Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Anatomy of a Cover...

They say you can't judge a book by its cover. But that seems to be how several people pick a book. I admit I am guilty of this myself.

And perhaps they read the blurb too.

But it's the cover that draws your attention. As does the name.

A lot of thought goes into a cover.  For some it might not seem that way. But many author spend time visualizing their cover and working with the publishing house to get the proper concept on paper.

My covers are important. I hope the design flies off the page and captures the eyes of readers. I can't change the covers now,  but I wanted to let you take a look at my covers and see what you think. Why or why not would you choose any of the following books?

Which book is your favorite cover? Why?

Which is your least? Why?

Your input could help me with covers in the future.



Saturday, April 12, 2014

Summertime… oh wait it's only April

Got to love Summers in Arizona.

Oh wait… It's not summer yet. It's April. We haven't even celebrated Easter yet. School is not out.

But we're already in the mid 80's which is summer weather in some places.

No, when summer hits in Arizona it will 110+. Yay.

Anyway back to my Summers in Arizona that aren't summer quite yet…

I took a dip in the pool yesterday. What they call a play pool here (because it's 5 and 1/2 foot deep goes 8 x 20). Really it is bigger than any play pool I had in Colorado.

The water was 70 degrees. I stuck my feet in the water, then inserted, very slowly, my lily white legs a bit further and thought it felt pretty nice. Then I inched further, and found myself yelping from the cold and ready to climb out. My back was too warm and toasty from the sun so it was akin to dropping ice down my shirt.

Besides, wasn't there house work to do? Didn't I need a nap? Hmm, I could always fill up my tub with a touch warmer water and swim there. It did look as though my legs could use a shave.

White legs that need a shave… eew. Just saying

My grandkids were playing in the water like seals and my DIL had taken the final initiative to get wet, albeit with a great shiver. With lips chattering she assured me it was much better if you just get all wet.

So I did it. I took the plunge. Tensed up like a board no less, I fell into the water and soaked myself in the crystal blue waves of our play pool.  After a few moments of teeth chattering of my own, it actually started to feel pretty good. Of course, I didn't want to get out for any reason and have to climb back in again and go through the whole process of freezing once more.

But here's the thrust of this tale…

In Colorado we swam in lakes that rarely got above 60 degrees and body surfed in rivers that were constant ice makers and here I was fighting to not grow massive goose bumps jumping into 70 degree water.

I'm turning into a weeny.

And come summer here, when the mercury rises, the temps in our pool will probably hover closer to 90 more like a jacuzzi than a pool. And I'll probably be forced to cool it down some.

Although, sadly, the water, even at 90, will be 20 to 25 degrees cooler than the Arizona summer sun beating down on me. And might even feel refreshing.

Got to love Summer in Arizona.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Been Doodling

Hello everyone. It's been awhile.

Since mom's death in January, my mind has been everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Makes it kind of hard to think.

Here are some pictures I've been working on for a blog post coming out April 26th on Stitches Thru Time.

I'll be giving away a copy of my book To Carry Her Cross, choosing from anyyone who leaves a comment and there are other giveaways at the site as well.

Mark your Calendar and stop by and say hello @ Stitches Thru Time.

Now for the pictures

These pictures may seem like they're all over the place, but trust me, they do make sense together.
Stop by Stitches Thru Time on April 26th and find out how.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

How do you tell a Mother goodbye?

To Laura…
My beloved mother
August 27, 1941-January 18, 2104

How do you tell a mother goodbye?
by Tina Pinson

How do you tell a mother goodbye,
when the word carries such finality, just to think about it
breaks your heart and makes it hard to breathe?

How do you tell a mother goodbye,
when you know you'll no longer hear her voice
or hear her whispered prayer?

How do you tell a mother goodbye,
if means letting go of someone who has loved, carried,
and consoled you since birth?

How do you tell a mother goodbye,
though it means saying so long to a friend who accepted and loved you
even when you were unlovely?

How do you tell a mother goodbye,
when it means a chapter in your life is ending and you wonder if you possess
the wherewithal to turn the page?

How do you tell a mother goodbye
when you know she won't walk through the door again now matter how much
you wish it or how long you hold your breath?

