Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blog... Blog... Blog...

Hi, I'm a LOGGER.

Okay, so maybe I should say BLOGGER, but the way I feel about now, I'm probably about as profficient at logging as I am at blogging.

I've been blogging for a couple of years now and honestly, there are still days I wonder why I even have a blog. Wonder if I've even reached anyone. Or is my blog more like my online diary.

What good is a blog? What is a blog for?

I know a blog should be a tool that is used to get information out and draw followers to my site.

I've sort of done that. Sorta. But it's a hit and miss process.

And frankly, I'm not always sure what the hits and misses are.

I hear people say to have a good blog, you should have a theme.

To have that theme, you have to know which audience you want to reach. And what you plan to use your blog for.

There are so many kinds of blogs. Some discuss writing, (as a writer I gravitate to these). Some are political in nature. Some are topical. Some are fluff. Some share poetry. Some share Jokes. Some talk taste in Music and on and on. But the best blogs have some kind of theme.

So what kind of theme do I want to write about?

Do I want to teach? Do I want be an outlet for other writers? Do I simply want to showcase myself and my thoughts?

Should I be funny? Should I delve into the more poignant thoughts of life? Should I be poetic? What kind of people do I want to bring to my site?

And once I've settled on my theme and what I plan to do with it…

I have to figure out how much time I want to spend on my blog. How many blogs do I want to post?

Then I have to consider layout, and links and how to get people to my site. Then I have come up with new and pithy things to write about so I'll keep my followers interested and they'll stop in often to see what new and awesome things I write about.


A lot goes into a blog.

But hey, today I have no worries. Today, I'm a logger.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cha... cha... cha... changes

Wow. Here I am heading for the big 50. I was certain I would hit that great mark in my life without too much fanfare or change. I was certain I would do that here in the place I call home. This place. The place I planned to live out my life with family and friends. This place where I've lived for twenty plus years. I planned to stay here and watch my family grow. I planned to tend my garden and continue writing. I planned to continue here, working toward old age and retirement.

I planned to spend my fiftieth year, right here. I would only be a year older. And perhaps a year wiser.

And life would go on as it had for a long time. I might try some new things, I might even color my hair (okay that might be a given) But I would be here. Right here, in this world I know, the world I love.

In this time, in this life as I know it.

But thanks to life, I may have to change my plans. Thanks to circumstances beyond my control, I may have to leave my home and move to a new place. A new world as far as I'm concerned.

A part of me prays nothing changes. Prays I get to stay here in my comfortable rut, working through my days in rote, since I know them so well. But I'm reminded that life hasn't always been easy here, either. What will this change bring?

Another part of me prays I'll be ready for the changes that may lie ahead. That I will realize that God will be there, cradling my life no matter where I am.

And he will. I just have to believe it.

Have to believe that blessings lie ahead, and be prepared for what God plans to show and share in my life.

Will the winds of change force me to this new place?

Who knows?

We'll see...

Friday, March 11, 2011




TOUCHED BY MERCY              GOTHIC              FAMILY                      
ERNESTINE                              TRAIN                 PHINEAS            
SAMANTHA NORTHAM            GRAHAM            ANGELINA          
MINNESOTA                             GRACE               HANNAH
BOARDINGHOUSE                   DERRICK            FAITH                          
ALLAN PRATT                           PRESTON          KAITLIN
FORGIVE                                  ORPHAN            FIRE

ELDON                                      OLGA                 RUMOR
DEVLIN CLAYBORNE               GRIMES              RACHAEL 
TRICKS                                      NUNS

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Light of the Heart by Regina Andrews

     A resident of Providence, RI, Regina Andrews grew up in nearby Barrington. After graduating from Providence College she attended the University of Delaware, eventually earning her Master’s Degree in American Civilization from Brown University. She is inspired by anything to do with nature, and she and her husband enjoy visiting nearby Cape Cod.
       Regina’s hobbies include Travel, Museums, Theater, Classical Music, Choral Singing and Gardening. She is a radio host for In-Sight, an association dedicated to providing services to the visually impaired of all ages.


By Regina Andrews

More than anything, Cascade Preston wants to forget her dark childhood in Sterling Lakes, so there’s no way she’ll agree to help refurbish that town’s church. Then she meets Dan McQuay. Will she be able to forgive the past and let the light of God’s love shine through into her heart?

Back Cover Blurb

A stained-glass artist based in Boston, Cascade Preston’s world is a kaleidoscope of color and beauty. She has overcome a dark childhood, deeply shadowed by domestic violence, in the town of Sterling Lakes. When she is approached to design new windows for a refurbished church in Sterling Lakes, she ignores the request. But when the no-nonsense Project Manager Dan McQuay appears looking for the window plans, the project takes on a whole new light. Will Cascade be able to keep the dark, protective cocoon she has built around herself intact, or will McQuay break through and shine new light into her heart? Is it possible that God’s plan for Cascade will lead her to forgive the town that ignored the situation in her family?

Excerpt - Light of the Heart

By Regina Andrews

Chapter One

The afternoon class at Tanglewood Women's Prison was a spectrum of tension, as separated and splintered as a beam of light refracted through a prism. Cascade Preston held her student's template assignment up to the light overhead, and spoke carefully on the quality of the stained glass project.

