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Florida, United States
Southern born, Southern reared. It's a quirky place and we are unique folk... These are my people and these are my stories.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday with Friends "Ramona Richards"

One of my all-time favorite people! Seriously... all-time...

Lizards, Tales, and Fried Chicken

They looked huge to me, those trestle tables under the picnic shelter behind the Baptist church. They also seemed a bit rickety, like they’d never hold all that food, that long array of fried chicken, green beans, potato salad, and gallons of ice tea. A dish of something dark red warned me where the congealed salads lay in wait, and at the far distant end . . . oh, what a gathering of pies! Coconut, chocolate, chess, pecan.

Mother would stand me on a somewhat shaky chair, hand me a dish towel, and say, “Keep the flies off.”

Pure torture for a hungry little girl, all of four, waiting for the rest of the food to emerge from cars and coolers. The scents of all that chicken made my stomach growl and my mouth water.

Welcome to dinner on the grounds, that beloved Southern tradition that brought kith and kin from near and far to their home church.

Tall oaks formed the leafy roof over our heads, which gave some, but not much, relief from the blistering heat of an Alabama summer. Sweat coated my face, and I whined until my mother dug a pair of shorts and a cotton shirt out of her bag and told me to go change.

I fled to the car and changed in the back seat, peeling off soaked crinolines and wriggling into the shorts and shirt. Then I scampered out to the cemetery, where the rest of the kids dashed around, hunting lizards in the sweltering heat. We squealed and ran among the family plots, occasionally stopping to pelt each other with marble chips scrounged from one of the graves. Reverent we were not.

Then we heard the preacher call everyone to prayer. Time for the blessing. Everyone bowed their heads as he gave a full-blown Southern Baptist prayer.

For a kid, this takes about the same time as eternity. We squirmed, swatting flies and gnats, until one of the mothers cleared her throat in an ominous threat aimed at every person under 12. Didn’t matter whose mom – we all stilled.

Finally . . . FOOD. Glorious piles of unforgettable, delicious delicacies. Deviled eggs, which made me ask Mother how chickens could sin. Watermelon. Homemade ice cream.

Then came the tale-telling. Women gathered up the remains as the old men circled chairs and told stories about the past, about all those folks out there in the cemetery. Folks we should remember, whose trials and faith had blazed the trail we all walked.

When we finally left, I was sunburnt, sated, and full of dreams. And impatient for the next dinner on the grounds.  

Bio: Ramona Richards, fiction editor for Abingdon Press, started making stuff up at three, writing it down at seven, and selling it at eighteen. She’s been annoying editors ever since, which is probably why she became one. She’s edited more than 350 publications, including novels, CD-ROMs, magazines, non-fiction, children’s books, Bibles, and study guides. Ramona has worked with such publishers as Thomas Nelson, Barbour, Howard, Harlequin, Ideals, and many others. The author of eight books and an avid live music fan, Ramona loves living in the ongoing street party that is Nashville.

(Black and white photo of young Ramona, singing at a Dinner on the Grounds."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday's Talk About the Book

From Romance Times Book Reviews:

Everson's evocative writing puts the reader in the midst of the gorgeous seaside setting. It takes a while to connect with the characters, but after a few chapters they seem like real people. The abrupt ending is puzzling, but possibly a sequel is in the works to further explore this wonderful family.

Okay...first, I'd like to say a huge THANK YOU to Melissa Parcel, who reviewed the book. And another THANK YOU for calling my writing "evocative."

Let's look at that word, shall we? To be EVOCATIVE means to EVOKE...feelings, memories...to "call them up" and to "draw them out."

Well, I believe I like that, don't you? I like knowing my words can "call up" memories or feelings. That's the whole point, I think. I write to tell a story, but even more, to make my readers think the story is real. And, in that "reality" they can find answers to their own life-questions. Or, maybe they can just escape for a while. 

