Quotable Quotes

“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”
~ E.L. Doctorow

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

- Oscar Wilde

Month of November

Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 3: Book that makes you laugh out loud


The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy or Everything Your Doctor Won't Tell You


Okay picture this: A 220 pound whale (or the human equivalent) reading a humorous book on pregnancy. Think - poor bladder control, hormonal swings that rival a sleepover of adolescent girls, and a nose that snorts - loudly - when laughter is uncontrollable.

That would be me reading this book.

Jake knew I was depressed during my first pregnancy. I had gained a whopping 85 pounds (mostly baby and water weight, but the rest of it still hasn't dropped off yet) and was so exhausted from carrying the extra baggage. (Loved the baby, hated the pregnancy itself...)

He must have mentioned his feelings of helplessness in passing to a coworker who decided to graciously give her assistance and this was the product of her generosity. Well, it was on loan actually because she still planned on having more kids - I think.

Anyway, I laughed my way through this epic adventure while tears leaked out and my bladder lost control - I will never make fun of Depends wearers again. :-)

I really need a copy of my own - for the next time a little bump decides to make my body do crazy things. (Not any time soon mind you)

Donations going to the purchase of this book will be accepted - cash or check only. :-P

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day 2: Least favorite book


Elsie Dinsmore by Martha Finley

I grew up reading the entire series (over 35 books) and I will be including the entire series in this as my least favorite book. 

I know why I loved them as a child. They were romantic and idealistic and dealt with all the struggles I was going through at the time. (The injustice of a cruel father or so I thought, my struggle for perfection and faith, my desire to be in another place and time.)

I can tell you exactly why I despise them now. I do not know if Martha Finley wrote based on what she knew, but the stories are so blatantly unreal, even fairy tales rank higher on my list of believability. There is no way on earth any child of eight (and continuing into adulthood) can be as perfect and just...perfect as Elsie Dinsmore. I understand that her hard upbringing must have shaped her quite firmly, but even her supposed "sins" show up as more misunderstandings between herself and the other characters (namely, her father).

I cannot stand a story that shows all external struggle with unjust and horrific characters constantly throwing flaming arrows at the poor, helpless protagonist. Not only is that completely unrealistic, but it makes for a shallow hero/heroine who becomes a victim of circumstance. It's only when the circumstances change and not the character herself/himself that we see a happy ending.

I am sorry, but real like doesn't work that way. We all have character flaws and true sins we must curb and conquer (by God's grace) before we can experience joy and happiness. It doesn't matter if the circumstances do not change then. For our character has been strengthened to overcome those circumstances.

Day 1: Favorite book

Sacred Parenting: How Raising Children Shapes Our Souls


I have so many favorite books that it is difficult to choose one over another. However, in this moment in time, my favorite book would have to be this book by Gary L. Thomas.

When I read Sacred Marriage, I was not at a place in my life where I could truly appreciate its value. However, Sacred Parenting was picked up at just the right instance. I was foundering in my motherhood and desperate for anything to bring back that joy and love I KNOW I have for my kids. Every aspect of parenting seemed meaningless and a drudgery. The worst part was that my children sensed my attitude and responded accordingly.

That old saying?

When momma ain't happy, ain't no one happy.


Reading a book that brought such amazing perspective to my heart and mind could not have come at a better time. I realized that not only was my role as a mother to raise my children in the ways of the Lord, but even more importantly it is specifically for the purpose of molding me into the woman God wants me to become.

WOW. Talk about a perspective shift. Believe me, some days it is still a moment by moment battle to overcome the strongholds of the devil in my attitudes and actions. Still...I have never experienced so much joy, peace, and love over the little ones God has entrusted into my care.

Heck. I'm even okay with having a couple more of the beautiful smalls. :-)

30 Day Book Challenge - As given to me by a dear brother!

Will be updating the list daily


I Won't use the Bible...if you wish to join, please avoid other obvious choices like your child's scrapbook, self-published work...I think you know what I mean... O_o

 Tough challenge! To help, I will be using a series as one book if it is a distinct story like The Lord of the Rings, but I will use individual titles of a series when the book is an individual story like the books from The Chronicles of Narnia.


