Copyright

Please note that all posts are copyright. Do not reprint in whole or in part without permission of the author. You may refer to one of my posts in your own writing; simply include the link(s) so readers can be taken directly to my work. Thank you, and enjoy! ~Susan

Friday, 31 March 2017

A-Z

The A-Z blogging challenge kicks off tomorrow, so we'll be taking a break from our 'regular programming.' I have my first post all set to go and will be writing the others as quickly as I can (while trying to maintain quality). Hope you enjoy my theme (revealed March 20th) and find a lot to comment on.

Have a wonderful Friday, even if it's grey and rainy where you are. That's what it's like here too. 



A little rain never hurt anybody. ~Charlie Brown

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Right Now

Drinking: Still on the daily coffee kick. I don't think one a day is too bad, though, and they're always changing their minds about whether or not coffee is good or bad for you.

Eating: Hot oatmeal cereal with hemp seeds, ground flax, cinnamon and 2 tsp. sugar, end piece of whole wheat bread (breakfast), toasted everything bagel, garden salad and apple (lunch). Not yet sure what I'm having for supper.

Reading: Focusing on How Christianity Changed The World by Alvin J. Schmidt so I can finish it by the end of the month. It's quite interesting actually - Christianity positively impacted the world in ways most people never think about.

Watching: Not much these days. We've been too busy. I think the last movie we watched was Leap Year. Romantic comedy set in Ireland. A good choice for St. Patrick's Day or when you want something light. Next up for us is Harry and Snowman about a plough horse rescued from slaughter.


Listening: Endless Seasons by The Rankin Family. I love the Celtic sounds of this down-east band. I got to see them live twice.

Creating: Continuing to work on novel revisions. Also a potential new piece for Chicken Soup for the Soul

Buying: Still need to choose tub, toilet and tile for our bathroom reno. We've been too busy or too tired to go out and look. My husband has Friday off, so hopefully then.

Anticipating: An appointment with my eye doctor this morning. Just a regular check-up, nothing serious. She's great and I really look forward to 'seeing' her.

I'll leave you with a song by the Rankins. Hope it gets your toes tappin'!


Feel the Same Way Too

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Bookworm Meet-Up: Book Review

Title: Orphan 32
Author: Thanh Cambpell
Publisher: Hope for the World Productions, 2013
Genre: Non-fiction, Memoir, Inspirational

First Lines:
I don't claim to be a historian, yet in order to share my story, I thought it might help if I set the context of the era in which I was born.
The Vietnam War started in 1954. It was a civil war that was to reunify the Southeast Asian country of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh was a communist dictator who wanted to subdue the democratic republic to the south... 
Goodreads Description:

Nearly two decades long, the Vietnam War was one of history's devastating battles. More bombs were dropped than both World Wars put together. Lives were destroyed and families torn apart.

In 1975, the last flight out of Vietnam rescued 57 war orphans before the Communists took over the south capital of Saigon. En route to Canada, Nguyen Ngoc Minh Thanh was aboard that flight. He was Orphan #32.

Thanh's story began like many other Vietnamese orphans on Operation Babylift, but as he later discovered, his path had taken a much different direction from the rest.

Orphan 32 will take you on a remarkable journey of life, love and self-discovery.
 


My Review:

This book was chosen for our monthly book club by a member who knows both pilots and had met the author at a Probus meeting. A charming man and wonderful speaker, he had a wonderful story she felt everyone could relate to.

It's true - at some point we all have to figure out who we are. Thanh's story will connect especially with adoptees or those who grow up without one of his/her parents. There are unanswered (perhaps unanswerable) questions about heritage, family, culture, and how one comes by certain physical features, habits, ways of thinking. 

Orphan 32 is not great writing. It could have benefited from the feedback of a solid writers' group or editor and was evidently self-published. On one page I counted several repetitions of the word "special", for example. There could have been more tension and build-up for the reader. That being said, it's true that Thanh has a unique and ultimately heart-warming story to tell. Had he not been lifted out of Vietnam, there is no knowing what his life would look like today, or if he would have even survived. 

Today Thanh is grateful for his Canadian family and life as well as for the connections he was able to make with other Vietnamese "orphans" who were airlifted out of Saigon. An emotional trip to Vietnam with his family has brought some closure and opened up new opportunities to understand his origins and place in the world. No doubt there are more stories to be written as his life continues.

