Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Where you show up at school naked....or are in a portapotty and someone lifts it up, leaving you uh...rather exposed as you sit there?

Well pretend like you know what I'm talking about.

I had one of those moments today. I went to the post office to get something in the mail before it closed. In my rush, I didn't realize I'd took off in my houseslippers!!!!!

Okay, these aren't the nice flat/shoelike slippers that are so stylish today, resembling Indian sandals with the sequins and beading. No. My slippers were a Christmas gift a couple years ago from someone who knows and has my sense of morbid humor. They're BIG and PUFFY and made to look like leapard print thongs with BIG PUFFY TOES that are like four times larger than normal toes...so it makes your feel look like you had an anvil dropped on them or something.

SO anyway...I didn't notice I had them on until I'm halfway in the postoffice. I don't think most people would have even noticed except that I started giggling and couldn't stop. I think the town cop thought I was needing a breathilizer and was concerned for me driving the two blocks home. So when the postmistress asked me what was making me laugh so hard (I was incapacitated by this point..tears and everything at my goof) so I showed her my shoes and she laughed SO shrill and high pitched...EVERYONE in the post office came around me to view my slippers.

The funniest part was I have NO idea how I got all the way there without realizing I had them on!

Sigh. Yeah...so this has been a week for BLUSH and CRINGING!

Here's a picture of my slippers.


Sunday, April 23, 2006

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND--Blush and Cringe with chance of prize for participation


I (thought I) dialed my sister's number yesterday. A voice answered, "Hello."
I immediately launch into, "Hey! I can't believe I got ahold of you!"
She giggles and replies, "Yep. I'm here. What's up?"
I say, "I'm SOOOO sorry I didn't call you back last night. By the time we got home and put the groceries away, one kid needed a bed time story, another wanted me to lay with them, and another needed some mom time so by the time that was all over with it was eleven fifteen so I thought that was too late to call."
Silence then the other voice says, "Syndey?"
Gulp. "Are you my sister?" I ask.
Other voice says, "That depends. Who's your sister?" More giggling.
More giggling. "Nope. Not Lisa. But it was nice talking to you!"
For the next three minutes we stayed on the phone laughing about it.

So tell me....what's been the most embarrassing phone call:
1. You've ever received? or
2. You've ever given?

Come on people! Talk!

See who can make me laugh the most!

Winner will receive a prepaid phone card.


Saturday, April 22, 2006


God woke me up at four am.....to ask me to do something very frightening.

"Will you be willing to take new writers under your wings and mentor them for me?"

What?! NEW writers? I still feel I'm a new writer! Oh man do I feel NOT equipped to do this, Lord--"

"I've equipped you with Godliness and everything you need to--"

"But.but.but...Godliness has nothing to do with the craft of writing, God!"


More silence.


More silence. Big. Echoing silence....

Then something came to me....He probably cares less about me getting published than He does about the road leading up to it. He wants me IN THE PROCESS. It builds character, that's for sure.

Of course I told Him yes because I know He won't tell me to do the next thing when I haven't even done the last thing He asked of me.

You know, this journey to publication...or wherever this is leading...insanity possibly...

One thing I see that puts me in awe of Him....

