Posted by: Judy | May 23, 2019

Challenge Eight

#canthurtme #talentnotrequired Keeping track of my daily schedule is something I’ve done on and off for years. The previous efforts have ended up with me trying to make the schedule look “better” and adjusting what I did in order to make it so. In previous attempts, I was trying to make a working schedule.

With David Goggins’ challenge, I took an honest look. I wrote down everything as it happened, no embellishing, no fudging, no fixing. This time, I learned something valuable, several things:

I’m lousy at estimating how long many tasks take.

Preparing and cleaning up a meal takes much longer than it takes to eat it, more than twice as long.

Preparing to do a lot of things takes longer than I thought. I need to include prep time in the activity.

It takes me longer to put my shoes on than I thought.

My PT workout, not my walk, takes twice as long as I thought.

I don’t want to spend hours and hours working out. I’m not an ultra athlete, however, I need to plan for more time to workout because it is making a difference in how I feel.

My writing isn’t moving along as fast as I’d like. However, I’m learning things as I write and applying what I learn in the current chapter, like God knew I needed to make a change and sent the information exactly when I needed it. Cool.

I think I’m using a scheduling system that currently works for me. I need to change my expectations of myself. I’m a caregiver and that comes with a whole set of circumstances I can’t control. I need to let go of some of my expectations, as they’re unreasonable for the season I’m in currently.

Posted by: Judy | May 22, 2019

Never bargain with God…

…He will hold you to it.

I vowed that I’d write at 4 AM, if necessary.

At the writing workshop, the presenter admitted she wrote from 4-8 AM. Hmmm… 4 AM. The time needled me.

Last week, I woke at 4 AM almost every morning. Each time, I buried myself under my warm blanket and slept until the alarm announced it was time to wake up between 5 and 5:30 AM. Until Saturday morning.

I woke at 4:15 AM. In my head, I heard clearly, “You said you’d write at 4 AM, if necessary.” I sat down and wrote, finishing the first half of a chapter I changed rather more than I originally planned. Mission accomplished.

The next several days, I slept until the alarm turned on. (I have a sunrise clock. The light slowly brightens over a half hour, with the sound of waves and birds for a minute at the end.) One time, I woke at 12:30 AM, with my brain chattering at me. I rose, added what was in my head, went back to bed, and slept until the alarm went off.

My writing hasn’t quickened, probably because I’m making more and bigger changes, keeping the bones of the story the same. It’s still taking me a week to rewrite each chapter. Only three are left.

Joel, over at Impossible, talked about an interview with an author. The author said that a character will not simply choose to change. Something has to push them to change. He suggested dropping a plane from the sky. I understood what he meant, and it’s being reflected in my stories. I’m excited and nervous.

Posted by: Judy | May 21, 2019


I’ve had quoted at me, Matthew 18:22 “Jesus said to forgive until seventy times seven.” This is usually used as a whip. Somehow, the ones demanding forgiveness see this as a get-out-of-jail-free card to be drawn on in perpetuity.

How do they fail to notice that 70 x 7 equals 490. They weren’t mathematically stupid. Evidence exists of math being used in 3000 B.C.

Yes, repeatedly, Jesus says that those who forgive will be forgiven. The first is between us and offenders, and the second is between us and God, at least that’s how I see it.

Forgiveness is not about the offender. Forgiveness is about the victim. It’s about the victim giving revenge to God. Revenge and setting healthy boundaries are not the same thing.

Interestingly enough, even as Matthew 18:22  is quoted, Matthew 18:15-17 is ignored. Why does no one quote the scripture where Jesus has a three-step forgiveness endgame?

“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go an tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, though hast gained thy brother

But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”

After all that, then Peter asks, “How oft shall I forgive him?’

Then Jesus says, “Until seventy times seven.”

Forgiveness isn’t about them. It’s about us.

Another Bible verse that’s ignored is Luke 17:3-4:

Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him;  and if he repent, forgive him.

