Tuesday, January 31, 2006
You know you're getting old when you don't recognize the movies nominated for Best Picture or the actors/actresses up for Oscars. I've not seen any of the movies nominated for Best Picture. I know (and love) only one of the actors nominated (Joaquin Phoenix, Walk the Line). I did a little better with the women. I know, watched and loved two of the actresses (Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line and Keira Knightley, Pride & Prejudice) and have seen both Judi Dench and Charlize Theron in films, though not the ones they were nominated for.
What about you? Do you recognize any of these?
Best Picture Nominations:
Best Actor Nominations:
- Brokeback Mountain
- Good Night, and Good Luck
Best Actress Nominations:
- Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote
- Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow
- Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain
- Joaquin Phoenix, Walk the Line
- David Strathairn, Good Night, and Good Luck
- Judi Dench, Mrs. Henderson Presents
- Felicity Huffman, Transamerica
- Keira Knightley, Pride & Prejudice
- Charlize Theron, North Country
- Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line
posted by Deeanne at 12:22 PM
Monday, January 30, 2006
Pictures of the Week
abcNews.com highlights what they consider their "Pictures of the Week." I always enjoy the ones involving animals. Here are some of my favorites:
A ten year old at a wildlife center in Dublin:
A doggie being "blessed" with holy water during the feast of San Anton (the patron saint of animals):
Now we know why the Japanese Macaque monkeys are called "snow monkeys":
This fella is waiting for his flight to St. Louis:
posted by Deeanne at 11:38 AM
Friday, January 27, 2006
Extreme Makeover came to South Houston this week. They heard about John and Monica Kubena who have four children including a set of identical twins, Sara and Tara, who are battling Leukemia. Doctors are baffled at the statistical rarity for both twins to have the same non-genetic disease. With mounting medical bills for the twins, travel back and forth to Texas Children's Hospital, and lengthy hospital stays for both girls, the Kubena's have moved into a two-bedroom trailer adjacent to John's dad. In addition to the lack of space, Tara has been unable to return home to her family due to the special air quality needs that she requires.
Our local Christian radio station, KSBJ, is having a prayer campaign for the family and their two twin daughters. After you pray for them, you can then page them! It is one thing to know your children are being prayed for, it is another thing to have a pager go off everytime someone prays. If you would like to join in on the prayer campaign, just pray for the girls and the family, page 800-390-2735, punch "893", and hit the # key! If you would like to have more specific things to prayer for, click here and then follow the "Extreme Makeover" links.
Here are some pictures from Makeover's visit:
posted by Deeanne at 12:42 PM
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Battle of the Bands
My 17 year old plays drums in a band and they tried out for a Battle of the Bands competition at the high school. They were one of 5 bands chosen to compete and tonight is the night. I'm not sure exactly how it works and who votes, but they've been working hard to prepare.
Unfortunately, I won't be able to go because he didn't tell me until last night. But hubby will go and listen to what the kids call "music."
posted by Deeanne at 11:31 AM
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
One of my favorite Christian recording artists, Habib Bardowell, is coming to my hometown this weekend. He is one of the best worship leaders I've ever seen because when he performs he is so focused on God that he helps me focus on God, so that when his concerts are over I feel so renewed.
If you haven't ever listened to one of his CDs, you might put it on your birthday list. He is now the pastor of a church in Laguna Hills, California called The Gate. He really has a passion for worship, leading people into the presence of God and helping them grow in Christ.
posted by Deeanne at 9:47 AM
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Did y'all see American Idol winner, Carrie Underwood, sing the National Athem on Sunday? Wow. Pretty impressive. Her debut album, Some Hearts, was the #1 country album for 5 weeks in a row. Her signature song, Jesus Take the Wheel, topped the Billboard Country Airplay Chart. And Some Hearts has now reached Double Platinum status.
The bio (she wrote herself) on her website is inspiring. The changes she faces with this new high profile, fast-paced life will be filled with trials, temptations, pressure and blessings. The only way to survive such severe ups and downs is for her to keep her focus on Christ. When Peter was focused on Him, he walked on water. The moment Peter took his eyes off Christ and started looking around at his circumstances, he began drowning. Let's all say a prayer for Carrie today: that she be able to keep her focus on Christ, that she continue to let Him take the wheel in every area of her life and that God use her to bring Good News and blessings to others.
posted by Deeanne at 10:38 AM
Monday, January 23, 2006
Our daughter had an assignment in her art class to make collages of well-known stories. So she did one true story and one make believe. Can you guess what they are?
posted by Deeanne at 10:18 AM
Friday, January 20, 2006
The Christy Awards (named for Catherine Marshall's novel, Christy) is a fairly new contest. It was established in 1999 to recognize novelists and novels of excellence in the Christain fiction industry. Categories include:
The difference with this contest is the publishers have to enter the book. In the contests I mentioned yeseterday and the day before, the author or publisher either one can send in submissions. Not so with the Christy. Winners are announced in a formal ceremony at the International Christian Retail Show in July.
