Saturday, November 27, 2010

Life's Lessons and a Measure of Patience

I am learning, even at my age, that life is a bittersweet adventure. There are good times, better times and great times. There are unpredictable happenings that turn what you thought would happen into a completely opposite set of circumstances. On the whole, I've always been able to make whatever adjustments needed to be made.

But, and isn't there always a but, I've come upon a problem that doesn't seem to have a solution and I've been working with it and at it for quite some time now. I love my blog. It was created by a dear, highly intelligent computer whiz who came, clicked, shifted and arranged the blog and all that went with it. She set up everything and then stayed with me as I learned how to post articles and add information that could be changed when necessary. She helped me list my books, copy and paste the covers and then magically set up a system whereby any visitors to the blog could purchase books just by clicking on the cover of the book. Unfortunately, Diana died shortly after creating this mysterious and luxurious blog. Multiple brain tumors took her young and beautiful life. She is greatly missed by many and not just for her technical abilities. Diane was full of life, always laughing and oh, so willing to share her expertise.

Well, difficulties with the blog have raised their ugly heads and try as I might, I just can't find solutions to the problems. When I post, as I'm doing here, everything seems to be in order. But, when I try to add something new to the left-hand side of my blog where my books, book reviews, and other sections are, nothing seems to work and as I've clicked my way along this troubled path I find I can't add anything to this section of my blog. In fact, I tried to edit my poetry in this section and it disappeared, never to be seen again. I now get a message that my 'gadgets' are broken. I must say I've never had a broken gadget before and I'm desperately trying to locate anyone who might just be a gadget fixer. To date no help has arrived. I have one more place to seek this wizard of gadgets and that's my women's networking luncheon. So, on the second Wednesday of December I am going to quiz anyone who will listen to see if I can't find someone to fix my broken gadget.

What makes this more frustrating than ever is the fact that my newest book, FORGIVEN, is arriving this week and I wanted to put a blurb and the cover picture on my blog.

There must be a gadget fixer somewhere. Patience, writer. Patience.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Sneak Peek

Okay, the day has finally arrived. Forgiven is now in book form and at the printer. I'm as excited about this one as I was about the very first one I published. Forgiven is my tenth novel and I'm working on number eleven.

But, just to give you a quick idea about what Forgiven is about, here is what you'll find on the back cover. I don't know about you but when I pick up books to contemplate purchasing, the first thing I read is the back cover.

This is FORGIVEN'S back cover:

"The mystery of God can sometimes be found in a simple conversation with a stranger…"

"In the sleepy little town of Gadara, Florida, Alice Waterson arrives home from college pregnant and dumped by her boyfriend. Her mother, Karen Waterson, is reeling from the news that her ex-husband is expecting a baby with his new wife and that his financial woes will mean Karen selling her and Alice's home. Across town, A.J. Handley is staving off loneliness and wondering if the chest pains he's been having are serious. Heading for Miami, a young man struggles with the choice he has made of rejecting the woman he loves and the baby she carries. And at the Gadara Twin Oaks B&B Innkeeper Sarah Jane is not quite sure what to make of the stranger who arrives after hitch-hiking his way into town.

Sunny Serafino weaves a haunting tale of mystery, faith and the intertwining of lives as each of her characters faces their own problems and dilemmas, seeking answers from God. They find that none of the answers come immediately or easily, but that the final answer may rest in the actions of another, hidden for two generations. A secret so buried that only Divine Intervention could possibly reveal it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


As a writer I know that excessive use of !!! is simply not done but sometimes even those rules have to be overlooked. Anyhow, as W. Somerset Maugham said, "There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately no one knows what they are."

The reason for my exclamation points is that my latest manuscript will mature into a real, actual BOOK on November 22nd. This weekend I've received the mock-up of the cover and spoken to my precious publisher. I've heard some sad and terrifying stories about publishers, editors and agents but absolutely none of those descriptions can be even remotely applied to my PUBLISHER, Rebecca Melvin of Double Edge Press, who is kind, caring and absolutely thorough while keeping a friendly and compassionate relationship with the harried author. After careful editing by Rebecca, her staff and finally me, we have polished the work to a finished product. With a final tweak to the front, back covers and the spine, the book goes to the printer on Monday. OH, HAPPY DAY!

