Saturday, October 30, 2010

Preparing for November

I had to face a tough job today, one I've put off a year or more. Maybe several years. Today I cleaned out my office closet and file drawers in preparation for the next month's work. I'm preparing to jump into a new writing project on Monday. Getting my office ready was necessary, even exciting, but sad.

Gone are the past twenty years of correspondence with editors, authors, and publicists, old tax receipts, rejection letters, and a few scrawled words of encouragement I've saved forever. Hard to part with them, but in the small space we now call home, file space is pricey realty. In an equal trade, my husband took over an entire file drawer, and I took over the writing desk. I'm deliriously happy! So is he.

What's happening Monday? It's November 1st, the opening day of novel season at NANOWRIMO! Three of us in our critique group are accepting the challenge to complete a full 50,000 word novel in a month. On Nov. 30 I hope to be finished and sending in my completed piece. What's the prize? The completed draft I've been longing to finish for the past four years. When that's done, I'll do a happy dance.

By the way, it's a murder mystery. Stay tuned. I'll give you updates on how it's going. I might even give you a few hints about the characters and the plot. In fact, you can help me title it on the last week. How's that?
Write me a comment now and then just to encourage me.
Why not write your own? Let's get started!
Blessings to you,

Friday, October 22, 2010

Aren't Words Amazing?

My husband and I came home the other day to a blinking message on our phone. A pleasant female voice said, "Mr. Kidder, this is Dr. Van's office reminded you of your appointment tomorrow morning at 10:30. Please come a few minutes early to fill out some paperwork, and we request that you not wear any clothes."

"What did she say?" Steve said. "I don't believe it. She told me not to wear clothes!"

"Play it again," I said. "Has to be a mistake." So we did. Four times. No mistake. By that time we were bending over howling with laughter.

"Think I should go with you this time? You may need me to hold a sheet around you." Maybe back doctors like to get started right away!

When the appointment came, the nurse explained she'd said, "no cologne."

Ah, yes, the power of words. Think of the most embarrassing thing you've ever said. Write it down and get a good laugh at yourself. Hey, share it with me! I always love a chuckle. Maybe my readers will, too, if you say OK.

Words can build, or tear down, can't they? Encourage us or wound our spirits. Today I'm asking God to help me use words that offer love and encouragement. How about you?

Friday, October 01, 2010

Meet Carol Kent, author of, Between a Rock and a Grace Place

Between a Rock and a Grace Place by Carol Kent (Zondervan)

From bestselling author Carol Kent comes a riveting journey of facing the impassible obstacles of life and discovering the last thing ever expected—the sweet spot of grace.

Carol Kent and her husband, Gene, are now living what some would call a heartbreaking life—their son, Jason, a young man who initially had so much promise, is now living out a life sentence for murder in a maximum security prison. All their appeals have been exhausted at both the state and federal levels—humanly speaking, they have run out of options. But despite their hopeless situation, Carol and her husband live a life full of grace. Kent reveals how life’s problems become fruitful affliction where we discover the very best divine surprises, including peace, compassion, freedom, and adventure. Through the Kent’s remarkable ongoing journey, Jason’s riveting letters from behind bars, and true “grace place” stories from the lives of others, Between a Rock and a

Carol Kent

Grace Place reveals that when seemingly insurmountable challenges crash into our lives, we can be transformed as we discover God at work in ways we never imagined. With vulnerable openness, irrepressible hope, restored joy, and a sense of humor, Carol Kent helps readers to find God’s “grace places” in the middle of their worst moments.

About the Author

Carol Kent is the bestselling author of When I Lay My Isaac Down and A New Kind of Normal. Carol is an expert on public speaking, writing, and on encouraging people to hold on to hope when life’s circumstances turn out differently from their dreams. She lives in Florida with her husband Gene.

Carol Kent is a popular international public speaker best known for being dynamic, humorous, encouraging, and biblical. She is a former radio show co-host and has often been a guest on Focus on the Family and a featured speaker at Time Out for Women and Heritage Keepers arena events. She has spoken at The Praise Gathering for Believers and at Vision New England’s Congress. She is also a frequent speaker at Women of Virtue events across the country.

Questions/Answers from Carol Kent

Tell us about the Christmas gift you received. How did it help you to find grace in the middle of a seemingly hopeless situation?

Two weeks before Christmas our doorbell rang at 9:15 p.m. It was dark outside and by the time my husband, Gene, joined me at the front door, we were surprised to find no one there. It was already dark, but my eyes fell on a large, exquisitely wrapped gift. The card on top said, “Mom.” Initially, it felt like a bad joke. Nine years earlier our son, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy had been arrested for murdering his wife’s first husband and he was in prison serving a life-without-the-possibility-of-parole sentence.

However, I am a “Mom” and the package was left on my doorstep, so I opened it. The note appeared to be in my son’s unique handwriting. The note expressed his deep love for me and his gratefulness for what I had done to help him since his arrest. He said a “friend” had helped him deliver the surprise. Opening the box, I discovered a gorgeous russet-colored silk jacket—and it fit me perfectly.

That night I discovered something new about God and something I had forgotten about myself. He loves to interject divine surprises into our lives. His timing is always perfect, but it had been a while since I had been surprised by joy, wonder, and grace in the middle of one of the tight spots of life.

What are “grace places,” and how can hurting people in need find them?

All of us experience tight spots when life turns out differently from our dream. When we face the overwhelming obstacles of life, we can experience the last thing we ever expect—the sweet spot of grace. Grace places have a variety of forms, but some include:

  • Receiving love when we don’t deserve it
  • Finding safety in the middle of a fearful and uncertain experience
  • Being comforted by friends and family (people who are extensions of God’s love)
  • Experiencing the embrace of God when we have run out of strength and courage

“Grace means the free, unmerited, unexpected love of God, and all the benefits, delights, and comforts which flow from it.” (R.P.C. Hanson)


A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me as a blog tour host by Zondervan in exchange for posting this interview on my blog. Please visit Christian Speaker Services for more information about blog tour management services.

Join the ongoing Virtual Book Tour on FACEBOOK for more book drawings