Category Archives: Seasonal

Where will your Christmas tree come from?

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Trees make leaves for pages of books, and needles to sew them together. Book fairs make places to sell those books. And returning from the Oregon Historical Society Holiday Cheer event makes a great excuse to see a Christmas tree. img_2000

See
Tree rings cry
for history and mystery inside;
The tree lays flat to die.
Trailer’s rings all jangling metal, dangling chains reply
So low, once high.
Road is ringed with winter’s cold, its shoulder iced with snow.
This tree can’t fly.
But now the crane is lifting, tree is gifted with new life—
A hopeful sight with silver rings, now lighted bright
against the star
struck night.
The tree stands proud and high.
Then tree of Christmas rings its bell
For history and mystery inside.

Oddly, there’s always a beer tent at the base of Portland’s Christmas tree on the evening of Holiday Cheer. So, cheers!

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And for writing exercise, just dream the ringing of the trees.

A New Year Drabble

They told her it couldn’t be done; there’d be no going back; she shouldn’t waste her time. No rhyme or reason now, they said; just live for today. But Verda couldn’t watch unmoved as TV screens grew dark. She couldn’t sleep through radio’s silence, nor take those happy pills and hide herself in the dying cave. Instead she closed her office door; sealed the frame; set plants to cleaning air and water; and cranked her computer.

At the stroke of midnight, that final day, Verdandi, goddess of destiny, reset the human clock. So we began the Fall all over again.

 

Our writing group’s prompt this month is to imagine our main character receives some news which will change the year ahead. I’ve invited members of the group to imagine what they’ve heard is their own commitment to enter something in every month’s writing contest. How will that change their lives? How would it change yours?

Now write!

A New Year Gift

Smashwords just gave my publisher and me a really nice New Year gift. They finally approved The New Testament set of Five Minute Bible Stories for premium distribution. Look out for them soon on Barnes and Noble and Kobo as well as Amazon, and click on the image below to follow from Christmas to Easter and beyond.

New Testament Five Minute Bible Stories
New Testament Five Minute Bible Stories

Meanwhile, I’m working on stories of Peter and Paul, so perhaps I ought to make them my New Year Resolution. Can you suggest a title (or two)?

Happy New Year!

And may Christmas bless and inspire each day of it!

The Oregon Historical Society

Last year a friend took me to the Oregon Historical Society’s Holiday Cheer event. Two huge rooms were filled with lines of tables where authors sat behind displays of their books. So many Oregon authors! So many books! I thoroughly enjoyed the visit, bought a couple of souvenirs (books of course), and ended the day with a fascinating tour of the building’s various displays, learning much of Oregon history, culture and art.

Earlier this year the same friend took me to listen to some real live Oregon author’s speaking. Jane Kirkpatrick is always fascinating to hear, and Greg Nokes was great too. I had a wonderful visit and learned some more Oregon history. And I bought a book (of course).

But now I’m getting ready to go the Oregon Historical Society’s building on my own. My friend will visit, but I’ll be one of those authors behind their tables at the Holiday Cheer event. I’ll be counted as a genuine Oregon author, and I’ll smile and talk about my books – even, hopefully, sell a few. Divide by Zero will be offered in the gift store. And I’ll live a dream come true. Just look at this poster! (Well, look at the cover in the center at the bottom, and you’ll see what I mean.)

Deeth Holiday Cheer FlyerAh, but what if you don’t live in Oregon, and can’t meet with me there? Don’t worry. You too can find Divide by Zero, on Second Wind Publishing’s website at:

http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/#!product/prd15/2955791331/divide-by-zero

Divide by Zero
Divide by Zero

Enjoy! I know I shall!

We’re in Austin; it must be Monday

Well no; it’s not Monday now, and we’re not in Austin anymore. But we’ve just got back from a wonderful vacation in Texas. I almost wanted to leave the clothes in their bags as we rushed from place to place, trying to see “everything” in the space of a few days. But the grand event of the trip was our son’s graduation in San Antonio; we had to keep our smart clothes clean and uncreased. So every garment was neatly hung, and neatly folded again at each destination.

And on Monday we were in Austin:

Austin Capitol by night
Austin Capitol by night

On Sunday we were in Corpus

Corpus Christi in the evening
Corpus Christi Harbor

visiting the USS Lexington:

USS Lexington
View from the bridge on USS Lexington

On Wednesday we enjoyed the Hill Country

Deer in Texas
Yes, there are deer in Texas

and the Museum of the Pacific War:

National Museum of the Pacific War, Combat Zone
Outdoor exhibit at the National Museum of the Pacific War

On Friday we watched the graduation:

Graduation Day
Graduation Day

And now we’re home again, catching up on washing, cleaning, dandelions and more…

Dandelions
Giant Dandelions

What day is it today? Was I meant to be writing?