At 138 pages with lots of pictures and scanned documents, this is a quick read.

My favourite lines from the book speak this truth:
Th sun never stops shining above the clouds. It is also a lesson that I have learned in my life, it is the vantage point that one is assuming at the moment that determines what he or she experiences. So much of our life is lived from one perspective, but there is always another one. If you allow yourself to consider it, the scene is a whole lot different.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars 

Monday, 20 March 2017

A to Z Blogging Challenge: Theme Reveal

I've lost track of how many years I've participated in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Color Me Writing has only existed since January 2016, but I participated at least a few times under my old blog title, Notes From Innisfree. A to Z runs all through April with 26 posts, one for each letter of the alphabet, every day except Sunday.

This year the A to Z team is running things a little differently. There's no more linky sign-up process. Instead, those doing the challenge will post a comment to the daily Challenge blog with a link to their own post for the day. You can read all the details here. Maybe you'd like to join us!

I haven't written any of my actual posts yet; however, I have chosen my theme. I'm going to step out on a limb and share my thoughts on being a parent to young adults. If you're a parent, grandparent or young adult, you'll likely be interested in visiting and chiming in with your own experiences and opinions. One and all are welcome. I'm sure we can learn something from one another and encouragement is always appreciated!

Usually on Mondays I post a quote that's meant to offer motivation and/or provoke thought. For today I leave you with this:
You can tell the size of your God by looking at the size of your worry list. The longer your list, the smaller your God. 
Although the author is unknown, s/he was clearly a very wise person, don't you agree?

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Right Now

Apologies for my absence from the blogosphere lately. I don't mean to ignore you all, but have been trying to commit to my novel-writing schedule as well as to clear up my office space and declutter my brain. I'm sure you understand.

Here's what I'm doing right now:

Blast Daylight Savings Time!
Drinking: I fear I've gone back to daily coffee with sugar and (usually) almond milk. I've mostly been using coconut sugar, which to be frank, does not taste at all like white granulated.  Bitter. I've been soooo tired lately, so that is my excuse, albeit a poor one perhaps.

To make up for it, I just filled a to-go 20 oz bottle of water, which hopefully I will sip throughout the rest of the day.

Eating: I've continued to be very good about avoiding oil margarine/butter and dairy, minimizing sugar, salt, and animal protein (I had a 4 oz salmon fillet and one egg this week, but that's it), and eating more whole grains, vegetables and fruit. This morning for breakfast I had a bowl of All Bran Flakes with almond milk and half a slice of homemade whole wheat toast with peanut butter. A few minutes ago I had a whole orange cut in slices for easier consumption.

Reading: I just finished reading Orphan 32 by Thanh Campbell for book club. Not the world's best writing and it seems to have been self-published. But Thanh does have an interesting story about his evacuation from Saigon during the Vietnam War in 1975, his adoption in Canada, and what happened afterward. I'm continuing to plug away on How Christianity Changed the World by Alvin J. Schmidt and have begun One Simple Act: Discovering the Power of Generosity by Debbie Macomber. For the moment I've set aside Jim Cymbala's Spirit Rising. Not that I want to set aside the Holy Spirit by any means!

Watching: My husband and I have been watching Secret Church (David Platt) in installments. Our church subscribes to Right Now Media, which gives access to thousands of teaching videos, and this was recommended by our pastor, who said it's the next best thing to getting a Bible College education.

Listening: Sirius XM The Message

Creating: Pictures in my mind - visualizing what our bathroom will look like when it's finished. We just decided yesterday that we won't get a tub and shower surround (3-piece installation), but do the traditional tub and tile shower. Now that there are better ways of avoiding mould in the bathroom environment, it seems that this is the best way to go for quality, longevity and appearance. 

Also, working on novel revisions as indicated above.

Buying: We just bought our new bathroom vanity. It's a 42-inch solid wood product in an espresso finish with a quartz countertop (white with a grey pattern) and undermount sink (also white). Next to choose tub and tile.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Anticipating: Saturday is my mom's birthday so our plan is to visit, help her with some household chores and go out for supper. Weather permitting, it should be a great day!

What are you up to, right now?