Okay, bottom line. I write because if I don't, my brain will pop, what with all these men and women, boys and girls running around, talking to me, telling me their stories as if I don't have enough of my own. (Perhaps only novel writers will truly appreciate that.)

I also like knowing my characters seem like real people. (Thank you. Thank you very much. My work here is done...) But I have to be honest...they are real people. At least to me. I spend a LOT of time with these folks. I have their photos. I've put together their wardrobes. I've gone over their past, their present, their future. I know what they like, what they don't like and all the things you wish you knew about them but don't. (If they knew I knew, they may rise up and kill me so...shhhh!)

AND... I just LOVE that Ms. Parcel thinks the family is wonderful. The family is dysfunctional at best...but then again, what family isn't? I think this honest writing makes the reader say, "Oh, I know exactly  what this feels like!"

In Chasing Sunsets, Kimberly Claybourne Tucker is a divorced mother of two boys. Her husband "just didn't want to be married anymore" and Kimberly cannot, for the life of her, understand that. After all, wasn't she a good wife? A doting mother? Enter Steven Granger, her high school sweetheart. The boy who broke her heart. The only man she ever loved, other than her husband. Steven is also divorced. His wife left him with their toddling daughter, Eliza. He reared her the best he could, all the while working hard, staying away from the dating scene to concentrate on Eliza, and now--with Eliza in college and Kimberly back in Cedar Key--he's willing to open his heart again. He knows he did Kim wrong way back when, but he also knows they were kids. 

Kim, however, hasn't quite gotten over that fact.

Here's the point I'm trying to make. Years ago, when I first entered in to the world of Christian fiction, we Christian fiction writers were hard-pressed to find a publisher who'd let us write about such things as two divorced adults who are both Christians and want to find love again. So, BRAVO to Baker/Revell (my fabulous pub house!) and to all those who are saying, "Yes! This is real life, people! This is what the church is facing today...and we must confront it."

Finally, I'd like to address the "abrupt ending." While, yes, there is another book on the horizon (I have a matter of DAYS...okay WEEKS...to get this thing done!), I honestly didn't feel the ending was abrupt. So, here is what I have decided... the book was just SO GOOD, the reviewer didn't want it to end. (Smiling broadly here!) I know I didn't! When I knew this part of the story was over and that it was time to type: THE END, I cried. I have grown to love Kimberly and Steven and Patsy  and...

...Oh! Did I mention the second book is Patsy's story!? Wait till you hear....

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday's Recipe of the Week

At one time in my young married life, I was the queen of cooking with Bisquick. I highly recommend it for fast and delicious!

This recipe is one I used to make at least once a week (my poor family; I've never been one for variety!) See what you think!

Impossible Cheeseburger Pie


1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cups Bisquick
3 eggs


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease pie plate (use Pam or something like it!). Cook and stir ground beef and onion until beef is brown. Drain. Stir in salt and pepper. Spread in pie pan. Sprinkle with cheese. Beat remaining ingredients until smooth, 15 seconds in blender on high speed or 1 minute with hand beater. Pour into pie pan. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting. Refrigerate any remaining pie. Serves 6 to 8.

Note: Use a pie plate that is 10 x 1 1/2 inches. If your pie pan is 9x1 1/4, decrease milk to 1 cup, baking mix to 1/2 cup and eggs to 2.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Monday Musings on All Things Southern

Just the other day I wrote a scene in my WIP (work in progress). It takes place in the late 50s. It's summertime. It's Florida. It's hot.

My character Veronica--called Ronni--is sitting on a front porch swing with her beau, Billy. She is holding a hand-held funeral home fan, this one with the image of Heinrich Hoffman's famous painting of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.

And, of course, it got me to thinking about growing up in the South and going to church and all those hand-held fans. They were often called "funeral home" fans because funeral homes advertised on the back of them. I cannot remember anything on the front beyond famous biblical paintings.

