What’s Love Got To Do With It?


SECRETS OF THE OLD LADIES CLUB

Guess what?  I got a phone call from a fan!  eeeeekkk!  I did, from a real fan!  I saw stars, my head started spinning, and my chest kinda puffed out a little bit.  A man who actually read my book (Secrets of the Old Ladies’ Club) called me to say he enjoyed it.  And so did his mother.  I was elated – surprised, but elated.   Actually it was a humbling experience because it has been a while since it was published.  I didn’t purchase a marketing package when I self-published with IUniverse because I put all the funds I could muster up into publishing the book.  That was it.  Tapped out.  But I was happy with that.  My goal was to tell a story that was rolling around in my head bumping on the inside of my skull to get out.  And I was able to accomplish #1 on my bucket list.  For me, it isn’t about the money I coulda, woulda, shoulda made.  Trust me, I would have been happy to make a lot of money, but realistically speaking, I wasn’t going to hold my breath.  I think my first royalty check was for – ummm- $31.   Are you suitably impressed?  Perhaps if I had purchased a marketing package I would have done better.  Who knows and who cares?  All I can tell you is that phone call from the fan made a huge impact on me.  And not for the reasons one might think.  It was because of the impact my book had on this man’s life.  Yeah.  Let’s talk about a humbling experience!

So it went like this:  I had contact from this man some time back.  He heard about Secrets from someone I knew and wanted to read it.  I was more than happy to send him a copy.  When he called me the other night, it was to tell me he loaned it to his mother before reading it himself.  And now that he was nearly finished reading it, felt compelled to tell me what it meant to him.  At this point in the conversation my heart stopped.  What was going on?  He was struggling to control his emotions.  Through the phone line I could hear him choking back the tears that rendered him unable to utter the words his heart wanted me to hear, the very purpose for his phone call.  But he needn’t have worried.  I heard him loud and clear and my heart was moved.  How could it not be?  A forty something grown man going to pieces because of something I wrote?  Unheard of.  Plenty of women have told me they enjoyed the book.  A couple of men told me they enjoyed the book, but hey, they are related to me so they kinda have to say that.  I’ve had a ton of wonderful, great reviews with the exception of two: one said don’t waste your money, another said it must have been written by a 14 year old.  Haha!  I let it roll off my back.  But I digress.  Back to the fan.  When he was finally able to gather himself, he said “I am that gay boy”.   He said I nailed it on the head regarding the ways he identified with my book.  He said he finally found someone who understood what his life was like.  I was floored.  And humbled.  And thrilled.  His reaction was something real, something more than I ever expected.  What did I tell him?  I said that if for no other reason than for him to read my book, I was glad I wrote it.  And glad I fought to save enough money to publish it. For one person to have such a strong reaction is more than I ever dreamed of.  Accomplishing #1 on my bucket list turned into something more.

Let me take this one step further.  I’m going to involve God in the equation.  I can say this for certain that He does know the desires of our hearts and longs to see them fulfilled.  That’s not just for me, but for all.  If the desires of your heart fall within the perimeters of His will for your life, He will stop at nothing to see that your heart is fulfilled.  I know that to be the truth.  Of course, sometimes our desires are outside His will for our lives.  I’ve had that happen before too.  I wanted to be – , I wanted to have – , I wanted to do – .   but you know what?  Growing in relationship with the Lord changes things.  The more you get to know Him, the more you want to know Him.  And then the more the desires of your heart change.  They quietly kinda slip to the back burner until one day you discover that the desires of your heart include, first and foremost, that all you want is to do is His will!  To follow Him closely, snuggle up under His arm, and allow Him to be God to us.  In retrospect, it would seem that the desires of our hearts make a path straight to His heart and His desires for us.  It opens a way for us to learn how to love and grow in love.  That’s His message, isn’t it?  To love always?  That’s the way I see it.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to properly assume what God is thinking these days.  Did you watch the Republican Presidential Debate last night?  Good Lord in heaven!  The topics alone will bring a saint to their knees.  ISIS, abortion, gay marriage, social security, jobs, immigration, building a wall separating the United States and Mexico.  Oh, then there is balancing the budget, Hillary bashing, Obama bashing, bashing each other.  One thing I found interesting is that, when pressed, pretty much every candidate declared a strong belief in God.  I liked Ted Cruz’s answer when asked if, because he’s a Christian, God speaks to him.  He said yes, on a daily basis, God speaks through the Bible.  What a beautiful thing to say!   I seem to recall that later he went on to say that God wants us to love one another.  Well.  How do you like that?  I was waiting for the gay bashing to take place.  Thankfully I was wrong.  I’m so tired of it.  I’m tired of all this hating.  I’m not even remotely related to God so I can’t say what His take is on it, although I have seen all the scriptures concerning the “abomination”.   I’m tired of people looking at gays and lesbians as if they have two heads and three eyes.  What’s the matter, don’t people understand God loves them as well?  We are all His people, His love!   Why get all freaked out and homophobic?  (disclaimer: I am married to a homophobe, yet I still love him with all my heart.)  I say we should all reserve our judgment for worse things, like abortion, war, murder, starving children, etc.  And then, in love, do something about those instead of working to make certain people feel like less than they are.  Amen?

