Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Song Spotlight: He is Born by Sawyer Brown

Today's Christmas Song Spotlight is Saywer Brown singing He is Born in their own church. I first saw this video on TV a couple year's ago and never forgot the unbridled passion of this group's enthusiasm for their song.



I can't believe I found this video! This says it all for this Christmas Day 2010.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Song Spotlight: Love Came Down at Christmas

Today's Christmas Song Spotlight is Love Came Down at Christmas written and sung by Jars of Clay.



I really like the sound of this band.

Have a very Merry Christmas and thank you for joining me on my Christmas Spotlight Series.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Song Spotlight: Mary Did You Know?

Today's Christmas Song Spotlight is Mary Did You Know? sung by Mark Lowry of the Gaither Family fame.



If you want to see the live version of Mark singing his signature song, check me out on Facebook.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Faith Fiction at the Inkwell: The Shepherd

I have a short piece of inspirational romance over at the Inkwell today called The Shepherd.

And if you think you've read it before, you may have read the secular version I posted at Prairie Chicks Write Romance last year.

This Inkwell version is a faith-filled story of hope and promise.

Which reminds me... I have to apologize to 3 authors for my 2009 book review of The Magic of Christmas which I received as a free copy.

I believe I did a disservice to Carolyn Davidson when I wrote: The first novella, however was written by Carolyn Davidson. a new author to me. I have to say I wonder what the editors were thinking when they put her novella first in this anthology. Why? Because I expected something Christmassy with love and forgiveness - especially after looking at the gorgeous cover with a young couple holding a baby. But, the first novella starts with disease, death and was depressing to me. I actually wondered why I was reading it.

Ever since I wrote that review I've questioned myself. Rarely do stories start with the 'happily ever after'. And even the biblical story of Jesus' birth starts with strife when Joseph is faced with the news that his betrothed is pregnant and not by him - a condition which could have led to Mary being stoned if he decided to press the issue.

With each story I read and wrote this past year, I thought about the words I'd written about Carolyn's novella, 'A Christmas Child'. Yes, it starts with disease and death, but that's because the heroine is at a low point in her life when we pick up her story. We need to know what she went through so we can appreciate her emotional state as new events unfold.

So, I'm sending out an apology to Carolyn Davidson, Victoria Bylin and Cheryl St. John who are the 3 co-authors of The Magic of Christmas. And I'm telling the rest of you that if you enjoy reading secular historicals for a feel-good feeling, this book is certainly one you should read.

Please leave a comment if you have anything to say about this post or my inspirational romance at the Inkwell.

Christmas Song Spotlight: Joseph's Song

Today's Christmas Song Spotlight is Joseph's Song by Michael Card. I'm not familiar with this singer, but the words touched my heart and the video pics enhanced the song.



I hope you're enjoying my Christmas Song Spotlight series. The songs may not be all well known, but together they let you know what's in my heart this season.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Song Spotlight: Take a Walk Through Bethlehem

Today's Christmas Song Spotlight is Talk a Walk Through Bethlehem sung by Trisha Yearwood and a favourite of mine.



malmal1392 is to be commended for putting such a heartfelt youtube video together with Trisha's music.

By the way, when the ad banner pops up across the bottom of the video, you can get rid of it by clicking on the little x in the top right corner of it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Me & Christmas Song Spotlight: On a Snowy Christmas Night

Today is my 34th anniversary (yikes!) and I'm blogging about our courtship at the Inkwell today. With that in mind, today's Christmas Song Spotlight is On a Snowy Christmas Night by Elvis with videos of Elvis and his family. The youtube starts slow, but the words embody so much of what I feel today.



Hubby's taking me away for a few hours but I'll check in later when I get back.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Song Spotlight: Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song)

Today's Christmas Song Spotlight is Amy Grant's Breath of Heaven. This is Mary's song of love and awe as she gives birth to Jesus whom she's been told is the son of God. I can't even begin to imagine the emotional and mental strength it took for her to believe and carry through this miraculous event.



Such a beautiful song.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Song Spotlight: Christmas Must Be Tonight

Today's Christmas Song Spotlight is Christmas Must Be Tonight. It's a beautiful song about the night Jesus was born.



Written by Robbie Robertson and originally performed by The Band, this youtube version was recorded by Tulsa's own SPARKPLUG: Cindy Cain, Don Miller, Rusty Miller.

Why hasn't this cover been recorded more?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Song Spotlight: Po Folks Christmas

Today's Christmas Song Spotlight is Whispering Bill Anderson singing Po Folks Christmas. Yes, this is an old song from the 60's and is the Christmas version of his hit song. I like this song because it reminds me that even when I feel poor and down, there's someone worse off than me.