- Single Title Contemporary
- Contemporary Series/Sequels/Novellas
- Visionary (allegory, fantasy, sci fi, futuristic)
- First Novel
I have received emails from you mentioning these awards as well:
If you know of others you particularly like, be sure to post them in our comments section.
posted by Deeanne at 9:06 AM
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Awards for Fiction Novels
After mentioning the Rita awards yesterday, I thought I would spend the next couple of days telling you about some of the other awards out there for fiction novels. That way, if you are in the store and see a "Winner of the [whatever] Award" you will know what they are talking about!
The American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) has a "Book of the Year" contest. The categories are:
All of their entrants must have been published by a recognized Christian publisher. Winners are announced at their annual convention in September.
- Contemporary Fiction
- Contemporary Romance
- General Fiction
- General Historical
- Historical Romance - Long
- Historical Romance - Short
A new contest that is a little different from all the others is the "Judge A Book By Its Cover"competition. It is being put on by an RWA Chapter in the Galveston area, but submissions can be from any genre (not just romance). The entrant sends in a jpeg of their book cover and covers are then judged by booksellers from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zeland. Categories include:
Winners are announced February 6th and are published in the April issue of the Romance Writers Report.
- Single Title
- Romantic Suspense
- Science Fiction/Fantasy/Paranormal
posted by Deeanne at 10:54 AM
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
I am a member of Romance Writers of America
(RWA). Every year at their annual convention they hand out awards for the "best romances of year." The award is called the "Rita" (after one of RWA's founding members, Rita Clay Estrada)and the romance categories are:
- Short Contemporary
- Long Contemporary
- Contemporary Single Title
- Short Historical
- Long Historical
- Romantic Suspense
- Young Adult
- Novel with Strong Romantic Elements
- First Book
This is the first year that I have helped judge the contest. A couple of weeks ago I received 7 novels in the mail from the contest coordinator. All of them had been released in 2005 (that's one of the rules). They were from the Long Historical, Short Historical and Regency categories. I have to submit my scores by March 1st.
Each category has up to 1000 entries. So, to win the award--or even to be a finalist--is a really big deal. I've read one book and am halfway through another one.
The finalists are announced at the end of March and winners will be recognized at a big formal ceremony in July. I will let you know if any of the books I judged make it to the finals.
posted by Deeanne at 9:05 AM
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Our 16 year old made the front page of the Sports Section here locally. And being a typical mama, I just had to share. She's the one in the white jersey. Her team didn't win the tournament, but won the consolation round. Go team!
Don't forget: Only two weeks left to enter this month's contest!
posted by Deeanne at 10:53 AM
Monday, January 16, 2006
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Have you seen the book Under God by dc Talk's Toby Mac & Michael Tait with WallBuilders? It is a collection of short stories highlighting the faith of our country's forefathers. It is an amazing book that is a must for everyone's nightstand.
One of the short stories is called, Stand Up Martin Luther King, Jr. It gives us a glimpse of his vision, his love of the Lord and his commitment to obey God no matter what.
"When we let freedom ring,
when we let it ring from every tenement
and every hamlet, from every state
and every city, we will be able to speed up
that day when all God's children,
black men and white men,
Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics,
will be able to join hands
and sing the words of the
old spiritual, 'Free at last, free at last.
Thank God Almighty,
we are free at last.'"
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
Click here to see exerpts from some of Reverend King's sermons.
posted by Deeanne at 9:17 AM
Friday, January 13, 2006
Is there a horticulturalist in the house? I have a saga palm in my backyard that used to look like this:
And now looks like this:
Upon closer inspection, it has this huge "growth" inside ...
... that has berry looking things.
So? Anyone know what's wrong with my poor saga plant?
posted by Deeanne at 1:56 PM
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Pride & Prejudice
My mom and I had a night out with the girls and went to see Pride & Prejudice. Ohmygosh. It was sooooo good. Did you see it? It is my mom's all-time favorite book, so she has seen just about every rendition they've made of it and she said this was by far one of her favorites.
The same little gal who was in Pirates of the Carribean headlined in this one (Keira Knightley). She didn't have much of an opportunity to smile in Pirates. So I really enjoyed her smile in this one. And I thought she did an outstanding job overall in the role of Elizabeth.
Have you read the book? Seen the movie? What did you think?
P.S. Don't forget to sign up for this month's contest!
posted by Deeanne at 9:54 AM
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
We have had an unbelievably beautiful winter in Houston this year. Cool nights with warm sunny days. My study is actually a sunroom that has L-shaped wall-to-wall windows. They have been calling to me all morning and I think I am going to just go ahead and give in to them. For the rest of the day I will go out back and work outside. No internet, no phones. Just me, my laptop and God.
I cannot imagine how anyone experiencing such beauty could question that our God is Sovereign. To me, it takes much more faith to believe creation was an accident than it does to believe God breathed earth into existence.
Okay. I'm waxing poetic and poetry is not my forte. So, I'll stop, unplug, go outside and get to work.
posted by Deeanne at 11:24 AM
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Back in the Saddle
I took a wee little break from the treadmill (about a 4-month break) and got back in that saddle this morning. Ohmygosh. My legs were stinging and burning within the first 8 minutes. Thought I was gonna die. I went to a Beth Moore Bible study once where she said we needed to quit whining about exercising and instead praise the Lord everytime we started having negative thoughts.