bear

Pray for peace, people!  The world needs your prayers!

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I’ve Got My Roll On….


I’ve been having a ball adding more treasures to my new etsy shop!

But…….

Before I show you pictures, let me ask you something…..

Do you remember the Old Ladies from my first novel SECRETS OF THE OLD LADIES CLUB
What do you think would happen if those grand old dames got together to write a cook book?? You know, they may be best friends, but they are as different as night and day. I’m thinkin’ I’d love to write a recipe book using their recipes. Oh, when I think of the Secrets we would discover! Southern, Jewish, Cajun, and oh so much more! Mazel Tov! Ya’ll come back now, hear? Mon, cher` petit`!
Hey, could have a ‘novel’ approach….

Sassy ankle jewelry!  So cute!

Sassy ankle jewelry! So cute!

Spring time boot bracelet!

Spring time boot bracelet!

Yes, it's a boot bracelet

Yes, it’s a boot bracelet

Camouflage Bracelet - Her best hunting accessory!

Camouflage Bracelet – Her best hunting accessory!

Hand knit cherry quartz bangle bracelet

Hand knit cherry quartz bangle bracelet

Never goes out of style!

Never goes out of style!

Books and bracelets aren’t the most important things in the world. Prayers and Peace are. Get your roll on and please include prayers for peace.

Blessings!

Let’s talk about Old Ladies


I’ve had a number of people ask me why I chose to write about old ladies although obviously I am not old…um, yeah…right. I chose to write Secrets of the Old Ladies’ Club for many reasons. cropped-book-cover.jpg
Below I’ve posted several notable phrases to lead you into understanding my thought processes on the matter. To sum it up for you ~ “Life is a chair of bowlies” ~ Mary Englebreit.
good womanlive your life and forget your agedrop it like it's hotsee yourselfturn back odometerthinking old

AND FINALLY~
older I get

Ya’ll enjoy your life and remember this: in the end

Growing old or aging, it’s a choice we make. So is living a good life, and finding joy wherever you are, in whatever stage of life you are in. Bethany Bertrand (a character who came to life in my book) said “Our bodies may grow old but our souls don’t. They just grow.” The woman’s a genius!

While you are making the most of your life, don’t forget to pray for peace. YOUR prayer is needed!

New Generations


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It has been a great day as long as we overlook the fact that my alarm didn’t go off this morning and I needed to get up at 5 a.m. Yeah. Great, huh. The good part is that I did get to my grandbaby’s house early enough for her mom to get to work on time. This is her mama’s first year of teaching and getting to work on time is very important. You know how that is. I had another errand to run while in the local area. Sheila from Susan’s On Court/Ville Platte, Louisiana, called a few days ago and told me “I guess I need to get some of your books for the shop”. It appears my book has been requested. Yay! Today I was able to deliver a pile of my books to her. Then I stopped to see my friends at the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism to find out which one of them hooked me up with Sheila. Nobody ‘fessed up but I know someone must have! Check out the shop’s facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Susans-on-Court/357737067641648. Sheila has a beautiful shop. Tell her I sent you.

