Friday, December 30, 2011

A RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS

When our girls were younger, we would save up pop cans as an extra for their allowance.  As they got older, it shifted to the youngest girl who wasn't earning any of her own money yet.  

Now my husband and I save the cans and recycle because its a good thing to do, but who can't use an extra couple of dollars in their wallet during these tough economic times.

Today something really nice happened.  When we went to drop off the cans, my husband was pouring them out into the container that measures them and a woman (that we've never met before) came up and gave two bags of her own cans to my husband and then drove away.

It might seem like a small gesture, but I have to say that it made us smile to think of this woman's random act of kindness.  It also made me think about the New Year, with all of the crazy resolutions that I could make.  I decided that I hope to be more like this woman in the coming year and offer such acts of kindness to others.

May you also be blessed with a random act of kindness this year and I wish you a very Happy New Year!  ; )

Thursday, December 22, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS! ; )

MERRY
CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
I'll be taking a few days off from Blogging to enjoy the 
Christmas weekend with friends and family.  
Hope you are doing the same! 

God bless!  <) ;-)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

One Christmas Eve

Source

 I'm now delving into my second Thomas Kinkade/Katherine Spencer Cape Light story.  This one is about a caterer named Betty Bowman whose about to meet the man of her dreams ~ Santa Clause???  Can't wait to read more!  

Hope you're all taking time to enjoy a cup of cocoa & some quality family time!  ; )

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

THE CHRISTMAS SEASON

I absolutely love the Christmas Season!  I can hardly wait to put up decorations until after Thanksgiving and I never want to take them down until after the New Year.  I love wrapping gifts while listening to Christmas songs. I love sipping hot cocoa mixed with coffee and cinnamon candies.  I love watching wood smoke drift in the air from neighboring homes on a snowy day.  I love taking time to watch a Christmas movie or read a Christmas book.  I especially love the expression on my grandchildrens' faces as they look up to see my large Nutcracker Soldiers standing atop my bookshelves.  In fact, my oldest grandson asked me on Thanksgiving day, "Granne' where's your Nutcrackers?"  Lol!  His mother started putting up their tree the day before Thanksgiving (wonder where she gets that).

I know that this can also be a hard time of the year for those without family or even those serving in a distant land. I know that some are having physical, emotional or financial challenges this year.  I believe that Joy isn't something that we're automatically given; things aren't always like we wish them to be.  Believe me each Christmas hasn't been perfect for me either, but despite my circumstances, I choose Joy!

It is my prayer that everyone reading this Blog post will be able to experience a Season of Joy!  ; )

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Wish for Christmas by Thomas Kinkade & Katherine Spencer

 I'm taking some time this December to catch up on a favorite reading pastime of mine.  I happen to love reading a Thomas Kinkade Christmas novel each Christmas.  I've gotten behind the last few years (cancer can do that), so now I'm playing catch up!  I love the Cape Light series and am reading "A Christmas Wish" and sipping hot cocoa as I do.  

There are various characters of differing backgrounds within the Cape Light novels, but they do seem to be a sort of family all the same.  They are all neighbors within the little New England village.  There is an entire array of joy, friendship, romance and even sorrow from time to time within the pages of the Cape Light series, but almost always warms your heart.  There are not only vivid sights, sounds, but also wondrous foods to be had within the quaint cottages and shops of the people of Cape Light; no wonder I enjoy the books!  Lol!

Hope you are all taking some brief indulgences during this wondrous Holiday time ~ I am!  ; )

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! ; )



As Americans we celebrate this Holiday remembering our Nation's history, but we also take time out to gather with friends and family to celebrate all that we are thankful for.  We usually gather around a table laden with bountiful foods that we've taken great care to prepare.  Usually there is a succulent turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, an array of vegetables, not to mention assorted desserts; pumpkin pie, carrot cake, etc.

Our tables are usually surrounded by family and friends that we wish to break bread with and enjoy this wonderful feast.  Not everyone is able to do this, but most will still choose to celebrate this day even if they are alone.  Our family is even experiencing a different sort of Holiday this year.  Most of my children have other dinners that they are having with their husband's families.  My husband and I are actually going to a restaurant this year for our Thanksgiving meal, but are having those children that can join us later in the evening for snacks and games; games are a big event in the Swift household, whether they be board or card games.

I know that other countries have their own Thanksgiving celebration as well (like Canada).  So I wish everyone that is celebrating a very Happy Thanksgiving and for those who are not in their homeland, but still celebrating; I wish you safety and may you be home soon.  For those who might not have a bountiful table; I pray you will have that blessing soon.  For those of you who are lonely; I pray you will have sweet fellowship soon.  May God bless all of you and Happy Thanksgiving!  ; )

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The "No-Tech" Storyboard! ; )

When I first wrote my book, Legend of the Mer (1979), it was a handwritten manuscript of about 62 pages.  Then in 2007 - 2008, I seriously sat down and rewrote the story hand-typing  it on my Brother electric typewriter.  In 2009 I transferred it to computer and by November of that year, I sent it for copyright.

