Passport Optional

I’m pretty sure the origin of my dream last night had to do with the meal I got at Bahama Breeze. It came with naan bread (which we’d never heard of) that turned out to be (in the words of the old Taco Bell commercial…) warm, pillowy flat bread. Someone thought it was African in origin. Despite the fact that I now know it isn’t, this is what led to my dream.

Tropical Curry Shrimp from Bahama Breeze

Delicious.

Dream:

I somehow joined with a humanitarian group that went to an African village to help out. I only saw females in the village and didn’t see anyone from the humanitarian group once we got there. I, and the village women, all pitched in to take the dirty well water through a cleansing process that resulted in pure drinking water.

I met some amazing people and got to know them as we all worked. They showed me their simple lifestyles without the least bit of curiosity for mine. (Indeed, I didn’t have comparison moments; I just learned their ways as if they would be my own.)

The biggest thing I remember from this part was how loved and accepted I was. I truly felt like a valuable part of this community.

After that, I was playing with a bunch of the kids on a warm, sunny afternoon—the kind with puffy clouds and a deep blue sky. Someone asked how long I’d been there (the implication being it was time for me to go home). I couldn’t remember. Had it been only a day? A week?

I couldn’t remember sleeping there or doing anything besides helping with the water and enjoying getting to know everyone. I knew it had been one of those life-changing experiences most international travelers have. I would return to my home with a deeper appreciation of LIFE and people in general. I’d been transformed—renewed and refreshed.

Then I realized I had nothing but the clothes on my back. I didn’t know how I’d gotten there, but flying back would require a passport, and mine had expired 3 years ago (funny how real life truths intrude in dreams).

This would leave me in limbo while our slow-as-sludge government worked to sort things out. I started freaking.
Somehow I ended up at our airport and thought, “Well, my house is nearby, so I’ll just hop over there and at least gather the paperwork I need.” My husband and father were there, not the least bit concerned with what I’d have to go through. I told my husband to print out the applications while I got my ID paperwork together.

Somewhere in the middle of running around like a headless chicken, it dawned on me that I was already home, that I didn’t have to go back to the airport and “check in”. The government wouldn’t actually look at the security footage to see if I came through or not. They didn’t have to know.

So, problem solved, I decided to wake up.

My frustration upon waking was having lost the great feelings I’d had in the middle part of the dream. I know there was more to the story—reasons and lessons to my interaction with the women. I feel like I visited dear friends, but forgot what was said. How sad.

If I were superstitious, I might think this a sign to get our passports renewed. Maybe I will anyway. At the very least, I’m going to enjoy my curry shrimp and naan leftovers. 😉

Taking the plunge

Okay, I admit it. I have a problem with paper clutter.

See? If I get rid of it, where will she sleep?

My email accounts aren’t much better and that’s one of the reasons I haven’t gone digital yet. I’m a visual/tactile person, so I like holding hard copy. I tend not to lose bills this way (trust me).

But the length of time the table has been gathering its load has finally convinced me I need a better system. (Would that the table was my only gathering of paperwork…)

You should see the story notes I threw away…

So, my husband got me this:

Receipt Scanner Extraordinaire

I’m hoping that going digital with this will streamline my current (unmanageable) system and help me unclutter my life, so I can breathe (and think and create, etc).

Book Covers 23

Creatures of sorts…

The Vampire's Curse The King's Druidess Lost in Italy Pieces of You

FallenLeopard Moon  Dangerous DeceptionExistence

Brazos BrideItalian Charade  SpencerHowling for My Baby

(Images are from Amazon and owners retain all rights.)

Book Covers 22

Today, it’s all about the repeats, starting with the most recent…

Bad Moon Déjà vu: the feeling you have seen something before…

The Beloved One Granted, all her twins were blonde. 🙂

Night of Fire  From Book Covers 19

North Rim Delight Nice framing around this one.

The Cursed Princess A little odd in pink, but goes with “Princess”.

The Changing At least the font is good.

Spell Checked He just looks like a great romance hero. 🙂

Kissing in the Dark And from the same post…

Ready for Love Nice to see this image again.

The Haret Wish they’d used a different font color for this cover.

(As always: Images are from Amazon and owners retain all rights.)

Bloom How You’re Planted

My husband loves to surprise me with flowers for that most special of occasions: “just cause”.

Roses from my wonderful husband.

As I prepared and vased¹ my latest bouquet, my thoughts connected something we’ve been reading about in 1 Corinthians.
Paul writes that we’ve all been given different gifts, that we’re each unique parts making up the Body of Christ.

My flowers demonstrate this.

Roses are my favorite flower. I love their deep, red color; the velvety petals; and the delicate fragrance. But to really set them off, florists use different kinds of greenery and white baby’s breath. The whole picture is more striking than a group of roses alone.

Similarly, God has placed each of us where and how He wants us. Our Expert Gardener gives the same love and care to His stunning baby’s breath as He does His stunning roses.

So, I will do my part. It doesn’t matter whether I’m a rose, baby’s breath or greenery; my gift is meant make the whole picture of His creation more complete.

¹If the military can verbalize nouns, so can I. “Filed” means “to place in a file”, so “vased” has precedent. 😉 )

Chapter 27

Sometimes, I get stuck until I finally realize the story was never intended to go that way in the first place.

Last night, it occurred to me that I needed to cut the scene I’d been trying to write. Rather than the full training I’d intended (at the risk of detracting from the final battle), I needed to pull the trope/cliche of sending my character into battle before she’s completely ready.

This shortens the timeline (Seriously, how patient is the enemy supposed to be?), makes the previous revelation I’d had even more logical (Another character needs to sit out part of the war), and allows me to move the training sequence into the battle. In other words, she’ll have a worse time of it. 😉

But it also adds a few new wrinkles: things need to happen faster and at a different time of day. Arg. It’ll work out, though. I know it. I love these realizations.

And it’s a bit frustrating to be back in the heavy-duty end of editing. This chapter is rougher than I remember. Makes me appreciate Tosca Lee more:

Every single time I sit down to the blank page to write, I wonder if I’ve forgotten how to do it. Apr 19

My favorite line I wrote today:

Tiny puffs of mist surrounded my shoes with each step. I couldn’t decide whether to enjoy the effect or rise a few inches and leave the dewy grass undisturbed.

dewy grass

owner retains rights