4) cheering the one year old on as she has both hands in the toilet, squeezing a pebble with one tiny hand and swirling the mass of toilet paper around like a whirlpool with her other hand.

It could have been worse I guess. Usually everything she gets her hands on goes directly in her mouth. I know, gross, and yes, I scrubbed her hands with antibacterial soap for a half an hour.

Search me, O God and know my heart...lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24

Help me to have an insatiable passion for your words. Let me devour them as if I knew I'd never get to read the Bible again. Help those in other countries to be able to have your Words without being caught and persecuted.

I'm working on a new series, the special ops military ones. I'm two thirds of the way to finishing my first draft. I wrote a scene today that made me bawl my eyes out. My husband walks in, looks at me like I'm a loon, and walks past, shaking his head while I continue sniffing, blubbering, and tapping away at the keyboard. He's slightly worried about the fact that fictional people, whom I've created with my own mind, have the ability to send me into crybaby mode. So I either wrote an incredibly emotional scene today, or my pregnancy hormones are a bit out of control! LOL.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Not really, but since I have your attention, let's get started with all our bloggyness.

This entire month's blush and cringe will be didicated to my husband. Tee-hee, or at lest written at his expense. (Shhhh! Don't tell him!)
My husband runs sound for a lot of bands. When MXPX first started out, my husband had never ran sound for a punk or ska band. He was used to running sound for Pantera-like bands. Anyway, after the first song, (MXPX tuned low) my husband stops the show, walks up to the guitarist and asks him if he needs to borrow a new string. The guy stares at him as if he's from another galaxy, looks at his guitar and says, "uh, no." So my ever helpful husband says, "well, you need to re tune your guitar or get a new string then because that sounds horrible." Dh (Dear hubby) then goes about looking to see which sound cable was causing the "terrible screeching." That's when the guitarist informs him that's how their music is SUPPOSED to sound.

He covers the Heavens with clouds, sends down the showers, and makes the green grass grow... Psalm 147:8 TLB

God, thank you for providing for us. You are faithful. Help me know and believe it no matter how the circumstances look.

Fellow friends and previous coworkers Patty Hall and Tammy Stubblefield. I got an email from Tammy and saw Patty at church and it reminded me of something both of them said to me right after I got married. Before I got married, I wasn't all keen on the idea of having children. BOTH of them spoke into my life, telling me what a joy motherhood is and what a wonderful mother I would be. Years later, as I look into the cherubic faces of my beautiful children, I remember those words and can hardly contain the tears, thinking how they've enriched my life. So thanks Patty and Tammy, for booting my caboose, and for being wonderful, Godly examples of how a mother should love their children. I aspire to be like you. Thanks for influincing that aspect of my life. I bet you didn't even realize the power your words of encouragement would have. You may not even remember speaking those words, but I remember for it was a pivotal moment in the span of my life with each of you. God used you to turn my heart towards the desire to be a wife and mom-something I wouldn't trade for anything.

Dont forget about my Traffic Jam and my prompt contest. If you'd like a free book but aren't a writerly type, send me an email telling me exactly why you think you deserve a book. The story can be true or made up. The story that makes me laugh or cry the most, will win a free book. My email is

Back to my website

Thanks for stopping by.


Sunday, April 03, 2005


If you've received my newsletter, The Acorn Connection, you know the Traffic Jam has officially begun!!! So far, Pamela James is laps ahead of the rest of you, so what are you waiting for? Send people to sign my guestbook! Don't forget to tell them to mention who sent them so you get credit! These are some great prizes guys and you don't want to miss this opportunity.

Don't have any idea what I'm talking about? I'm running a six month long contest, from April to October, in order to increase traffic on my website. Grand prize is your choice of 1 of 5 things valued at $200.00. There is no catch other than in order to win, you have to send more people to sign my website guestbook than anyone else. For more details, go to click the newsletter link and sign up for it, or simply send me an email at telling me you wish to enter Squirrel's Traffic Jam.

Don't forget about my monthly prompt contest, called "Squirrel's Story Starters." Prize is a free book.

Once while working night shift at the hospital, I needed to page housekeeping to come clean a birthing room so we could move my other actively laboring patient in there. The stupid phone system was messed up and somehow, no matter what numbers you pushed, it dialed speed call numbers randomly. It's 2:00 in the morning and *housekeeping* picks up. "Hello?" a groggy voice answered. I'm squishing my eyebrows at the phone, thinking the housekeeping dude fell asleep on his shift. Anyway, so I go, "Yes, I need for you to come mop birthing room three as soon as possible." There was a pause, then groggy voice says, "Excuse me?" I repeat myself, "I need for you to come mop a birthing room. We're swamped and we need that room pronto." Next thing I know, groggy voice says, "Cheryl? Is that you?" I realize with a start the voice belonging to groggy person is NOT the nightshift housekeeper. It's the physician of my patient who was NOT on call and whom I had just wakened IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. No longer groggy, very awake and slightly annoyed voice says, "Cheryl, you're calling me at two am to tell me to come back to the hospital to help you clean a birthing room?" "B-b-but, I didn't call you. The phone did!" I say. Likely story. He had a hard time believing the phone system was the one with microchips shorting out.