Even though I have access to a computer now, I can tell you that I'm still an old fashioned kind of girl.  I guess I like the smell and feel of paper and especially sticky notes!  Lol!  

What I'm trying to say is, no matter how you outline your story, just write!  If there's a story within you waiting to be birthed, you just need to begin!  ; )

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rachael Harrie's Third Campaigner Challenges for 2011 Ebook


I am pleased to announce that Rachael Harrie and Katharina Gerlach have published an ebook that includes some of the challenges from our last Campaign.  I am also proud to say that two of the stories included are my own.  The purchase of this book (of which I just purchased one myself) is going to a fund to help fight cancer.  The ebook is now available at Amazon, Smashwords and soon to be, Barnes & Noble.  The price is only $2.99.  

I really enjoyed this Campaign and loved the camaraderie I had with fellow writers.  I am quite sure that I will have to join in the fun next year as well!  ; ) 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

JOURNEY'S END ~ By Dora Hiers


I was fortunate enough to win Dora Hier's  book (Journey's End) from the Rachael Harrie's Third Platform Building Campaign.  Dora graciously offered it as one of the prizes.  Although I am not usually a reader of contemporary romance, this was the exception for me.  The fact that it was set within the beautiful woods of North Carolina only added my enjoyment, being a Virginia girl myself.

Dora's main character is a feisty redhead and a strong independent type.  She is a teacher and also counsels troubled teens at her farm called Journey's End.  She's gone through a lot to get to this place in her life.  Little does she know that someone has been watching and patiently waiting to tell her something of importance.  I'll stop right there, because I don't want to give it away.

I highly recommend this book and her sequel Journey's Edge will be out soon, can't wait!  ; )



Friday, November 4, 2011

THE WEEPING WILLOW

 
She sheds her leaves like tears as the autumn of the year arrives.  She knows that the time is short and the children will be returning inside once more.  
 
She remembers the spring of the year when her new shoots of leaves grew thick in abundance and the children first came out in the afternoon sun frolicking among her branches. 
 
She then remembers the summer of the year and how the children played in the secret place of her sheltering arms.  They would also swing from her many branches as she rocked them back and forth.  
 
How sad that winter will soon be upon her and the children will only come out on a seldom sunny day.  Her branches will be locked in ice and will no longer be a welcoming place for the children.  She prepares herself for those lonely cold days ahead.
 
And yet, she dreams of spring.


Monday, October 31, 2011

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


Hope all of you have a safe & fun Halloween!  I've just finished making my Grandfather McLain's stew that has become a tradition for our family.  I am now getting ready to be visited by Super Heroes & Dragons, among others lurking about on this trick-or-treat night!  Now I've gotta dash!  ; )

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rachael Harrie's Third Campaigner Challenge


The Honeymoon
"It was nice of your dad to give us this honeymoon in Fiji, but being dropped off this morning on a deserted Island is not exactly what I had in mind," Jill said.

"Hey this wasn't my idea either, but it's certainly better than the plan your synbatec mother had in mind with a Cruise for three!   At least it's beautiful and the sounds of these tropical birds are better than her mouth!" Tom said with a chuckle.

"Okay, so my mom was a little ridiculous with her plan to join us on a Cruise, but at least we could have eaten an array of wonderful food on the buffet that they offered."

"No thanks, I'd rather starve on this Island than be with her tacise attitude."

"Tacise!  What does that even mean?"

"You know her tactics and her precise manner of speech that drive me crazy."

"Okay, so that's like your dad's wastopaneer attitude," she giggled.

"What the heck is that?"

"You know how he runs his words together.  That last time he took us sightseeing, we didn't know he meant we're stopping here!" she laughed out loud.

"Okay, I guess he has his quirks too, but how can you think this Island is boring with the sound of the surf and the smells, I mean, what the heck is that smell?"  Tom looked behind his chair.

Jill also looked behind, "Oh Tom, your tropical bird just made a pile of poop right here!"  She plugged her nose and got up moving her chair.

"Alright, it's not exactly paradise, but we're alone and we do have deli sandwiches and bottled water the hotel packed for us," he said as he took Jill in his arms and gave that crooked smile she loved.

"You're right, at least we are alone."

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Unknown


THE UNKNOWN
Shall I continue on this weary path
Or will I give into doubts
Not sure where it will lead 

Should I turn around
Or quickly move forward
Not allowing fear to plant its seed

I have walked and crawled
And laid down to rest
As the grade became too steep

I have ran and skipped
when the grade was easy
Even over ruts I would leap

I have walked in sunshine
And in the rain
And weathered a storm or two

I have tripped and fallen
And been beaten down
Only to rise and begin anew

I have seen beauty
And heard joyous laughter 
In many ways I have grown

I hold my head up high
And walk boldly on
Facing the great unknown

Thursday, October 6, 2011

EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN 2011


I can hardly wait to leave for the E-Women's Conference tomorrow!  So If you don't hear from me for a few days, you'll know where I am!  I hope to return refreshed, renewed and ready to go to work!!!

