Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Why We Don't Need Another Titanic

So this morning I'm drinking my coffee with an ear tuned to the Today Show, when I hear there's an Australian billionaire currently building an exact replica of the Titantic to travel the exact same route in 2016.

Complete with period costumes and music, the unsinkable ship will set sail this time with plenty of lifeboats and modern equipment to locate icebergs. First class passengers will pay a million dollars to sail on the Titanic 2, and steerage will party below like it's 1912.

Global warming will, hopefully, guarantee an iceberg-free trip. They're hailing it as "the safest ship in the world."

I kidd you not.

Shaking my head, I hurt thinking a world that suffers from AIDS, cancer, bad hearts, and starvation while you, Mr. Billionaire, want to build a big boat just for the fun of it.

I suppose people can spend their money any way they want, but this? Seriously?

What more can one say, other than ... what a absolute waste of time, energy, and money.

Okay. I'll step down from my soapbox and get back to work.

Blessings to you and yours.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Oscars For Novelists?


Michael and I have seen more than our share of movies this year on the big screen so I’m paying closer attention to the Oscars than usual. But it got me to thinking, why isn’t there an award show for writers? Just for writers.

As a writer, do I dare approach that question without sounding childish?

I can’t help it though. Think about it.

What books or stories have you read recently, or years ago, that you remember vividly? What characters still linger and come to your mind at the strangest times?

What novel, if any, has had the capacity to haunt you for days, weeks, and years?

What author consistently moves you like few others?

What in their voice gives them the edge?

What common thread weaves their unforgettable stories to the cloak of your memory?

And what happens when that book is made into a movie? Are you one of the many who say, "... yeah, but the book was better."

The majority of movies produced are a direct result of the novel. Though some films are retitled, many producers use the book's title. I remember watching old news footage of Margaret Mitchell appearing at the Oscars—a moment of inspiration from my youth. But since, I can’t recall a novelist at the Oscars. I think if they go, they’re seated way in the back somewhere. Perhaps I’m wrong. I hope that I am.

Still, I don’t remember J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Pat Conroy, or even Jodi Picoult appearing at an awards show. When the cast of The Help walked the Red Carpet last year, was Kathryn Stockett among them? Does anyone know?

Sometimes an actor, when making an acceptance speech, will acknowledge the author. I recall Queen Latifah thanking Sue Monk Kidd for writing The Secret Life of Bees. Quite possibly I’m wrong to think the author should have anything to do with the film once the story is in the hands of Steven Spielberg. Maybe that's awards enough. But when a book is optioned and the rights sold, should the author disappear into oblivion? If not for the book … would the academy-award winning film have been made?

Writers who give breath and blood to create, publish, and promote are not guaranteed success to any degree. No more than any other artist. But if their novel is lucky enough to have made it to the big time--developed into a hugely successful film and recognized by the The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Oscars, should there not be something more than a nod to the author?

Just sayin’.

Blessings to you and yours.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Rules For Bloggers. Really?

The road less traveled ...

I've been thinking about my blog, in terms of what the "experts" are saying about how to blog, what to blog, and all these rules suddenly popping up all over the Internet and in writing conferences across the country.

Hmmm. Here's a question you may have asked yourself. Am I an expert in anything other than my  personal journey? What do I have to contribute?

"A great deal," is my answer to that question.

After more than a decade of writing and publishing on a full-time basis, I've acquired a bit of knowledge. Often the road less traveled for me winded itself through communities of publicity and promotion where Michael and I blazed our own trails. Together, we cut through one swamp after another, climbed more than a few cold mountains, and cared less when they said "it can't be done." Or, "you shouldn't do it that way."

I've just come off a ten-day trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina where I spoke on three separate occasions. Driving to Franklin, NC, through a blizzard where dozens of cars slid into ditches and off the mountain, I said to Michael, "What are we doing this for?!"

"Because we're compelled to go," was Michael's answer to that question.

I've posted on Facebook about each event, but I can say a thread of brokenness followed me on this trip. I wept on more than one occasion, delivering my speeches. I could not help but think how broken I became before God could make something out of me. For me to deny my walk with God, to renounce my roots, the spiritual side of me--it would be like asking me to cut off my hands and hack out my heart. It's not possible. As much as my work is about the dark side of religion, I know there's a light in the midst of it. I know it as sure as I know the sun will rise in the east every morning.

My point is that my blog has always been, and will continue to be, one of inspiration. Occasionally, I inform and enlighten, but to inspire you--that is my mission. You see, without the struggle, the dark halls and the deep valleys, I would not have the inward fortitude to purse my dreams. Dreams so far out of reach that looking back now, it's nothing less than a miracle I lived through it. I've walked through the valley, and I've stood on the mountaintop, but in the valley I found my inspiration. Do you think, for one second, I will change my message to fit within today's rules for the modern blogger?

Something happened to me during those years, I became a different person. Stronger. Determined. My favorite quote, as you may know, is by Helen Keller. "Character cannot be developed in ease and quite. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved."

This is the lifeblood of what I believe. My hope today is that you never have to walk those roads. But if you do, know that your journey is for a reason. Each step forward will present a truth about yourself that may be terrible to bear but the mold will break, resulting in a better, a stronger you. A goal reacher.

Today, I enjoy many blogs. Some of us are called to entertain, teach, make others laugh, and inspire. How you do that is up to you but more than anything, you've got to write your heart. It does not matter if you have ten thousand followers, or only two ... so what. Be true to yourself. And let those who make our rules ... live by them. You don't have to.

Blessings to you and yours.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Thank You, Rebecca

Thank you, Rebecca, for this review ... and for your permission to post it here on my blog. I'm honored.

