Friday, June 30, 2006
This month's feature of the Christian Blog Alliance is near and dear to my heart. T.L. Hine's novel, Waking Lazarus, is an excellent read about a man (Jude Allman) who has died three times and, subsequently, had three after-death experiences. Each time, his fame grows until he finds himself a full-fledged media celebrity.
Allman is an extremely private person and *hates* being in the lime light. In an effort to escape his fame, he borrows a name from a gravestone, moves to a small little town in Montana and gets a job as a janitor.
But as all of us know, the past has a way of catching up to us. This psychological thriller was fascinating and well written with twists and turns around every bend. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it.
Hines recently found himself interviewed on TV. Click here to see his interview.
I will have the opportunity to meet Tony (Hines) for the first time next week at the International Christian Retail Show. You see, Tony and I share the same editor. Yep. The fella who acquired Bride and all my subsequent novels also acquired Tony. And I have to say, he done good!
posted by Deeanne at 10:14 AM
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
My husband, Greg, went to helicopter safety training today. They strapped him in to a simulated helicopter (a cage with two seats and two windows), put a helmet over his head so he couldn't see anything, counted to three, plunged him into the water and rotated the cage 180 degrees (upsidedown).
He had to hold his breath until they tapped on the cage (approx. 8 seconds), before he was allowed to release his seat belt and swim out the window. The biggest thing they impressed upon him was, if the window was on his left before the "crash," it would still be on his left whether he was in the air or in the water, whether he was right side up or upsidedown, whether he could see or couldn't see. His left would still be his left no matter what.
Even though he knew where his window was and he knew they wouldn't let him drown, his adrenaline still maxed out and his heart pounded a mile a minute. He made it out his window first try.
Now, they sent him under with someone in the seat beside him. And Greg was told he couldn't go out his own window, but he had to go out the other guy's window--after the other guy was already through it.
This was a lot harder. Greg hadn't tightened his seat belt enough, so when he reached down to release it--it wasn't there. It had ridden up his stomach (remember, he's upsidedown, holding his breath and in total darkness). He found it pretty quickly, released it and hung onto a bar that he followed, hand-over-hand, to the opposite side of the cage.
Then, he plunged toward the window and rammed into a wall. No window. He became disoriented. Where was the window? To his right or to his left? He couldn't find it and ended up going out the "escape hatch" in the front of the cage.
He had to do it again. Next time , he got through the other guy's window with no problems.
Next, he had to don a cumbersome, thermal, rubber suit (to accomodate for freezing water temperatures). First he had to put in on out of the water, jump in and work out all the air bubbles. Then he had to put it on while treading water. Then he had to take it off (still in the water). He had to pull himself into a lifeboat. He had to form a circle with the other guys in the water. And I can't remember what all.
He came home exhausted, but with eyes glowing, gave me a play-by-play recap. Clearly, there was something about all that adrenaline that appealed to him on a level I can't even fathom. Had it been me, I'd have probably not passed. And when I got home, I'd have collapsed.
Where did he go after telling me all this and eatting his dinner? He went to play tennis with my daughter, her boyfriend and her boyfriend's mom. What is it with these men? Don't they know when enough is enough?
Anyway, I'm glad he's had this training, but if I were really open and honest, I'd have to confess that I *hate* it when he rides those helicopters out to the rigs. Absolutely hate it.
That's the bad news. The good news is, he has a really good job and they do everything they can to prepare and protect their boys.
I can tell you this much. Back when he was a kid and earning that B.S. in Engineering, never, ever did he think this would be part of the job. Whodathunk?
posted by Deeanne at 8:37 PM
Monday, June 26, 2006
Well, we have a confirmed winner for last month's contest. Her name is Amy and she is from Iowa. As you recall, we had a big disussion last month about our dogs. Click here if you missed it.
In any event, that discussion prompted our contest question which was:
What is the name of Deeanne's male border collie?
This was how you voted:
- 39% voted for Jiggs
- 33% voted for Hank
- 21% voted for Cowboy
- 7% voted for Moose
- 0% voted for Aardvark
So, what was wrong with Aardvark? I think that's a cute name. But, no one else in the family seemed to go for it--nor did any of you. The correct answer is:
Amy voted for Hank, but you don't have to get the answer right to qualify to win, so she will be receiving a free, autographed copy of The Measure of a Lady any day now. Congrats, Amy!
This month we have been voting on what you think our female border collie's name is. Click here to submit your vote.
posted by Deeanne at 12:21 PM
Friday, June 23, 2006
Biting the Bullet
Well, we did it. We bit the bullet and are now the proud owners of a cozy little piece of property nestled at the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains. (The mountains are to the north of us and our lot faces east, so it's not a mountain view, but this particular lot was our favorite.) My husband and I had traveled up to South Carolina to look at some properties that we might like to retire on and fell in love with the area.