For those of you who have grandchildren, you know there is nothing like it. It’s a love different from the one you experienced with your own children. The first time you lay eyes on your new grandbaby, you find out what real love is. True. And it will take you by surprise because it is breathtaking. Make that breath taking. You loose your breath. Or you forget to breath, something like that. Suddenly, your heart breaks open and it is filled with the strongest, most powerful love you will ever experience. It is impossible to describe. I believe I know the logic behind why it is what it is. Most people are pretty young when their children are born so by the time grandchildren come along, they (now grandparents) have more to give, ie; more experience and less confusion. By the time that new generation takes over, grandparents have already figured out what to do and when to do it. I love that part. It has worked well for me, if you get my drift.

Speaking of oldage, I used to be semi-insulted when young people called me “ma’am”. Now I like it. I even like it if a merchant asks me if I would like a senior citizen discount. Uh, yeah. Saving money, I’ll take that. I rather enjoy the status being a young older person gives me. Most kids (anyone above 8 years of age) think you are smart. The young people who don’t are those who think they know everything and grown ups are clueless. But if you come across a kid who has been raised right, you get the respect you deserve. And I really like that. I live in the southern United States and we take a lot of pride in raising our kids to be polite and respectful. Stand when an adult enters the room, hold the door open, use a napkin and no sass talk. Every good mama knows how to teach manners to her children. But grandparents? Oh yes. Grandparents are forgiving about ‘most everything else except bad manners. Bad manners can make a Granny go ballistic, just let a kid pee in the tub and see what happens. Luckily, grandchildren happily respect their elders. Plus they know Granny can stop a clock with just one little evil eye. An evil eye makes a kid freeze in their tracks. It can silence a room. It can command ships. It looks like this:

Are you scared yet?

Are you scared yet?

But that’s not all. Grandbabies love you like no one else in the whole world can. It is an amazing thing when they go Granny’s house because they want to and they love coming over so much. At Granny’s house, spoilage is applied with gusto. It is an art form that was acquired and nurtured as soon as oldage began to set in. Without a doubt and instinctually, grandbabies know who the beneficiary is. It is pleasing for everyone except the parents who have to take said spoiled babies home.

It’s my life. I live for them and if God says the same, I will enjoy a long life of grandbaby-love. My daughter-in-law said the darling little 2 year old I babysat today had a little present for me in her diaper bag. She helped her mommy color a picture and this is what it looked like:

Grandbaby #5 is on the way!

Grandbaby #5 is on the way!

This new generation…I hope and pray that the world we leave them will be better than it is now. So please pray for peace. Yes, it does count. YOUR prayer may be the one that helps.

Book of the Month! NaBloPoMo #3


book cover
A couple of nights ago a delightful woman by the name of Virginia Kerth called to interview me. Me, the small town old gal who lives in the woods, me. She wanted me to know that it was her turn to choose the book of the month for her book club. And she chose mine. She chose mine! A book club in Kansas is going to read Secrets of the Old Ladies’ Club. They will meet afterwards, review it, discuss it, chew on it for a while and then decide whether or not it is a good read. I am beyond thrilled!

Virginia is such a sweet person that I wanted to interview her. We talked on the phone like long lost friends finding each other at last. Without giving any details of her private life, I can tell you that she is an avid book reader (duh), and apparently a social butterfly. She must know how to entertain as well because she told me her plans for the book club meeting which will be at her home, include creating the refreshments around all things Louisiana and the Old Ladies’ Club. Isn’t that a hoot? She will be serving shrimp, pecan pie and rum drinks with little umbrellas in them. (You have to read the book to understand that.)

By the time I hung up the phone, my head had swelled beyond what I thought it ever could. And then I got out of bed, put my slippers on, let the dogs go out, made the cat go out, fed the fish, and fixed a cup of blueberry tea. Then I got kind of scared. What if they don’t like it? What if it’s a bust? Virginia told me that she would let me know what the club thinks of it and she promised me she would tell me about ALL the reviews – good and bad. Ok, that will shrink a swelled head down to size in a hurry. So all I could do was talk to God about it. I realized He has always given me the desires of my heart. And I know He has great plans for me. And I believe that through Him I can soar like eagles. What the heck am I worried about? I am so weird.

I think the night Virginia called was the same day I found out that my book is on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17397862-secrets-of-the-old-ladies-club?ac) and on Books A Million online (http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Secrets-Old-Ladies-Club/Nan-Tubre/9781475975123?id=5831605601006). Can you imagine that? I got so excited about it I am hosting a book give-away on the Goodreads site. I’m giving away a copy to five lucky people. You’ll have to go here to enter: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway. The last day to enter is Dec 3rd and Goodreads will select the winners.

