Showing posts with label #attitude. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #attitude. Show all posts

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Author Interview with Susan York Meyers

Welcome author, Susan York Meyers, to Writing with God's Hope blog. I met this fellow author online when my debut novel released. I loved asking Meyers questions and learning more about her. I think you'll enjoy her answers.


1.    Susan, tell us something about yourself, especially about your writing journey

In high school I loved to write scenes, usually dramatic and tension filled (or at least I thought so). It was fun. However, in college, I began to take the idea of writing seriously. I graduated from emotion filled drama to actual full stories. But, it wasn’t until several years later when I started telling my son bedtime stories that I found my passion – children’s writing. That’s when I joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and realized I knew nothing about writing! But I learned. Now I am the proud author of two chapter books and two picture books, one the award winning “Grrr … Night!” I’ve also stretched my writing wings and this past year my first adult book, “Two Old Ladies – It’s all in the Attitude” was published. It’s been a great journey.

2.    Did you ever feel like giving up on your writing?  And how did you press through this?

Yes. A few years ago I experienced burnout. I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to write next. I had so many ideas and half-finished stories on my computer that I felt overwhelmed. I had to step back and decide exactly what I wanted to accomplish. I picked out a couple of stories and put the rest in a folder where I couldn’t see them. At the moment I am working on a sequel for Grrr…Night!. My middle grade novel, Stone Girl, just went to the publisher and my YA novel, I Spy Something Wicked, is in edits with another publisher. It’s a busy time.


3.    Where did you get the idea for your new book?

Two Old Ladies – It’s All in the Attitude started out as a short scene about contrasting attitudes toward winter weather. I fell in love with the main characters, two sisters, Lillybelle and Annabelle, but had no idea what to do with the scene. So,I put it aside. Every couple of years, I’d pull it back out wondering what to do with it. I finally decided to write a few more scenes. Each humorous “scene” showed how attitude can affect your life. I added a few thoughts and prayers. It became a humorous inspirational book about attitude.
I also have to put in a plug for my poetry book, Shoe Haiku. It’s official launch is next month. It’s for the woman who loves shoes as much as I do! You can find out more information about Shoe Haiku on my website.

4.    How do you feel this book will encourage readers?

Life is hard enough without focusing on the negative. So many things in life we can’t change, but our attitude is in our control. Lillybelle and Annabelle use love and humor to show the difference a good attitude can make in a stressful situation.

5.    How did you find your publisher?

I was very blessed in the fact that the publisher of Doodle and Peck is also a critique partner. She fell in love with Two Old Ladies. I was extremely blessed to have someone publishing my book who loved it as much as I do.

6.    If you were a song, what would it be?

Depends on the day. Many days it might be the hymn “I’m Happy Today.” But, there are a few days when “I’m Not Crazy” by Matchbox 20 definitely fits.

7.    What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Read. I’m a huge mystery fan. Crochet. I’m making a Halloween afghan at the moment. Play on the computer. (Wayyy to much!) Drive. I love to drive back roads listening to CDs. Spend time with my family.

8. Tell us what your new book is about?

When your late husband worked downtown, thongs were something people wore on their feet,” Lillybelle Maudine Granger told her sister, Annabelle Verline Kingston. This pair of seventy-something senior citizens tackle everything with flair and humor, whether it’s trying to imagine heaven (“Wouldn’t a purple halo be nice?”), playing matchmaker for the youth minister, or helping a stressed-out young mother. Because, for these two old ladies, it's all in the attitude!   

Find Susan York Meyers at:

Website: susanameyers.com
On the main page of my website you can sign up for my once-a-month newsletter.
Blog: http://susanameyers.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ISpySomethingWicked/

Links where your book can be purchased.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Two-Little-Old-Ladies-Attitude/dp/0996620508/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449066318&sr=8-1&keywords=Two+Little+Old+Ladies%3A+It%27s+all+in+the+Attitude

Doodle and Peck: http://www.doodleandpeck.com/#!product-page/cekl/1043888d-0a0e-2ce5-9973-1bd4e2d231e4
  


Susan York Meyers is the author of two chapter books and two picture books. Her latest book, Two Old Ladies, It’s All in the Attitude, is a humorous inspirational book.

Susan worked in elementary school libraries for over 12 years and is familiar with both books and the children who check them out. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Susan is a past judge for the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation as well as a speaker for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in Oklahoma.


Thank you for visiting us, Susan. I sure enjoyed the interview. Since I am "an old woman," I think I must read that book. I'm glad you shared it with us. I also wish you great things with the upcoming book of poetry. You're a busy woman.

Any questions or comments for Susan?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Attitude

(Reprint of a memoir piece I wrote and posted several years ago to  impart, hopefully, a Thanksgiving attitude)

ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
By Janet K. Brown


     The pastor’s sermon blazed through my mind. He advised we keep an “attitude of gratitude” and quoted, “In everything give thanks: (1 The. 5:18a.)”