And if he trespass against thee seven times a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

How often is the first directive ignored? The one that has you face the offender and try to work things out between you? They are to be rebuked, every time. I know I’m lousy at it. Rebuke has a negative slant, so how about confront them or talk with them? I’ve done it a few times, and it’s amazing. However, most of my life I was pushed to jump right into forgiving and pretending it didn’t happen. That isn’t how Jesus taught us to handle it.

Some abusers should not be confronted. A child should not have to confront the abuser and definitely not alone. Unfortunately, most abusers know how to put on the proper face in public.

Something that needs to be taken into consideration are those abusers who know how to mimic the correct words but don’t follow through, or they follow through only long enough to lull their victim into a sense of safety.

My abusers never said, “I repent.” Ever. I could follow that I need not forgive them. However, this holds me in the chains they fashioned for me.

Turning the lesson on myself, I think of mistakes I make over and over. Easy one: Overeating. I repent on a regular basis and mess up again and again.

Repentance gives me the opportunity to try again. Blessedly. I’m not lost forever because I messed up once.

Posted by: Judy | May 20, 2019

Likable villain… No

I’ve attended numerous lectures, workshops, and writers conferences, over the last dozen years. Every single time the presenter talks about writing villains, the speaker always, ALWAYS says, “You have to write a likable villain.”

No. Just no. Absolutely not. I can’t do it.

I’ve put authors on my No List because they made their villain likable.

In my stories, I will have likable jerks who turn out to be heroes. I never write likable villains. Ever. They may be handsome and smart but that doesn’t mean likable.


How many times did I hear, “Your mother is so wonderful. You are so lucky.”

No, no I wasn’t. I was abused, used, belittled, starved, punished for things she did and things she thought I did. I was lucky she didn’t kill me, and it wasn’t for lack of trying. Looking back, I can see where God protected me again and again.

To the outsider, the reader, my mother was a likable person. To my sister and me, she was hateful. She saw us as competition that had to be squashed.

Did she have good qualities? Yes. Unfortunately, those qualities were inconsistent and could be twisted, and she did, depending on what she wanted.

No, I won’t write a likable villain. That may be detrimental to my success as an author, but I don’t think I’m the only one who prefers the villain not be likable.

Posted by: Judy | May 19, 2019

A bit of inspiration

Posted on social media:

Maybe it’s not always about trying to fix something broken.

Maybe it’s about starting over and creating something better.

Posted by: Judy | May 18, 2019

Saturday Silliness

Posted on social media

Posted by: Judy | May 17, 2019

Good News Friday

*Planted lavender and rosemary plants. Mission accomplished

*Walk and P.Croissant with my sister

*Cinnamon toast and lemon croissants (one for Sunday), coconut macaroon with a dollop of chocolate, and hot chocolate with whipped cream

*Blessed rain

*Made Cowboy Coffee Cake

*Moved flour from plastic to glass containers

*Kneaders Country White Bread

*Our final Bible Study, we finished studying Joseph and our leader is facing a new adventure. I pray God protects and inspires her. I’ll miss it.

*Lavender and Rosemary are still alive, so far so good

What was something good in your week?

Posted by: Judy | May 16, 2019

Reading List 41-45

41. Funny Bone (Operation: L.O.V.E. A Special Ops Romance Anthology) by Anne Elizabeth novella SEAL romance. How romantic! And definitely a keeper.

42. The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis by Elizabeth Letts tells the astonishing history of the survival of the Lippizzaner horses through World War II. Amazing. I saw the Lippizaners when I was a little girl. Unforgettable.

43. Operation Hero’s Watch (Cutter’s Code series) by Justine Davis suspense romance. Still one of my favorite authors. I loved the characters. The relationship captures my heart. Sigh…

44. Meagan’s Chance by L.C. Monroe contemporary Christian romance.

45. Courting Calla (The Dixon Brothers series Book 1) by Hallee Bridgeman contemporary Christian romance. Yes, I recently read this one, in an anthology including different authors, and happily read it again. Her books are among my keepers. I want to read The Dixon Brothers series.

Posted by: Judy | May 15, 2019

Another Insight

God was generous. The same walk that helped me recognize a previously unacknowledged fear opened my mind to much needed understanding.

I’ve written about my high-school steady. Regrets. Frustrations. Still it natters in my head. Why?