I was a little girl when I first heard this on the radio so please forgive me as I reminisce.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Song Spotlight: Once Upon A Christmas

Today's Christmas Song Spotlight is Once Upon A Christmas written by Dolly Parton. This video was first seen on Dolly and Kenny's Christmas special in the early 90's. My family developed an annual tradition of decorating the Christmas tree while this special aired in the background.



I've only heard one other version of this song and although it's very good, it doesn't give me the memories as this one by Dolly and Kenny.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Song Spotlight: Warm & Fuzzy Billy Gilman

Billy Gilman was about 12 yrs old when he made this Warm and Fuzzy video. Billy's smooth, classy act is a seasonal favourite in our house.



Love those brows! I've seen a current non-Christmas video of Billy Gilman as he reaches adulthood. His powerful voice now contains a richness which only maturity can instill. I sure hope an album and updated videos are in the works.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Song Spotlight: The Christmas Shoes

Ready for a tear jerker? The Christmas Shoes is a movie about a boy who wants to buy his mom special shoes for Christmas except he hasn't enough money.



The Christmas Shoes song was written and performed by New Song. Based on the song, this version was posted on youtube by benfreeze and is a project from Film School.

So, did you cry? I did. sigh.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Song Spotlight: Let It Be Christmas

Here's Alan Jackson singing Let It Be Christmas on the 2007 TV special Christmas in Washington on  TNT.



I tried to locate the CMT video where his wife and girls join him on stage, but could only find the Spanish version with pop-ups. So, if anyone knows where there's a youtube version, please let me know.

Thank you merryxmasbaby for this video.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Song Spotlight: Carol of the Bells Holdman Style

This is fantastic! It's like those fireworks displays that are set to music except the Holdman family do it at their house in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Can you imagine living across from this...



Actually, the Holdman's use this oppotunity to raise money for the Make-A-Wish foundation. For some of the technical aspects and calendar of events, check out their website.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Moose Sighting!

I interrupt my Christmas Song Spotlight series with this exciting news…

This morning at dawn, Nelson rushed in and yelled, “Get in the truck with your camera! I spotted 3 cow moose half a mile from home!”

Still in my jammies, I quickly dressed and climbed into his truck. He drove to the end of the driveway, turned left and headed north a quarter mile, then east another quarter mile. As we reached the top of one of the hills that surround our shallow valley, he pointed left and down. And there beneath bare trees in an area which would be shallow water at any other time of the year, were 3 cow moose lying in the snow.

3 cow moose hiding in a copse of trees.

Since they were on the north side of the road, I got out of his truck. Two of the moose got up as I rounded the back of Nelson’s truck. I took a couple photos then walked up to the edge of the road for a closer shot. Meanwhile the moose headed west along the tree line.


Running west along tree line.

I jumped back into the truck and asked Nelson to drive backwards. He said it’s better to turn around since there was an approach right there. We turned around and as we headed west, the moose cleared the copse of trees and turned south. They were about to cross the road in front of us.

And Nelson floored it!

“Wait! What are you doing? Stop!”

He slammed on the brakes and I lurched forward until the seat belt cut off my breath. The gravel crunched wildly beneath our wheels. I took pics as the moose crossed 150 ft in front of us. I took another knowing I hadn't paused long enough for the camera to focus. But, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I didn’t want to lose it.

They lumbered across the road, over the fence and through the field heading south.


Pregnant cow moose in December.

By the time I was out of the truck and taking pics again, the moose were climbing the hill and heading east.


Across the road and heading east.

Isn't this cute... they stopped to say goodbye. Or is that one sticking her tongue out at me? Honestly, the only shooting I do is with my camera.

Good-bye and Merry Christmas!

A final photo before they disappeared over the hill.


Over the hill and they were gone.

As we drove back, I asked Nelson what in blank he'd been thinking. Moose steaks for supper? He said he was trying to head them off so I could take photos out my window while sitting in the truck. How could I be mad at that? So what if my blurry images were a once-in-a-lifetime missed shot? Indeed. I have enough to keep my happy.

Need a Moose Crossing sign here.
Nelson dropped me back at home and went back to work. I looked out the kitchen window and drew the boys over. I pointed at a break between the trees where we watch for the school bus. “If you had looked over there about 10 minutes ago, you would have seen moose crossing the road.”

Wide-eyed, they looked where I pointed. I added, “They’re gone now but if they hang around in the area, we may see them other times.”

So - thanks honey. Three pregnant cow moose in December. Nice.

Thanks for the morning ride, honey.

