Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Surprising Award

Today is an amazing day. One year ago this week, I wrote my first blog post with the title "Bloom Where You Are Planted"  At that time, I doubted I could bloom and write a blog that would attract and maintain interested viewers. Since inception, my blog has received almost 6,000 hits with readers in fifteen countries around the world.

A year ago, I was struggling to find direction for my memoir, "Born Three Times-A New Life, A New Liver, A New Love."  Once I made the commitment to go with a self-publisher, I devoted myself to get the book through the final stages and into print. I have been so blessed these past six months with the opportunity to share my story with so many people through book signings, speaking engagements, as well as radio and TV interviews.

Last night "Born Three Times" won the Director's Choice Award for biography at the Blue Ridge Christian Writers Conference at Ridgecrest, North Carolina. This annual writers conference is one of the largest in the Southeast. I attended the Blue Ridge Conference in 2010 and was inspired and motivated by what I learned. Here is the plaque showing my achievement. 

Thank you to all of you who have read my blog and book and provide comments that encourage me to keep on writing. I couldn't have done it without you.  I also thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for giving me the gift of second chances, so that I can share my story as a witness to His Amazing Grace.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hoggin' & Boggin' & Bloggin'

I’ve been told an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), water, and lots of dirt and mud are necessary for a fun filled hoggin' & boggin' adventure. Charles & I had no intention of goin' hoggin' & boggin' when we went to South Alabama to speak to the folks at Spring Hill Baptist Church.  We were there as guests of our friends, Donnie & Erin Moss and Erin’s parents, Pastor Jim and Karen O’Neal.

Because I’m allergic to the animals at Erin’s family home, we were invited by the Turners to stay in their guest cabin on several acres in the middle of the forest. Susan Turner took the lead and we followed her truck between the trees to the cabin. She left us to get settled with instructions about where to meet everyone for dinner. All the trees and paths looked the same as we tried to find our way back to the main road so we kept trying different routes.

The next thing we knew, we were up to our tires spinning in mud and muck. With only one bar on my cellphone (thank you, Verizon), I was able to call Susan. I prayed while Charles braved the swampy ground and walked back to the main road to flag down her truck. The water on my side of my car was too deep for walking, so I peeled off my shoes, socks, rolled up my pants’ legs, crawled over the center console and out the driver’s side, and mushed my way back to her truck. My bare feet and legs were covered with the brown ooze. City slicker me said, “We need to call a towing company.”

Since Susan and her husband own a logging company, she assured us they would be able to get us out. I stayed high and dry at the restaurant while Charles and some of the locals rounded up trucks and chains to pull my pretty, red SUV out of the mud. The first truck that came to the rescue also got stuck in the mud. As it tried to spin its way to freedom, the truck sent a brown shower of mud all over my car. Finally, a Jeep with a winch succeeded in pulling out the truck and my mud-coated SUV.

Three car washes later, most of the mud is gone from the exterior and interior of the car, but the memories linger. When I saw this sign on the road in Chatom, I realized our latest adventure would make a great blog post. Now, nobody can accuse these two late bloomers of being “sticks in the mud.”