So you think you can___?

What do you do when faced with a challenge?
Do you run? 
Say, “No thanks, maybe some other time?”

This week I learned a lesson from a young friend.
She wanted to climb into the treehouse my husband had built for our sons–a long time ago.

For safety, my husband tried it out first. Deeming it safe he advised our friend to take it slow and she’d be fine.

Good advice. That’s what she did.

 

“I had to go slow the first time because I was scared. I had to prove that I could do it. Now I’m going to do it again, faster because I know I can and it is fun.” 

That is a statement I’m taking to heart as I start writing a new book. I’ve done it before and it was fun, scary but fun. This time maybe I can go faster.

But that’s easy, I’ve written a few books already so maybe I should choose something I haven’t done before…like climb up into that treehouse. 

Do you have something you think you can do but haven’t?

posted by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

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“S” is for St. Louis a2z

St. Louis Arch

Over 650 Christian Fiction Writers stayed down town last weekend in St. Louis, Missouri for the American Christian Fiction Writers conference.

I was one of them. I grew up in Missouri and now live in Illinois, but close to St. Louis. I like to say, “The Arch is in my backyard.”

On this night I was headed with other authors to an even hosted by Barbour Publishing house to board the Tom Sawyer, a paddle boat that cruises the Mississippi River.

It’s been a while since I’ve experienced the river at night. When the boat turned to dock the city lights with the backdrop of the river current swishing against the boat the sight took my breath away.

St. Louis River Front

 Despite the reported dangers and crimes I love this city. Within its boundaries are many delightful people, places to visit and foods that are unique. I am proud of this place I was born. This is my home, my heritage.

for more a2z please visit Patty Wysong.
posted by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

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a2z: The letter is “P’ for Piecing

I often wonder why everyone isn’t excited about piecing  a lot of small pieces of fabric into a quilt. It’s much like life-something happens and you pick up the scattered hurts and patch them into something a bit different and useful.

And then I spend a few hours on a Saturday ripping out what I put together the night before and realize this is why everyone isn’t piecing! It’s often painful and no fun at all.

Spiral Tree Skirt someday



This tree skirt may not get finished in time for Christmas. I’ve had to take it apart at least 20 times.

Lutheran World Relief Quilt

 This one will get finished. I belong to a small but might group of quilters at my church. We piece together quilts that are collected and used during disaster relief and for the homeless. The idea is to use the fabric donated and just sew the blocks together. I can’t. I must try and make them someone pretty. This is the one I’m working on now. It will get finished soon, but I did make it a diagonal pattern so I might be ripping it out too. 


I have a great ripper. Surgical sharp. I know. I’ve caught my finger with it a few times.


I like piecing and I got my love of it from my grandmother Pauline! Yep, she’s a “P” and her photo is on my shelf. When I get discouraged about ripping and starting over I see her smiling face and know I’m not the first to rip, but I have a feeling she was more patient than I.

Pauline



 And because I enjoy torturing myself with small pieces of fabric my next project is going to be a Dear Jane quilt. The finished blocks are 5″ and the entire quilt has over 5000 pieces.

Dear Jane Block



I may need another seam ripper.

*Laury–I visit your posts, but can’t seem to get my comments to work. 

for more a2z posts visit Patty Wysong!

posted by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

Eureka. Small town. Big Secret. A Syfy Original Series

I’m so very sad to see that this series has been canceled.

I haven’t had any problem releasing reality and feeling that there is a Eureka filled with genius minds planning, researching and messing up–all secretly supported by the government.

Jack Carter, the sheriff is a normal person trying to keep chaos under control in this town and without his common sense there wouldn’t be a Eureka. I want to live in his smarthouse, where Sarah fixes breakfasts, controls ambiance of the house and offers motherly advice.

The other character I will be sad to see no more is Jo Lupo– so much in love with Zane and until last nights episode determined to beat every challenge presented to her. Watching her character change and grow has shown me how to grow a character in my writing.

What canceled show do you miss?

posted by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

a2z: The letter is ‘O’ for Oscar

 

When I started this challenge I promised myself I wouldn’t use people or pets for my letter of the week.
I’m breaking that promise. 

This is Oscar, my father-in-law. He’s no longer with us, his address is Somewhere In, Heaven, but the legacy he left behind is strong.
Oscar, much like his son, my husband, couldn’t sit still.  Retirement and doing nothing with your time wasn’t a concept he practiced. He had small job at the local furniture store delivering sofas and chairs, he fixed lawn mowers, picked strawberries –for an old woman he knew (his words) he even worked at my husband’s store on occasion.
One afternoon I received a horrible phone call. Oscar was working at the furniture store, and the service elevator he was in fell 3 stories to the basement.  
What followed were a lot of surgeries, a few amputations, and “He probably won’t make it, don’t get your hopes up,” comments. After many months he came home. 
They said, “He’ll never walk.”
Oscar wouldn’t accept that diagnosis deciding instead to prove ‘them’ all wrong. He did physical therapy, practiced using a walker, and wore a prosthesis on his foot.
One day he called to tell me he’d walked 30 feet with the walker. After that he refused to use the wheel chair if he could walk. I would take him Christmas shopping for Elsie, my mother-in-law and he wouldn’t take the handicap hang tag with us. I would drop him off at the door and park. 
Why? Because other people needed those parking places more than he did. His words, not mine.
He taught me, my husband and my children the value of perseverance. The need to keep at a task no matter how hard, painful or seemingly impossible and how doing so will produce results. It will build our character, and it will bring hope as we conquer each difficult task.