Day 1: Favorite book

 Day 2: Least favorite book

Day 3: Book that makes you laugh out loud

 Day 4: Book that makes you cry

Day 5: Book you wish you could live in

Day 6: Favorite young adult book


Day 7: Book that you can quote/recite


Day 8: Book that scares you


Day 9: Book that makes you sick


Day 10: Book that changed your life


Day 11: Book from your favorite author


Day 12: Book that is most like your life


Day 13: Book whose main character is most like you


Day 14: Book whose main character you want to marry


Day 15: First “chapter book” you can remember reading as a child


Day 16: Longest book you’ve read


Day 17: Shortest book you’ve read


Day 18: Book you’re most embarrassed to say you like


Day 19: Book that turned you on


Day 20: Book you’ve read the most number of times


Day 21: Favorite picture book from childhood


Day 22: Book you plan to read next


Day 23: Book you tell people you’ve read, but haven’t (or haven’t actually finished)


Day 24: Book that contains your favorite scene


Day 25: Favorite book you read in school


Day 26: Favorite nonfiction book


Day 27: Favorite fiction book


Day 28: Last book you read


Day 29: Book you’re currently reading


Day 30: Favorite coffee table book

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm taking a writing course online right now in the hopes of improving my work and actually spending the time getting feedback on some of my old stuff.

It's great. The best part about it is that every assignment is a maximum of 500 words. So I am learning a LOT about making my writing tighter, more concise, and still maintaining the elements of the story.

This is one more step in the right direction I hope. And the thing that makes it all worth it is that the course itself is free! :-)

On another note: I hope to have a more regularly scheduled blog posting now that I have decided this is going to be in essence my personal journal. Not that I am going to be spilling ALL my secrets. But I will be using it as your window into my writing process - and my life as it were. :-)

So I will be seeing you all around.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Execution

Define: Execution (As stated by Merriam-Webster online)
  1. A putting to death especially as a legal penalty
  2. The process of enforcing a legal judgment (as against a debtor); also : a judicial writ directing such enforcement 
  3. The act or mode or result of performance
 Christ was put to death legally - okay, so the legal system of the time was screwy and biased. It does not negate the first statement. Caesar executed judgment on Jesus Christ and his soldiers (and the jeering crowds) executed the execution of their Savior.

Do not ask me why I was contemplating this, nor why I messed around with the definitions of the word execute. I couldn't really tell you. I was actually contemplating a very pivotal moment in my yet unfinished manuscript and that led me to define the word.

Which then led me to this strange, morbid, and disturbing contemplation of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. 

Which then led me further into the contemplation of what exactly he actually did for me. 

He was bruised for my (our) transgressions...then he received the "legal" punishment of a criminal in those days and lost his life on the cross.

His human life. He walked among us; the blood and DNA of his creation actually ran through his own veins and he took on the characteristics of the created. 

For me.

He bled and died so that I would have the chance to bleed and die free from the powerful chains of sin. Why? Certainly not for anything I've ever done. Let's face it, I can definitely say that nothing I've done on this earth is deserving of His sacrifice. So why?

He died for love of me? Oh that I could truly understand the depths of a love like that. I see glimpses of it in the deep love I have for my children and the enduring love I have for my husband...but even that love is not close to perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I would die for my children; most of the time I would die for my husband too. =D

But I am selfish and myopic and egocentric. I judge by first impressions and I most definitely hold grudges (hopefully that has improved over the years...)

No way could I ever truly understand just what kind of love would hold a human being/deity to the cross for me. For the world...

On a more serious note however, that kind of puts in perspective just how temporary are my own aches and pains. 

After actually keeping oneself on a cross for an entire world full of sin-laden, imperfect people, how painful must it be on a continuing basis to see that same group of people throw such a perfect love back into the face of the one who gave ALL.

Monday, September 19, 2011

On Writing with the Voices in My Head

I hear voices in my head...seriously.

They tell me stories and pretty much dictate exactly how they will look, act, and feel on paper. The only time they control me is...well all the time I guess.

As long as I am in writer's mode anyway. Which pretty much is all the time. Just most of the time, I manage to suppress the voices when I am wearing my other hats - like mommy, wife, etc.

But yeah. I do hear voices. Some people don't believe me.

Others might want to have me committed.

I just say the voices are relatively harmless in that they only manage to deprive me of sleep, sustenance, and real relationships...that last one truly does impact my marriage at times. It's a good thing I have an understanding spouse. He's brilliant about handling my voices.

Honestly. I woke him up one night at two in the morning to tell him that I'd been awake for hours trying to argue the voices into sleeping until a more decent hour. His response?

Sarah, they aren't going to go away just because you are arguing with them. Just write down what they tell you and go back to sleep after they stop talking voluntarily.
 Of course, I don't think he was truly that coherent. But close enough. :-P

Plot Bunnies

So I just had a cool new idea that I got to brainstorm with Jake. It dealt with some major weak points in my plot and answered a lot of questions regarding how to make my fairy tale GOOD. Can't give away too much because it would really give away a lot of the story, and I won't be giving teasers until at least the first few chapters are written.