We won't be doing anything with the property for ten or twelve years, but we are both really excited about living there when the time comes. Only thing is, the biggest form of entertainment (aside from water sports) is golf. So, looks like I'll have to learn the game. Still, I'm going to wait until all the kids are out of the house before I take something like that on. So, I have some time, yet.
In the meanwhile, I have this book I'm supposed to be writing ...
Have a great weekend.
posted by Deeanne at 11:53 AM
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Purpose Driven Life
I'm listening to Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life on tape while I workout in the mornings. I'd never read the book before and am now understanding why it is doing so well. I have enjoyed it so much, I went back to the bookstore and bought it in hardcopy so I could highlight my favorite parts.
Today I did the chapter on "Becoming Best Friends With God." It was a great reminder that in order to be friends with someone, you have to spend time with them, love them, delight in them, forgive them, be honest with them, and in Christ's sake--obey Him.
I have enjoyed Warren's illustrations and the straight-forwardness of his message. Great book. It would be the perfect study to do with your spouse. When I'm through with the tapes, I'm going to give them to Greg. He could then listen to them in the car on the way to work.
Have you read it? What were your thoughts?
posted by Deeanne at 11:03 AM
Monday, June 19, 2006
First Name Basis
You know it's bad when you are on first name basis with your orthopedic surgeon. That's where I've been this morning with our 16-year-old daughter. She broke her collar bone. Snapped it in two.
She was playing sand volleyball at the park with her friends. She's a fierce competitor and the match was tied at 18 (though they were playing to 15). She set the ball straight in the air (rather than to the spiker). So, she scurried backwards to get out of the way. The fella behind her (who also happens to be a linebacker for the football team) went airborne--and collided with my daughter.
Both went down. She fell on her left shoulder. He fell on her. And that's when it broke. This will be her third, maybe fourth, bone to break (I can't keep track anymore). She said she was "relieved" it was broken because that justified her inability to get up and "shake it off." She said she didn't want to be a wimp or anything. Brother.
Well, the poor boy felt just awful (he's the giant on the left). So he and the other fellas on her team made her a cake. All by themselves. Is that so sweet?
There is nothing you can do for collar bones but wait for them to heal on their own. It will be eight weeks before she's using her arm normally, three months before she can play contact sports. So ... they've scheduled the rematch for three months from now. After all, the game's still tied.
posted by Deeanne at 2:33 PM
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Father's Day Fun
My sister-in-law sent me this
. Cracked me up.
Y'all have a great weekend and enjoy Father's Day!
posted by Deeanne at 1:04 PM
Friday, June 16, 2006
Technical difficulties today with what I wanted upload. I will keep working on it. Meanwhile, I found a really fun new decorating website called Wonderful Graffiti.
Check it out and let me know what you think.
Happy Father's Day!
posted by Deeanne at 2:25 PM
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Houston is synonymous with traffic. Lots of traffic. But I got a tickle out of a traffic report on the radio a couple of days ago. The gal came on the air to identify the "trouble spots" in town so us motorists could avoid them and she says:
"There are a couple of bulls loose on the North Loop and traffic is backed up. The sheriff is on the scene."
I thought to myself, Now how many other big cities in our great country get traffic reports like that? Later in the hour, the same reporter mentions that one of the bulls took a disliking to the sheriff's patrol car and began to attack it, ramming in the driver's door. The officer inside the vehicle had to escape out the passenger door.
I bet he had a story or two to tell over dinner when he got home!
posted by Deeanne at 12:08 PM
Monday, June 12, 2006
My pastor started a blog today. When he told the church about it yesterday, he said he was going to try this blog-thing "with great trepidation" and implored us to stop by. He's a great guy with a powerful vision and a passion for God. Thought you might like to go meet him and drop him a line.
Btw, one of his sermons inspired a scene in Lady. It was the scene where Rachel and Johnnie are at the beach and they find an oyster. I wrote that scene after a sermon Pastor Kerry did on "Sand Castles--Building a Lasting Legacy." (I asked his permission, of course--but did stop short of mentioning him in the acknowledgements. I wasn't exactly sure how he'd feel about being recognized in a romance novel! Ha!)
posted by Deeanne at 11:38 AM
Friday, June 09, 2006
The new contest for June is up. Last month you voted for what you thought our male border collie's name was. As soon as we have heard back from last month's winner, I will post the answer to that question.