Christmas Song Spotlight: Where are You Christmas?

Faith Hill sings Where are You Christmas? in the movie The Grinch.



People are always searching for Something, aren't they? Are you?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Song Spotlight: Fountain Square Flash Mob Joyful, Joyful

Here's another one of those Flash Mobs, this time singing Joyful, Joyful in Cincinnati.



The Vineyard Community Church sings and dances their way into everyone's hearts at Fountain Square in Cincinnati, Ohio.

It puts a smile on my face as well.

So, are you enjoying the Christmas videos? Any other neat ones I can showcase?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Song Spotlight: Alvin & the Chipmunks

This is a very old video and I thought there was a newer version out from the Chipmunk movie a couple years back but if there is I couldn't find it. None of the new ones matched the nostalgia I felt while watching this one. Probably because most of the newer versions used still pics with remastered music. So, here's an oldie, but a goodie...

Alvin and the Chipmunks singing Christmastime



Did this one bring back any Christmas memories?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Song Spotlight: Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas Canon

This is one of those profound songs that stopped me in my tracks the first time I heard it. I still try to hold my breath so I don't miss a beat. I close my eyes and let the words and music envelope me. Before I know it, my foot is thumping the floor as if it's perched on the peddle of a bass drum.

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) sounds like the band Queen and looks like the Swedish band ABBA. And if you search for more youtube videos, you'll find one of the TSO performing this very song. However, to my untrained ear, this recorded version is far superior to the stage performance of the other. However, if you do watch it, you'll see why I say the band reminds me of ABBA.




Isn't that beautiful? It kinda reminds me of Pachelbel, too.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Song Spotlight: Snoopy VS the Red Baron

Those Peanuts characters and their Charlie Brown Christmas special was a family tradition at or house. I always got a kick out of Snoopy on his dog house as he flew the skies and battled the Red Baron in the name of peace.

But I think I like the Christmas bells the most...



Tomorrow's spotlight is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Christmas Canon Rock.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Song Spotlight: Food Court Hallelujah Chorus

I first noticed the Christmas Food Court Flash Mob singing the Halleluja Chorus about a week ago as it made its rounds on Facebook. It's one of those ones where regular people are doing their own thing and then someone stands up and starts singing...

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus


Now I have to go looking for something special for Tuesday. :) Maybe I should ask for requests? LOL

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Song Spotlight: Six White Boomers

I was just at Aussie reader, AusJenny's blog where she interviews author Julie Lessman. If you leave a comment about your favourite carol or Christmas movie before Friday Dec 10th 6 pm Aussie time, you have a chance to win a free Julie Lessman book.

That got me thinking about my favourite Christmas songs and one in particular has amused us for years. It's by Aussie Rolf Harris and it's called Six White Boomers...



Listening to Christmas carols has always gotten me in the Christmas spirit and songs like this are plain fun when I'm down in the doldrums while I house clean. (shudder) LOL

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Book Signing Bash

A wonderful opportunity to buy autographed books on-line is happening now until Dec 7th:

75 Inspirational authors have gotten together for this historic virtual book-signing. All you have to do is click on the picture here which will send you to the site where you'll have loads of books to choose from in a variety of genres.  
Pick a book, pay for it, and receive an autographed copy in the mail. Or send one to someone for Christmas. Easy peasey.



Crystal Anne Draper
It's December 2 so before I sign off, I need to send a Happy Birthday out to Crystal Anne Draper, my No #1 daughter who is 32 yrs old today. Wow! Where have the years gone.

Hope you can make it home for Christmas, honey. We sure miss you around here.





Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rider Pride Marketing

 
It's Canada's Grey Cup football game on Sunday, Nov 28th and the national  champions will be crowned in Edmonton, Alberta.

And for the 3rd year in a row, our very own Saskatchewan Roughriders are the western champions going into the game. Yay!

Everyone's a fan - even this 25 ft Santa in the town of Watson, Sask.

This year is also the 100th anniversary of the Saskatchewan Roughriders team. You couldn't miss knowing it here in Saskatchewan because we were plastered with promotion for the event. Whoever was in charge of marketing should be well paid for the campaign because you couldn't look anywhere without seeing the green and white stuff.


 
Downtown Regina, Sask
The first thing I noticed early this summer was the faces of the twin towers in downtown Regina.


Potato Chips



 
 


 



 



Rider Bath Goddess Goodies

Ice Packs


Steak Sauce

  
  
Windshield Washer

Travel Mugs

Rider chair to watch the game from

License Plate

Fantuz Flakes cereal

Fans were everywhere - even in the grocery store.