Have a great weekend everyone!  ; )

IRRESISTABLY SWEET BLOGGER AWARD


I would like to thank Ruth Josse of Ruth + Writing for this Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award.  If you get a chance, stop by and check it out!

The rules for the award are:

1. Link back and thank your givers.
2.Share 7 random things about yourself.
3.Choose some awesome people to pass the award to and leave a comment on their blog so they can claim them.



Let's see, I need to come up with 7 more random things about me:

1. I love living in the Blue Ridge Mountains because I really do get all four seasons.  I never really had them growing up in the valley of California, so each season has its own beauty.

2. I love Starbucks coffee, but never seem to have enough bucks when I want it!  Lol!

3. My office has an Ocean theme with Sea Mist colored walls and that makes me very happy.

4. I love to play pirates with my grandson (Little Man), but not in front of anyone else!  Lol!

5. I do tend to talk to myself when no one is around; there used to be four children sitting at my table, not to mention their friends, boyfriends, etc.

6. I have a beagle named Talei which means Precious in Fijian and is one of the characters in my book.

7. I love to make a large pot of my Grandpa McLain's Stew on Halloween night and I have many visitors stop by and partake.  My mother did the same.  I guess it's because their are a lot of nutritious ingredients that help to offset all the candy we eat!  Lol!

So there you have it, seven more random things about me and now to pass this Sweet award on to fellow writers!  They are:

Karen deBlieck of Simply Scribblings

WritingNut  of Writing in a Nutshell

Jen of Jen's Bookshelf

I chose them because they inspire me to be a better writer and a better woman.  ; )




 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Finding Joy in the Journey: A POEM FOR FALL

Finding Joy in the Journey: A POEM FOR FALL: AUTUMN REFLECTIONS What is it that makes my heart stir In the autumn of the year The hues of gold, orange and scarlet Or the blue skies so ...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mermaids are the new Vampires Buzz

Being the author of a different sort of mermaid tale, I do like to Google mermaids on occasion and discovered that there's a trend starting up.  It seems that mermaids are becoming popular again.

That makes this author very happy!  What can I say, I've always been a mermaid sort of girl, only my main character is half Mer and therefore the Mer call her a Merwalker; able to walk on land and swim beneath the sea.  She doesn't realize it at first.  You see, she was born with some physical challenges and thinks she's an albino with silver eyes, white hair, milky-white skin and webbed fingers and toes.  She's seventeen years old and her name is Lana Prentis.

Her father is the lighthouse keeper (Cole Prentis) for Safe Harbor Island, off the coast of North Carolina.  He's also the keeper of many secrets.  He's told Lana that her mother drowned when she was three years old and he has never allowed Lana in the water since.