How do you tell a mother goodbye
when you know she'll no longer be there to dry your tears
or soothe your hurts?

How do you tell a Mother goodbye?

You don't…

You tell her See You Later and you carry her in your heart and memories
with the hope you see her again in Eternity,
and she'll be waiting there to greet you with loving arms open wide.

See you later, Mom.

All my love, Tina

Saturday, January 04, 2014

The Future...

So here it is January 4th already.

My Goodness.

Most of my future is unknown and I can look out blithely, naive to what lies ahead, leaving myself free to take trusting steps through each day, knowing God has fashioned my future. Or I can face it with great trepidation, with a fear that weighs me down so much I refuse to move, and lose countless opportunities and days because of it.

That is my choice.

I hope I am wise and choose to trust more than not.

But... there is another type of future well, sort of...  have you ever had part of your future staring you in the face? Careening toward you like a full length color movie, with such precision you can see the reality that is about to happen, but you are helpless to stop it?

So you pray and it still looms, and pray more and more, but you wonder if your prayers even pass the ceiling or if God is listening.

Yes, I know I should have faith, and at times, though its a touch feeble, I do. That is why I continue to pray. I pray for things to change and for this future not to happen. All the while knowing, as clearly as the sun rises, it's coming.

I'm not sure of the exact moment. But I have to prepare. Because it something we all have to deal with at some point in time. I have to accept it. Even though I don't want to. I have to deal with it, regardless of my feelings.

This part of my future holds sorrow. I'm certain. And it will force me to say goodbye. To trust that God will carry someone I love. To trust that God will sustain me through it. And I have to trust that God has a plan and soon I will be able to say hello again because of it.

This future, holds what seems like only tears. But I know I must look beyond the veil of sorrow and find the joy. And I know, when the time come, I won't grieve alone. I'll be surrounded by those I love.

And God will gather our tears.

He keep track of all my sorrows.
    He collects all my tears in his bottle.
    And records each one in his book.

                                                    Psalm 56:8

And they that sow in tears, will reap in joy.
                                                    Psalm 126:5

May you, even in the hardest times, find joy throughout this coming year and beyond.
May you face each moment assured that God is with you and you never walk alone.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Twelth of December

It's the twelth of December. 

Ring the bells. 

Blow the trumpets. Proclaim... What?

There are only 12 shopping days til Christmas. Is someone having another sale? Are you getting ready to have a blowout?

I woke up thinking of the Twelth of December and what, if any, significance today holds. At first I drew a big blank. After further consideration what came to mind was an old Donny Osmond song.

The Twelth of Never.

I know, I know. What does the Twelth of Never have to do with the Twelth of December? Nothing that I know. Maybe that's the day people say they can Never going Shopping again or they might go insane.

Surely something awesome had to have happened on the Twelth of December. The Twelth had to have more many than just a weirdly spelled day. So I went on a history hunt.

Did you know that on this day in History?

In 1474 -  Queen Isabella crowned herself Queen. Who knew it was so easy? Where's my crown?

In 1800 - Washington DC is established as US Capital. Prior to that where did congress meet? I'll give you a clue, they met in several different places. Philadelphia among them. Can you name others?

In 1878 - Joseph Pulitzer starts circulation of The St. Louis Dispatch.

In 1915 - The first all metal plane was test flown in Germany. They called it Junker J-1. Some name for a plane. Makes one want to climb right in a take a ride. I'll have to go see just how well that test flight went.

In 1946 - Tide detergent made its debut touting Oceans of Suds. Dreft laundry detergent came out in 1933, but Tide soap worked better in heavy duty washing machines. They said it gave you clean clothes and sparkling dishes.

We have so many choices for detergent and dish soap, it's hard to imagine clothes soap and dish soap all in one.

In 1962 - US goes nuclear with first test in Nevada. They do another one in 1968 on the same day. And Russia does one in 1970. (Perhaps there is more significance to the Twelth of Never than I first thought.)

In 1965 - Beatles hold their last concert in Great Britain. I was heart broken. Okay, maybe not. But what does a toddler know? Of course they go on their second tour in the US and Beatlemania goes into full force. 55,000 fans fill Shea Stadium and it grossed $304,000. The biggest in show business history to that time.  That little concert also proved that outdoor concerts were profitable.