                                                                                                    Someone in the local town even made a quilt.
Hard Hat
A hard hat and a whole slew of other clothing, too.












Winter boots



Including these boots... which I found this November when I went to buy my son a pair. And these things are warm! I think they're guaranteed to -30C below. And they don't have those ridiculous insoles that come out when you pull your foot out or slide down when you push your foot in. 



 
2010 Dollar Coin 'Loonie'



And not to be outdone, the Canadian government even got in on the act by releasing this special 2010 Canadian dollar 'Loonie' into circulation.

Tim Horton's Rider Donuts




The boys and I attended the celebration for the official release of this coin. They were giving away free Rider donuts.

That's right... donuts with white icing and green sprinkles. :D

Anyway, that's all the Rider marketing photos I have. Please excuse the quality of some as they were taken with my cell phone.

Well, I know what I'll be doing on Sunday...

Go Riders Go!!!

So who are you  rooting for tomorrow... the Saskatchewan Roughriders from the West... or the Montreal Alouettes from the East?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sweet Sundog Sunrise

I was getting ready to head outside this morning and taking my time because the boys said it was cold out there. Well, they left for school an hour ago and it's still cold. At the moment, we're down to -23C/-9F but the windchill makes it feel like -34C/-30F. Yes, that's right -30F! And it's only November. Ugh.

As I was getting ready however, I happened to look outside and saw this from my window:



Well, forget the cold - I needed a photo of that sundog! With a minimal amount of outerwear on, I dashed down the tracks left by the school bus to the edge of the shelterbelt and took this shot:




And then, just to show you what else I woke up to this bright morning, I took this:



The snow isn't the soft, fluffy kind, but the crusty stuff that crunches under your feet as you walk. It's cold and hard and hurts when you fall face-first into it. I know. I speak from experience.



This is my first sundog sighting this winter. I'm sure they'll be many more if last year is anything to go by.

Actually, last year I turned 3 of my sundog pics into on-line jigsaw puzzles.  If you want to just see all my sundog and puzzle posts, look for them under the LABELS in the right sidebar of this blog.

Has winter started early where you live?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Get a Grip

I'm blogging over at Inkwell Inspirations today. It's a pictorial post with photos of the weather we've had over the past few days. These photos were taken in the past week, but aren't the ones over at the Inkwell.


8:15 am Friday, Nov 12, 2010


These tracks were made by hubby and his half ton. I asked him if he felt his tires slipping and he said no. So, I dunnno. But they look neat.

3:30 pm, Nov 10, 2010



7:30 am Nov 8, 2010

Because the photos at the Inkwell are all about the weather I saw when I looked out my window, the questions I'm asking are ...

What was the weather when you looked out your window this morning? And which window did you look out?


Thursday, November 11, 2010

We Will Always Remember

On the 11th hour
...of the 11th day
.......of the 11th month
they laid their arms down
and we will always remember their sacrifice.

Donald Pearce wrote these words from a front line dugout:

When will it all end? The idiocy and the tension, the dying of young men, the destruction of homes, of cities, starvation, exhaustion, disease, children parentless and lost, cages full of shivering, starving prisoners, long lines of civilians plodding through mud, the endless pounding of the battle-line.


The Veteran's Affars Canada has this info about the poppies we wear at this time every year:
 
On November 11, especially, but also throughout the year, we have the opportunity to remember the efforts of these special Canadians. In remembering, we pay homage to those who respond to their country's needs. On November 11, we pause for two minutes of silent tribute, and we attend commemorative ceremonies in memory of our war dead.

Following the First World War a French woman, Madame E. Guérin, suggested to British Field-Marshall Earl Haig that women and children in devastated areas of France could produce poppies for sale to support wounded Veterans. The first of these poppies were distributed in Canada in November of 1921, and the tradition has continued ever since, both here and in many parts of the world.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae c 1914
Poppies are worn as the symbol of remembrance, a reminder of the blood-red flower that still grows on the former battlefields of France and Belgium. During the terrible bloodshed of the second Battle of Ypres in the spring of 1915, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, a doctor serving with the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, wrote of these flowers which lived on among the graves of dead soldiers:

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
John McCrae

The flowers and the larks serve as reminders of nature's ability to withstand the destructive elements of war by men, a symbol of hope in a period of human despair. In Canada, traditionally the poppies which we wear were made by disabled Veterans. They are reminders of those who died while fighting for peace: we wear them as reminders of the horrors of conflict and the preciousness of the peace they fought hard to achieve.

Remembrance Day Parade Toronto, Canada 2009

Is there someone you'd like us to remember today?