Feeling authorly, and writing Bible stories

Last weekend I went to the Oregon Christian Writers’ Conference and suddenly felt like an author. Perhaps it was the way my books were displayed with such care. Perhaps it was the keynote speaker, Jane Kirkpatrick, welcoming me with her usual open arms. Or perhaps it was hearing my name mentioned in her talk! Whichever the cause, I came home walking on air.

Photo of Sheila and Jane
Sheila Deeth and Jane Kirkpatrick at Oregon Christian Writers

But our Coffee Break Bible Study group was coming to an end and I needed a story to shape the summer while we wait to meet again. I had nothing to say. Until my proof copy of Galilee’s Gift arrived in the mail, and opened, by chance, to the page headed “The Bent and Beautiful Woman.”

Cover photo of Galilee's Gift
Galilee’s Gift

The hand of chance belongs to God, they tell me. And Coffee Break is a women’s Bible Study group, filled with women, all beautiful to God, however the world might bend us. So I read the story, my story, and suddenly knew what I had to say. This bent and beautiful woman, like us, was healed by Jesus; but better than that, she learned that she was precious in God’s sight. What better reminder for us in the summer break?

Gift basket for an author
Gift basket for an author

Meanwhile those wonderfully supportive Coffee Break Bible Study ladies gave me a gift, with coffee mug, pens, mouse-pad, and even a bag to carry all my books to my next conference, everything decorated with website and publicity photos of me. Suddenly I felt like an author again!

Thank you ladies. Thank you God!

Coming Soon…

I thought it must be spring when trillium bloomed in Forest Park.

trillium in Forest Park
trillium in Forest Park

Then it rained again.

I thought it must be spring when Mum’s Easter cactus came into flower.

Easter cactus
Easter cactus

But it’s cold and gray.

I’m sure it will be spring when I plant my dahlias again.

20130813_082540But Easter’s soon

and coming soon

will be Nazareth Neighbors in print and Galilee’s Gift

Nazareth Neighbors
Nazareth Neighbors
Galilee's Gift
Galiee’s Gift

telling the tales

of a man from Galilee’s gifts.

100 words a day Bible stories
Easter! Creation to Salvation in 100 words a day

Happy Easter!

 

Playing with the birds

I think spring sprang to life today. Lots of little green shoots appeared in our garden. And a gorgeous springer spaniel, who just happens to be visiting for the weekend, sprang over them with delightful agility. Meanwhile the local birds, perhaps unconvinced of said springer spaniel’s goodwill, sprang into song.

Birdsong: the sound of tweeting birds.

Twitter: light-hearted nonsense chatter.

Tweet: The highly recommended, up-and-coming (or already here–why am I always behind the curve) form of advertizing your books.

Easter! Creation to Salvation in 100 words a day
Get ready for Easter. Read the whole Bible story in 100 words a day

So here I sit, like a twit, composing 140 character tweets that include links (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords perhaps) to my Easter book, and realizing before Ash Wednesday would have been a better time for them (but it was still winter, wet and soggy, and lacking in birdsong back then). Still, the tweets will go out (as will the dog), and maybe I’ll even check to see if they generate any interest, or lead to sales.

I’m told real authors check their sales figures as frequently as real marketers tweet. But I’m still behind the curve–I probably have to figure out how to check them first.

For my tweets, visit: https://twitter.com/sheiladeeth

for a growing collection of Twitter stories and poems, try: http://sheiladeethdrabbles.blogspot.com/

and for a book of 100-word Bible stories and Christian ponderings, just click on the links above.

 

 

Photos look good in print too

My Mum had three Christmases this year

  1. In November, with my brothers and my sister-in-law (and greyhounds!)
  2. In December, with my husband and me, and two of our sons, and
  3. In January, with oldest son and his (wonderful) girlfriend.

By the end of that visit, Mum’s camera was heavily laden with Christmas photographs, but we hadn’t bothered to load them onto the computer. Then, just as oldest son departed, we found an online deal for a photo book. One day only, the offer said. So we stopped procrastinating.

And here’s Mum’s book!20140121_175026 blur

And here’s my book!20140117_135350

I’d have to say, photos look good in print too.