>> Monday, October 29, 2012


It's "M" week for the A2Z meme...

My cooking has improved and I've graduated to grilling.

I’ve leaped learning curves with a single bound even though 'trial and error’ has become my middle name. There's been a few flops, but for the most part, I'm proud of my accomplishments.

I knew I'd arrived when the rustling of the grill cover got the attention of the neighbor's cats.

The first time they circled like vultures hovering over roadkill. As time went on, they became bolder.

One began nosing behind the trash can, peering at me through the fence, while his partner in crime stood watch. Eventually, the curious kitty squeezed under the gate in order to evaluate the meat du jour.

They salivate and whine. Drool, purr, and beg. All while my own cats stay in the house, blissfully ignorant of the invasion.

Then there was the day they started heading my way just because it was five o'clock. And looked completely annoyed when I shrugged and said, "Too bad, guys, I'm eating out tonight."

Geez, now they can tell time?


One even had the audacity to jump up on the grill after I finished cooking. Fortunately for her, it had cooled down. If not, bet the first time would have been the last.

My cooking may not have reached purrrfection as yet, but according to some, it is the cat's meow.


The Legend Lives On

>> Monday, October 22, 2012

This week, Patty's A2Z meme is on the letter "L"

When I moved into my house some dozen years ago, my father had a great concern. My front door was entirely glass and he was very certain that someone was going to walk right through it. So he offered me a solution:

Two static cling pink flamingos.

And he was quite put out when I declined.

What he didn’t realize was that his “gift” would set off an enduring chain of events that may perpetuate the entire scope of my lifetime…*shudder*

And a Legend was born.

My family was so amused, they picked up the gauntlet and for well over a decade, has inundated me with every pink flamingo item known to man.

I probably should have kept track or at least photo documented the phenomenon, but there's been a lot...Here’s a few examples and pix:

Coming home from work to find my yard flocked with plastic visitors on a stick.

Opening the garage door to find a four foot stuffed bird staring at me.

A six foot blow-up lashed to the tree in my front yard.

Shirts, jammies, and other unmentionable apparel.

A flamingo plunger left in my toilet (that one was memorable.)

Birthday cards, balloons, coffee mugs. Statues and stuffed animals.

And just when I think it might settle down...

This summer at the family reunion, I found a stowaway in my car...


I laughed and left him behind…

                                          ...then found him in my bed a few days later.
Dad’s no longer with us, but the Legend Lives on.

He'd probably get a chuckle out the whole thing.

Although he never did understand why I didn't accept his gift...


Knotted Knickers

>> Monday, October 15, 2012

This week's letter for Patty's A2Z meme 
is "K."  

This makes me laugh. And not just because it’s amusing…

But because I’ve had my knickers in a knot lately.


I'm ashamed to admit it, but I've regressed to someone from the past that I thought was gone forever. My temper has been getting the best of me on a regular basis and I throw more fits than a four-year-old begging for Skittles in the grocery store.

I've struggled with several months of crisis, some affecting me directly, some not. Loss, grief of people I love, change, and life in general. After awhile, it all piles up into one big uncontrollable mess. 

And oh, how I hate not being in control. 

Hence my temperamental dilemma.

And while vacation certainly sounds delightful (I have one coming up soon) my rational big-girl side knows that running away from home isn’t the answer. (Kind of pathetic anyway since I live alone.)

Whatever the reasons, my excuses have run dry and will no longer hold water. (I’ve even regressed into cliché-land….gad zooks!)

Time to deal with my issues.

So here’s to unknotting my knickers.

‘Cause it solves nothing.

And I don’t wanna walk funny anymore.


Wimpy, wimpy, wimpy...

>> Monday, October 8, 2012

If you've ever struggled with creative fear factor, check out this week's guest, Lynda Schab.

Do you ever feel like a wimp? I do! I feel wimpy whenever I encounter a spider, am meeting someone for the first time, or have to speak in front of an audience.

As a writer, I’ve had plenty of wimpy moments, too. Times when I sweated over hitting the “send” button. When I stressed over what my critique partners would say about my writing. When I have way too many words to write before my deadline. Times when I felt like giving up because it’s just too hard.

