Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Love A Good Premise

One of the things that easily draws me into a book is a good premise. What draws me through it is how that premise plays out. One of the most common premises is that of the romance between the rich guy and the woman who has dedicated her life to those less fortunate. When done well, it works, and it tells a good story.

However, in the story, Season of Joy, by my good friend, Virginia Carmichael, this premise is taken to a new and enjoyable finish with role reversal and a cast of secondary characters that makes you look again at the kindness of the people around you. Set in Denver, and told so well you can feel the snowy air and smell the turkey, Season of Joy makes you want to help people, discovering that in truly helping other we learn about ourselves. The back cover blurb is below.

As the holiday season approaches, wealthy CEO Calista Sheffield wants to give instead of receive. So she volunteers at a downtown Denver shelter, never expecting that her own scarred heart will be filled with hope and healing. The mission’s director, Grant Monohan, has devoted his life to helping those in need. But his harrowing past—makes him wary of Calista. Unless she shares her painful history, he’ll never believe they can have a future. But a future with Grant at the shelter is the only Christmas gift Calista truly wants.

It may be odd to think of Christmas with Halloween only a day away. (Some department stores did break out the Christmas stuff in September.) However, this book is due out on November 1, and can be ordered here at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It will put you in the mood for the season. You can even download a sample to your Nook or a Kindle or read it on-line. Enjoy…and Merry Happy Halloween Christmas.

Prayers and good wishes to my family and friends in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. May Sandy pass you by without incident.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

One More Step To Go

My son became a Life Scout last night.

For those of you unfamiliar with scouting, Life Scout is the rank just below Eagle Scout. The rank order is Scout -> Tenderfoot -> Second Class -> First Class -> Star -> Life -> Eagle. In the history of scouting, just over 2% of Boy Scouts have become Eagle Scouts.

I’m proud of how far my son has gotten. He’s wanted to be an Eagle Scout ever since he became a Boy Scout. He started years ago, mapping out his course. Now he has only one step left and has a little over two years left to achieve that final step. Once he turns 18, he’ll age out of Scouting. He has to earn his Eagle rank before then. He has two more merit badges to acquire. That will be the easy part. He has an Eagle project to complete. That will be the hard part.

My son is now a freshman in high school. His homework amount has increased dramatically from middle school. He’s also in marching band and that takes a great deal of commitment. There are several other Life Scouts in his troop that are sophomores in high school. They’ve told him to get working on his project as soon as can. He’ll have less and less time as he gets older. Those sophomores are already feeling the challenge of finishing their projects.

As I was driving my son home from his scout meeting, I congratulated him on earning his latest rank. Then, I asked him if he’d given any thought to his project. He said he’d work on it beginning next week.

For now, he just wanted to enjoy it and get some sleep.

I have no doubt he’ll make it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fair and Foul Language

As a parent, one thing I do not like hearing from my kids is the use of any foul language. When I hear it, I reprimand them immediately. However, I had an unexpected reaction to my older son’s use of an impolite word last week.

A week ago, I was engaging in the usual back-and-forth driving with kids’ activities. My older son had marching band practice that ended at 6:00 p.m. My younger son had football practice that started at 6:00 p.m. The two practices are about a mile apart. So, my plan was to drop off my younger son at football practice, watch him until practice starts, and then head to marching band practice. This schedule works as marching band often finishes late. However, that night, my cell phone rang with my older son, sounding a little frantic and wondering where I was. I told him I was on my way and would be their shortly.

When I picked him up, I looked at him and said, “You finished early today.”

My son nodded. “Yeah, and I didn’t know where the (bleep) you were.”

I immediately corrected him, saying that he shouldn’t use that language. He apologized. Still, part of me had to smile.

As I’ve mentioned in the post before, my older son has a severe speech delay. He’s a smart kid, but he speaks English like it’s a second language. Grammar is a constant challenge for him. And though I reprimanded him for the language he used, part of me was happy. To use the curse where it sounds like natural English takes an extra grammatical step. He’d done it right.

I admit it’s the oddest reason to be smile.

But when you have a kid with special challenges, you sometimes find happiness in the unique milestones.