Many times since Oscar has died I have thought I couldn’t do something—write a book about our blended family, write an 80 thousand word book in less than 9 months, work through the pain that attacked my muscles, and then I would think of him. 

Always in pain and almost always smiling and ready to tell a story. No complaints were heard from him—at least not to us, perhaps when we weren’t around he let his guard down with Elsie, my mother-in-law and also his caretaker and worthy of her own blog post.
What or who do you turn to when you think you can’t take one more rejection, argument or no?

Romans 5:2-4
New International Version (NIV)
2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
for more a2z memes check out Patty Wysong’s blog
posted by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

a2z: The letter is ‘H’ for Hardworking Husband!

 Today it is going to reach 100 degrees. It’s the 10th day this month that it has been above 90.


This is my husband, Ed. He works outside. He does hardscape–pretty much by himself. He likes to work alone. 

Hardworking Hero



He picks up lots of bricks and makes them into pretty things by cutting them. He’s even worn off his fingerprints. Good thing I can identify him.

LOOK NO FINGERPRINTS

This is a circle pattern in front of a horse arena. The sand hasn’t been put in yet. He said I had to tell you that it isn’t done yet.


The horses are going to live here. Pretty nice isn’t it?

And while he’s been working here laying over 5,000 square feet of pavers, he’s also been building these walls. There are two of them–very tall walls. He’s been working 14-16 hour days. And he’s not done yet.

Retaining Walls

He is my hero. He does all this while I sit in my cold house and let my fingers race over the keyboard.  


I think he’s earned the title of Hardworking Husband.


Want more a2z? check out Patty Wysong’s Blog.

posted by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

Caring for a Writer

I have a dear friend who prays for me while I write my books and sometimes drops off a motivating gift like this:

Yummy Cotton Candy and It’s Pink!

She is well aware of my fondness for cotton candy–okay addiction, or would be if it were easily attainable!

It even came with a handwritten note and those are not often seen these days. 

Hand written note

                It’s the perfect combination, Patty, Pink and Prose!

          How do you encourage people in their chosen professions?

posted by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

Top Ten Dating Profile Mistakes Men Make

So why am I looking at dating profiles when I’m happily married? Don’t worry close friends-it’s all good at home.

As a writer I will look everywhere for my heroes and a friend asked if I’d like to see the people on her dating profile. I didn’t find any heroes.  They may be out there, but not in Podunk USA.


Top Ten Dating Profile Mistakes Men Make

1. Taking your photo in the bathroom mirror.
2. Having ex-girlfriend/wife’s arm around you in photo (she’s     cropped out but she’s left a mark on you)*
3. Not wearing a shirt!
4. Numerous photos of your car. We don’t care about your car, we  don’t want to date it.
5. Showing your trophy kill–dead fish,  turkeys and deer are not relationship makers
6. Use your own words in the profile, walking on the beach in the rain is not going to work.
7. Using profile names like DONTBESCARED –that scares me.
8. Use more than five words about yourself.
9 Ranting about your political/religious beliefs is a reason to block you.
10. Use a current photo, cut your hair, try not to look like you just came out of cave, and don’t say your 42 when your photo says your nowhere near that age.  

*2 please don’t put your kids pictures online–makes us concerned about their safety and what kind of dad you would be

 brought to you by:
Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

Beauty Comes from ?

 …from the life of Diana Lesire Brandmeyer
  

It’s all about layers.



These roses are beautiful. And if you pull them apart petal by petal you still find the soft fragrant beauty.


My friends are the same. Each are made of stunning layers and when I see or speak to them I find another. 


As different as each rose is, so are my friends and what they offer me, offer the world. 

Some days comfort is a layer that spreads across my shoulders from a friend’s hug.

Or it might come in the form or laughter, a recipe that heals.


A compliment that is needed so badly at just the right moment, when you feel you are invisible.
 


What layers do your friends share with you? 


What layers do you offer to them?





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The Real Face of Heroes

 …from the life of Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

Today I stood on the side of a highway and watched as a soldier was taken to his final resting place. 
The procession was led by firetrucks, police cars and motorcycles.  Almost all the motorcyclists had flags on their bikes, helmets or clothing, and some had their wives on the back and as they passed by I could see their solemn faces. 

It occurred to me that as a writer I’m always looking for the perfect hero to portray.  The faces on those men reflect real heroism. Some were much older and had a hard look about them. I suspect they were Vietnam Vets. Others were younger just back from tours of duty. All of them echoed shades of pride at serving my country as well as the pain of losing one of theirs. 

Today I am proud of my country and the soldiers who protect me and my family. Today it became personal. I can’t fight a war but I will support with my presence as they are brought home, dead or alive. Today, I saw the face of real heroes. 
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