He spent his whole life preparing to go to a particular college, in a different state. Everything revolved around that goal. It wasn’t an easy accomplishment, but he achieved it.

Once he was there, he changed his mind. I told him I’d support him whatever he decided; I’d support him if he stayed, and I’d support him if he decided to come home. However, I had one stipulation: He was NOT to do this for me. It was his decision, and he would have to live with it for the rest of his life. After a year, he decided to quit.

I accepted and supported his decision. Our relationship wasn’t the same after he came home. By the end of another year, our relationship ended.

It was a healthy choice. Among other things, I discovered he’d told his parents that he’d come home because of me.

On my walk, last week, it dawned on me why it still nattered at me: He blamed me for his decision, exactly what my mother had always done.

Rage exploded. Still irritates me, but I think I can let it go now. Clearly, I still have to deal with a lot of anger regarding my mother. I never expected to let it go all at once. I expected it to take time. It isn’t a matter of feeling like I need to forgive every slight and abuse. What’s done is done. What I’m trying to forgive are all the negative thoughts and unhealthy habits I’m working to change and correct. Life, being life, is hard enough on its own. She made life so much harder than it needed to be, for everyone.

With most infections, you have to “dig” until you find the source and clean it, so it can heal properly. I’m cleaning out a too-long festering infection.

Posted by: Judy | May 14, 2019

Unexpected insight…

I posted this on social media:

Blessed rain. I ran errands, safely, and enjoyed walking in the rain. I reminded myself that I could complain or I could dance. I didn’t exactly dance as I’m not comfortable drawing attention to myself. However, I smiled and turned my face toward heaven. Maybe I need to learn to dance, or maybe I need to learn to not worry about if anyone is watching.

The next day, I mulled the thought as I walked because it was raining. I still wasn’t dancing. No one was around. Yes, a car drove by every few minutes but that’s just an excuse. I assured myself I wasn’t afraid of people seeing me. Why didn’t I break into dance steps?

I’m afraid of dancing.

More specifically, I’m afraid of misstepping and doing serious damage again. How do I overcome this fear? It’s a perfectly reasonable fear. The damage has made dancing painful; ligaments don’t work the same anymore.

I did research on foods that will help strengthen the ligaments. I’m doing pretty good on eating foods every day that help.

Side note: Thirty years ago, I saw an orthopedist who told me that doing surgery at that time would be pointless. He advised that the next time I sprained my ankle I was to contact him on my way to the hospital. He would meet me there. His plan was to go in and scrape away all the scar tissue and start over. Funny note: The next time I sprained my ankle, I was in England. Needless to say, surgery didn’t happen. Years later, after my epidural experience, it turns out God was protecting me. At the time I saw the orthopedist, my problem with anesthesia was unknown. Thanks, God.

I did some dancing at singles’ dances but no longer really enjoy it. I miss doing stuff like swing, waltz, and electric slide. Swaying side to side with a stranger is… awkward, at least to me.

Maybe I need to consider something completely different, but still dancing, like belly dancing. I’ve taken a couple of classes, and I mean a couple as in two, two classes, two hours, each hour at a different time. I have a book, but I confess I become bored, quickly. I like watching it for a few minutes, but then I’m bored. To be honest, I’m pretty much that way with most dancing.

True confession: I could watch Mikhail Baryshnikov dance all day. He makes it look so effortless. Amazing. Michael Flatley has the same gift with his Irish dancing. Ice dancers Torvill and Dean gave awe-inspiring performances. Brian Boitano also made ice skating look effortless. Scott Hamilton is still my favorite ice skater; he was such an unlikely athlete. Awesome. Juliet Prowse was stunning. Gene Kelly in “Singin’ in the Rain” is an all-time  favorite. Odd side note: I’ve never been a fan of Fred Astaire. Don’t know why.

Hmmm… I’m not averse to dancing… maybe I’m a dance snob. Or maybe I recognize that it isn’t among my gifts, and I’m willing to let it go. Some things to think about. Maybe I don’t need to dance in the rain; maybe laughing in the rain is enough.

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