By Rebecca LeCompte, Co-Founder of Imperfect Wives

Televenge. To me, this word seems a mash-up of televangelist and revenge. I don’t know if that is what Pamela King Cable had in mind when she gave her novel this title, but I think it’s perfect!

I don’t want to give you the run-of-the-mill book review here…you can search those out on Amazon and other places on the Internet if you’d like. Instead, I’d rather tell you about my experience with this unique novel and its amazing author.

(Just to give you a bit of background on me as a reader, as a girl, I read under the covers with a flashlight late at night, in the bathtub, when I should have been doing homework. As an adult, I read a lot of Christian “inspirational” books and a little bit of Christian fiction, but I try not to start anything that looks too good when I’ve got important work to do because I can be a bit obsessive about finishing a great book.)

Pamela first came to my attention about eight months ago when she joined us on The Imperfect Wives Club on Facebook.Each time she posted or commented, I felt drawn to her. I soon discovered that she is an author and that her first novel, Televenge, was to be released in October 2012.

I felt the Lord prompting me to purchase the book and read it, so I bought it within two weeks of its initial release. From the excellent reviews, I was really excited to read it.

Televenge is a perfect blend of mystery, suspense, romance, Christian fiction, chick-lit, and theology study. In the manner of C.S. Lewis, Pamela uses a page-turning story to communicate vital spiritual truths to her readers.

I devoured this book in three days and came away impacted. Pamela drew me into the story, made me love (or despise) the characters and really care about what happened to them. I was rooting for Andie and wanted to see justice for those who were misrepresenting the name of Jesus. The plot twists and turns caught me off-guard.

I was so impressed by this book that I reached out to Pam to tell her. Since then, Pam and I have spoken on the phone several times and I’m pleased to call her my friend.

For us imperfect wives, Pam covers multiple themes in marriage: immaturity, alcohol abuse, pornography, mental health issues, spousal abuse, and the pain of the reality of marriage that isn’t truly Christ-centered.

Pam’s writing captures the pain of sin. And yet…she doesn’t leave her readers feeling discouraged or hopeless.

Pam contrasts sin in the church with congregations that are honestly and authentically serving Christ. In fact, the entire book is a series of contrasts between good and evil, dark and light. As her characters face almost impossible situations, they see God’s faithfulness even when it takes longer than they (or the reader) might like. But isn’t that what happens in real life? Imperfect people make less-than-ideal choices and God is faithful anyway.

In the end, I walked away reminded of the importance of knowing God personally and intimately and the principle that it isn’t enough to rely on someone else to teach you—you must know God’s Word for yourself and have the courage to stand up for what is right.

Pam is going to be our guest on Imperfect Wives Radio tomorrow, Tuesday, February 19 at 10 am EST/7 am PST. You can join us live or archived at  Imperfect Wives Radio, A Compassionate Heart: Interview with Pamela King Cable. Join us as we talk about her novel and so much more, including the importance of having a compassionate heart!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

On The Road Again ...

Mile by mile, the earth turns gently. It rushes up, then moves away. I’m conscious of its pitch and roll in my stomach, traveling the rising hills and pushing against the horizon. For a little while at least, I empty everything out of my head but what’s on the road ahead of me. Unhappiness that once pumped through my hollowed-out heart is surrendered to the freedom and relief of this time and this place in my life. Knowing the slow climb of Televenge is like our trek up the mountain.
Definite. Clear. Forward.
The Televenge book tour marches on ... there are tunes in the CD player, my white knight drives the van full of books, and our faithful pup, Scout, keeps watch in the back ...
Life is good.
Blessings to you and yours.

Monday, February 04, 2013


It's revival time! Back to drama. Television with plots and wondrous characters!


It's a throwback to the days when I stayed home from church on Friday nights to watch Dallas and Falcon Crest. The days before Tivo and the Hopper. The days when you couldn't fast forward, replay, or pause to salt your popcorn. The days when only the hint of sex was enough. When you had to pay the price of a movie admission to see a head exploding as it was shot off by a lunatic's gun. When you had to get off the couch to change the channel on a television that stuck out three feet from the wall. But, oh, the primetime drama series of those days!

It's revival time. The glory days of TV are back ... and it's called Downton Abbey.

Free of commercials, the story moves quickly and you find yourself not only caring for the charcters, but falling in love with them. High tension, plot layers, and a strong theme, Downton Abbey offers up drama on a silver platter, complete with white-gloved servers and well-dressed dinner partners.

My favorite is the Dowager Countess, played by the award-winning actor, Maggie Smith.

"Grief makes one so terribly tired."
"People like us are never unhappily married."
"Lie is so unmusical a word."
"I suppose she has inappropriate costumes for every activity."

Running a close second is Lady Grantham, played by Elizabeth McGovern. If I could go back in time and be anybody, it would be her. But the writers have created a beloved character in the way of Lord Grantham's mother. At the very least, television has returned something that I (for one) have been missing -- Sunday night excitement. Looking forward to that nine o'clock hour reminds me of revolving my Saturday nights around The Love Boat and Fantasy Island.

Storytelling. Its revival is here. The drama of the old-fashioned 'eighties mini-series is back. We're sick of reality shows with no story. We're fed up with violence our children should never see, CSI intrigue that's no longer intriguing, and open-heart surgeries in our living rooms. Give me big hats, couture of the 'twenties, crystal and linen luncheons, and the love affair between the classes. Sound boring? It's anything but.

And I'm loving every second of it.

Don't ya just love good writing, no matter its form?

It's revival time, and I don't even mind the sawdust this time.

Blessings to you and yours. (Oh, and the pictures? My family circa 1920)