Sources:
Donald Pearce, Journal of a War: North-West Europe, 1944-1945. Toronto, Macmillan, 1965

John McCrae, In Flanders Fields and Other Poems. Edited by Sir Andrew Macphail, Toronto, Briggs, 1919

Veteran's Affairs Canada http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/

Monday, November 8, 2010

Indian Summer

Most of the snow we received near the end of Oct has melted except for some shady spots. We're now experiencing a gorgeous Indian summer.

Last weekend, the guys cleaned the yard and yesterday they put the Christmas lights up.

They found this little fella in the driveway about 15 ft from the house. It's funny because in the 10 yrs we've lived here on the farm, we've only found one other salamander and he looked just like this one. We found him in almost the same spot about 5-6 yrs ago.

In fact, that memory was so vivid - I suppose because I'd never seen a live salamander before - that I wrote it into a scene in Emma's Outlaw. Emma awakes in early morning and in her foggy state, she thinks she's looking at 2 black dew drops until she realizes dew isn't black. She flinches at the thought of what's staring her in the face and the salamander skitters away. Somehow it seems symbolic that I'll see one again on the eve of submitting Emma's story.

This pic is for perspective. The shoes belong to my 12 yr old. So really, the salamander isn't that big.

Are there salamanders where you live? What colour? (Emma encounters a gray one.)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

SYTYCW at eHarlequin NOW!

I have some fantastic news! But you need to act quick, because it's only this week.

Harlequin Enterprises, the famous Romance publisher, is looking for writers who can tell a great, emotional story. And they have a week of special events to help you get started.

This includes live chats, podcasts, webinars, and even writing challenges.

To find out more, check the eHarlequin blog and schedule of events.

Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date information and links to chat transcripts in case you missed them.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Blogging About Ancient Coins at the Inkwell

I'm blogging about uncleaned ancient coins over at the Inkwell today.


Come over for a visit and let us know what you think. :D

Anita Mae

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The End of Prairie Chicks

Today, I've over at Prairie Chicks Write Romance with my second-last post. After almost 2 yrs, we'll cease the publication of new posts on Oct 31st, although the blog will stay open. There's just too much information there for writers to close it down for good.

I won't list the reasons here because I've done it over there. But, the short answer is... writing blogposts takes time away from writing my stories. Especially when you're trying to write posts for writers when you're not sure you have a handle on the craft yourself.

However, I will continue to be a regular poster on my inspirational group blog, Inkwell Inspirations. This blog is exactly what it sounds like - an inspiration. In fact, we target readers - people who want an uplifting story to give them hope while reading about someone's elses adversity. By their very nature, inspirationals have a happy ending whether it's a romance or not.

I love writing for the Inkwell because I can pick almost anything to write about. Take Tuesday's post for example, I wrote about Repeat or Now and Then Photography. I show you photos of a scene taken many years ago and then what it looks like today. And I even included how you can adapt it for learning about the Holy Land of Jesus' time and the archaeological digs of today.

I'm sorry about the lack of recent posts, but again, I'm in my cave on the end fringes of my manuscript. I'll let you know when it's done. And what I do with it.

This photo was taken outside my office looking toward the northwest. As you can see, the prairie wind cut loose a steady shower of leaves.

Because of a late start and horrid weather, harvest won't be over for another 3 weeks. Please pray for the farmers - both for their crops as well as their health as they rush to get it all in before the snow falls.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

ACFW Indy Sat Report

Saturday at the ACFW conference in Indianapolis started off great although I was suffering from lack of sleep. Just tossed and turned all night.

Shared breakfast with other Beyond the Borders zone members: Gail Sattler (BC), Val Comer (BC), and Cathy West (Bermuda).

Right after the morning worship, I went to await my editor's appt. Can I tell you the waiting area is nicknamed 'Pergatory'? I was in the first group and saw the same editor as last year. I told her about my big rewrite and what I changed and she actually remembered my story! Better yet, she liked the changes I made. And yes, she still wants it when it's complete.

Wth that out of the way, I started my day of workshops. Then lunch with some of the Seekers (Seekerville). And back to the workshops.

Downtown Indianapolis outside the Hyatt Regency
Since this night is set aside for authors to have dinner with their agents, Val Comer, Dina Sleiman, Lisa Richardson and a friend (sorry can't remember her name)went out to eat.















Lisa Richardson in front of elevators






















Jillian Nutter

By the time we finished supper and went back to the Hyatt Regency, everyone was in a good mood and kind of giddy after the lack of sleep and tension.



Lisa Richardson, Patti Lacy, Jillian Nutter

 
Lisa Richardson, Jen AlLee, Bonnie Calhoun