But this brought to mind one Sunday when my family and I were invited to go to church with friends. Theirs was a small country church. White brick. Chapel in the front, fellowship hall with Sunday school classrooms jutting out to the left, making the whole thing look like a giant white L. The pews were brick-hard. There was no carpeting on the floor, just linoleum. And, by golly, no air conditioning.

But there were hand-held fans and the stained glass windows did open. Which mean the gnats and mosquitoes had free access to the house of God as well. Parishioners sat and listened to the preacher, all the while fanning their faces and blowing those pesky critters away from their sweat-drenched faces. And no one complained because, hey! Dinner on the grounds was coming just as soon as the service was over.

I say "no one." I was doing my fair share of griping ... inwardly, of course. My mother thought nothing of taking my brother and me out of the church for a little "hands on" discipline when necessary. Not that she would have "spanked" me at that age. I was probably fourteen at the time. But I would have lost privileges, which--if I had to guess--would have been watching television, something I loved to do.

So I endured.

But after an hour of fanning and blowing and listening to the Word of God preached by a down-home pastor, and after fried chicken and potato salad and homemade macaroni and cheese and some pound cake, all served with enough sweet tea to sink a ship...I was bored.

My brother wasn't bored. He'd found some kids to play with. My father and mother were happily chatting with the "brothers and sisters." But I didn't really know anyone there and I was (did I mention?) bored. I asked Daddy for the keys to the car so I could go outside where, yes, it was even hotter than inside because, after all, I could at least listen to the hit tunes offered by WBBQ out of Augusta, GA. God willing.

I rolled down all the windows and turned the key to the left so as to drain the battery but not rev the engine. And certainly not use the air conditioner! But the tunes came in--although reception was sketchy at times--and I was given a moment's reprieve from my adolescent angst.

But not the heat and certainly not the pests. Gnats covered the inside of the windshield. Millions of them. I wondered if we'd ever get them out or if we'd have to make household pets out of them. Then the sweating started in full force. Dripping down my back in large streams. Along my face. My makeup (Cover Girl, no doubt) was obviously ruined.

Determined to stick out my own agony, I went back to the chapel of the church, pulled one of the fans from the pew rack, and returned to the car. I waved like a maniac--Jesus' imagine flying all over the place--while Daddy Dewdrop sang, "Chic-a-boom, chic-a-boom..."

Don't you just love it?

Hey! Do you have any hand-held fan stories to tell? Share them here! Remember any particular painting on the front side, advertisement on the back? I'd love to hear it!

Eva Marie

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday with Friends "Ava Pennington"

I love, love, love my guest for this week. Ava Pennington is a delight to know ... and a delight to read. Check it out!

Southern Lessons    
By Ava Pennington                                                                                

I’m a city girl. A northern city girl.  I was born in Brooklyn and worked in Manhattan for most of my corporate career. My New York accent is as much a part of me as my brown eyes and crooked smile.

But things change. Twelve years ago, we moved south – one thousand miles south to Florida. Now, I know true southerners do not consider Florida a bona fide southern state. Southern wisdom dictates that “when you’re in Florida, you have to go north to get south.”

Still, I’m surrounded by enough southern influence that this northerner has learned a thing or two…usually the hard way!

There was the time a friend hosted a gathering, but realized too late she only had unsweetened iced tea. It didn’t seem like a problem to me – why not offer sugar to those who wanted to sweeten their iced tea? I suggested. The collective southern gasp – followed by laughter – informed me of my faux pas. First lesson: true sweet iced tea is never sweetened when cold!

Speaking of sugar, one of my dearest friends at church is a lovely older woman who hails from the Deep South. As our relationship developed, I made a point of greeting her with a hug each time we met. Soon that wasn't enough. One day, she greeted me with, “Gimme some sugar.” Was she asking for another hug? I didn’t need to puzzle long. She quickly complemented her warm embrace with a big kiss. Second lesson: southern kisses are sweeter than sweet iced tea!