I also have a give-away on my facebook author page. It runs through November 15th. All you have to do is find the post mentioning the give-away, share it with your friends and ‘like’ my page. My two year old granddaughter will select that winner. Don’t ask.

Oh, and how could I forget…if you want a copy of my book, send a message to me and I give you the details.

It would be a huge help to me if you would offer a comment or two here. Don’t be shy, share me with your friends! I’ll just love you forever for that.

And don’t forget to pray for peace.

Crossing off the Bucket List!


Tree of Life

Tree of Life

Who knew life after 50 could be so much fun?? And I say that with no sarcasm whatsoever. I am deep into my 50’s and the funny part about that is that I didn’t have a clue about life until middle age began it’s uphill climb over my being. I hear people talk about their high school years being the best time of their life. I’ve heard people say early marriage and motherhood ‘completed’ them. I have even heard one or two people wish they were a child again. Not me. Nope. I wouldn’t trade motherhood for anything in the world (mostly because I have the most adorable grandchildren) but as far as high school and childhood – you can have ’em. The simple fact is, for a late bloomer like myself, hitting that 50 mark was like getting permission to finally have a life. Suddenly, young people call me “ma’am”. I seem to have acquired respect through no effort of my own, although I will admit that the first time I was asked if I wanted a senior citizen discount, I was just a pinch offended. Of course, now I ask for it. Hey. It’s been earned.

Along with garnering respect, another perk of aging is suddenly realizing that you can do anything your little heart desires. Confidence is no longer elusive, it’s a new friend. For example, I confidently do not color my hair any longer. Screech. Yes, it’s true. Let the grays come on down! What does it matter? Who cares? My husband told me the other day I’m starting to look like a silver fox. I haven’t figured out if that’s a good thing or not, but it doesn’t really matter anyway. I choose wear it confidently. It’s all good.

I am living life actively and happily now more than at any other time in my life. A by-product of that is the development of my own Bucket List. You know what that is, I’ve written about it before, taking inspiration from the fab movie of the same name. If you recall, the number One spot on my Bucket List was to write a book. Joyfully, I can cross that off the list. I wrote and published my own book, Secrets of the Old Ladies’ Club (available on amazon, B&N, etsy, and a few shops locally). Yes, I’m aglow. And I intend to write more books, actually, a few more are in the wings.

Age and confidence gave me permission to add many things to my Bucket List and do way more than I ever really thought I could. What else, you say? I learned how to belly dance. Uh huh. It wasn’t pretty considering I am more belly than anything else, but at least I had the confidence to go for it. Again, who cares what my dancing looks like as long as I enjoy it? The truth is I crossed that off my Bucket List pretty early on. Some things just aren’t meant to be.

But my most most favorite favorite favorite thing to cross off my list is I am finally learning to play the piano! Imagine that! It’s something I have wanted to do since I was a child so when the opportunity to purchase a piano at a ridiculously low price (thanks again Mary!), I jumped at it. I can’t describe how excited I am. I guess if I would have had the opportunity when I was younger, I wouldn’t have appreciated it as much as I do today. The only regret I have is concerning my boys. I wish I could have given them the chance to learn how to play the piano. One of my sons did play the alto sax for a little while, but the other son never was musically inclined. Come to think of it, sax-boy wasn’t that instrumentally inclined, proof of which became evident when he traded said saxophone for a stereo when I wasn’t looking.

This much I have learned: The purpose of having a Bucket List is to give yourself permission to do that which you are passionate about. Awesome.

Here’s something else I am passionate about; creating art. I just finished a series of works with various interpretations of the Tree of Life. It’s not a new concept, just a new interpretation. It’s a subject we artists love because of the unique individual spin we can add to it. I constructed my trees using silver-plated, bronze, copper, and gold-tone wire, added semi-precious stone chips, glass beads, Swarovski crystal and charms. The symbolism includes three main roots to the tree (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), twelve branches (twelve tribes of Isreal), amethyst (royalty), sodalite (peace), aventurine and jade (new life), jasper and agate (earth) and a garnet to depict a ‘drop of His blood’. These are mounted within shadow boxes with backgrounds of religious connotations. I will be taking this line of art to a little shop down in Henderson, Louisiana tomorrow. The owner, Jennifer Casanova, is an art lover and she especially loves to offer home-grown Louisiana artwork in her store. If you get a chance, schedule a fly-by and tell her Nancy sent you!
https://www.facebook.com/casanovamarketshops

Bayou Religion

Bayou Religion


Tree of Life

Tree of Life


Word of God Tree of Life

Word of God
Tree of Life

Please don’t forget to pray for peace, ya’ll. The whole world needs your prayers.