As an author I know that some people think we sit grimly in front of the computer screen, fingers flying over the keys and then eventually lean back and sigh, "Job done." Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure we spend hours typing, thinking, rewriting, researching and polishing each phrase as if they were jewels; and they are. But there's nothing more exciting than seeing your words on paper, bound together and in a BOOK. Of course, there's the joy of having your work accepted by faithful and loyal readers and other writers. Oh, I know, there is talk that books as we know them are going to be a thing of the past, being replaced by e-books and something called a Kindle (which I have yet to investigate but it is on the horizon and I'm not sure how I feel about that). But nothing, absolutely nothing will deflate my enthusiasm this weekend. The book is finished, it's on it's way to being born and like any mother, I'm so excited.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Also hope you give FORGIVEN a chance. After all, it's another of my children and Mama is beaming.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Speedbump on life's highway…

I have been belaboring over writing about the latest hiccup in my year. I'm not much for crying in public, but this certainly has been a challenging year health-wise. If it wasn't one of it was the other and sometimes it was both. Lenny and I have each taken trips to the hospital via ambulance; both have had a room at that Inn, me for 4 days in March and he for 17 days in May. Then there were the recuperation and rehab periods which sometimes ran into the next issue. Now on October 6th I fractured a bone in my right ankle and broke two bones in my right foot. The right foot! I'm the only driver in the family! (I think that was one too many exclamation points but sometimes you just can't help it.)

But…the right foot. Think about that; when there is no other driver it is a colassal pain. For a month we've had to rely on friends, and what wonderful friends we have. They, Betty, Sharon, Alice, Judy, Jean, Judy, Linda, Clara, Ginna and Lynn (forgive me if I've overlooked anyone) have provided transportation to and from doctors, hospitals, labs, grocery stores, trip to the hairdresser for me and a barber for Lenny. Shirley, Jan and Maggie have provided meals and desserts. I know they do these things with generous and kind hearts but it's not easy to keep asking for help. Believe me I would much prefer the shoe being on the other foot, both literarily and physically. One couple rescued us when the battery in our car dies. What you may ask, did it matter if the battery was dead when neither of us can drive? Well, the dear soul who was taking us to the doctor that afternoon suggested using her car wasn't practical because of the humongous boot on my foot. She has one of these spiffy new vehicles you need a ladder to enter. So I said, "Oh, that's okay; you can drive our car." Sounded like a good idea until the engine wouldn't turn over so we had to use her car anyhow. The next day AAA came and gave the old buggy a jump but discovered a bad cell in the battery. The only thing to do was take the car to the auto supply since AAA didn't install batteries, just jump start them?? Hence, the rescue by Judy and Ralph.

I am fully convinced there are lessons to be learned in everything that happens in your life. We've realized how very blessed we are to live in a community such as we do. Our nearest family is 1200 miles away and it is impossible for them to help but they pray and communicate their concerns. I've learned that you can enjoy food that is quick to prepare and preferably comes in little frozen boxes that pop out of the microwave as dinner. I've learned that it isn't absolutely necessary to have the bed made twenty minutes after arising; so far the covers have been pulled up and the spread remains in the closet. I've also learned that it takes an inordinate number of trips around the bed to change sheets and putting laundry into the washer and drier from a walker is a clumsy stretch. I've learned to laugh when the walker gets stuck in a doorway or your boot leaves skid marks on the kitchen floor. I've also been blessed with the knowledge that's it's okay to ask for help because in similar circumstances I'd want to help others. The meaning of the words 'friends', 'neighbors', 'help' and 'blessings' have all intensified and you take nothing for granted. You just take whatever is offered with a grateful heart.

I've reinforced my belief that all things are possible and sometimes prayers are answered with the word "wait". There is a light at the end of the tunnel. The next appointment with the foot doctor is on November 22nd and we are hoping the boot comes off then. I have no pain and that must be a good sign.

Lenny and I will be celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary on Thanksgiving Day with a couple of friends as we do each year. There will be telephone calls from the family and smiles and tears will mingle with our happiness.

I am blessed with a patient, loving husband who doesn't care if dinner is an omelet made out of Eggbeaters. I am so very aware of the depth of his love and help even when help is difficult for him to give. I've drawn even closer to God because I feel His hearness with more intensity.

So…I hope this blog didn't sound like a pity party because that wasn't the intent. It's just another corner of my life and it's okay.