It's only after Lana's P. E. Teacher (Miss Rose Perry) secretly gives Lana swimming lessons that she discovers the truth about who she really is and who her mother was as well.  Lana discovers that she has a purpose to her life and has a heritage as rich and as deep as the sea and that her future lies beneath it.
 ~~~~~

Go Mermaids!  ; )

Sheri L. Swift
Legend of the Mer

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Second Campaigner Challenger

(source)
IMAGO DEI

After my divorce, you could say that my life was pretty much shattered.  My heart was lacuna and broken and I wondered if God would be able to piece me back together again.  I felt as though the miasma of my family was choking me and I never knew if I would be able stand strong on my own; not to mention that I had two toddlers and an infant to care for.

Then something amazing happened.  Nearly a year later, I succumbed to a friend’s request that we go on a double blind date.  I prayed about it and felt the time was right.  When I met the guy, I stood frozen and couldn’t help but oscitate.  To me, he was the exact image of Robert Powell from Jesus of Nazareth!  Lol! 

We talked about several events that would have put us in the same place and time and yet, we never met before.  The synchronicity of it all was amazing; how many times had we rubbed shoulders and not looked at each other.

Three months later we were engaged and six months after that we were married.  He became my best friend, husband and father to my children.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tagged!

I stopped by Rebekah Loper's blackanddarknight and ugh, I got tagged!  Wow, there are a lot of writing games going on here!  Lol!  Okay, so now I have to tell you 10 more random things about me and also pass it along to five others.  I like Rebekah's approach; so if YOU ARE READING THIS, then you've been TAGGED!!!

TEN MORE RANDOM THINGS ABOUT ME 
1.   I used to sing in Churches and had for over twenty years before getting cancer and needed to resign.  Now my act of worship is through the written word, prayer and encouragement of others.

2.   I nearly didn't publish my book and an encounter with the Lord and a Kutless Song ~ What Faith Can Do gave me the strength to finish it and send it for copyright.  I thanked the band in the back of my book.

3.   I love taking bubble baths and this 49 something *ugh hmm* enjoys listening to the above mentioned band's (Kutless) album ~ It Is Well while I join in song!

4.   I used to love going camping in the mountains, at the lake, now I'm pretty much a *hotel* kind of girl and tell my children that I will gladly meet them at the campsite.

5.   My oldest daughter lives in California with her family and we keep in touch, but I wish she lived closer.

6.   I love to eat Mexican food, especially chips & salsa.

7.   I love to stay in my pajamas on Saturdays.

8.   I hate to admit it, but I do like sparkly jewelry, clothes; never thought I would be that kind of gal.

9.   I love to swim and don't do it as much as I would like to.

10. Love having all my kids and grands over to play board games on an autumn/winter evening.

Well, that's about it and I'm worn out for today!  Lol!  So remember, YOU'RE IT!!!  ; )

The Liebster Award


I've been given another Blog Award!  Thank you Bethany Lopez!  She's a new friend that I've made through Rachael Harrie's Third Platform-Building Campaign.

Another friend, Tia Bach, discovered that in the English-German dictionary Liebster meant dearest (or darling).  This award is intended to show love to fellow bloggers with under 200 followers. 

THE RULES
1.  Show your appreciation to the bloggers who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2.  Reveal your five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3.  Post the award on your blog.
4.  Bask in the camaraderie of the most supportive people on the internet ~ other writers.
5.  And best of all ~ have bloggity fun and spread the love.

MY PICKS
1.  Catherine A. Winn 
2.  Gary Gauthier Literary Snippets
3.  Bonnie Rae, Just words...
4.  Carrie Bastyr Where I Get Wordy... 
5.  Deniz Bevin The Girdle of Melian

These are some new friends of mine that I'm getting to know.  I couldn't just read their blogs once!  Be sure to check them out when you have the time.  They are some pretty talented writers.  ; )

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Blogger Awards

Wow, I've been nominated for two blog awards by the lovely Brenna Braaten of Blissfully Brenna.  If you haven't checked out her blog yet, you should!  Each award comes with instructions that are very similar.
1. Thank and link to the person who nominates you
2. Share seven random facts about you
3. Pass this Award along to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know about it!


1. Thank and link to the person who nominates you
2. Pass this Award along to 15 recently discovered blogs and let them know about it!


 Here's my seven random facts:
1.  I love Saturdays because my husband makes me a pancake breakfast including bacon, eggs and sometimes hash browns.  I love a man that can cook!  ; )
2.  I start my mornings off with a hot cup of dark roasted coffee ~ I have a sticker on top of my computer that says, "The Caffeine made me do it!"  Lol!
3.  My grandson *Little Man* thinks I'm his buddy, not his granny, because I play and watch his movies with him when I can.
4.  I used to live in California (until the age of 33) and then my husband, kids and I moved to Virginia where we live in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
5.  I love to shop for other people, my husband wishes I would do more for myself.
6.  I love the Ocean and everything about it.
7.  This is the first time that I've been nominated for any award on my blog ~ thanks Brenna!  ; )

Since most of the blogs that I would love to nominate for the Versatile Blogger Award already have it, I'm going to combine them and give out the One Lovely Blog award also! Now they can make their way through the hoards of Write Campaigners out there. So, I'm nominating you all for both, unless you have one. Then, you just have the other. Get it?
Here's my list:
1.    Pam at 2 Encourage
2.    Brianna at Pocketful Of Playdough
3.    Coleen at Coleen Patrick
4.    An Alleged Author at An Alleged Author
5.    Jill Campbell at Me Outside The Lines
6.    Julie Hedlund at Write Up My Life