I have had so many authors come alongside to help me... Margaret Daley being the one who's stuck by me from the beginning. She's been one of my biggest cheerleaders and I'm getting all teary-eyed right now just thinking about her and how wonderful she is. I have a really funny story about one of the first crits she did for me...but I'll save that for another day..but I'll suffice it to say, she tought me very well that the Delete key is not slathered in Anthrax...it's okay to touch it now and then. There are so many more published authors, and advance writers on the verge of publication that I could name who have helped me but I'm afraid I'd forget someone. Dana Corbit always has a listening ear for me and sound advice. Brenda Coulter spent so much time helping me learn how to format ms that I think her eyes must have permanantly crossed! Marta Perry is always rooting for me, and at high tea in Denver made me grin like a goon when she read the pitch Camy Tang had helped me prepare for editors...and said, "Oh! Now this is GOOD!" That moment is branded in my mind and heart and when I get a hard critique...God always brings that moment and her voce to mind. Susie Warren and Susan Downs and Colleen through contest crits and Mae Nunn and oh man...all of you who critted my stuff that I don't know your names. Then there's my wonderful agent Tamela. Lena Nelson Dooley, and Vickie McDonough are taking time out for me with a project...means SO much that they believe in me. My crit groups...Inspy critters, New Cambrian, Crit group nine...FABULOUS writers each and every one of them. And not one of them hasn't helped me profoundly. Robin Miller's critique boutique, Camy Tang's structural editing. Linda Rondeau's line edits and my grammar mentor...I really hope she starts an editing service so many more people can benefit from it. The FAB FOUR...Heather, Camy, Pammer...Pammer was SO sweet on the boards and taught me so much about POV and active writing and Heather beleived in me even when I didn't know which side of the comma the dialogue quotes were supposed to go on. Brandylin and Randy...his tiger marketing and advanced fiction writing ezine. The SEEKERs who are finding multibook contracts in their mailboxes left and right...and still SEEKING Him.

THANK YOU, Lord for each of these and I could spend an entire day writing names here and still not list everyone who's helped me.

So how can I tell you no even when it scares me to think someone a little behind me in this wonderful/difficult/exciting road? OH Man let me tell you I was sweating it there for a few days when you didn't tell me, "Relax, I'm not asking you to give it up." But I sense that now. Shew. What a relief. Shew what a test. I would lay it all down again for You. I'd have more time for my children. Yet I belive You want me to move forward. You're my best friend...my aspiration, my inspiration. My life. You're my whole life and all I want to do was write as worship.

You know, God gave me this gift of story to keep my mind of the physical pain I've been in for the past two and a half years with my hip...and to keep my mind from fear and prevent death by boredom while I was on bedrest and having complications with all four pregnancies...one of which didn't make it. But I know that baby is with Him, and He sustains me when I grieve, not over the loss of the baby, but over not being able to have any more.

Hey, there's always adoption, right? I would bring a million orhpans home with me if I had the room and the help and the money. So I'll just have to give it to Hopegivers and Phillip Cameron so they can care for the masses of precious children.

Anavim. Hebrew for "for the oppressed. The meek. The poor. The broken. The weary." etc. Anyone in need. Like Jesus said, "Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest."

Anavim. Lord you know what that word means between the two of us. You understand the promise and the code. You are a God of covenant and you never break your promise. Let me be a servant of covenant and help me be just as faithful. I know you remember. Hold me to it. I still mean what I told you. You know my heart. You know my motives. Keep them pure. No regrets, Lord. What matters. Only what matters. Everything else can fade away. In the light of you...it all does anyway.

I'm humbled and blessed and touched that you'd even ask me, or trust me with such a task. Helping people chase their dreams...help me to help them to chase you more.

I'm excited to do it. I will study craft hard and speak the truth in gentle love.

Thank you for this journey. That there are people ahead of me in the road, like we're all in one long line...holding hands and moving down the same road. Some of us closer to the end of the road, some of us just starting out, some of us in the middle. But we all have hold of a hand. The hand in front of us tugs us along, helps us up when we fall down, grasps tight and doesn't let go when we try to shrink away from the road and give up, and dusts our knees of our hearts off because this road is sometimes paved with seasons of rejection and harsh critiques, and it sometimes feels like wearing shorts instead of jeans and crawling over broken glass to get there. Then we do the same for the person right behind us on the road. If I know a little bitty bit more than they do about how to craft a great opening hook...then I won't hold that to myself. I remember your lampstand Lord. I will not hide my talents under a bucket. As I've been given, I'll freely give.

Thanks for asking. I love you.


PS: blogreaders, sorry is this seemed like an utterly wierd post where half the time I was talking to you and half the time I was talking to God. Because of time constraints and because I feel like I'm supposed to leave my sincere though rambling conversation with God in there...I won't go back and seperate it. But I hope you have a blessed day and thanks for stopping by my blog.

