Friday, April 30, 2010


To Make a Home a Sanctuary...

Have nothing in it that is not either useful or beautiful.

WoW!  What a concept!

I'm looking around right now and seeing stuff I can get rid of right and left.  I'm going to start as soon as I finish this post...

I'm finished!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Just Completed Another Interview with Billie Rae Walker

Billie Rae Walker came after me again with some terrific new questions about the "new" McCoy (Karl Uban) and what I think DeForest Kelley would think of him, among other matters. It turned out great and is almost 3K words long, so quite full of good stuff.  (She's exemplay at asking the questions that get my synapses firing on all cylinders! An interview can only be as good as the questions, you know!) She's going to submit it to STAR TREK Magazine and see if they want to run it.  Let's all keep her in our thoughts for roaring success there! 


Oh, WOW!!!! What an Honor!


Organizing for America (the Obama team) just contacted me, asking me to apply for one of the copywriting positions they have available.

The Downside:

I'd have to...

Relocate to Washington D.C.

Leave my pets, relatives, church, writing ministry and friends.

Keep paying my present mortgage (because I co-own this place with my sister).

Work even harder and longer than I work for myself... which is pretty much every hour my eyes are open.

The Upside:

Helping the Obama Administration implement its plans to lift America out of the ditch and put it on the road again.  How fabulous would that be?????? 

I know, I know... not all of you agree with me politically and are praying I'll stay home and won't help a stitch more than I already have, but because you're still good friends, y'all need to be quiet and remain supportive of me because you love me. I mean, consider this offer from my perspective. It's beyond exciting!

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My Reaction (as of this moment, because I'm not feeling quite up to par today):  a little bit of fear, a little bit of guilt, quite a bit of talking myself into considering it further...

My initial reaction -- after feeling a huge boost of self-esteem -- was "I'm just too old to throw myself overboard again."  So I'm hoping to interest them in allowing me to work with them virtually via PC and Skype, and just fly back and forth occasionally for face-to-face strategy meetings.

Well, one thing's for sure: They know I'm not a stalker! HA HA HA HA HA.  "I'd love to work with you, but I don't want to work right next to you!"  HA HA HA HA

It's flattering as hell.  I have applied so they can look over my stuff, but unless I can convince them to allow me to stay here, I'm afraid I'm going to have to turn them down. 

Is that selfish? A disservice to the country?

I hope not...

I truly hope not...

Who knows? Maybe they won't settle on me at all, for other reasons, and I'll be off the hook.

I do want to be a part of this historic undertaking. I do. I do. I do. I was very involved in politics until Watergate happened; after that I lost faith in government.  Now I have it back for the first time in three decades. It feels good! What am I willing to give up to do that? 

Gads... I'm barely making a living right now... my survival is precarious from month to month. What have I to lose?  It isn't forever...

I'm going to be on pins and needles over this for quite some time, so pray for me.

Just being asked to apply is HUGE.

Imagine being CHOSEN!

Good Lord, talk to me now like you've never talked to me before! Help me think this through!

Dear friends (on both sides of the aisle), let me know your thoughts.  Right now I'm too emotional and overwhelmed to think this through logically.

Email me or respond via the comment option. I want to hear your thoughts... soon!

Amazing Recent Volcano Photos !!!

Thanks for sending this to me, "Aunt" (actually cousin) Marie!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bowerman Basin Trip

                            Standing: Judi Knapp (nee Cooper) and Laurel Smith (my big sis)
                                                        Seated: Me, Mary Jane Cooper (Judi's 86 year old mom)
                                                        Photographer: Jackie Smith (our little sis)
                                                        Double-click photo to see it larger.

Our trip to Bowerman Basin yesterday was fantabulous.

We got there a little later than we should have. The tide was almost all the way in, so we didn't get inundated with flocks of sandpipers and other shorebirds as expected, but we were fortunate enough to be able to see literally tens of thousands of sandpipers lifting off and settling back onto a small spit of land about 600 feet offshore. To witness them coordinating their movements (repeated undulating "waves" of flight upward and then back down again) was stunning beyond words.  It looked like the island itself was alive, "breathing" birds in a rhythmic way -- the same way you see when a stadium full of people does the "wave" but a gazillion times more impressive -- there were no laggers, no slackers, no missteps at all. It was, in one single word, INCREDIBLE.  I will never forget it. 

I don't think we missed a thing by arriving when we did -- and if we did, we can always try again next year when they arrive in huge flocks again!

We got back from the walk just as the rain and wind blew in. We  ate lunch at a small airport cafe (Lana's) there at the refuge. T'was a lot of fun. 

TROOPER OF THE DAY: Mary Jane made it out and back a mile in each direction (at age almost 87!) using only a walker, but she was pushing it about as fast as any of us wanted to walk, so we were impressed.  I hope we're all doing as well at 86 as she is! (Not likely! She has been very active in sports and birding all of her life while raising three kids, so her body is sturdy and her constitution gold.)

A truly memorable day. I hope you'll go sometime if you ever get the opportunity. Bowerman Basin is a World Heritage refuge. People come from across the globs to witness the spectacle that happens there once or twice a year during migration season.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Welcome Mystic Blue Rose!

I have a new follower!  Welcome, MBR!  Please send me a comment and tell us about yourself! Don't be shy!

The Misunderstood God by Darin Hufford -- a Must Read!

The Misunderstood God by Darin Hufford is just fabulous. It's so anti-religion it isn't even funny. 

How can something be both anti-religion and pro-Christ? Easy!

Christ was anti-religion during His sojourn here on earth as a man. (Duh!) It's what got him crucified! The very term "religion" means "return to bondage"!

Hufford makes the claim -- and as far as I'm concerned, proves it -- that Jesus would be equally hard on Christians as he was on the Pharisees if He were physically on earth today. His tenets have been twisted and turned into something He never intended by denominations north and south, east and west for centuries.

His intention has always been Love. It's His essence, Who he is. 

Hufford has earned my respect for telling it like it is.  If you've turned away from God, considering him schizophrenic, harsh and unpredictable, read this book.  The God you envision and may well have been taught to "fear" is a far cry from the God Who Is.

This book has spoken the thoughts and beliefs of my heart about Who God is and why He pursues us relentlessly, seeking a relationship with the only creature on Earth who can truly "get" Him... because He made us in His image.

We've distorted that image: many denominations (most denominations?) have transformed our Creator and Redeemer from God into Satan. It's no wonder people are tuning away from religion's concept of Him in droves!!!

Well done, Darin. Well done!

Written with a father's heart, this book will convince most Christians to stop trying to scare people away from hell and instead love people into God's outstretched arms.

If you buy one book this year, buy this one.  Then let me know what you think about it.

For ten bucks you can reclaim your faith in God -- or find it for the first time!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Take Time for The Moment You're In. Don't Go Anywhere Else. Savor It!

Two quotes from today's HIGHER AWARENESS:

"Be mindful of how you approach time. Watching the clock is not the same as watching the sun rise." -- Sophia Bedford-Pierce

"Chronos is clocks, deadlines, watches, calendars, agendas, planners, schedules, beepers. Chronos is time at her worst. Chronos keeps track. Chronos is the world's time.

"Kairos is transcendence, infinity, reverence, joy, passion, love, the Sacred. Kairos is intimacy with the Real. Kairos is time at her best.

"Kairos is Spirit's time. We exist in chronos. We long for kairos. That's our duality.

"Chronos requires speed so that it won't be wasted. Kairos requires space so that it might be savored. We do in chronos. In kairos we're allowed to be ...

"It takes only a moment to cross over from chronos into kairos, but it does take a moment. All that kairos asks is our willingness to stop running long enough to hear the music of the spheres."

-- Sarah Ban Breathnach

Thanks, Sophia, Sarah and Higher Awareness!

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My takeaway:
Take a breath. Look around you. Savor what is. It will be different in a moment. And different again. Don't miss it!
--Kristine M Smith

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Good Lord! You'll Be Astounded!

Wait 60 seconds, then expect your jaw to drop for the next two minutes!

Congrats to My Friend Joy Shayne Laughter!!!

 I got this email just a few minutes ago!

To all my friends and beloveds,

Perseverence pays, persistence wins, when the journey becomes the goal, the goal does finally arrive -- !

Today I signed a contract with a for-real publishing house to publish my first novel, YU. It is the first of a character-driven mystery series, coming out in trade paperback.

Official release will be in October, with advance availability starting this summer. (Kindle owners, heads up!)

So if you blog, review books, have a radio show, belong to a book club, work at a bookstore, or are connected to people who do these things, TALK TO ME! I am in charge of the marketing engine, much of which will take place online, but starting in June I will be putting out press releases, blogging on my own web site, and asking for mentions on readers' social networking sites. Advance Review Copies will be available in June.

THIS IS MY PATH! I am so happy!

Love and fireworks,



A Ross Lamos Mystery

By Joy Shayne Laughter

An award-winning tale of forbidden love, intrigue, betrayal, and murder in ancient Imperial China, that plays its final act in 21st-century America. Art dealer Ross Lamos finds himself unwillingly included as a karmic detective in the sweep between past and present.

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Please join me in congratulating Joy. Buy the book!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Kids Crack Me Up!

Casey, my nine year old grand niece, became pretty adamant (without becoming belligerent or at all disrespectful) when I called Sylvester (my African Grey parrot) a "bird brain" this past weekend. Casey insisted that what I called him wasn't a very nice thing to say. I agreed, then added, "but when I call a bird a bird brain, it's accurate."  She said, "No, it isn't."

I guess that's what makes kids so endearing. When something is wrong, it's just plain wrong, every time, all the time. "Bird brain" is a slur to her. I'm glad about that.  Very glad. 

I guess she has to be a little older before she understands the difference between calling a bird "a bird brain" and calling another human being "a bird brain."

And that's all right with me.  It makes me love her even more.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dreaming About De

I rarely dream about my friend and mentor DeForest Kelley, but on the rare occasions when I do, it's a real doozy, very vivid. I had such a dream two nights ago. 

I know what set it off.  Jackie received a thank you note from a friend whose handwriting was so like De's that it took my breath away. I'm not the jealous type, but I was a little jealous to see that the envelope was addressed to her and not to me! 

In my dream De had written me a letter asking me to travel with him from the U.S. to South America and Africa... and then he joked inside it, "And yes, we'll have separate sleeping quarters!"

I laughed -- and woke myself up!

The dream reflected a little bit of almost-history that never happened. De did ask me to accompany him to England one time when Carolyn couldn't go, and he didn't want to go alone. (He didn't go at all because I couldn't go.)  I had Deaken at the time and leaving him for an extended period with a stranger would have been too nerve-wracking for all concerned (Deaken, the caregiver, and me, wondering how the two at home were getting along -- or not!).

Deaken was very old then; I now suspect that De asked me to go because he wasn't feeling all that spiff himself, but he hadn't  divulged anything about his health challenges to me yet.  And when he was in the hospital a month or so before he passed away, he told me, "If I weren't stuck here, we could be flying all over the place!" (Actor JD Hertzler had invited him to a convention in Germany; he had to turn him down.)

For those of you who have read my book, you know there were no shenanigans in the boudoir (or anywhere else); ours was a totally above-board association and relationship, although he did joke a time or two about making it more. (Flattering to me and utterly benign. Remember the time in Carolyn's bathroom in the book?) So this dreamed letter was right on, which is was made it so endearing to me. It had the real stuff of life in it... the funny stuff.

I am so looking forward to seeing De again in heaven. Every time I dream about him, I get lonesome for the silliness and for the warmth and affection. He was the only guy I ever truly trusted completely and loved without limit (because I knew he accepted it in the way it was intended, not as a come-on.* See next paragraph.) The times I spent with De and Carolyn were among the best in my life, so it's good that I occasionally get vivid reminders of those times when I'm asleep.

* When Jackie met and hugged De for the first time, she said, "I've never hugged anyone as generous-of-spirit as he was. I had the sense, when I hugged him, that I could stay there in his arms for five minutes and he'd allow it and be there to embrace me back -- without any hint of 'sexuendo.'"   EXACTLY!!!!  His agape love was there for all the people who needed what Doctor Phil calls "a soft place to fall."  A safe place to be was inside De's heart.

I sometimes have dreams where I'm about to see De again, but it's in a time frame that I know he isn't still alive even while I'm dreaming, so I try to catch a brief glimpse of him just before I come fully awake enough to know that he's not there.  Rarely do I stay asleep long enough to see him. I didn't see him in the dream two nights ago -- just his letter. But for a moment it seemed he was alive again, and that we were going to get to go on a trip together after all.

My heart longs to see him again; my mind knows I can't until after I've graduated to where he is.  I'm just so thankful to God that I have total faith that I will see him again someday.

I simply don't know how people survive who think this life is the only one they'll have with their loved ones. For those people, death is the end. For me, death is evolving from a caterpillar into a butterfly...

I will celebrate flying away when it's my turn! The cheering section up yonder is larger than the cheering section down here these days!
Mom, Dad, De, Carolyn, Mrs. Rossetti, Aunt Tod... Puddles... Bursties... Deaken... lots more!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Pests are Getting Closer...

A nearby neighbor was robbed last week... on this street... so my antenna (and everyone else's) is vibrating.

My next door neighbor spotted the car that's been mentioned as the scout-before-the-break-in vehicle, so we've got an ID (no license plate number yet, though). Jackie has a photo of the two men who robbed the bank and will email it to me on Monday so I'll be able to keep an eye out for them... and show my neighbor what they look like, too...

Pray that these baddies get caught and that no one else gets hurts before or while they are being captured. It's a little scary around here right now...


Friday, April 9, 2010

Good Article!


I've been busy with Elance clients, no other excuse. That's a great excuse to have, though -- don't you think?

I just ordered two yard signs from Vistaprint for the front yard. I figure I may as well hang out my shingle locally too (not just virtually) and see if any neighbors need a copywriter... or know someone who does. I got some business cards, too. Will mail them out with a letter at some point to local businesses who are likely to use copywriters from time to time.

Our neighborhood has been hit with a rash of burglaries the past couple of months. Many homes have been ripped off twice. Cars, guns, flat screen TVs, laptops, PCs are the "grab and go" targets.  They use the stolen cars to get around in until they run out of gas,then abandon them and steal another, often leaving drug paraphernalia behind.

These "scumbags" (John Walsh of America's Most wanted has  a spot-on vocabulary, don't you agree?) break into homes that are unoccupied during the day after they've knocked at the front door to be sure nobody is home... so of course I'm not real thrilled to consider that my door may be knocked on at some point!  Guess if it is, I'll take a peek while dialing 9-1-1 from now on! If no one answers the front door (which I wouldn't do without seeing a legitimate delivery truck), they go around into the back yards and break down a door so they can load where no one can spot them.

I also ordered the aforementioned yard signs as a defensive tactic -- to let the burglars know that someone is in this home 24/7/365. I work out of this home and Jackie and usually several others are here whenever I go shopping or out to teach a class. So ours isn't a home that's likely to suffer a loss.  That said, we ARE a home that watches our own house and our neighbors' homes and always watches as we travel down  adjacent streets to make sure everything looks okay.  We've had relatives ripped off (twice) and so we're perturbed and way more than a little angry.  We have a baseball bat or a golf club at every entry way, great dead bolts and hotel-style bars, and access to a phone at almost every step -- so we're ready should we be visited by these thugs.

We're gonna catch the perpetrators -- it's just a matter of timeSooner rather than later, too. There's a phalanx of lay volunteers driving "security duty" and the Pierce County Sheriff's Department is ready to roll at a moment's notice because these dirtbags have recently robbed a nearby bank with guns drawn (driving  a vehicle that was stolen two days earlier from our neighborhood), so the law is gunning for them, too. It'll be a great day when they're apprehended "in the act" and toted away to stand trial and be taken off the streets. Keeping a neighborhood at high alert and stressed out is a lousy way to "make a living"/score $$ for drugs.

Please pray for a quick resolution to this ongoing situation. And if you have any idea who might be benefitting from the thievery, call the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. Thanks!

This weekend for a few hours I'll be teaching Writer's Edge members (and anyone else who's interested) how to self-publish. Jackie and a friend will be working in the yard putting bark into the flower beds while I'm gone.  I also need to go shopping while there's "backup" at the house because I haven't been out in over a week. It's time!