Monday, April 29, 2013

Life is Like a Mountain Railroad

Life is like a mountain railroad

With an engineer so brave

We must make this run successful

From the cradle to the grave

Watch the curves, the hills, the tunnels

Never falter, never fail

Keep your hand upon the throttle

And your eye upon the rail

There's nothing like a bluegrass gospel song to give life a real perspective. There's also nothing like spending Sunday morning on a creekside joining several thousand other rain soaked souls in singing the chorus as the band plays along,

Oh, blessed Savior, thou wilt guide us

Til we reach that blissful shore

Where the angels wait to join us

In God's grace forever more

I've returned from my yearly travels to Merlefest and oh, my, I'm still singing, still walking on cloud nine. And my wet clothes are still drying. 

These past four days of music restored my soul like, well, like a springtime rain awakens the grass into a new year's growth.

Being one of thousands doesn't detract. This year being with the crowds meant "community."

 Together we celebrated the life of founder, Doc Watson, mourning not only losing him since last year, but his wife as well.

Together we dripped tears for George Jones and sang tributes to his music. Together we ignored the rain, ran from tent to tent, splashed through mud.

Only at Merlefest would a performer say, "I'm still gigging away," and the audience know exactly what he means. Only at Merlefest would a speaker brag he grew up in a home with two swings and four rockers on the front porch. That's living! Another bragged his town was so small nobody ever needed to use turn signals because people already know which way they were going to turn.

Four days of music. Nonstop. Oh, my!

So that was my weekend. I hope yours was as blessed.

Catch of the day,


Friday, April 19, 2013

When Christmas Feels Like Home

Okay, so Christmas is months away, but it feels like Christmas to me. My newest book has hit the internet, although its release date isn't until September first. It's a children's picture book, about as opposite in genre and style and overall reading experience from the Lessons Learned nonfiction market as two books could possibly be. Yet both came from me, from my heart as much as from my head.

When Christmas Feels Like Home

Doesn't this cover
make you want to peek inside?

The illustrator, Carolina Farias, is from Argentina. No, I've not met her, didn't even know about her until a few previews came my way. That's how picture books are done, like arranged marriages, "It's me with a story. It's her and her art," according to Eric Ode in a poem about matching manuscripts and artists that I found in a recent SCBWI (children's writer's professional organization) bulletin.

The publisher, Albert Whitman & Company, played matchmaker, my Hello Dolly!

And Oh, My, what a match!

The illustrations are beyond what I envisioned as I wrote about a little boy adjusting to living in a foreign land. I'm in love with my book.

I can't wait for you to open it and read it to your lap child.

Catch of the day,