Thank you for telling me what you want to see here, too. I'm on it!



Thursday, April 20, 2006


ME. That's me. A leaf tossed in the wind and I HATE it. God loves me so much and I know He's smiling at me right now...I can feel it. Because I'm having an "ah-ha" moment. Minister Graham Cooke has said something to the effect that "God will not speed up the development of your character just to launch your ministry."

Okay, this comes after group tonight. (Group is just home meetings with people from church. We visit, eat, have a discussion, then pray for stuff and one another. I love the group I'm in right now. It feels like family. People are real. I can be me and be at my worst which is really bad because even at my best I'm not very easy to get along with). SO anyway...during lesson, Garret talked tonight and through his and Brenda's discussion...God hit me hard. I was so stunned I didn't get prayer because I had to come home and process it.

I'm still not sure what all God meant but I left group with a VERY STRONG sense that God is about to ask me to do something. Thing is...at group tonight, He asked me numerous times, "Will you sumbit? Will you obey? Will you lay it all down again? Will you run after me hard like you used to when you first learned of my love? Will you trust me enough to tell me yes even before you know what I'm asking?"

Okay, first of all you must understand that I'm the type of person that cringes when someone says, "Hey...can you do me a favor?" I will NEVER say "Yes." or "NO."....although now that I think of it...that would be pretty funny to do--put on a serious face and nonchalantly say, "No." LOL. Okay so maybe not. Anyway, back on target, I will always say, "That depends." Or "I don't know." Or I'll say, "What?" when asked that question.

Since God knows me, He knows what a real test of trust that is for me to say yes to Him before I even know what He's asking. But...the bottom line is I DO TRUST HIM.

Sometimes I have to be like the man in the Bible with his unbelief, "Lord...I do believe a little, help me believe a lot."

So, my answer is, without hesitation, "YES, LORD." And "I do trust you a little Lord...help me trust you much."

Now what's been going through my mind since He impressed upon me that He's taking me into a new season? That He might ask me to give up my writing. All of it. For good. Okay, now sometimes when God asks us to give things up...He wants us to give it up without the slightest contemplation of being able to pick that thing back up again.


On the other hand....He could be tugging me into writing for publication. I just want to write as worship. DOn't get me wrong...publication is every writer's dream. At least most of us. The rest are fibbing.

He could be asking me if I'm ready to take the ride of my life. Am I ready for deadlines and navigating and author/agent/editor relationship that will launch my career.

I already left one career. Nursing. I left it to be with my children. I love to write, but my biggest desire in life is NO REGRETS. They're only little once, and there are no guarantees...unless God's promised specifially...that they'll live forever. So I told God in the beginning of this journey...unless this (writing fiction) is going to have an eternal impact for the good...I do NOT want to do it. Not one word. Fiction is meant to entertain, yes. I know this. But for me it has to be more than that. If only for me. If only for my children who learned by my example to chase the Giver and not the gift...to run hard after Him and cling with all out might not the dream but to the author and creator of the substance in our hearts.

And I have failed miserably. I'm an all or nothing person. So I have to be strict. I have to limit my IM time. I may watch TV two hours a month. If that. I gave it up not because I think it's wrong but because I needed to borrow time from somewhere.

Because God asked me to stop neglecting my relationships. Friends. Children. Spouse. Church family. Extended family.

My prayer today is to be cemented into his promises. Bound to his word. Fastened to his spirit, branded with his ever-presence. Devotion. Simple. Jesus. Sweet Jesus.

It's all about you. Everything in my life is about you. For you. From you. Through You. To you. Bring me back. Back to who I'm meant to be.

Whatever trip I'm about to embark upon...I'm ready, Lord..let's go. I know it's gonna be okay why? Because you'll be with me. You're always with me. I want to be with you, too. Not that I want to leave this earth mind you. Too much left to do. Watch my grandkids grow up. See my daughters and my parents point to a book on the shelf at Wal-Mart and say, "My mommy wrote that." Or "My daughter wrote that and I always knew she could and I always told her so."

