Norma's Notes

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A Plan For Your Life?

A Plan For Your Life?.

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A Stroll Down Memory Lane

A Stroll Down Memory Lane.

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A Stroll Down Memory Lane

Have you attended any reunions lately? Maybe a class reunion, a family reunion or a reunion of old friends? You probably discovered a few interesting things. Most people never change. The funny ones are still funny, the cool ones are still cool. The loud ones are still loud. The shy ones didn’t attend. The beauty queens are still beautiful, but have lost their zest and are just trying to make it through the event.

At my class reunion, I grieved for every classmate shown on the screen who had passed away. It was like hearing about forty friends who had died at one time. I sobbed and ruined my make-up. I sat with a group who did not know me, and none of them could hear. I saw one lady turn to her friend and say, “What do you think is wrong with the lady sobbing over there?” Her friend answered, “You say your phone is over there?” I gave up and cried some more.

While trying to control the ugly cry, I saw my old boyfriend. He was extremely overweight, bald, loud and carried a stick of some kind. His poor wife, or significant other, looked like she didn’t care to admit she knew him. The sobbing started again. The worst part was when he came to our table, looked at my name tag, and yelled, “Hey, I thought you wuz dead!” To think, I used to pray that God would let me marry that man! I stopped sobbing right then and mumbled something about retrieving my napkin. Actually, I was on my knees thanking God for unanswered prayers. Believe me, the grass is NOT greener on the other side.

Now, if you really want to feel bad, attend a family reunion where no one recognizes you. A few years back, my brother and his wife celebrated an anniversary and invited friends and family. No one knew me. My nieces and nephews walked right past me. I would start to speak, and before I could say a word, they had moved on. I tried to catch them. I thought maybe I should introduce myself. I knew how the Amish feel when they are being shunned. Believe me, it’s not a good feeling. Finally, I found my sister. At least, she recognized me. Almost in tears, I said, “What is wrong with everyone? They’re acting as though they don’t know me.”

She started laughing. “It’s your hair. They remember a curly haired girl.” I have always had very curly hair, but for this particular event, I had gone to great lengths to make my hair straight. Recently, this same brother and his wife celebrated another anniversary. You should have seen me. Looking a lot like little orphan Annie, I had the curliest hair imaginable!

Most of you reading this know I am a writer of fiction. We writers call our books fiction, even though there are elements of truth in them. This blog is truth with elements of fiction in it. I refuse to tell which parts are fact and which are fiction. Of course, we love seeing old friends and family, but how many go home and count our blessings?

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Talents, Gifts, and Blessings

Talents, Gifts, and Blessings.

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Talents, Gifts, and Blessings

Talents, Gifts, and Blessings.

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Talents, Gifts, and Blessings

Is a talent a gift if you have to work hard at it for many, many years or is it the product of your efforts? Take the art of playing a musical instrument, for instance. I have seen many people who have taken lessons for years and are unable to play one song. Then I have seen others who have never had a lesson and can play everything. Now, the latter has to be a gift.

I took piano lessons for many years, only desiring to play church music. I learned every hymn in the hymnal, but wasn’t interested in classical, jazz, or any other style of music. Therefore, I am not an all-around musician. I only wanted to learn one genre, so that’s all I am able to play. After I learned that one style, I stopped taking lessons. I bought many books of special music, and now my grandson, Bryan, is playing from those books with ease. He never needed lessons. He has learned from band, books and practice because of his love for music.

Bryan has a gift. He plays piano, saxophone, cello, drums, guitar, and most other instruments with ease. His music is his passion. He loves it and wants to do nothing else. Now he will be majoring in music in college. Where will he go from there? Who knows? He stands out from other musicians because of his passion for the art. When he plays, the hearer feels his excitement and joy in the music. He is like a metronome, and he sets the rhythm for any band perfectly whether it is the jazz band, a symphony band, a marching band or a church band. That is the difference between the truly gifted artist, and the mediocre in music. What do you think? What about writers? Love to hear from you.

Blessings,
Norma

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The Day After Christmas

The Day After Christmas.

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A Plan For Your Life?

A Plan For Your Life?.

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A Plan For Your Life?

Sometimes we have to look back to move forward. I have been doing a lot of research, looking for past treasures, asking relatives for memories, looking through photo albums, books, and the internet.  While searching, I came across a diary that I kept while I was a teenager. Scanning through it, I read the words that most fifteen-year-old teens would write. “A cute boy said ‘hi’ to me today. He had on a black turtle-neck shirt. I wish I didn’t have to go to school today, I am bored.”

Turning the page, I read a different entry: “I have decided to write a book. It will be about a teenage girl. I don’t know the plot yet. I’ll make it up as I go along. I am going to write my book, name my book, and then see about publishing it. Why not? Other people do! I think  my main character will be sixteen-year-old Terry White. I write better if I make up the plot as I write.”

I have no recollection of writing that, and if someone had asked a few weeks ago if I had always planned to write novels, I would have said no. To me, that proves that God has a plan for our lives, even if we don’t. It will be carried out in His time, not ours. I have written three contemporary Christian  novels since retiring from teaching. I am now writing my first historical novel. I thought I was called to write a few years ago, but now I know that plan began a long time ago. 

Maybe the clue to our present and our future can be found in our past. Find your old diary or journal. You might learn something important about yourself. 

Image

 This is my grandmother’s trunk, a possible cover for my upcoming book, “Unclouded Day.”

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.  ( Jeremiah 29:11)

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Choosing A Book Cover

I am writing a historical novel based on my mother’s life and set in the roaring twenties. I have spent a lot of time trying to get my grandmother’s trunk to look like the one I described in the prologue of my book. I took pictures, rearranged, and took more pictures. I was still not satisfied.

What you see below is actually an oval framed picture that hangs over my sofa in my living room (parlor). I cropped, zoomed in, etc. trying to get the effect I needed. The setting is so perfect for the scene where Polly and Charles meet by the creek.

Unclouded Day - Lake Pic 017

The picture below is my grandmother’s trunk. I need opinions. Which one do you think would be better for the cover of  Unclouded Day?

Mama Sallie's trunk 024

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