Tools of the Trade

Post image for Tools of the Trade

There?s a lot going on in my life this summer: Vegetable canning, hanging out with the granddaughter, sitting in the cool waters of New River, writing books, and editing. This week my personal editor sent me the first edit of a children?s picture book I?ve written titled, The Manger Mouse. I can?t wait to type in the grammar corrections and make revisions. I know most of you think I?m crazy, but I really don?t mind the edit work.

It seems every time I go through a piece that I?ve written I see a way to make it a little bit better. Sometimes an entire chapter may change, or the ending may take a different route. I was hoping to have this children?s book published by late fall, but I?m waiting on the illustrator, and artists can?t be rushed. I?m sure the wait will be worth it.

I?m equally excited about the release of my next novel, The Color of My Heart late this fall. The editor at my publishing company, Ambassador International will have the first edit back to me this week. As the next couple of months progress, I want to share bits and pieces of the editing journey of a Christian author with you. How long does the editing process take? Do you pay heed to all the suggestions of your editor, or follow your own gut? Just like with gardening you need certain tools to write and edit. What kind of tools: A thesaurus, Bible, dictionary, Bible concordance, and lots of research via the Internet and my World Book Encyclopedias. I also want to start sharing a few words here and there of my work.

Before I start a novel I write a poem about my story. Sometimes my characters deviate from the original plot, but that?s okay, it?s their life anyway. Below is my poem titled, The Color of My Heart. I hope you enjoy, and get a feel of what my new novel is going to be about. I hope this novel will be entertaining to all who read it, but mostly I pray it will change lives. Enjoy.

P.S? I?ve also included my favorite sweet pickle recipe at the end. The recipe is a little time consuming, but if you like sweet pickles they?re worth it.

The Color Of My Heart

Pitching and swaying, the ship rolls over the hump-backed crests

Inside I, too, churn just as the sea

The force piles us high, one on top of the other

Woman, child?man and boy

Dirty, starved, abused, and shackled

Can?t anyone see the color of my heart?

Herded, chains binding, they check our bodies

Not seeing our souls

Fingers prying, muscles tested, hands on flesh

Who will have us

Where will we go?

Loud voices drown out our cries?sold?sold?sold

Can?t anyone see the color of my heart?

Dragged away, where?s my mama, my daddy, my brothers?

Someone help, take me back, I want to go home

New place, obey the rules, yes ma?am, no ma?am,

Always yes sir!

Please don?t touch me like that? I?ve never before

Can?t you see the color of my heart?

Years come, years go, babies are born, babies die

One has coal-colored skin

The other, skin olive with blue eyes

Some love, most hate, all ache

I yearn for the world to see

The color of my heart

Rejected, rebuked, shut out, shut in

Proud, confused, controlled, judged

Freedom does not always mean you?re free!

One maker?one man?one woman?

One creation?one color heart?

What do you see?

Icicle Cucumber Pickles

Take 2 gallons of cucumbers, slice but do not peel before measuring. Pour 1 gallon of boiling water with one pint of pickling salt added over cukes. Let stand 1 week stirring or shaking every day. Drain and add 2 tablespoons Alum to 1-gallon boiling water and pour over cukes. Let stand 24 hours. Drain.


8 pints sugar

2 quarts vinegar

1 box pickling spices tied in cheesecloth. (I don’t usually use an entire box.)

Heat syrup and pour over sliced cukes every morning for 4 days. On the 4th day place cukes in hot jars. Heat syrup and pour over pickles in jars and seal with new lids. If one doesn’t seal, just re-heat the syrup. Makes 12 pints.

Enjoy, great pickles to use in potato salad.

Leave a Comment



Previous post:

Next post: