Friday, July 27, 2007

Good News!

Hello fellow bloggers~

On the way home from work yesterday, I was thinking about an article that I had submitted a few months ago to Everton's Genealogical Magazine. I had submitted a short fiction yesterday to Rosebud and it made me think of it. Well, when I got home, guess what was in the mail??

A contract! Of course the payment is small, but as I tried to explain to my son, it is the respect of having my writing published that matters to me...of course, it would be nice if it was $250 instead of $25...picky, picky.

Seriously, it has been almost two years since I've had anything published, esp since I have been concentrating on my novel, and I was beginning to feel frustrated. (okay, I was 'already' frustrated ;) It is a respectable magazine and I'm glad to be a part of it. This will make my third published article with them and already have plans for a fourth relating to the life of my unknown great-grandmother from New England area. I'm currently researching for it.

I am making progress with my novel as well. It was slow going. I was constantly getting battered that it was not up to par. As I have said before, I am currently working with an instructor from one of my writing groups and that has helped tremendously. I was missing some basic techniques that was really hindering my efforts. So I took some time to learn more, and am finally making seeing improvement. Of course, it will be ten years before it is probably ready for market, but hey, why not try?

Thanks for letting me share my good news!

God bless!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Azar Nafisi non-fiction: "Reading Lolita in Tehran"

Hello Fellow Bloggers~

Just curious if anyone out there has read Nafisi's non-fiction, "Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books. I actually picked it up at used bookstore up north. I'm going to re-read it to fully appreciate everything the author is trying to tell us.

I enjoyed it tremendously and learned a lot, wondered if anyone else enjoyed it as much as I did, AND to highly recommend it, especially to the ladies (not to be sexist, of course.)

Although our country has big issues, after reading this book, I have a greater appreciation for the freedom we (esp women) have in America. It also has great information on literature interweaved. Beautifully written! "The book narrates the personal and intellectual events of a private literature class Nafisi started in Tehran after leaving her teaching post at the University of Allameh Tabatabei. The class consisted of seven of her best female students, who met at Nafisi's house every Thursday morning from 1995 to 1997 to discuss forbidden works of Western literature.[2] In this private class, they also discussed the situation in Iran shortly after revolution (1978-1981)."

Whether you agree with the political viewpoints shared in this book, it is an enjoyable and informative read, and fellow writers will truly appreciate the literary excellence.

Click on above link if interested in more information on the book.

Would love to have this as part of a writing group, but that is very tough to do, esp with magnitude of the issues this book explores. If anyone is interested, please let me know.

Enjoy the journey!


Sunday, July 15, 2007


The Box
I stare out the front picture window and see really big snowflakes coming down from the sky. I want to make a snowman. My hands and chin are propped on the windowsill. I look at the clock on the wall, and the hand isn’t moving at all. I know it’s not because I’ve been staring at it, and if the hand is moving, it isn’t moving fast enough. I felt like this on my last birthday when I turned eight years old.

My eyes look at the street in front of my house. Where are they? This isn’t good. Not good at all. Suddenly, I see a car coming down the road. This must be the one. No, no, no! Not the neighbor’s big old truck. I think it’s ugly.

I press my face up against the cold window and try to look down the road further when finally, I see glaring car lights approaching through the falling snow. Please, please, please…be the right one. Yea they’re here, I say to myself as I jump up and down. “They’re here,” I yell.

I race to the door as fast as my legs can carry me and run right into my two brothers who must have heard me. I glare at them, and then continue running to the door.

My tummy starts to rumble and tumble, like it does when I have to say something in front of the whole class at school. I fling open the door just in time to see it. The box. It’s the biggest box I’ve ever seen. It must be 100 feet tall. It’s even bigger than last year! I don’t think my Grandpa can carry it, but he does. He is strong. He grins when he drops this box down at my feet. My face feels warm. I know what’s in that box. Can you guess what’s in there? Extra water fills my mouth as I think about it.

Okay, I’ll tell ya. There are millions and millions of goodies. Gooey cookies like chocolate chip, oatmeal and raisin, peanut butter and chocolate fudge with nuts in it, and every kind of sugar snack you can think of. My brothers and I scoot down in front of the box after it has been placed on a nearby chair.

My mouth hits the floor, and I quickly close it because spit starts to fall out from smelling Grandma’s cookies. I just want one. I yank on my Mom’s apron. She says no. Each little goodie has its on box, whether it’s a shoebox or a Tupperware. I lift one of the lids as I look over my shoulder for Mom or Dad, but no one is watching.

Daddy and Grandpa are still bringing presents in from Grandpa’s truck, and Mommy sighs. My brothers are putting the presents under the tree. They hold and shake presents as they laugh and try to guess what they are.

Smiling, I open the lid of one of the little boxes, and inside are the best looking cookies in the whole, wide world. I grab one of the frosted sugar cookies, and take a big bite. Crumbs fall to the floor. Oh sorry. Do you want one?


Written by Lisa Braendle


I wrote this a while back. It brought back powerful, happy memories, and hope it makes you smile. As I revised it (again), I wondered how happy God would be if we were in this much anticipation for our Lord's return. Just something to think about.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Just a quick note,

My hubbie got up to get coffee and donuts this morning and realized when he pulled into our driveway with smoke coming out of the hood of the truck; the alternator was fried. Not a good thing on any day, for sure, but the only thing I could think of right away was the fact that the truck could have had problems last weekend when our son was driving up to Ludington or worse when we were traveling to or from New York! So while it's not fun to deal with car repairs, I am thankful that it was today and not on any of those days.


Family Time~

Well, my family and I got back a week or so ago from a long weekend to celebrate our son’s 16th b-day. While I would love to show you a few pics that we took, I have no idea how to upload.

We took our son to Cooperstown NY to see the Baseball Hall of Fame Museum, and on the way, we stopped to see Niagara Falls, Canada. We had only planned to stay for lunch there, but ended up staying the whole afternoon. Wow! I wish we could have stayed the night there to see the colors of Niagara Falls at night. We just didn’t expect to have been blown away by the natural beauty there.

We had lunch on the second level deck of a nice restaurant, which overlooked the falls. The ambiance of the whole town fascinated us; a nice balance between yesterday and today. As I gazed upon the falls rushing down on both the American and Canadian side, I wondered how anyone could dismiss God. It is usually when I witness something so spectacular that I reaffirm my faith in our Maker, like the miracle of birth.

As the Maid of the Mist tour boat inched closer to the falls, I was transformed from tourist to Child of God, one of awe of the beauty of something so natural, so full of life. The only thing that took away from this was the view of a surrounding large lighted Casino sign. The place is a part of an ever-changing world, so while we enjoyed lunch at an updated restaurant that seemed to fit the atmosphere, the commercialism of glitsy signs and tourist shops reminded and annoyed me of the pushiness of today. Silly, I suppose to look at it that way, but it’s how I felt.

Then we went on to our original destination of Cooperstown, which did not disappoint. The green mountain countryside overwhelmed us Michiganders. The small historical town with its taste of something great and slower pace pleased us as if we were stepping back through time to the very place where dreams had originated. That was until we got our bill for souvenirs and lunch. We were pulled back to reality once again, but the lingering wonder of the little baseball town will stay with us for a long time.

The best part of our mini-vacation was having fun as a family and enjoying the company of our 16 yr old son, who loved it as much as we did and genuinely appreciated his birthday present.

Of course, the highlight for me was my picture being taken beside Cal Ripkin Jr.-my favorite baseball player, who is being inducted into the Hall of Fame this month. Okay, okay…so it was only me standing by one of his pictures there. Hey…I’ll take what I can get.

What’s next? A long, relaxing trip up north to the RV by the Lake... in just one week! Yippee!! Mini-vacations out of state are fun, but tiring…our vacation up north will be eating good and being lazy…ah, I can’t wait. Now if we can get our truck's alternator fixed by then, we'll be in good shape. Just so you know that I'm not on cloud 9. :)

Hope all is well with all of you! Have a safe and fun summer!

Thank you sweet Jesus for giving me life, so that I might enjoy life here and life with you, forever & ever. Amen.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Hello there,

Today, I thought I would share with you my appreciation for all of the important people in my life. It's amazing when I think of all of the support that I have from God, family and friends.

My relationship with Jesus is top priority, but finding the proper balance between all of the special people in my life while wearing many different hats has made maintaining important relationships challenging. But thankfully by listening to the Holy Spirit, I am more successful making time for meaningful friendships. It isn't easy, but well worth it.

I don’t know what I would do without special people in my life. When I need anything, it seems that I have someone I can go to, of course depending upon the circumstances. It’s interesting when I think about the relationships that I have now and had over the years. These people whom I call my friends know me. They accept me for who I am. No faking. No pressure. Just true friendship from people, who all, I might add, have different personalities. I think it’s true that certain friends have one or two characteristics in common, but all have special qualities that are unique, which make my life so much more enjoyable and interesting.

Thank you to all of you representing these special relationships/friendships, for all of your encouragement and support of my family and me. Sometimes it’s by way of a phone call/e-mail, card or lunch that does the trick. At other times, it’s your prayers that sustain me to stay positive amongst a negative world, and/or maybe it’s your laughter that reminds of the joy in my life, even when I don’t feel like laughing.

Really this is just the tip of the iceberg of the many ways that special people in my life, from my spouse and children to my parents and other family members to my close friends and on-line acquaintances, that have been unexpectedly fulfilling and pleasurable…you know who you are.

So even though it takes work sometimes to maintain relationships, it is important to keep the lines of communication open to ensure health and longevity. Some friendships come & go, but the ones that last, take some work and will be precious for years to come.

Have you encouraged anyone today?