Goals

This may seem obvious, but to set goals, we have to stop and think. About what we want, whether we’ve given up in the face of obstacles, fear, longing, all that human stuff. It seems possible to me that most folks are like me, and need goals to put flavor in life. If you disagree, please speak up. Might make a great discussion.

At any rate, in the last week of 2021, I spent all the time I had on considering. One thing that had been bothering me was that my marketing ability was so ineffective with my books. I’d spent twenty years in the public relations profession, but my writing was the world’s best hidden secret. A lady at church even said, “I didn’t know you were a writer. You need to speak up.” Not good. I read yesterday that the best marketing tool to sell books is to write a good one, and go for word of mouth promotion. See, I already knew that. So why so tight-lipped? (Lord, please don’t let it be false humility.)

Another was that I wasn’t getting as much time with my adult children and grandchildren as I wanted. A couple live clear on the other side of the county, so that complicates the situation, but I’m a pretty smart cookie. I can figure it out. And I’m the one with the most flexible time, thus the opportunity to plan to be together. Got on that one this week.

I could go on, but I think you get my drift. Just one more thing. One big, lofty goal seems like a great idea, no matter how old you are. There’s this award for Christian fiction writers, called the Carol Award. I’m going to win that award, maybe next year.

And by the way, have you checked out my books on Amazon yet? There’s a new one, Queen of the Third Grade published for less than a month. See, I can speak up. https://smile.amazon.com/Queen-Third-Grade-Jane-Baker-ebook/dp/B09MP35BZT/ref=sr_1_3?crid=3C8YQA94YV17Y&keywords=queen+of+the+third+grade+book&qid=1641482725&sprefix=Queen+of+the+Third+Grade%2Caps%2C128&sr=8-3

Experts

I’m not going to say anything about the current Coronavirus because I’m not an expert. I am an expert on a few things, though. For instance, I’m fairly certain there’s no earthquake vault under where I live in California because I checked it out when I was taking journalism in college. (Not that we don’t shake a little, but not a lot.) I think I’m an expert on managing dry skin because I have it. Gold Bond Ultimate, just sayin’. (This is not an advertisement, but a recommendation from my doc.) I’m an expert on my hubs, too. Maybe not completely because he keeps changing, but better than anybody else in the world. So that’s me, or some of me.

person holding green leafed plant

Who’s an expert? Somebody who’s done the work of finding out. A scientist or MD is an expert on the Coronavirus, or maybe if you want to know what it’s like, someone who’s had it. Due to that fact, I ignore a whole bunch of what I see on Facebook. But I listen to the experts, and follow their recommendations. That’s why you won’t see me in crowds for a while, including church on Sunday, darn it. We need to give the medical people a break by not all catching it together. But I said I wasn’t going to say anything about that. So never mind.

Another expert I pay attention to is that one who’s been in the trenches. If I want to know how to be a mom, I pick a mom who has stayed the course whether her kids are considered successful or not. If I want to learn writing, I listen to a writer who publishes what I want to write. If I want to be a CASA, I listen to people who volunteer as CASAs.

Why am I saying all this? Because there are a lot of folks these days who don’t know how to pick an expert. We ask sports figures how to manage finances, movie stars how to love our kids, radio talk show hosts how to manage our love lives. We even take advice from television shows, say what? Whoa!

Evaluate people! If a sports figure is living high because s/he makes millions, what’s that got to do with you? A. You probably don’t make millions. B. That dude may easily be out of money when s/he blows out her knee or his elbow. Goodbye high life. What about your hardworking parents or neighbors, wouldn’t they be better experts? Did you know that movie stars concentrate most on how to act and look good? Why would that make them an expert on parenting? Famous isn’t informed. How about picking a couple who have raised several kids. They won’t sugar coat it or give you pat answers. They’ll give you the true skinny.