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Bookworm-meetup: Book Review

Title: Between Heaven and Hollywood: Chasing Your God-Given Dream
Author: David A.R. White
Publisher: Zondervan, 2016
Genre: non-fiction, Christian living, inspiration
 

First Lines
If you're reading these words, then you're probably standing in a bookstore with my book in your hands, trying to decide if this is the one for you or if you should perhaps get the one written by the guy with bigger hair. Or maybe you're browsing Amazon and taking advantage of the "Look Inside" feature before you decide whether you want to buy this book.
Good for you. I think we all would be better served if we gave a little more thought to our decisions before we invested our money, our time, our effort, or our love. 
Goodreads Description:

Between Heaven & Hollywood is David’s inspirational journey from the wheat fields of his Mennonite home outside of Dodge City Kansas, to the bright lights of Los Angeles. This story of perseverance will assure you that your dreams aren’t frivolous. They might be the most important part of your life.

White has starred in more than twenty-five movies and produced forty films, including the blockbuster God’s Not Dead. He serves as a Managing Partner of Pure Flix, the largest faith-based movie studio in the world. With his signature wit and sidesplitting hilarity, David’s story of faithfulness, grounded in the biblical truth that no dream is too big for God, will inspire you to relentlessly pursue your dreams, and in the process, bring the reality of God’s kingdom a little closer to the here and now.

God has planted a dream in your heart that is both unique to you and essential to the world. White reminds us that there is no one too common, too uneducated, too poor, too inexperienced, or too broken that he or she cannot be used by God.


My Review:

Assisted by Tommy Blaze, David uses his life story as a point of reference for others who have a God-given dream to pursue. His journey to "success" was not a straight line, nor perhaps a success in the way most people (especially Hollywood folk) would define it. He has learned a lot along the way and kindly shares his knowledge with readers through this book. 

Whenever you talk about dreams, you have to talk about hard work, challenges, failure, patience and focus. David explains all of these really well. I like that Scripture is the authority undergirding every subject he addresses. It is clear that he has learned to major on the majors and come to understand his life's purpose and mission. This enables him to guide others into doing the same.

While there are no photos in the book (I imagine this was a function of the added cost for the publisher or because it is intended more as an instruction manual than a memoir), the author directs the reader to exclusive photos that can be viewed online.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. While I borrowed my copy from the library, I think it is worth purchasing for one's personal bookshelf.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Bible Literacy

Our pastor was recently talking about Bible literacy. Apparently 90% of our church attendees claim Jesus as Saviour and Lord, but 67% of us spend less than an hour a week in prayer and Bible reading. When you think of how many hours there are in a week, and how we waste/spend our 'leisure' time, that's pretty shocking. 

Today I thought I'd just share a couple of quotes about the Bible.

From former United States president, Theodore Roosevelt:


 And from Billy Graham's daughter, Anne Graham Lotz:
Biblical literacy matters because without it you will never know God as he is, you will never know yourself as you are, you will never find and fulfill your reason for existence, you will never have authentic faith to sustain you or living hope to comfort you or unconditional love to compel you to follow Jesus. Without biblical literacy you are just guessing your way through life, and the chances are good that you are guessing wrong. So … read your Bible."
The Bible is God's Word to us and as such has much to say about who God is, who we are, what our purpose is and how we can find and experience love, joy, life and peace. 
 
I know some of my readers may be of a different mind when it comes to the Bible. I would challenge you to read it for yourself. At best, it has the power to change your life. At worst, it will do no harm and you will better understand many literary references. I would also challenge you to sincerely ask God to reveal Himself to you through His book. He will never deny anyone who wholeheartedly desires truth and is willing to surrender to whatever it is.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Right Now

Last week I focused just on 'creating,' so this week I'm going to ignore that category altogether. I'm also eliminating the 'pondering' category, as I find it difficult to write something for 'Thoughtful Thursdays' when I've already shared some of my more ponderous thoughts!

Right now I am:

Drinking: herbal tea

Eating: oatmeal with banana, cinnamon, flax and hemp seeds, with a titch of maple syrup

Reading: Between Heaven and Hollywood: Chasing Your God-Given Dream by David A.R. White (of God's Not Dead fame)

Watching: most recently we watched Queen of Katwe; next up is Ithaca

Listening: Sirius XM radio, The Message

Buying: shutters for our front basement windows as well as bathroom essentials

Anticipating: my husband ripped out our main floor bathroom last Saturday, so I'm anticipating that while I'm visiting my mom this weekend, he'll make some progress on putting in a bulkhead where the new tub and shower surround will go, and maybe on installing the new flooring. Moving from 1987 to the present day!

What's up with you right now?