April McGowan

Writing…Roseanna

20043I was having a tough time coming up with a blog title for this post. I usually use song titles, but this one’s tough. As my editor’s name is Roseanna, and this relates to her blog, I think I can get away with that one. What do you think?

I’ve never had trouble selling things. Well…I had to believe in the product, but then I could sell it. I worked in sales through high school, through college and even after college when I was doing design. I would get very enthusiastic about whatever it was and that seemed to pour over and make others excited, too.

One thing I am not very good at, though, is chatting myself up. I think most people have a problem with that. It just feels awkward. So, thankfully today, I don’t have to chat myself up–my lovely editor has done it for me. If you’d be so kind to pop over to Roseanna White’s blog and read her review of Jasmine, I’d so appreciate it. Click right HERE.

She’s also running a contest of giveaways that you can enter very easily. It helps her, and it helps me 🙂 PLEASE leave a comment on her blog so she knows you’ve been there! And if you’ve had the chance to read Jasmine, or plan to when it comes out in paperback, let her know!

Thanks you guys! You’re the best.

Is there a song title you’d like to see me use? Leave me some suggestions in the comments below!

 

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Do You Remember?

perfumeThe other day we went to an estate sale. Now, I’m not a garage sale aficionado, as some. I’m more of a drive by lookie-loo. You know the type that drives slowly by your sale and decides if they see something cool or not before they stop. The one that blocks traffic and then waves thanking you for your patience. Yeah. Sorry. But this one intrigued me. It was a house that had been owned by the same family since 1911. I just knew there’d be some neat stuff and maybe a typewriter for my husband’s collection. So we packed up the family and headed out.

When I’m in an older space, I can’t help but imagine all that went on before me. I wonder about their children, what they did for a living, their hopes and dreams—their deaths. In this particular house there were a bunch of oscilloscopes, vacuum tube testers, and lots of electrical equipment. There were two old portable army phones—the kind they’d take out into the field—that must have weighed twenty pounds (can you imagine carrying that along with your pack through the mud and muck?). And hundreds of old photos. It seemed so sad that one hundred years of history was being sold off for ten cents apiece like that.

Upstairs we found racks of clothing, a complete library of older books (my personal fascination) and bottles of old perfume. Now, I’m someone very effected by smells and sounds. I unscrewed the lid of one of these bottles and was instantly transported back to my childhood. It smelled like one of my grandmas (I have four parents, and was blessed with many)—or maybe my godmother. I couldn’t figure out which one. But I got teary holding that condensed flowery yellow liquid under my nose. I immediately wished I could talk to those women again, ask them more advice, get more bony hugs—beg for chocolate chip cookies. I wished my kids could have known them, baked with them, or done crafts with them. They had so much knowledge to share.

I take great comfort knowing that those ladies all knew my Lord, so I’ll get to see them another day. But, still, this side of waiting can be hard. Tell me, what kinds of things trigger memories in you? Is there a particular thing that transports you back to a day long ago? I’d love to hear about it.

What readers are saying about Jasmine: “This book is one I will long remember, and I’ll remember Jasmine and the women she helped. I’ll wonder what they are doing and how they are…The story is that real.” If you’ve got an e-reader pop over here and follow the links. And once you’ve read–please review! Thanks.

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This Land Is Your Land

30011-2Happy (nearly) 4th of July! I’m feeling very introspective today. Do you ever have those days when memories  just kind of hang around you like a cozy cloak?

When I was a kid, I’d spend the summers with my dad1 and mom2 in Idaho. Most of the time, July 4th would come as part of that visit. We’d often go into town (a 45 min drive or so-my folks lived in the sticks…er…country) and watch the parade. Floats would all reflect local businesses and this one guy with about a hundred Corvettes in his collection would have them all driven through town. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but it seemed like a hundred! Then we’d go home for our meal and company. My mom2 would make all kinds of yummy food, she’d set out all the 4th decorations and we’d usually have friends over. In the evening, though, we’d drive into town once again, park near a baseball field and lay out blankets for the show. If felt like the whole countryside turned out. There was this all-inclusive feel. We’d see people we knew, we’d visit for a while. I remember heat and mugginess. And killer mosquitoes.  As the night fell, and the sky darkened, people would tune their radios to the same channel and patriotic music would play as the pyrotechnician (read crazy folks who may or may not have been professionally trained) set off fireworks.

The part that most sticks in my memory, though, is the bonus show. More often than not, God would show up for the fireworks. Or, at least, that’s what it felt like to me. The clouds would roll in, and off in the distance, we start to see another kind of show. One of lightening, and as it got closer, booming thunder. Bright lights would flash against the silhouetted backdrop of the surrounding mountains like a ginormous flashlight being flicked on and off in rapid succession. It would grow closer, but not dangerously so *usually*. It was just enough to create drama, excitement, and cool the air down a bit. The techs would light off the finale and we’d scream and cheer. Sometimes the rain would come–or hail, and we’d all drive home. On the years when the storm was missing, I always felt a bit cheated. And lonely.

I’m reminded that Romans 1:20 says “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

What special things did your family do for the 4th? Or for my international readers, your national holiday celebration? I’d love it if you’d share a memory below. I hope you feel the Lord closely this celebration, thanking Him for the freedoms we have, and praying He’ll continue to hold us all tightly in His mighty hands as He continues to reveal Himself to us.

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