And please don’t forget to drop a comment or like this post. I’ve been told when you do that, something really great will happen in your life! 😉 And that will make me very happy!

What have I been doing, you ask?


There is more to me than meets the eye… not saying that’s always a good thing…but it has it’s advantages. I’ve shared some of my work outside of writing at the end of this post. I love my life.

voices
Bwahahahah!

I have renewed enthusiasm concerning my novel, Secrets of the Old Ladies’ Club. One lesson I learned early on about self-publishing is that it’s hard to get the book out there, especially if you cannot afford a marketing package. So you can imagine how excited I was to get a phone call from a group of ladies at the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism in Ville Platte bidding me to come for a cup of coffee. If you are not from Louisiana, let me tell you that when you are invited for coffee by anyone, it’s a sign – a good one. I was so excited about the coffee klatch, even having the tire on my brand new car go flat on the way didn’t discourage me, although I do admit to being nervous for arriving late. Nervous? Not much! I was a basket case. But come to find out, the people I met were awesome and equally as excited as I was. It appeared that my 15 minutes of fame was extended to an entire 16 minutes. They thought they had a celebrity in the house. Who, me? The one who stuttered and had sweaty palms? The one who worried for many an hour about choosing a suitable outfit from my vast array of jeans and tee shirts for this coffee/meeting? Yes, me.

Worrying is pointless and I must re-learn over and over that it accomplishes nothing. The coffee klatch was a success. It started out with me saying a few words about the characters in my book, then, to my relief, the room exploded into hilarity as, one by one, the ladies reported ways in which they identified with my characters. One story shared led to another, and another and before long, all of us were laughing, slapping our knees, and gasping for air until someone passed a box of tissues to mop up the dripping Niagra of tears while we caught our breath. We couldn’t help it. Old ladies are fun.

So to cap it off, I was asked to give a little talk during the Chamber of Tourism dinner, which I did last Wednesday. And to the October Chamber of Commerce dinner coming up. And someone asked me to speak to the Rotary Club. Add to that, the person in charge of ordering books for Evangeline parish (not county, c’mon, we live in Louisiana) informed me that she had ordered copies of my book for every library in the parish. I. am. surprised. And can’t believe how blessed I am. The author of this blog does not ‘do’ social activity well. I break out in hives, blank-outs, and nausea when I meet people I don’t know. Usually. The good news is when I talk about my book, I rarely have to finish a sentence before someone else in the group takes over and within moments everyone is talking and laughing at the same time. That’s what makes it easy. I start, someone else finishes. I just sit back with a smile on my face, nod my head, and have a good time.

Truthfully, I don’t know how it happened that I have gone from 15 minutes of fame to at least 19 minutes now. I just started with some crazy old lady busting out of my head to get her story on paper. Or something like that anyway. If you have ever written a story, you know that the characters come to life in a unique and delightful way. Once you write about them, they move in. They don’t leave. It’s wonderful.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch….

In an earlier post I’ve mentioned that I have a habit of going through what my husband and step-son call ‘phases’, meaning I go off on a tangent with one of my many hobbies until I have come completely undone. It’s fun. To my husband’s surprise, or perhaps disdain, I rather like it.

My latest burst of energy produced some pretty positive results. Here are a few pictures:

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A bold statement-of-faith necklace and a St. Theresa Chaplet prayer beads.

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A one-decade rosary with a locket crucifix, a one decade world peace rosary with a “drop of His blood”

These are listed in my etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ToLoveAlways

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And some five decade tee-tiny little rosaries made for baby’s baptism, or keep one close beside you in your pocket, or give it as the perfect original shower gift.

And these little darlings are not yet listed, but soon…

Oh, and don’t forget to pray for peace, ya’ll. God answers prayers. We wait for His time, but continue our vigil of prayer.