7.    Sarah Wedgbrow at Folding Fields
8.    L' Aussie at L' Aussies Wrinting Blog
9.    Doreen at Doreen Mcgettigan
10.  Tia Bach at Depression Cookies
11.  Maeve Frazier at Lollipop's Cottage
12.  Michele Helene (Verilion) at A Wanderer in Paris
13.  Debbie Dillon at Writin' 4 Him Cafe
14.  Janet Harllee at Just a Closer STUMBLE With Thee
15.  Jessica at Write. Skate. Dream.
16.  I couldn't help myself *shrugs shoulders* ~ Charity Singleton of Wide Open Spaces Wide Open Spaces with the understanding that she not respond to this until she is feeling better from her recent surgery.  Given for her encouraging blogs and for candidly sharing her courageous battle with cancer.
There are so many talented women on this blog list and I really hope that you will take the time to check them all out.  ; )

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

When my children got a boo boo




When my children got a boo boo, it was easy to kiss it away
I'd sing to them and rock them in my arms as they lay 
As time marched on, a distance began to grow
They no longer needed my embrace; they let me know
It was difficult to watch them make mistakes along the way
They wouldn't accept my comfort or even listen to a word I'd say
As they grew into young adults, they began to show respect
They appreciated the values taught them as they started to reflect
Now I have grandchildren with boo boos that occasionally come for my care
I rock and sing to them while I can; for these days are rare
I know my children's time will come to feel the distance, but not for awhile
I hope they'll talk to me about it; I will listen, give comfort and try not to smile

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Finding Joy in the Journey: THE HEART OF A PATRIOT

Finding Joy in the Journey: THE HEART OF A PATRIOT: What is it about this Great Nation of America that stirs our hearts and evokes parents to give up their sons and daughters in service of her...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

There was a FLASH of light! ; )

Living in the Blue Ridge we have some pretty severe thunder storms that produce high winds and lightning that can make the darkest night look like day.  The night sky can be such a wonder with the dark velvety blue colliding with ribbons of white.  As the lightning comes closer the brightness only intensifies.

Tuesday night was a bit different; cloudy overhead making the night pitch black.  I have a back deck light that pretty much covers the deck, but as you get to the steps its a guessing game as to which step you're taking, so I know to be careful.  Add a rambunctious beagle that has grown ten times the size we thought she would when we adopted her from our local shelter, and a woman that is blind as a bat at night and still trying to regain her strength; not too good of a mix!  Lol!

So, you guessed it; I landed right on my head on top of a concrete slab.  The amazing thing was that when I hit the bottom, I saw the brightest white flash of light I had ever seen.  I had to laugh as I tried to sit up with my beagle still tugging to get to the grass from her leash that I held in spite of my tumble.  I thought how much like a computer screen my head was; when scrambled, it went blank!  Lol!

After several hours, a CT Scan and a few X-rays, I am happy to say that there are no broken bones.  There are however, several bruises and a splitting headache.  So if I don't make it around to all the usual sites for a few days, I'm sorry and I do miss socializing with you all.  Like my computer, I hope to be up and running soon!  ; )

Monday, September 5, 2011

First Campaigner Challenge

(source)
A PEEK INTO A FAIRY TALE
The door swung open to my surprise as I walked up to my little garden shed.  Had I left it half closed yesterday? I thought.  As I got closer and stepped inside I noticed my garden pots strewn about. Then I saw something peculiar.

Just below my workbench stood open another little door.  I bent down to get a better look and froze; there before me stood a thing I had only heard about in fairy tales.  She had bright red hair unbound and curling down her back and beautiful sparkling little green eyes.  Her complexion was a creamy white with rosy red cheeks.  She wore an earthen colored garment like that of a small dress.  She gave a quirk of a smile and said, “Hello, I am glad to finally meet you.”

“Hel-lo,” I slowly said; still not believing what I saw.

“We did not wish to bother you, but your cat has been stalking us as we gather berries from your briar patch.  Please keep her from the briars for three days more.  We are collecting for the winter.”

“Sorry, I’ll do as you ask,” I said shaking my head.  She grinned and then the door swung shut.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

10 Random Facts About Me

Blogger Game - 10 Random Facts About Me

Hey all! I was asked to join this blogger game where you post 10 random facts about yourself. It should be fun and help us Campaigners get to know each other. If you're playing, post a link to your blog in the comments so we can tour around and mingle with you.

Here are mine...

1.       I love dark chocolate and dark roasted coffee.

2.       I love to walk on the beach when I can (mostly Outer Banks, NC) ~ especially with my Sweetheart.

3.       I have a beagle named Talei (Fijian for precious) ~ named after one of the characters in my book.

4.       I love to read a good fiction/fantasy, but I usually finish it within 3-4 days!  Lol!

5.       I’m a lover, not a fighter ~ though I know sometimes it is necessary to defend those you love.

6.       I am a cancer survivor and because of it, I am stronger.

7.       I love a good lip moisturizer ~ Bonnie Belle.

8.       I love watching old movies/series; am currently watching Wind at my back on the Inspiration Channel.

9.       I enjoy new fiction/fantasy also, yes the Twilight saga are some of them!  Lol!

10.   I work from home ~ Writing and lead the Prayer Ministry for my Church.
 
11.       Because I can!  Lol!   I published my first novel (Legend of the Mer) that I originally wrote in my junior year of High School ~ over 30 years ago!  ; )

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Third Writer's Platform-Building Campaign

I've just joined a new and exciting group that was started by Rachael Harrie on her Blog.  It's a way for writers to help build platforms for themselves and others as we connect!