Meanwhile, you can begin voting on what you think our female border collie's name is. (She's the red-and-white one.) Remember, we acquired this dog when she was one year old, so she came with a name. If you missed that story, click here.
You don't have to guess correctly to be eligible to win. All you have to do is enter. The prize is either an autographed copy of Bride or of Lady. You choose!
posted by Deeanne at 11:07 AM
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
The Ultimate Science Fair Project
Remember those folks who would set up roomfuls of dominoes and knock them over for a chain reaction? Well, some engineers at Honda did something similar in this commercial that is being aired in Britain. There are no computer graphics or digital tricks in the film. Everything happened in real time exactly as we see it.
The film took 606 takes. On the first 605 takes, something, usually very minor, didn't work. They would then have to set the whole thing up again. It cost six million dollars and took three months to complete, including full engineering of the sequence.
However, it is fast becoming the most downloaded advertisement in Internet history. Honda executives figure the ad will soon pay for itself in "free viewings." (Honda doesn't have to pay for us watch this commercial online.)
When the ad was shown to Honda executives, they liked it and commented on how amazing computer graphics have gotten. They fell off their chairs when they found out it was for real.
Evidently, there are six, and only six, hand-made Honda Accords in the world. To the horror of Honda engineers, the filmmakers disassembled two of them to make the film. Everything in the commercial (aside from the walls, floor, ramp, and complete Honda Accord) are parts from those two cars.
Weren't the windshield wipers something? They moved like that because on the new Accords the wipers have water sensors and are designed to come on automatically as soon as they become wet.
What do you wanna bet the folks who did this film all got A's in high school when they had to submit something to the Science Fair?
posted by Deeanne at 11:26 AM
Monday, June 05, 2006
As I mentioned Friday, the *April* newsletter is going out this week. So, if you haven't signed up yet, now would be a good time to do so.
This quarter's newsletter will have the following :
These will include short blurbs about each topic along with never-before-seen photos of the family. An updated newsletter goes out electronically each quarter. (Or it's supposed to. I'm a little late this time.) Click here to join in the fun!
- Latest News
- Upcoming Events
- Blogging News
- Contest Winners
- Family News
posted by Deeanne at 1:13 PM
Friday, June 02, 2006
Okay. So, I'm behind. Really behind. But, the good news is, the winners of our contests have been receiving their prizes in a timely manner. I just haven't been posting the winners here on the blog in a timely manner.
So, now that it is time for a new contest, I figured I'd better take care of that.
Katie from Pennsylvania was our March winner. The question for March was:
What is Deeanne Gist's next home project?
Here's how you voted:
- Reupholster couch
- Refinish Grandma's Duncan Phyfe china cabniet
- Paint the kitchen
- Tint the windows
- Turn college student's old bedroom into scrapbook room
- 38% voted Paint the kitchen
- 33% voted Turn bedroom into scrapbook room
- 25% voted Refinish china cabinet
- 4% voted Reupholster the couch
- 0% voted Paint the kitchen
And the correct answer is:However, one of our local furniture places had a big sale and it ended up being cheaper to buy a new couch than reupholster the old one. So that's what we did. My next project? Paint the kitchen.
Karen from Illinois (who is a wee bit shy) won our April contest. The question for April was:
Authors do not get to pick their own titles, but they do get to make suggestions. Which title did Deeanne Gist *NOT* suggest?
Here's how you voted:
- Tobacco Bride
- Marriage in Name Only
- A Marriage of Inconvenience
- A Bride Most Begrudging
- Signed. Sealed. Delivered.
And the correct answer is:
- 44% voted Signed. Sealed. Delivered.
- 31% voted Tobacco Bride
- 19% voted Marriage in Name Only
- 6% voted A Marriage of Inconvenience
- 0% voted A Bride Most Begrudging
I did not suggest A Bride Most Begrudging. Somebody at Bethany House (my editor, I think) thought up the title. I had titled the novel Tobacco Bride. When they told me they weren't going to use that title and asked for other suggestions, the ones listed above are a few of the suggestions I sent.
Speaking of being late ... you know how I'm supposed to send out my newsletter once every quarter? Well, we have one month left in this quarter and I still haven't sent the newsletter out from the 2nd quarter. So, that will go out at the beginning of next week. If you haven't signed up for it, now's the time! It always includes never-before-seen photos and anecdotes. So, don't miss out!
Also, Chris Well's new book, Deliver Us From Evelyn is out. I don't know if you remember, but Chris did a guest Q&A with us last October. Anyway, if you want a sneak peak at the first chapter of his new release, click here.
posted by Deeanne at 10:45 AM
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