On that note:
  • Chapter 1 is written and needs some editing/proofing to add the new changes into it.
  • All of my main character sketches are finished - as finished as can be until I get further into my story. Sometimes I cannot see just how they will react until I throw them into the situations.
  • Chapter 2 is being written and it's giving me a headache, so I have tabled it until tomorrow. I am trying to introduce my heroine without giving too much away, but also really giving a good first glimpse into her character.
  • My general setting sketches are nearly done, but I have it all in my head and several pictures to give me scope. It's beautiful. :)
  • Several random chapters are drafted - literally in skeleton stages - including a few from book two and three. 
  • Many more plot points keep biting me and my head is literally spinning.
And last but certainly not least, I have to say that my husband has been a rather patient, loving, and supportive husband while I have taken on the challenge of writing a trilogy. He will be getting special mention in my books as well as a few other rewards along the way. ;-)

That will be all for now. I'll check in and finish up a few other points of interest tomorrow - AKA, when I can actually think (and see) straight. :-)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sleep? Who needs Sleep?

They were right. They told me that there was no such thing as sleep after kids. And it's so very true. I laughed when they told me that.

I thought: Oh my kids will sleep if I have to drug them every night - and for naps. No way am I losing precious hours of rest for noisy, wide-awake hooligans.


I have the good grace to laugh at my own foolishness. It is actually funny when I think about it.

Of course that could be the caffeine-induced lack of sleep laughing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lessons on Surrender

To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. 13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.
 14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
 20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. ~ Ephesians 3:8-21

Everything, and I truly do mean EVERYTHING, has an eternal purpose. Most times, in my experience, it is completely unfathomable to our very limited human eyes and hearts.

I heard once that God's love was a side characteristic - a minor trait compared to his traits of justice, judgment, Truth, etc. Kind of like an afterword, almost forgotten, but not as important to consider as the rest of Him.

Is it blasphemy for me to disagree? To say that this viewpoint leads to fearful, cowardly retreat from a God whose hand is always just hovering above the SMITE button, just waiting for our puny little humanness to make ONE false move. To look on Him not with awe and reverence, but to hide in a corner, hoping we do nothing to catch His vindictive eye.

I don't buy it. You see, I know in my heart of hearts, that Love is the lens through which all of God's other traits are seen and felt and heard. I've seen it personally. I've felt it in the gentleness of His hand as I am lovingly chastised.

I've heard it in my son's cries as he hovered on the brink between two worlds - the base, earthy world of our human existence. And the eternal, heavenly world where God dwells in Holiness.

You think me melodramatic. You say, "Come on Sarah. Your son wasn't THAT sick. He fought off infection, or a minor virus and you just caught him at the worst time of his body's natural process. Stop being such a drama queen."

Perspective is a tricky thing. Especially when everyone's perspective is different and the situation may be easily read as quite different from another's eyes.

In my eyes, in the moment that I held my son's ice cold, pale body (even his tongue was devoid of color) I thought for certain that he was dying. My mother perspective lost it. If you are not a mother, you cannot fully comprehend a mother's perspective in this situation. Dramatic? Maybe. It doesn't make it wrong.

Do you know that God is FAITHFUL to do beyond anything we could ever imagine? I have surrendered my children to God - knowing that His hands and arms are the safest, most LOVING place for them to be.

That did not prevent me from still clinging tightly to my son as I begged God to not take him just yet. Claiming that surrender is a lot easier when it is just words, and it does not actually stop our mother-heart from fighting with every beat not to let go.

I know Luke is in God's hands. I know that he was created by God and only given to me as a temporary, beautiful gift to cherish and raise up in the ways of the Lord. I know this. I believe this.

That is why I don't believe it diminishes the mother-heart in me that tries desperately to say, "Thy will be done," while still holding on with everything to my child. Because regardless of the loan-nature of my son, he is my son. I don't think Mary felt that Jesus' status as the Son of God diminished her status as his mother. And can you blame her - or me? We carry this child within our womb for 40 weeks - sometimes more, sometimes less. Everything that we do during this time can either harm our child greatly, or nurture and sustain the growing life. We finally give them up to the cold, dark world, expelling them from our bodies with great pain and travail, only to cling to them and nourish them again at our breast for the first six months to a year or more of life. They are completely dependent on our care - or lack of it whatever the case may be.

We mothers have a bond with our children that only God or another mother can ever totally understand. And just as we would give our last, dying breath in exchange for the life of our child, and our place in the circle of heaven - being cast out into hell if necessary - for the eternal soul of our child; so too would God do the same, LOVING sacrifice for us.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Motherhood Is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank)

Motherhood Is a Calling (And Where Your Children Rank)

Of Planting and Harvesting

For the most part, gardening was a bust for us this year.

I have a lot to learn about the wonders of growing vegetables. How not to kill them being on the top of the list. We got an abundance of peppers - the hot ones - cherry tomatoes, and beans. BEANS.

Not that I am upset about the produce we did get.

