Pay it forward (part two — You must meet these people!)

Yesterday I shared about this blog hop I’ve joined. Part one was a bit about me, projects I’m working on, and my writing process. Today I’m excited to introduce you to three friends (and to show how this internet world has been such a blessing to me). I hope you’ll pop by these three and leave a comment of encouragement to them. So many great people in the world, aren’t there? c

2013 lynn lgI met Lynn at a writer’s conference. It was late at night and I was scarfing down my ice cream sundae trying not to make eye-contact (I’m really not the best when I don’t already know someone) when Lynn said something to me. I remember thinking two things, “Wow, this stunningly gorgeous woman is talking to me even though I’m hunched over my ice cream and shoveling it in” and “she has a lyrical voice.” Turns out we bonded over NOT getting chosen as finalists for a writing contest we’d both entered. That evening she gave me a copy of a devotional she’d written for women who discover their husband’s have a porn problem. When I returned to my room that night I was curious if it was well written or …. not. OH. MY. WORD. This devotional should be in the hands of every pastor, counselor, or friend as a resource to offer when this particular nightmare enters your world. I found Lynn the next day and gushed in my subtle way. We’ve become friends. Please go to her website, poke around and download the free devotional.


about emilyI met Emily when we both lived and worked in China. I worked with her husband more directly (he was a JOY to work with) and knew Emily as “Eric’s cool wife.” They returned to the States. Years passed. I returned to the States. She contacted me, “Hey the hubs, kids and I are coming to Colorado, want to meet and talk me off a writing ledge?” Since then, she’s no longer “Eric’s cool wife” to me. What I love about Emily is that she’s wrestled with infertility (you can read about it on her blog) and now finds mothering to a bit more challenging than she imagined. I love this about her — we’ve all been there, longed for something so deeply and are so glad, blessed, and thankful to have been given the object of our longing only to find out there were a few unanticipated parts to that longing. Emily could be a stand up comedian. She’s also a gifted maker of beautiful canvases. 


Tanya_Marlow_Summer_13b-500x500I met Tanya on line and sensed a kindred spirit. Though separated by years and countries (she’s got a lovely British accent!) and the fact we’ve never met in person, I consider her a friend. The reason I want to you check out and follow Tanya’s blog is because she writes openly and poignantly about suffering and faith. She has a rare disease that leaves her house bound most of the time. When we had the theme of suffering at Velvet Ashes, Tanya’s piece on “thorns and gold” was stunning. I’m drawn to people who have learned to thrive, though not in the traditional sense, in the midst of the reality they find themselves. Not to take joy IN it, but IN-SPITE of the “it.” Tanya is such a person. She’s taking a bit of a blogging break this summer for her healthy, but please still poke around. Her series on God and suffering should be required reading for life.

If you could pay it forward, who would you give a shout out to?

Pay it forward (part one)

A few weeks ago my friend Holly (she’s an amazing artist and designer) contacted me asking if I wanted to be part of a blog hop. I did, but I was not in position to join. I hated to say no, especially when Holly is someone I enjoy so very much AND she’s kind, talented and has the best laugh ever! So, thanks Holly for asking me.

Last week, internet friend Laura asked me about the same blog hop and the timing worked for me! Thanks Laura.

hop scotch

The idea is you answer four questions and then introduce you to three bloggers I like. If you’ve seen the movie Play it forward, this isn’t a radical concept. Nor unique to Hollywood. Remember what was said to Abraham? Blessed to be a blessing. Or the four beggars in Zechariah? Similar theme.

1 – What am I writing or working on?

This week I’m working on the August book club for Velvet Ashes. We’re doing My name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok. I’m also tossing around an idea for the fall. And I’m part of a small group that hopes to put on a Christian Writer’s conference in the Denver area next spring (how cool is that!).

2 – How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I feel I have a bit of a chameleon personality, getting along with almost everyone.  I think my work reflects this — I try to create a space for most to feel welcome. I’ve also been wired to notice small things and use them as a springboard to great truth. (Or sometimes just a good laugh. For example, my sister texted me last week: “You’ll be glad to know I clarified to Niece #4 that Aunt Amy has a strong sense of smell, not a strong smell.” Are you kidding me? That comment has been the wind in my wings all week!)

3 – Why do I write what I write?

The reasons have changed. I originally started writing this blog thinking I could support myself as a writer. Hilarious, I know. I no longer really care if I’m published or not; I write because I’m wired for relationships and in this phase of life, this is how God is nurturing and using those wires.

4 – How does my writing process work?

First of all, BIC. Butt in chair. I’m fairly disciplined, but if I didn’t actually sit down, I’d have lots of lists of ideas. I do tend to map out a month and write in chunks.


Now to the BEST part of this blog hop! Telling you about three friends and why I want you to read them. Each one lives in their own messy, beautiful lives and I’m glad to know them.

Well, now that I’ve written about each of them, this post is too long. And because I want you to have time to go and visit them, I’m going to do a part 2 tomorrow and introduce you to three of my friends.

What’s one way you’ve been blessed by others?


Photo credit Steve via flickr


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A new must read for China hands


Love her or hate her, Empress Dowager Cixi does not leave us with the option of just letting her drift off into historical obscurity. Jung Chang’s (author of Wild Swans) recently published Express Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China is destined to become a must read for China hands. I can hear a few of you […]

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Do blow torches and fireworks mix?


My parents have a few mantras. The one I most hear is: Where did you come from?  How did two Type Z personalities create a Type A person?  (Double recessive genes is my standard answer!) One that’s less philosophical is: There’s no place like Frisco, Colorado to watch fireworks.  (Frisco IS great, but the Hong Kong Harbor […]

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