Break Out!

The-Covered-BetThis past week my editor phoned. “Lots of people are getting in on the lower pre-release price on The Covered Bet. We’re gearing up for the last edit before lay-out and print.”

I knew this was coming. I know it means for several days shutting out the world while I’m glued to the computer— like in one night cramming a book of information in your brain to get an A on a test.

For my previous books I had the luxury of going to getaway places. For one, the ocean—for the second, a cabin at the foot of the Olympic Mountains. I no longer have that privilege but I need to break out of my house. The looming question: Where to go?

There are options:


ComputerPros:  It’s handy; no packing up stuff
Cons: Noise from ringing phone, dear husband vacuuming, loving husband’s desk in same room; wonderful husband talking to me (well, he’s social – the feeling I should cook and do laundry.. Enough.


HotelPros: Everything
Cons:  Expensive


HousePros: Although 3 hours away, my son only lives a mile away and my cousin and wife just down the street. It’s quiet; I lived there a lot when growing up so I know the house.
Cons: Internet access iffy; the shower is in the basement down outside stairs! Brrr; it isn’t too visible from the street; AND some years ago I wrote a story about a girl, alone in that house, with a stalker peering in the windows to see if she’s there. Umm—I just scared myself!


TruckPros:  Quiet, a good heater-
Cons: A bit awkward and the gas would bankrupt us.

Stay tuned. When the time comes I’ll report from the site.

In the meantime, the always good Lord willin’ and no snow, will be back with you next week.

Praying this weekend you have your own restful breakout,

Wearing Matched Pearls

In our house two long shelves are packed with my special book collection. If, no one has asked to keep and cherish it when I’m ready to go Home, the works will go with me! Because they are friends I’ve known longer than my beloved husband or children. They go back a long time:

The rule in our small-town Carnegie library was “no one under sixteen could check out books in the adult section without permission.”

Somehow I got in under the radar. I recollect Miss Lewis, the tall, erect, middle-aged Bostonian librarian, liked me. Once, visiting my third-grade class she pointed me out as one who came to the library a lot.  She most likely had recommended to my 13-year-old insatiable-reader self the novels of the late Grace Livingston Hill who began her writing career in 1887. Why on earth did she think I would be interested in old books not the least bit relevant to rock and roll or my problems?

Dear, proper Miss Lewis, who later instilled in me her love of growing the lobelia she used to make the back of the library into an English garden, knew the importance of those light fiction books.  She knew a girl needs to think about beauty—ideals—using her brain plus optimism—and clean language. She knew a girl’s insides never change.

I’ve re-read The Honor Girl more times than I can count. An honors scholar is put through the fire to show what she’s made of. She uses her God-given abilities to fight the flames.
Grace Livingston wrote out of her own romance with the man she married, Frank Hill. White Orchids from the man she loves transforms Camilla Chrystie.



After he died of appendicitis young mother, Grace wrote from her grief. Beauty For Ashes shows how God honors his promise to bring light and joy out of the dark places.


beauty-for-ashesShe had this house built in the early 1900’s. If you’re familiar with her stories, she extols stone houses.

homeMatched Pearls, written in the early 1900s could be written now. Young people, surrounded by immorality struggle between “I want to have fun now,” and a memory of what someone may have taught them.

matched-pearlsThe matched pearls in the story had no lasting value. I know Grace Livingston Hill is now wearing a necklace of pearls bought at the greatest price ever.

And that’s the beginning of my love-affair with a writer who told it like it was in every decade for over 130 years!  May I follow her example.

Have you read Mrs. Hill’s books? Have you experienced beauty coming from ashes? Please leave a reply (comment.)  I’ll respond.

This week may the surprising joy of the Lord add a pearl to your necklace.~~roberta