I confess I forgot all about praising the Lord and could only concentrate on how miserable I was. Tomorrow I'm going to bring my Best of Avalon CD and when the going gets rough I'm gonna praise, praise, praise. (I'd love to sing out loud and wave my hands in the air, but the folks at the YMCA might freak out. Perhaps I could tell them it's a new exercise technique guaranteed to melt away calories, eh?) ;-)
That reminds me (don't ask me why) of an encouragement greeting card I saw that was designed with an exercise partner in mind. On the front of the card it challenged your partner to touch her toes twenty times every morning and you would do the same. On the inside of the card it said that using her boobs didn't count. I laughed and laughed.
posted by Deeanne at 10:17 AM
Monday, January 09, 2006
Writers as a whole tend to think what they write is the next best thing to sliced bread. In order to counteract this bit of foolishness, many participate in a "critique group." This is a group of three to four writers who meet once a week and exchange pieces (chapters, poems, essays, whatever). Throughout the following week each member reads all the pieces and critiques them. At the next meeting, the members discuss the pieces and the critiques, pass out new chapters, poems, essays or whatever and do it all over again.
The critque partners I had for Bride--Anne Dykowski and Heda Christ--have either moved away or moved on. So, at this particular time, I have three main critique partners. Meg Moseley, J. Mark Bertrand and Allison Smythe.
Mark has an article in the January/February 2006 issue of Wittenburg Door called "The Ivy League Bible Club Goes to War." I haven't received my copy yet, and it wasn't a piece I helped critique or anything, but he is a fabulously talented writer with a wonderful ear for humor. So ... I can't wait to read it and thought you might be interested as well.
Don't forget to enter our contest if you haven't already!
posted by Deeanne at 2:02 PM
Friday, January 06, 2006
Last call for the newsletter--this quarter, anyway. It will go out on Monday, so if you haven't signed up for it, click here
I try to include "never before seen" topics or photos to keep it fresh, as well as reviewing some of our more lively discussions from the blog.
This time topics will include:
Have a great weekend!
- Upcoming Events
- What's New
- Blogging News
- Contest Winners
- Family News
posted by Deeanne at 11:51 AM
Thursday, January 05, 2006
My Other Daughter
Our oldest daughter has a childhood school chum that has been more or less a fixture in our house for over ten years. We call her our "other daughter." She ended up going to a college way up there where they have ice and snow. So, this Christmas was the first time we got to see her since she's been gone. She had many adventures to tell us, the most entertaining being when she passed out while getting her ear pierced. Ha!
Here's a picture of the two. You probably don't realize it, but our "other daughter" is the one who plays Constance in our film trailer. She normally has really curly hair, but will sometimes straighten it. It was WONDERFUL to have her home.
posted by Deeanne at 10:53 PM
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Ten Times Harder
My husband says I make everything ten times harder than it has to be. You know how I wanted to get everything organized this year (see yesterday's post)? Well, last week I sat our college student down in the middle of her room and dumped out all her drawers, everything out of her closet, everything out of her
bathroom, everything off her shelves and sat there with her while we seperated into giveaway piles, trash piles, piles to take back to college with her and piles that needed to go back on her shelves and in her drawers.
Once we had everything in piles, I decided to run up to the discount store to get some of those clear storage containers. Well, I
made the mistake of stopping off at Pier One first (to pick up some candles). Big mistake. I walked out with not only candles, but with lots of really cute baskets (that were 50% off--think of the money I saved!). None of them were see-through. Which meant, I would need labels.
And cute baskets require
cute labels. So ... I pulled out my scrapbook supplies and made tags for each of her baskets. The problem is, you only can see them if you happen to be in my daughter's closet. So ... I decided to "bring them out of the closet"--sorry,I
couldn't resist--and show them to you! The only problem now is that I want some for my
closet. But that means I'd have to clean out my closet and ... go buy more baskets!
P.S. Don't forget to sign up for our quarterly newsletter
before it goes out Monday and we also have a new contest
posted by Deeanne at 8:14 AM
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Happy New Year
Happy New Year!!
We had a great Christmas break with friends and family. How was yours?
I wanted to remind everybody who hasn't signed up for the quarterly newsletter to do so now because it is the beginning of the quarter and we will be sending one out this week. It will contain some fun photos of my family and some news of upcoming events.
I guess New Year's wouldn't be New Year's if we didn't set some resolutions. I can think of lots of resolutions, none of which are very attainable, though. Hmmmm. I think what I would like to have done by this time next year is:
I guess I want to get organized, eh? What about you? Let's set some goals together and re-visit them next year. Want to? But, the chances of achieving your goals go up exponentially when you write them down, so be sure to list yours in the comments section!
- Organize my pantry (with all those cool Tupperware containers)
- Organize my medicine cabniet
- Organize my closet
- Organize my arts & crafts closet
- Organize my sewing closet
- Organize my attic
posted by Deeanne at 9:02 AM
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