This is the Third one, but the first one for me and I'm looking forward to the challenges!

Just click on the title above if you'd like to check it out! If you'd like to join, HURRY!  Today is the last day!   ; )

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

She Writes Bloggers Ball

Blogger Ball

She Writer Blogger Ball #6


Welcome to the SheWrites Blogger Ball!





 Welcome,

My name is Sheri L. Swift and I'm the author of Legend of the Mer which is a Christian Y/A Fiction Fantasy that I had originally written in my junior year of High School.  My daughters would take it out of an old trunk and read it each summer.  After my baby entered college (some 30 years later) I finally sat down and rewrote it. The first draft was on an electric typewriter because I didn't own a computer.  Then I had a surgery in March of 2008 that revealed that I had cervical and uterine cancer.  I had to go through two separate rounds of radiation.  During those days, my youngest (who still lived at home) not only drove me each day for my treatments, but also read each chapter of my manuscript to me out loud as to help me edit it.  Those were some pretty bad days, but the story helped me to *escape* from my current situation (which was pretty much lying in bed in pain).  I credited her as assistant editor in my book for all of the work she helped me to do.  I eventually took my story one chapter at a time to our local college where they allow the public to use their computers.  Then in November of 2009 I was able to email it for copyright.  After one year of sending my manuscript daily to traditional publishers, it became apparent to me that my book would only be published as a "Partnership" publication which meant that I would spend a great deal of money to have my book in print.  I researched the self-publishing route and discovered that I could have an ebook and a print book without any cost to me.  As you can see by my links to the right, I have successfully published!  ; )

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Life Lessons from the front window ; )

In my living room, I have my sofa backed up to a large bay window that faces the front of my home.  I have a beagle that loves to lie in the sun behind the sofa.  One morning I saw that she had collected a few toys behind the sofa and I put them back under a chair in the den where she also likes to sleep and where we keep her things.

One day I noticed that a tin can that holds my coasters was not on the living room end table where I keep it.  Although I searched the house, even looking behind the sofa, I couldn't find it anywhere.  Later that night I thought that I heard the dog playing with the tin can, but when I came out and looked for it, I still could not find it.

Each day we noticed that one of her toys or an item from the house was missing and each day we began to look around the house, not finding any of them.  My husband called for our beagle one morning and couldn't find her.  He began to call out louder and thought he heard her behind the sofa.  When he looked he did not see her, but he did hear her.  All along she had been going through a slit in the back of the sofa and had created for herself a nice little hideaway complete with her stash of toys!  Lol!

We found that the back of the sofa had some wear from the sun and that is what allowed her to create a hideaway.  I had to laugh, all along we couldn't see what she was up to, but then I realized that the entire world could have been watching her!  Lol!  What a sight that must have been.

I guess that life can be like that sometimes.  Just when we think we've cleaned up nicely and have everything in its place, there might actually be a blind spot that we cannot see that might need some looking after.  All I can do is pray that the Lord gives me eyes to see where I need to be looking.

What about my sofa, for now my husband has patched it with some (yeah, you guessed it) duct tape!  Lol!  I told him that I discovered that there are actually different colors and patterns of duct tape now and that we might find one more suitable than the grey!  Lol!

Help me Lord to not only watch my back, but my forward as well!  ; )

Monday, July 25, 2011

LEGEND OF THE MER ~ Seahorse Lullaby

Within my book (Legend of the Mer) there are two songs that the Mermaids sing.  One of them is called the Seahorse Lullaby.  I was nearly ready to publish my book when one of my daughters told me that she was pregnant.  She was hoping to have a girl, but after having four daughters of my own and already 3 grandsons, I told her that I thought that God was paying me back in grandsons!  Lol!  He surely did and Mr. Curly was born not long after.  Its no wonder that I often think of him when reading this Lullaby.  I love you Mr. Curly! ; )




SEAHORSE LULLABY 
Sleep peacefully my little one
Now cradled in my arm
I pray you will have sweet dreams this night
Kept safe from any harm
May you dream of many Seahorses
Rocking and twirling all around
All their friends have come to play
Though they do not make a sound
I have asked them not to wake my Prince
For you need this time to rest
So they quietly dance the night away
For they know that it is best
So sleep peacefully my little one
Now cradled in my arm
I pray you will have sweet dreams this night
Kept safe from any harm 

Friday, July 22, 2011

When Your Granddaughter Is Born

I had the pleasure of meeting my new granddaughter yesterday.  She is such a tiny thing that I can't help but call her Sweet Pea.  What a God moment it is to see one of your babies having a baby.  When you have a child of your own it is such a wonder, but it is so amazing how the blessing continues to be birthed.  Just when you think that the future is starting to look a little bleak, God allows another soul to be born and hope is renewed.  You can't help but sense the Holiness of God and remember that Jesus himself came as such a little one.

Just before I left to go home, I leaned down closely to Sweet Pea and told her that she was her Granny's precious baby girl and she beamed a bright smile.  I've heard it said that it's just gas at that age.  Lol!  But, somehow I think she knew that she would steal her Granny's heart just as her mother did with her smile so long ago.

I love you Sweet Pea and am looking forward to what the future holds for us and to having you along on this beautiful journey!  : )