True. They did. I love the thing on Angie Poole's blog.

I'm basically a visionary. So as Angie would say, "Lord, cut the bait....let's go fishin'"

Whereever you take me...I'll go. I'll follow you anywhere. Whether that means to the OR to get this hip surgery even though the epidural I'm dreading so bad. Even if it means stepping away from the keyboard and my characters more or totally. Or if it means the opposite...to be called as a novelist who's an undercover Christian. To write the stories you put on my heart without being preachy.

As many times as You ask me, Lord, I say:






Okay, what am I talking about you wonder? Or maybe not. Three grand friends and I do a book review blog at www.fabfourbookpicks.blogspot.com

I was looking over the stat counter, in particular, the keyword search....meaning what people typed in the address bar that got them to our site.

Pantyhose. LOLOL!

So I thought maybe if I typed "Pantyhose" in the header of my blog....I'd get more visitors.


I read some awsome blogs....

Heather Tipton
Angie Poole
Mary G
Gina Holmes
Camy Tang
Margaret Daley

Just to name a few....and I'm amazed at how many visitors they get.

So tell me...and be honest....what would you like to see in my blog?

Did you like the BLush and Cringe that I have been slacking on?

What about the writing prompts with book giveaways? Huh? Bring that back, yes or no?

I deleted all my posts about my media mission trip to another country...well because I got some threating mail from that....MEAN PEOPLE...GO AWAY!!!

Anyway...I'm trying to draw NICE people....

Readers....Writers....Christians....Non-Christians.....Editors....Agents....nevermind...I already have an agent and she's WONDERFUL.....


Check out her books too!!!


She's an excellent author as well so she understands both side of the coin.

Okay....so I could name a hundred blogs that I'd love to be able to read but because of time constraints we have to be picky....

SO...tell me what makes a blog be in the top of your blog fav's? Like...I mean the top three or five?

All comments welcome! You're not gonna hurt my feelings....


Tuesday, April 18, 2006


STEALTH SURRENDER finaled in ACFW's Genesis contest in Mystery/Suspense/Thriller Category!!!!!


Top five scoring manuscripts go to the Publishing Board at Warner Faith Books!!!!!

Found out my story was the highest scoring entry in the category!!!!

Now, if I can just do as well in the second round.

I'll keep you all posted!!!



Friday, April 14, 2006


I've been doing a book review blog with four other writers....one of whom just got a THREE book contract from Zondervan!

GO CAMY!!!!!!

Pammer writes kick butt suspense.....

Heather owes me a cowboy story.....and you don't want to miss her Sarcastic Saturdays!

Check us out at


Sign our guestbook!



Forgive my forgetfulness, oh faithful blog readers....

I forgot to tell you I also finaled in Yellow Rose RWA/Winter Rose contest!!!!

That makes 5 stories having finaled in about 10 different contests this year.



Okay, not that He was one of my judges or anything...but He granted me the dream and the talent, and just enough tenacity to chase it.

This Easter weekend, may we all remember what You did, Lord. From your birth to the grave, to the tomb to now. You are ALIVE! And you love us more than we are capable of comprehending. I pray you would be blessed this weekend as a lot of people will be thinking of you more than any other time. Heaven's King....we love you!!!!

Love, Squirrel/Cheryl

OH OH OH!! I forgot to mention the editor of the house of my dreams...my first choice in a publisher...received the ms from my agent..hardcopy...and she is taking it home to read this weekend!!!!!!!!!! So I will hear back really, really soon.

May your will be done, Lord! Your timing. I always want my family to come first. I always want you to come first, Lord. So I don't want this if it's going to interfere. But if you are commissioning me into this.....then WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!

I'm game! Let's go!!!!!! YEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
Ookaaay...and to my faithful bloggers readers.....I'm going to need a LOT of cyber chocolate if I get a rejection....

I'd LOVE a revision request....and that's my prayer if it's God's perfect will.