The Treasures of Travel

The Treasures of Travel

My husband and I were hiking along a colorful waterfront street in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, spotting the differences and similarities to Punta Arenas, Chile. That last small city in South America, overlooking the Strait of Magellan, is one of our remaining bucket list trips, but we imagined it couldn’t be more unlike this tropical town…

The Bend at the End

The Bend at the End

As we wander through the pages of a book or wend our way through the books of our lives, we often find a bend at the end. You know what I mean? In books, it’s the twist before the tie-up, an incident that might just take the story off in an entirely different direction. In…

The Heart at the Start

The Heart at the Start

Surveys suggest that 83% of North Americans want to write a book. A worthy ambition. However, a lot of blank space whitens the pages between “want to” and “done so.” Most people not only don’t finish their first chapter, they never even pen the first word. They just don’t have the heart to start. As…

The Storytelling Gene

The Storytelling Gene

At bedtime in my family of daughters, I heard more “Read me a story” than “Tell me a story.” Now that they’re adults, the clamor has evolved to “Write me a story,” but the urge is still prompted by our storytelling gene. Recently, I attended three days of seminars in a fabulous online writers’ retreat….

Winning Crowns in 2020

Winning Crowns in 2020

Somehow I doubt if the psalmist David enjoyed many trouble-free years in his tumultuous life, but my husband reminded me a few weeks ago that Israel’s greatest king praised the provision and providence of God during the year. “You have crowned the year with your goodness, and Your paths drip with abundance” (Ps. 65:11). Despite…

Launching into the Deep

Launching into the Deep

In a Door-of-No-Return moment, the Lord of the Rings character Samwise Gamgee halts in the middle of a field. “If I take one more step,” he announces hesitantly, “it’ll be the farthest from home I’ve ever been.” But at his companion Frodo’s encouragement, he takes that next step. And basically launches into the deep. He…

The Fall of Eden

The Fall of Eden

A year and a half ago, Chile pranced on the cusp of the First World. In complacent security, the country hovered near the apex of prosperity, about to scale the summit of Mt. Ambition. Just ahead, the mirage shimmered. Then, instead of the “happy copy of Eden” our national anthem lauds, we watched the Fall…

He Was There All the Time

He Was There All the Time

Of course, you remember the classic meme where a woman reviews her life by means of a series of footprints on the beach. She wonders why God disappeared at the most difficult moments of her life, but it turns out He carried her then. He was there all the time. Recently a dear friend spoke…

Back to the Beginning

Back to the Beginning

My writing ministry file, labeled 20:24:28, holds almost 400 digital pages right now. The other day, as I finished my blog series on story motifs, I scrolled back to the beginning of the document and discovered some interesting points that I should review more often. In a lot more areas of life, it’s a good…

Keeping the Windows Clean

Keeping the Windows Clean

My mother-in-law (AKA Mrs. Cleanhouse) has always had an obsession with washing windows. Smudges and fingerprints I never would have noticed, she attacked with more than a vengeance—a passion. No wonder her solarium grew lush and verdant. The secret lay in keeping those huge windows clean. Last week I talked of stained clothes, today it’s…

Help Me Find “The Blue Cup”

Help Me Find “The Blue Cup”

On the path to publishing Destiny at Dolphin Bay, I recently re-encountered the scene with the broken dishes during the earthquake, along with Melissa’s regret over missing a school drama competition. Her entry, a monologue called “The Blue Cup,” flows from my own extra-curricular accomplishments. Can anybody help me find “The Blue Cup”? I’ll confess…