Wimpiness is not something I enjoy feeling, and it certainly isn’t something that comes from God. As 1 Timothy 1:7 reminds us, “I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” That means I have the ability to kick that wimp to the curb once and for all!

A couple years ago I taught an interactive workshop at the FaithWriters conference, and titled it WRITING IS NOT FOR WIMPS. Basically I talked about finding the strength to overcome six main obstacles we face as writers. Obstacles like "Lack of Support," "Procrastination," and "Time and Energy. " (Any of those sound familiar?) After the class, I got lots of great feedback, so I've compiled the information into an e-book. My goal in teaching the class, and in writing the e-book, was to not only give you a few tips to overcome the obstacles that get in the way of your passion, but also to encourage you to become the writer God created you to be. If God gave you the talent, He certainly wants you to use it and not let a few hurdles slow you down.

WRITING IS NOT FOR WIMPS is available through the FaithWriters e-book store. It is in PDF form, which means you can read it on your computer or print it out. You can also transfer the file to your Kindle if you’re technically savvy. It's nothing fancy, only 25 pages, but I included a few fun pictures and think it turned out pretty well, and I actually had fun putting it together. Here's an official description: 

"You have a passion to write. But passion alone won’t make you successful. There are plenty of challenges that may frustrate you and tempt you to give up on your passion altogether. Rise up and kick that writing wimp to the curb, and emerge as the strong and successful writer God intended you to be." 

If you do pick up a copy, I'd love your feedback and/or a full review. And if any of you attended that FaithWriters workshop, you'll find this to be a great refresher on what you learned there.

Thanks to Kim for allowing me to share this e-book with you! 

Question for you: What are the biggest obstacles you face as a writer or, if you’re not a writer, at your job? 

Find out more about Lynda.


Intrigued and Inspired

>> Monday, October 1, 2012

This week's meme letter is "I"... off we go...

While bouncing along on my treadmill, I’ve taken to watching TV. Figured that if I can sit on my duff and stare at the boob tube, I can get in a workout during the evening entertainment shows.

Most of the time the only “entertainment” I get is laughing at the stupidity of Hollywood. And I’ve learned how to roll my eyes without falling off the treadmill.

But an interview with a gal named Pattie Mallette and the book she’s written piqued my interest. The book is called, Nowhere But Up and the subtitle is The Story of Justin Bieber’s Mom.

Lest you think I’m digressing into screaming teenage girl-dom, rest assured that’s not the case. Sure I know who Justin Bieber is—you’d have to live under a rock not to. But it wasn’t him that roused my curiosity: It was his mother.

I was Intrigued.

So off to Amazon I went and soon Kalliope (Kindle) and I dove into an amazing story.

We finished in a couple of days.

And I was Inspired. (Kalliope didn't say much.)

Ms. Mallette details years of physical and mental abuse, her struggles with drugs and alcohol, and the challenges of raising a child alone. And she talks about her faith.

I was blown away by her story and how she overcame her issues. None of it was easy and her story isn’t one of happy-happy, joy-joy with a fairy tale ending.

It’s about life. And how God rescues us. Sometimes from ourselves.

During one of her struggles, Ms. Mallette shares Psalm 40.2-3:

He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in Lord.           NLT

She then writes, “In that moment, the weight of feeling like my faith was empty or futile was lifted. I cried tears of relief. The dreaded fear of being abandoned was gone. God hadn’t left me. My faith wasn’t a sick or twisted joke. Yet again, God had gone out of his way to assure me He was present. I wasn’t a forgotten child. He valued me. And I was worth enough for Him to take the time to make sure I got the message loud and clear.”

That's a message we can all be Inspired by.

Note to Kindle users: I'm willing to share my copy of Nowhere but Up through Amazon's Kindle loaning system. Email me at kimberly.k.russell@gmail.com and we'll work out the details. Remember: Loaner books are only accessible for two weeks and my copy can only go to one person at a time--will make a waiting list for those that are interested.


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