OKay, you say, so where do we go for advice? Go to people who are honest and kind, to people who are humble and wise. Go to people who are willing to help and also admit they are still learning themselves. And I know you may not appreciate this next, but go to God. He’s the expert extraordinaire, and He loves you, so you can trust Him not to steer you wrong.

One last thing. God gets a lot of bad press. People say He lets bad stuff happen for no reason. Not so. Even when God allows bad stuff, there’s a reason. We may not be able to discern it in the moment, but He knows we learn more in bad times than in good. So, as an expert Father, He allows the bad times. And if you don’t believe He loves you, take a look at the world He created for you. EXPERT

 

I Hope I Can Write This

Something is bothering me. It has to do with words. Though I’m a word person, I’m concerned that I may be calling the kettle black as I write this. But It won’t let me go. It has to do with cussing. So here goes.

Ever since I was a kid the F word was a no no in polite company. It was like the most disgusting word you could use. I never had the guts, but I heard that the soap came out and some of my friends were bubbling at the mouth before they knew what happened when they dared to use it. Now I know we were kids, but that word wasn’t heard when there were women around. Just didn’t happen. In fact, if some ruffian deigned to speak it when somebody’s wife stood there, it was a fightin’ word.

Okay, fast forward. Bake and I are out for a nice Valentine’s dinner and the table across from us is graced with a dude who can say the F word two or three times in one sentence, loudly. He had other talents, too, but this is about cussing.

angry man

Photo by BROTE studio on Pexels.com

I couldn’t help it. I looked up how long the F word has been around. Since 1475! In all those years it was saved for impolite company. Well, until lately. Now I know, there are lots of cuss words, and Facebook will attest that I have said at least one myself, darn it. But I think we’re losing ground when the big F loses the impact it used to have. When the young folks tell me that it means nothing.

It doesn’t mean nothing. Words have meaning. And I, for one, would like to see that one return to the darkside. Okay, I’ve said my piece.

Next Year

Nope, not resolutions. Seems like a bargain with failure. However, great ideas, you betcha!

I’m going to invite other authors to blog here. That’ll be fun.

I’m going to let my little dog take the therapy dog test, and then we’re headed for the library, hospital, and whereve else she can share love.20191203_142027

I’m going to train to be a CASA volunteer to help foster kids navigate this crazy world.

I’m going to a few weddings and birthdays and holidays and Neighborhood Watch stuff.

I’m going to get on down to love the homeless at the Shower Shuttle now and then, and take that dog I mentioned.

And I’m going to love my family despite the fact that we are cussed people, but made in the image of God. That is all, unless God has other ideas.

Rogue Wave

RogueWavecov (1).jpgFriday is launch day for my new novel, Rogue Wave! You can preorder the Kindle version on Amazon now. See if this sounds interesting:

Bonnie O’Sullivan turns to put apples in her shopping cart to find her daughter, Fallon, smiling toothlessly–but her best friend’s daughter vanished. Disappeared into nothing, and never found.

Bonnie rescues sea otters as a biologist at Monterey Bay Aquarium, but her love of adventure doesn’t extend to her daughter as Fallon matures. Haunted by the kidnapping, Bonnie confines Fallon to Seascape, their ranch stronghold.  Red-headed Fallon responds by perfecting rebellion. Now a shadowed gunman has fired at Bonnie from a ridge on the ranch. Who is he? Why is he shooting at her?

Quinn, Bonnie’s ocean-hopping Irish husband, is no help. He easily dismisses Bonnie’s fears and believes it’s time to give their daughter more freedom. After the shooting, he and Fallon find a gold coin where the gunman stood on the ridge. What does it mean?

  • Does Graciela Castaneda, Fallon’s beloved nanny, have any part in the mysteries?
  • Will Fallon barrel race herself to freedom?
  • What will a courageous, but overprotective, mother risk to provide her daughter a safe harbor?

Rogue Wave, the first novel in the Seascape Saga, answers the question, “How do we find the courage to face fear?