When Death Triggers Death

10390159_10202919303681061_1348889154615172089_nHello there, awesome blogging friends

It sure has been a while

Forgive my lack of reaching out

Life spun into a trial

A number of my friends saw loss

The ones I love still grieve

No words felt quite appropriate

So I chose to take a leave

It’s hard to write when pain is seen

In friends I’ve known for life

Words of joy and happiness

Conflict with tears and strife

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Devoted Grandfathers, Devastating Decisions, Hateful Opinions

It happens all the time, all over the world.

A loving family is struck by a tragedy that could have been prevented had a different dot decision been made.

What’s a Dot Decision?

When I was a child, my father explained dot decisions like this …

“Imagine your life, drawn on a piece of paper,” he said. “Each decision you make is displayed as a dot on your ‘life map’, and the direction of your life changes at every dot. Some decisions are big. Some are small. All are dots. Whether you made the decision yourself or it was made for you, it constitutes a dot decision and it changes the course of your life.”

Life Map

 

When Dot Decisions Destroy Lives

A few days ago, my daughter reached out for prayer. Her friend, who I’ll call Nancy, had suffered a tragedy. Nancy had four children. Last week, Nancy’s father dropped her off at work with her youngest child buckled safely in his car seat.

Then Nancy’s father made a dot decision.

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Mother’s Day Makes Me Greedy

nycThis year for Mother’s Day, I’ll be flying to New York City, thanks to my gracious, newly discovered sister! Once I get there, I’ll have three days with my sister, as well as the mother we share!

We’ve got a lifetime of bonding to catch up on, and it starts this Mother’s Day weekend!

Spa.

Delicious meals.

Possibly a Broadway show.

Most important, we’ll be together. I will be spending an entire weekend with two amazing women with whom I share DNA!

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Who is Patrick Jackson?

PatrickStevenJackson_t670Last week, I met Patrick Jackson. Even though I’d met him in the past through a friendly introduction and polite handshake, I actually met him last week. In fact, the whole church got to know Mr. Jackson more intimately than we expected.

With his permission, I’m sharing his testimony.

This is his story, paraphrased in my words.

I hope Patrick’s testimony will move and inspire you, as it did me and the rest of our church congregation.

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“X” is for X-panding the X-tended Family

XIn today’s world, the idea of a “nuclear” family, consisting of a mother, father, and 2.5 kids seems to be just that, an idea; one visualized in Normal Rockwell paintings from generations past.

Rockwell’s paintings illustrate a world of Xanadu, an idealized place of great beauty or perfection.

While we could easily frown upon the loss of the traditional family, I’ve discovered that there is still a kind of Xanadu in the new generation of families.norman rockwell 1

Whether we refer to them as blended, mixed, or X-tended, families today consist of dozens of people who otherwise, would never have shared the term “relative” with us.

Changing the definition of Family in an X-treme way!

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“W” is for WRITER’S Conference … Notes from Me to You

WLooking to learn a thing or two and network with a ton of talented writers and artists?

I can’t adequately emphasize the benefits you’ll gain by attending a writer’s conference, especially if you’ve never done so in the past.

This past weekend, I attended my first writer’s conference, the Orange County Christian Writer’s Conference (OCCWC). That’s why I’m late in publishing my “W” post.

I’m a big believer in writers supporting other writers, rather than competing against each other. So, I’m sharing some of the highlights of what I took away from the OCCWC.

I hope it will bless and benefit you.

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“V” is for VIRGIN Query Letter, Awaiting a VERDICT

VToday, I will be heading to Orange County to attend the OC Christian Writer’s Conference (OCCWC).

Truthfully, I have no idea what to expect, but I’m hoping I’ll have a chance to present the query letters for my novel and children’s book to a few publishers and/or book agents.

I’m a virgin when it comes to writing Query Letters (well, I guess I can’t say that anymore, now that my “query letter pen” has been christened), so creating these was quite a task. I did a lot of research and hopefully, I’m on the right track.

If I get nothing else from the OCCWC, I’ll be happy to at least hear a successful industry guru give me some tips regarding what, in the letters, I need to modify.

Unlike the blog you’re presently reading, which is my personal blog, my collaborative blog, 2 Pen a Picture, focuses solely on writing. Specifically, on writing Unsung Lyrics. If you’re interested in checking out the synopsis for the story, please click here.

In the meantime, here is my very first, ever query letter; the one that stole my query letter virginity.

To all of you who have written a successful query letter in the past, I welcome your advice and [gentle] feedback!

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“U” is for UNCONDITIONAL Love, Coming UNRAVELED

 

UIt’s interesting how UNCONDITIONAL love comes with so many conditions.

When we wed, we vow to stand by each other through life’s highs and lows, but it appears that very few of us truly understand what we’re buying into.

Unfortunately, it seems that some silent conditions are often slipped in between the pledges of love and happiness.

I’m seeing it happen in the marriages of people I care about.

I’d like to share with you one woman’s struggle that left an impression on me last night.

* * * * *

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