Monday, October 30, 2006
One Night With the King
Greg and I went to see One Night With the King on Friday night. I loved it! It is the story of Esther (a young Jewish girl who becomes the queen of Persia). Though Hollywood certainly puts their spin on it, I found it captured the highlights of the story. It is based on Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olsen's book, Hadassah (which is a Bethany House book!). It has Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif in it and John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings) plays Esther's uncle.
If you haven't seen it, I encourage you to go. This is one of the ways that we as Christians can impact what comes out of Hollywood. If we go out in record numbers and support these films, then we can ensure that more will be forthcoming.
So, treat yourself to a night out. You'll not be sorry!
posted by Deeanne at 5:10 PM
Friday, October 27, 2006
The English language has at least one nine-letter word that remains a word as each of its letters is successively removed, right down to a single letter. That word is "startling":
See if you can do cleansers or splatters or stringier. Can you think of any others?
- remove the l, and the word becomes: starting
- remove one t, and the word becomes: staring
- remove the a, and the word becomes: string
- remove the r, and the word becomes: sting
- remove the other t, and the word becomes: sing
- remove the g, and the word becomes: sin
- remove the s, and the word becomes: in
- remove the n, and the word becomes: I
For different games and puzzles, visit the "Games" tab on my website. We have some jigsaw puzzles, word searches, slider puzzles and hang man games.
posted by Deeanne at 2:29 PM
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Startin' To Get Serious
Our 15 year old spends the majority of his time practicing with his band, practicing by himself or composing music. He sits for hours on end in front of the computer with his guitar plunking down chords on something called "Tab It." Then he listens to his favorite bands and figures out how to play their music on his guitar and/or keyboard.
Lately--within the last month--he started listening to Beethoven. And then, started playing Beethoven on the piano. And that's when I knew things were getting really serious with his music. It was one thing for him to study his favorite metal bands. Quite another to start in on the classics.
Yesterday had to be the topper, though. I was working on revisions for my June release, when from the music room I hear ... On Top of the World by the Carpenters! I'm absolutely certain he's never heard the words. (He'd die, otherwise, I'm sure.) I stopped what I was doing and listened, tapped my toe and sang to myself.
Now this, I can handle!
posted by Deeanne at 5:35 PM
Monday, October 23, 2006
Oops, She Did It Again!
You may recall our 17 year old daughter (the one in the red shirt) snapped her collar bone in half at the beginning of the summer. Well, she was officially released for "full contact" sports. The day after her release, she shouldered another soccer player off the ball and broke her collar bone again.
Obviously, it wasn't as healed as it looked on x-rays. Now, she has to strap this "bone stimulator" to her collar bone twice a day for a month. It sends some kind of ultrasound waves to the bone and stimulates it to grow. They use these on professional athletes and olympians who need to have their bones heal as quickly as possible.
Hopefully, this will do the trick. Meanwhile, she is soooo disappointed. Soccer season doesn't officially start until January, so she's still got a little bit of time. (But she's afraid her "touch" on the ball will be too slow or inaccurate or something.) I'm sure it will all work out. But I do feel sorry for her.
posted by Deeanne at 11:03 AM
Friday, October 20, 2006
Home Sweet Home
Our oldest daughter came home from college last weekend. The thing that made it so special this time was that none of her friends came home, nor did her boyfriend. So, we got her all to ourselves.
She and I scrapbooked together. The family went to Grandma and Grandpa's (my parents') house for dinner one night, then out to eat with Granddad (Greg's dad) the next night. Afterwards, she and I piled into my bed and watched My Fair Lady on DVD. (Greg opted to sit that one out. Ha!) She hadn't seen it before and she absolutely loved it.
Sunday morning she sat between her dad and I at church. I think she enjoyed the weekend as much as we did. She emailed and said how nice it was to just go home and relax. This is a photo of her and Granddad (Greg's dad). Aren't they sweet?
posted by Deeanne at 6:23 PM
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Saturday was the Homecoming dance at the high school. This too is done whole hog--no half-measures here. The girls spend all day preparing and making a party out of it. They go as a group for "up-dos" at the local salons. They either do make-up for each other or hire it done. They have nails and toes beautified. The boys? They hop in the shower 30 minutes before it is time to leave, throw on their suit and their done. Ha!
The couples then meet at a designated location for a "picture party." Now, I love this because all the mamas and the papas get to come take photos of their offspring. This is particularly nice for the parents of boys who often were left out of this part of the ritual. (As you can see, the kids take themselves quite seriously. ;-))
After the picture party, the group of kids go out to eat, go to the dance, then meet for an after-dance celebration (usually at somebody's home). Our daughter slept until 3:00 the next afternoon!
posted by Deeanne at 10:58 AM
Monday, October 16, 2006
It was a busy weekend in the Gist household. It will take me all week just to tell you about it. We'll start with Homecoming. Our 17-year-old daughter was invited to the high school Homecoming Game and Dance. Mums have come a long way since my high school days. Not only do the girls recieve mums from the boys, but the girls now give mum garters to the boys (which the boys wear on their arms). And these mums the girls are receiving are no small affairs. They are major productions that cover the girl from neck to foot, with giant mums, teddy bears and all kinds of toys attached to the ribbons.
These miniature toys are to be representative of the person receiving the mum. Our daughter's mum had everything from a soccer ball to a miniature radio that actually worked to everything in between. His had playdough, an etch-a-sketch, Starbucks gum, a plastic ice cream cone, a miniature airsoft gun and more. After exchanging the mums on Thursday, the kids carry them to school on Friday, then go to the football game Friday night (which we won!).