     Everything? Really?

     My dry, thirsty spirit longed for the peace the pastor spoke about, so I was willing to try. I prayed, “Lord, help me be thankful in everything.”

     That night, my mother died while talking to me on the telephone.

     When it rang, my house overflowed with daughters and sons-in-law. My joy was complete, and it was easy to be grateful.

     “I think I have pneumonia,” Mom said.

     “Have you called the doctor?”

     “Yes and I have an appointment tomorrow, but I feel…..” Her voice trailed off. I heard a gasp.

     I gripped the receiver as if it were her life vest. “Mom?”

I waited. “Mom? Are you okay?”

     Nothing.

     My heart raced. My legs couldn’t carry me the one hundred and thirty miles to her home. She had to answer. “Mom?”

     A gurgle sounded then total quiet.

     By this time, my husband held me.

     I doubled over in pain. “Mom,” I screamed into the phone.

     He pried it from my fingers, listened and hung up. “We need to call the emergency number. Do you want me to?”

     I shook my head and dialed. I gave them the address and explained what I heard. “I’m an only child. She lives alone, so if you get no answer, you have my permission to break in a door or window.”

     My tears soaked my husband’s shirt. He told them to call us. “We’ll be there in about two and a half hours.”

     My body convulsed. My family surrounded me. I don’t remember but I know my husband tucked me into the passenger side of our car, and we drove off.”

     While our car sailed along the highway nearing Dallas, my husband clutched my hand across the center console. I felt an encouraging squeeze. “It will be alright.”

     But, a sick feeling flipped my stomach upside down. Breathing became a silent struggle to survive. I heaved in laboring pants identifying with the one who gave me birth, my number one fan on earth.

     Another phone call gave us the hospital name. After we parked near the door, we rushed inside.

     A kind nurse directed us to a small room.

     A doctor entered. He confirmed what I suspected. They were never able to revive my mother. Her last words were to me on the phone. I followed him to a cold, clinical room. Mother’s body was rigid. “Good bye,” I spoke the words but my heart refused to accept the facts.

     My husband led me out. He looked me in the eyes. “She dreaded going into a nursing facility more than anything. We can be thankful she died in her own home while talking to you.”

     Thankful? I remembered my promise to be thankful in all things. I prayed again. I really tried.

     My next call came from my baby daughter. Her husband had completed his tour of duty with the U.S. Air Force in Korea. She wanted me to know he’d be there for the funeral. “But, now I know we’ll be stationed at North Carolina.”

     Already tender emotions melted into fresh tears. “That’s a long way from Texas.”

     “Yes, but we’ll stay here for two more weeks.”

     Two weeks? Thanksgiving Day would come in three. The coldness I’d felt in Mother’s hospital room crept along my veins like thick blood. “You’ll be gone for Thanksgiving?”

     “Yes.” Her voice came soft and searing to my heart.

     The next few days filled with so many things. God insulated me with a long to-do list and a shock-sedated system. Often, I faltered. I couldn’t go on. My husband and I prayed. God carried me through a few more hours. His mercy and love gave me rest when I could go no further.

     My plans for the funeral.

     The funeral itself.

     Making decisions for Mom’s house and goods.

     Helping my daughter pack to move.

     Planning the Thanksgiving meal.

     Holding tightly to my ten-month-old granddaughter that we kept every day while her mother worked. She was the new life out of the old. But, soon she would live fifteen hundred miles away.

     In everything give thanks.

     The Lord reminded me daily of my promise.

     One week before Thanksgiving, my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter drove off. How could my heart keep pumping while loaded with so much heartache? How could I thank God for this?

     Thanksgiving Day was bittersweet. My husband, the other two daughters and sons-in-law gathered around a feast cooked with both love and sadness.

     Like a robot with fork in hand, I scooped good food and lifted it to my mouth without tasting the buttery, sweet flavors. Memories ran like escaped prisoners through my thoughts. My hand stilled.

     Memories.

     “I thank God for the memories of Mother, of Cindy and Victoria.”

      My husband held up his fork holding a piece of Cindy’s pecan pie she made and left for us. “In all things give thanks.”

     I smiled. “I think we should stop now and pray again.”

     My family laid down utensils and looked up at me as if I’d sprouted angels’ wings. We bowed our heads.

     “On this Thanksgiving Day, give us an attitude of gratitude in every thing.” When I lifted my head, I saw smiles cross each face. I silently asked God to remind me of this time on the next trial. I knew there would be one.

I hope you enjoyed my story. God is so good. How thankful I am for all the Writing with God's Hope blog viewers.
The Brown Thanksgiving table last year
Happy Thanksgiving!