In contrast... The top concerts since, have taken in more than 300 million. Some 700 million plus.

In 1982 - 9 million plus is stolen from a transport in New York City.

In 1997 - Japanese train hits a record for speed going 332 mph.

In 2000 - the Supreme Court gave its ruling on Gore versus Bush. Were those chads really hanging?

So a few other things happened on this day in history and there are other points to remember, but what does it all have to do with Christmas?

We are halfway there. In Twelve more days it will be Christmas Eve.

The night we curl up by the fire and remember why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. There are candlelight services to attend. We read the story of Christ's birth, sing Christmas Carols and just sit quietly watching the lights blink on the tree and the candles glow around us, and for a moment find a bit of peace in what can be a crazy season.

Naysayers may want to turn this day into the Twelth of Never by removing it from the Calendar bit by bit. By trying to say Christ has nothing to do with Christmas. But they can only stop words, not the heart or history.

If you're feeling somewhat tied up in knots this holiday season, it is my wish that you will take a moment and just sit down and kick off your shoes. Rest a moment and remember Christ is Christmas.

Merry Christmas  

Monday, December 02, 2013

Now Available

Christmas in Shades of Gray

It's Christmastime. David Pareman lies in his hospital bed, dying. The staff visits him, as does a drug induced cowboy and yellow-eyed monster -- so he believes. But not his children. He fears he'll die alone without a chance to share his heart. 

When Arion, a stranger with vast knowledge of David's life and a shroud of mystery over his own, comes to visit, David thinks he's from the newspaper. He learns otherwise. Soon David is tripping through his past in search of the answer to a soul-searing question. "What in your life merits God answering your prayer?" 

Through his past and those of his children he hopes to reach, David finds little to balance the scales against him. He believes he's no good, with nothing of merit that would make God want to help in him. Then he remembers the truth of Christmas and the love the Father sent to earth.

The walls are breathing. Breathing... In. Out. Slowly... In. Out. It's rather astounding.
It sounds foolish even to me to say that, but out of the dim glow cast from the light above my hospital bed, I can see the walls expand and contract. Over the whirr of machines, I'm certain I can hear the hiss of an inhale, and the heavy sigh of a released breath that is not my own.
The spot around the little angel that was put in my room to dress up the dingy dappled wall with some Christmas cheer, is the only place that remains unaffected by the strange aberration. That small section where the likeness of a heavenly messenger hangs, sporting her halo tiara and holding her trumpet, does not move. It remains calm and still while the rest of the walls labor to fill plaster lungs.
The pale light on that edge of the room must be playing tricks on my mind, 'cause only an idiot would think that walls could breathe. Only a fool would believe that lumber and drywall would push and contract for breath like the lungs of life. I shut my eyes and rub them. With a deep draw of oxygen from the tube below my nose, I will the aberration away.
With a quick peek, I see the walls aren't moving. Relieved, I open my eyes. The hallucination -- the reaction to my meds -- is over, or so I think until I see a black spot growing on the dingy white walls. I'm certain it's just a shadow, cast from what... I don't know. A shadow, nonetheless. So why is it growing and why is the blackness oozing from the wall in several places?
Meds again. That's it. Meds. Meds to take care of the cancer. Meds for pain. Meds for indigestion from the meds they give me for the cancer and pain. Meds to build up my blood. Meds to keep it from clogging. Meds so it's not too thin. Meds to make me sleep. Meds. All those drugs the doctors have been cocktailing in my blood are like turpentine to my brain, screwing with my mind, altering my thoughts. Redefining my reality.
As the darkness moves slowly down the white walls like rivulets of tar, even the angel seems to lift and sway slightly. I half expect her to drop her trumpet and raise her skirts so they don't touch the shadow coloring the wall. More disturbing is the way the darkness has begun to push across the room like seeping lava, heading toward my bed. The rivulets are now beginning to form fingers, fingers that splay over the floor like long talons extended and sharpened like knives, reaching for me.
I press the vein where my heart seems to thump in my head. Put a hand to the thrum in my neck. Though I am weak, my blood courses. I want to jump out of my bed and run for safety. I'm frozen.