Monday, July 4, 2011

THE HEART OF A PATRIOT

What is it about this Great Nation of America that stirs our hearts and evokes parents to give up their sons and daughters in service of her defense?  I think it is the whispers of our forefathers that compel us to be the Great Nation that they had intended; from George Washington, to Abraham Lincoln, and to Thomas Jefferson.

 We are a Nation blessed by the Almighty God and His mighty stretched out arm defends her still.  Whether we be rich or poor, no matter the color of our skin, or the length of ancestry that binds us to these shores; we are a free people.

Our land has been fought for by the blood and limb and life of those who answered the call to protect their homeland and those whom they loved.  Yes, she is stained and blessed, by the sacrifice of so many.  May God continue to bless those who fight for her still and the families of the fallen in her service.

We have seen peace and times of calamity; however, one moment we are strangers, and the next bonded brothers in a common cause to fight for justice; how well we have seen that played out in our Great Nation time and time again.

People from all corners of the world still believe in the dream and the hope that living in this great United States of America offers them; for they are coming still.  May we ever be the bright and shining light that the Statue of Liberty continues to represent.

From West Coast, to Gulf Coast, to East Coast, and the Mountains and Valleys between; we have a Nation of beauty and bounty.  May our children hold true to the values that make us who we are and who we have been.  May neighbor help neighbor and may our Government continue to listen to the people in which they represent. 

May our flag continue to wave proudly and the pledge that binds us hold true.  May we continue to sing of our Sweet Land of Liberty and may God’s grace continue to shine upon us from Sea to shining Sea!

                                                                                    Sheri L. Swift
                                                                                    09/11/10

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

WHEN YOUR DAUGHTER GETS MARRIED


It doesn't matter if its your first daughter, middle or last; there is nothing like watching your daughter walk down the isle with your husband bringing her to her waiting groom.  To say that this would be a Cinderella moment is an understatement; as Christians, this is one of the most Holy of events.  The two unions of bodies and souls coming together in the sight of friends and loved ones.  Making a sacred vow to God and to each other to love, honor and to cherish until death should separate them.

You know that you've done your best to raise her and instill in her what it is to be a help mate to her husband.  You pray for their continued happiness and most definitely for the grandchildren that you hope they will bring!  Lol! But most of all, you pray that they will continue to allow the leading of the Holy Spirit into their lives.  You pray that they will include God in every one of their decisions and to even put Him before themselves; if they do, then you know that they will be blessed and that their love for each other will endure.

Now you must learn to step back a bit and allow your daughter time to begin her new life without your ready advice, but thankful for the occasional phone call requesting it!  Lol!  Yes, you could say that I am still basking in *mother-of-the-bride bliss*.  What an honor it was to attend such a beautiful wedding.  : )

Monday, May 23, 2011

SNOWFLAKES & FIREFLIES ~ Eli's Lullaby

I saw my first firefly of the season the other night and it caused me to remember the lullaby that I wrote (actually God wrote) down one morning.  It all started the day that my daughter showed me the sonogram of my first grandchild; it was one of those God moments.  I couldn't believe this tiny little baby boy (who was doing a rapid backstroke at the time) was a part of me.  What a wonder it was.  All I thought about that night when I went to bed was this precious child and the miracle of creation.  All night long I kept hearing a tune in my head which I soon began to hear the tune with words; this actually happens to me quite often.  I even dream complete scenes of my stories with the characters chatting back and forth with one another.  When I got up that morning I quickly wrote down the words.  Later my adopted daughter would write the musical notes to the tune for me. I hope to publish a children's book about it one day; about the antics of Eli as we watched him every Friday for that first year.  For now I'm sharing the lullaby with you.  : )


 SNOWFLAKES & FIREFLIES ~ Eli's Lullaby

Snowflakes and Fireflies
The wonder is before your eyes
God has created all things

He sent down from above
Family and friends to love
He'll never leave you alone

Snowflakes and Fireflies
The wonder is before your eyes
God has created all things

When the world tries to close you in
Stop and begin again
Remember the simplest of gifts

Like Snowflakes and Fireflies
The wonder is before your eyes
God has created all things

He has created all things

Sheri L. Swift
11/22/06


Thursday, May 5, 2011

SEASONS OF MOTHERHOOD

Soft and sweet baby cradled in my arm
Praying God's Angels to keep you from harm
Changing and feeding all the day long
Rocking and singing your lullaby song

I watched you grow from a crawl to a walk
I taught you to draw, to dance and to talk
Your first day of school came all too fast
You were mine alone and I wanted it to last

Now you're 13 and you think I'm no longer cool
You share all your dreams with your friends at school
The distance grows as I try to give you space
Its hard for me to no longer kiss your sweet face

Now you're 15 and I'm once again your friend
We talk away the hours in the garden that we tend
You help around the house, you're so eager to please
It's not that I'm so special; I have the car keys!

Through dances and dates, I've gained some gray hairs
We laughed and we cried giving God all our cares
Its high school Graduation and I watch through my tears
I thank God and pray we'll be close through all of our years

Sheri L. Swift (09/10/03)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

THE RETURN ~ An Easter Poem

THE RETURN

What was the unspeakable joy that happened that day
When you returned to your rightful place