"With two lights, or openings, Brenda, I would say your idea of a church window for this one would be correct."

Sighing, the student replied, "So you think I'm making progress?"

"Of course." She tossed her honey-colored curls behind her shoulders. "Don't you?"

Brenda snorted. "Heck, no. I'm in here for domestic assault. What do I know about progress? My life is over."

This stopped Cascade in her tracks. "Look, we all make mistakes. God has told us that sinners should flock to him. What do you think? "

Brenda shrugged. "God has his own agenda. We'll see what the parole board says about mine in two weeks."

"For now, let's focus on next week's class. Bring me a flower for that one.”

"Where are we supposed to get a flower?" someone muttered.

"Draw one, stupid," Brenda answered.

"Bye, ladies. Take care."

"See you." Sad-eyed, Brenda gave her a high-five as Cascade walked past her.

Cascade's heels clicked efficiently with her every crisp step, and she made sure to shuttle as closely as possible alongside the beefy guard who escorted her from the holding room. Getting into her Corolla, she whispered a prayer. "I don't think I'm doing any good here, Lord, but I feel you telling me to stick with it. So I will. Maybe this is the kind of thing that saved my mother." She tried to block the images of her mother's bruises from her mind, but they wouldn't go away. They never did.

The drive back into Boston passed by quickly, without too much traffic. "Lean on Me" blasted from her audio system, and she sang along with all her heart. At twenty-seven, she knew it was technically an oldie, but to her, it was fresh and filled with meaning. Cascade wondered as she sang what it would feel like to have someone to lean on, because she had always been alone.

"There's only one thing that could make tonight perfect," she mused as she pulled into the parking area for her condo complex, "and that's not going to happen, for sure."

Images of her long-gone fiancé, Kevin, came into her mind and heart. Where was he this fine June evening? More importantly, why were things so much better for him without her in his life?

A form crossing her path brought her back to reality. Her eyes narrowed as she noticed someone walking towards her car. A guy -- a big guy she did not recognize.

She shaded her eyes from the late day sun. Dark hair and outdoorsy looks. Work boots. "Nope,” she murmured to herself, “I don't know him."

Hopping from her car, she said, "Can I help you?"

"If you're Cascade Preston, you sure can."

He folded his arms across his chest. With all those muscles moving, Cascade could only imagine the stress put on the seams of his light blue cotton shirt.

"And you are..."

"Dan McQuay." He extended his arm towards her. "From the site."

"Hi." Cascade pumped his strong hand, lost in his sky blue eyes. "What site?"

He tilted his head. "The construction site."

"I'm not following you."

He looked at her steadily. "I'm project manager for the retrofit on the church in Sterling Lakes. The one that you're doing the windows for."

Cascade’s heartbeat quickened. Just hearing the name of the town where she grew up made her anxious and tense. "It seems there's been a misunderstanding. No way am I working on anything in Sterling Lakes." She started to bustle past him. "Now if you'll excuse me?"

"Don't run away, Ms. Preston. There's a problem here."

His tone of voice got her attention. He sounded like he cared... about her. That was crazy. She was a total stranger to him.

She nodded. "Apparently there is a problem, you're right. I don't know what you're talking about. Like I said, I'm not doing any work in Sterling Lakes, and I never will. That's the last place in the world I ever would go."

He gave a slow whistle. "Well, that's a loaded speech if I ever heard one."

In spite of herself, she smiled. "I didn't mean to get all hot and huffy, but it is how I feel, and I have my good reasons."

He eyed her intently before he finally spoke. "Understood. The thing is, your name is on the plans that I have, and my crew is ready to get going. We haven't heard from you, and we need to have a job meeting. Mostly, we need your specs."

Cascade noticed the strong line of his jaw when he spoke, and oh, those bluer than blue eyes of his were so easy to get lost in. She swallowed.

"I don't know what to tell you. I'm not contracted for that job. Your project executive should be able to answer your questions." She toyed with the zipper on her oversized leather shoulder bag as she watched thunderclouds roll across his handsome face. "Look, why don't you give me his name? I'll check things out at my studio in the morning and get in touch with him. Maybe I can get to the bottom of this."

"Yup." He took his hands out of his pockets. "Here's my business card, and here's his. Try and remember, every day is money to me."

"Okay, I know. I'm in business, too, so I get it. I know every job I'm on, and this one is not on my list. Let me see if I can find out why I'm on the list of subcontractors... if I really am."

"You are."

"I shouldn't be, so there's a mistake. I never even sent in a bid."

"At least we found out something tonight," he said with a shrug. "Other than you being a whole lot prettier in person than in the pictures all those magazine articles and newspaper stories print about you."

Cascade’s face warmed up at his compliment. "Now you're trying to butter me up."

"Just stating the truth, plain and simple like I always do, Ms. Preston. That's my way. Thank you for your time."

"You're welcome."

He started walking over to his truck. "Talk to you tomorrow."

"Right. And there's one more thing."

He questioned her with a wondering look.

"Please call me Cascade." Her smile lingered as she watched him drive off into the Boston twilight. Too bad this job was in Sterling Lakes. It might not be that bad to do a job with Dan McQuay. Not bad at all.