It would just be nice if the carrots, corn, tomatoes - the big ones - peppers - the sweet ones - and beets had survived. I KILLED them. :(

This winter, I will be researching how not to kill my veggies. Because it's corny to say that I have no green thumb...especially when I have green BEANS coming out of my EARS.

And even I winced at the utter cheese in that last joke. :)


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

3Day Novel

Success? If spewing out over 26,000 words in 72 hours to form a complete, mostly coherent novel is not a success, I don't know what is! :)

I did it! I DID IT! By God's grace alone, I did it. :)

Last year definitely felt easier and less pressured. Probably because I had fewer words to contain with and my storyline was massively outlined in my head before I started typing.

This was also a harder year, because in some ways it was a harder topic to write. I've seen the process of dying before, so writing it comes a little more easily to me.

I've never (knowingly) seen an angel before or interacted with one (that I know of) so to portray it accurately enough without delving into blasphemy is definitely a challenge for me. Really though, despite its greater than ever challenge this year, I enjoyed my experience a whole lot more than last year.

Maybe because I have one under my belt. I knew a bit more what to expect. But more than anything, I really enjoyed just writing for the pleasure of it. To craft a story using elements from my own life but also many elements from my crazy imagination (and 27 years of experience with life) - let me tell you it was FUN.

The Hannah Center project did not go as well as I wanted, but given the time frame with which I threw everything together, I have to say that it was more than I expected. And there are still a few more people who have verbally said they would give. (They just have a love/hate relationship with technology apparently)

So all in all, the weekend was a resounding success. I have learned a lot about myself, a lot about my purpose in life, and a lot about the art of writing.

Even if the only thing I get from the contest is a sticker and a pretty certificate, I will joy in the journey I took to get them. :)

Love and hugs!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Quick update...

So I am just updating you all on my progress before I head to bed for a few hours of sleep. I would stay up longer except that in the last hour and a half, I have only gotten four hundred words on paper as opposed to over a thousand an hour the four hours before that.

Things are slowing up a bit and I am thinking a little shut eye might just give me what I need for that last big push. :)

This has been quite a ride. Due to the generosity of friends and family, I have raised $165 for The Hannah Center - and that is more than I hoped for since I began informing people only a week before of my intentions...I look forward to preparing more thoroughly next year. Getting out and meeting people as well as fixing the live video feed issue and starting to give out information a lot earlier.

I still have a little ways to go in the contest and you are still free and Welcome to donate to the cause. At 17,465 words, I am about 70% done with the story...or at least that was my last calculation. Such a great experience. And the story is quickly becoming my favorite one I've written, if for nothing else but that I was inspired over a mere three days. Even last years - though forever holding a place in my heart - pales because I have gone further than ever and the story is something I enjoyed writing and reading.

By God's grace, I am pursuing my writing dream. I can't tell you how thrilled I am that you all are following and supporting me...

Thank you.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Update for all!

Counting down the minutes until my 3Day Craziness begins...

Got my snacks (chocolate included) and am working on prepping my writing work space to make sure it is an optimal spot for me to write! Going to enjoy dinner with family before I hole up, and I might take a shower to get that out of the way too.

Thanks so much for the Brunzo and Hadden families for their generous donations to The Hannah Center! Here's praying that we get a GREAT response from the rest of my friends and family.

The first 10 people to donate will be getting a free copy of my 2010 3Day Novel - signed and my thanks for their donations! Only 8 more left, so hurry up and GIVE. :)

Even the smallest bit helps.

I will log onto my live web broadcast on and off during the contest starting at 11:59pm Central Time tonight. This will be my introduction and I will type the first sentence at Midnight! :) Tune in to hear what it will be...even I don't know at this point.

Good luck to all other 3Day Novelists. May your words be many and your weekend be GREAT.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Counting down

Between plot bunnies, crazy fun almost 3 year-old, teething yet surprisingly upbeat 7 month old, temptingly distracting soul mate/love of my life/spouse/hunk/hotty/man of my dreams/knight in slightly dented but still shining armor, preparations for this weekend, and other sundry assignments...

I have to say that I am a bit like the decapitated chicken.

Not necessarily a huge step from normal, but definitely seeing a surge in craziness and heart palpitations that will not pass until this weekend ends!

Yet, I really don't want it to end either. Pressure has always forced me to work better. I never used the word procrastinator because that implied laziness and unintentional time wasting. My waiting until the last minute has always been intentional and purposed to draw out the best in me.

Honest to goodness, it even worked in child birth. :)

No. Really!

All this to say that I am PUMPED and counting down the minutes until we go live with crazy giving and insanity in the form of the written word! I am at my best when walking a high wire. It's a God thing truly.

So let's see what amazing things can happen this weekend, both in the Fundraiser and my writing...even if both are just a practice session to prep for a bigger deal, it can only be a great thing. :)