Saturday night is the Homecoming Dance. It's a very formal affair--pics of that to come on Wednesday.
posted by Deeanne at 12:05 PM
Friday, October 13, 2006
Last month's contest winner is Lexis H. of Michigan. The question was:
What TV celebrity emailed Deeanne to express how much she loved A Bride Most Begrudging?
- Bethany Joy of One Tree Hill
- Reiko Ayleswort of 24
- Sarah Jane Morris of Brothers & Sisters
- Heather Burns of Twenty Good Years
- Jennifer Finnigan of Close To Home
This is how you voted:
27% voted for Jennifer Finnigan
25% voted for Bethany Joy
18% voted for Heather Burns
18% voted for Sarah Jane Morris
12% voted for Reiko Ayleswort
Lexis chose Bethany Joy of One Tree Hill, and she would be correct. I received a lovely email from Bethany and I have to say, for once, I really impressed my teenagers. They couldn't believe that Bethany had written me!
We have a new contest up now. Click here to enter!
Have a great weekend and ... congratulations, Lexis, for winning a free, autographed copy of The Measure of a Lady!
posted by Deeanne at 11:40 AM
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Speaking of Book Covers
Hey, speaking of book covers (see yesterday's post), check out this summer release by Ann Roth. Look familiar?
As it so happens, I know Ann and we had our heads together this summer at a writer's convention as we compared our covers. I haven't read hers and she hasn't read mine, but we got a kick out of the whole crossed-fingers-behind-your-back thing. Ann's a real sweetheart and, actually, she kinda looks like that gal on her cover!
As many of you know, authors usually have no idea what their covers are going to look like (or even what their titles will be) until the news/images trickles down from the publisher. I have a friend whose female protagonist had three arms on the front cover--seriously!!! Somehow the art department forgot to photoshop one of the arms. Can you imagine??
Look closely at Christina Dodd's Castles in the Air: The hero is holding one hand, the heroine is leaning on another hand and her *third* hand is tucked into the folds of her gown. But good can come out of everything. Christina received tons of attention from the press for this faux pas! Btw, guess what the first line of the book is: "She had all her teeth, ..." Ha!
posted by Deeanne at 12:06 PM
Monday, October 09, 2006
Teaser For Next Summer's Release
The manuscript I just turned in, Courting Trouble, is a June release. It is about Essie Spreckelmeyer, who turns thirty in 1895 and decides she is through waiting on the Lord for a husband. So, she writes down the names of all the eligible bachelors in her small Texas town, makes a list of their attributes and drawbacks, closes her eyes, twirls her finger, and ... picks one.
It is a stand-alone book (has nothing to do with Bride or Lady or the characters in either of those books). Bethany House is working on the cover art as we speak. I won't have anything to show you for another couple of months, yet. But rest assured, I'll give you a look-see as soon as I can!
posted by Deeanne at 4:52 PM
Friday, October 06, 2006
I've turned in next year's book to the publisher. I've finished the last of my travel for 2006 (so far as I know). So I am finally turning my attention to that "Honey-Do" list that's been waiting in the wings. First on the list: Clean Out My Closet.
I wish I had thought to take a picture of it before I started cleaning, but I didn't. I was so anxious to get started that I simply tossed *everything* out of the closet and let it land where it may. Every available inch in my bedroom was covered. I had a stack of clothes to giveaway that was almost as high as the console. Shoes carpeted the bathroom floor. And I felt humbled and not a little embarrassed at all that stuff.
I found tap shoes from college. A crinioline. Maternity clothes. A sword. The shoes I got married in. A cashmere coat of my grandmother's. I even found Christmas gifts I was supposed to have given to the kids years ago and had forgotten all about.
I'm doing Beth Moore's study of Daniel. She's been talking about what a self-indulgent culture we live in. She reminded us that the world's definition of someone rich is anyone who can afford to buy a book and has the education to read it. Boy, did I feel convicted.
So, I gave away a bunch of it. Organized the rest of it. And made two trips to the Container Store in order to put it back on the shelves and racks in some semblance of order. I started at 8:00 in the morning and didn't finish until 11:00 that night.
Next on the list? Go do all those annual check-ups women over 40 are required to do these days. Bleck.
posted by Deeanne at 12:36 PM
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
I went to Birmingham this week to attend a Books*A*Million event. At the big banquet hall dinner Monday night, Lou Holtz spoke. Ohmygosh. What an amazing man. When I reflect back on his speech, I realize the things he said were fairly simple and straightforward, but oh-so-powerful. His integrity, genuineness and love of the Lord were so visible you could reach out and touch it.
He spoke about how to be a good leader along with things he'd learned over the years. He had a bullet list of items like:
With each point, he had humorous and endearing examples and anecdotes--all leading to wonderful moral lessons that every person attending could learn from. Afterwards, I said to my companion, "Can you imagine having your child in college being coached/mentored by this man?"
- Be honest
- Be slow to anger
- Whatever you do, do with excellence
- Acquire self-confidence
- Make your family a priority
- ... and I don't know what all.
He shook his head and said, "I'm sure those boys he coached now realize that how to play football was the least of what they learned from Holtz--though everyone knows they learned a lot about that. But I'm sure they'd tell you it was the life lessons they walked away with that affected them the most."
After hearing Holtz speak for that one hour, never was it more clear to me how powerful and effective good leadership is. I mean, if he'd ended his speech with a request for volunteers to sign up for a football team he was putting together, I can tell you that yours truly--who grew up playing "princess" and Barbie dolls--would have signed on the dotted line in a NY minute just for the experience of being tutored by such a great leader.
I can't wait to read his book and I wholeheartedly recommend it to you.
posted by Deeanne at 9:01 AM
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