What you must have thought, what did you say
As you again saw each other face to face

There must have been
Angels singing and cymbals ringing
There must have been
Trumpets blowing and faces glowing

There must have been
Joyous cheers and joyful tears
There must have been
Leaping, dancing, running and prancing

There must have been unspeakable love
When God’s Son returned to His home above!

Sheri L. Swift
07/26/93

Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter bunny & colored eggs???


I know there are arguments on both sides of the aisle on celebrating Easter with a rabbit and colored Easter eggs when you are a Christian, but I say yes!  Lol!  I suppose it is the fiction/fantasy author in me, but I loved celebrating it as a kid with my parents and grandparents.  I have some wonderful memories of those days with my cousins and uncles and aunts not only hunting the eggs, but all gathered around my grandmother’s table for the afternoon feast.

I included the Easter bunny with my own children and we also colored eggs; as a grandmother, I love the already candy-filled eggs!  Lol!  We especially loved the different ways that you can tell the Easter story through products offered at your local Bible bookstores.  One of our favorites was a dozen colored plastic eggs that had an item within each egg that helped to tell the story.  We even had books that now even my grandchildren are enjoying that help to tell the story to children.  What an awesome opportunity we have, to not only have a fun-filled day for the entire family, but also to celebrate the greatest event of all time.

Our family now celebrates on Palm Sunday because most of our children are involved with ministries at their own Churches on Easter Sunday.  I always say that it’s not about the day as much as the celebration.  I want time to celebrate with my family and also enjoy some quality time.  Lol!  If your family is anything like ours, then everyone is headed in different directions and on a short time-line during the holidays; this way there’s no competing.

How did our day go yesterday?  We began by attending service together and then a wonderful lunch, followed with an Easter egg hunt and for some of us, concluded with a nap!  Lol!  May you have a blessed Easter and as Matt Maher’s new song says, “Christ is risen from the dead!”  :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

WAITING ON PRINCE CHARMING


This is a picture of my youngest daughter at the age of 12 with her dog Frodo.  I am in quite a melancholy mood as I’m preparing for her bridal shower tomorrow.  It’s amazing to me how quickly time flies; I know, a bit cliche but oh so true when you’ve watched your children grow and marry and begin lives of their own.

I can remember some defining moments, with the advice of Dr. James Dobson in hand, my husband and I let our four daughters know pretty early on that we would not allow them to date until they were 16 years old.  When that day arrived we would sit down with the Birthday girl and give her a beautiful skeleton key with a pink satin ribbon tied upon it.  We told her that we had been the guardians of her virtue and now we were handing over the responsibility to her.  It wasn’t easy, but we let her know that she had to make wise choices from the young men that she would date.

I can still hear the voices of my daughters as they would repeat what I had always told them, it was usually accompanied by a roll of the eyes and a smile, “I know mom, every date is a potential husband.”  Lol!  Yep, that’s what I told them.  In fact, one daughter chose not to date until her Senior Prom and yes, a few years later they were wed.  I can honestly say that she saved herself some of the heartache that some of her sisters experienced.

Whether a young girl chooses to opt out of dating or not, the most important point is that she continues to become the sort of young woman that her future husband might want one day.  If you’re looking for a Godly man, then become a Godly woman.  And if you are looking for a Godly man, then don’t be surprised that you can’t find him in a Bar.  Lol!

I know that waiting can be one of the hardest parts.  There were many nights that were filled with tears for my daughters wondering if God was hearing their prayers.  I would encourage the girls to write down on a piece of paper the character traits that they would like to find in a man and to pray about it.  God really does care, right from the beginning He said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Genesis 2:18 (NIV).  Think about it, God knows our need and also who would make a good match for us.

I can remember one of my daughters telling her friends, “If I’m waiting for the right one, then I believe that God has someone out there waiting for me.”  That was beautiful to hear; the fact that my daughter “believed” that God had someone waiting for her. 

God has been faithful to the faithful; He has blessed each daughter with a wonderful husband.  Not all the paths were the same or even easy, but in the end, each daughter trusted God for her future mate and they were rewarded for it.  They have each given their husband's their key upon their wedding night.

Enough said; I have a shower to put on!  ; )

Monday, March 28, 2011

INTERRUPTED BY BEAUTY


When I looked out my window this morning, this is what I saw.  At first glace, you might say that you’d rather see sunshine.  Lol!  But, you cannot ignore the beauty that is before you.  When my children were younger I would love days like this.  Like many families, we led very busy lives.  But here in the Blue Ridge, things tend to slow down on a snow day.

On such days, we’d make some homemade cocoa and bundle up with a comfy blanket and put on an old movie.  We might even get out a jigsaw puzzle or two or a board game and enjoy long conversations with each other; these are the memories that I treasure.

It seemed like just as our lives got a little too busy and out of control, a snowstorm would come and make all of our plans come to a stop; no school, no sports and for some, no work.  It isn’t so pleasant for those who do have to go out to work on such a day.  But for us, it was like a Holiday.

Now my children are gone and living in homes of their own, but I did enjoy a phone call and some Facebook time with two daughters who are now home with their children on a snow day and that makes me smile.  : )