After living among southerners (and southern wannabes!) it was bound to happen. I began to pick up southern mannerisms. I even address my Bible class as “y’all,” although it does sound funny with a New York accent. Still they are quick to remind me that I haven’t quite arrived until I address them properly: “all y’all.”

Sigh. I have much to learn.

For more information about Ava, go to:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday's Recipe of the Week

Prissy Pecans

(you will need waxed paper for this recipe)

2 tsp. powdered instant coffee
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tbs. water
dash of salt
2 cups pecan halves

Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Spread on waxed paper and separate pecan halves as they cool. Pecans will be sugar-coated, but not sticky.

Note from Eva Marie: I've not tried this yet, but sugar-coated pecans is about the only way I can eat them (and that includes in a pie... yum!) I'm planning to try this soon, but if any of my readers do before me, let us know how this recipe turns out. I love sugar-coated pecans. Wondering what the coffee will do for the flavor!

I was also just thinking what a wonderful addition to an Easter basket this would make for the grown-up children in your life!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tuesday's Southern Style Tunes

My mother could have listened to this until Jesus returns... 
or she went to be with Him.
 Turned out to be the latter.
 That's all right. 
Play on, Mama!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday Musings on All Things Southern

(Continued from last week's Musings...)

Only a Southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption fit, and that you don't "HAVE" them, you "PITCH" them.

Only a Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc., make up "a mess."

Only a Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of "yonder."

Only a Southerner knows exactly how long "directly" is, as in: "Going to town, be back directly." ("Dreckly" in my family)

Even Southern babies know that "Gimme some sugar" is not a request for the white, granular, sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl in the middle of the table.

All Southerners know exactly when "by and by" is. They might not use the term, but they know the concept well.

Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad.
If the neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin'!

Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between "right near" and "a right fer piece." They also know that "just down the road" can be 1 mile or 20.

Only a Southerner both knows and understands the difference between a redneck, a good ol' boy, and po' white trash.

No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.

A Southerner knows that "fixin" can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb.

Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines ... and when we're "in line", we talk to everybody!

Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they're related, even if only by marriage.

In the South, y'all is singular, all y'all is plural.

Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them.

Every Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, biscuits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.

When you hear someone say, "Well, I caught myself lookin'," you know you are in the presence of a genuine Southerner!

Only true Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk." Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and lots of it -- we do not like our tea unsweetened.
"Sweet milk" means you don't want buttermilk.

And a true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway.
You just say, “Bless her heart"... and go your own way.

To those of you who are still a little embarrassed by your Southerness: Take two tent revivals and a dose of sausage gravy and call me in the morning, bless your heart!

And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff....bless your hearts, I hear they're fixin' to have classes on Southernness as a second language!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thursday's Talk About the Book

We've had a busy week this week with Chasing Sunsets, which releases in about a month.

I'm talking to the publishing house, Baker/Revell, about a book trailer and loads of other marketing ideas. They also posted to their website the opening pages. Tell me what you think: http://www.bakerpublishinggroup.com/Media/MediaManager/Excerpt_9780800734367.pdf

Last week I went away for a few days to work on book two. In less than 24 hours, I wrote 10,000 words.

TEN THOUSAND WORDS! I came home pooped!

This week, I'm researching life in the late 50s and early 60s in Cedar Key. It's a daunting task, believe me. This little island off the west coast of Florida has been so badly beaten over the years. Hurricanes. Wars. Industries that closed down, leaving little income for the residents.

But Cedar Key refuses to be destroyed. She resurrects herself time and again. It was in the 60s that things really started to turn around for her when someone got smart and said, "Let's have an arts festival." Cedar Key was about to become the artist's getaway. The decade before a "beach" (City Park) was built. In 1957 "Ma Bell" (Southern Bell) brought in a phone system. In 1958, the first restaurant was established.

Oh! That brought such joy to this little southern writer's heart! You see, one of my protags (main characters) is a restaurateur. He will establish his restaurant in 1960/1961. This is so pivotal to the plot of the book, I cannot tell you!

In two weeks I'm going to Cedar Key to film some promotional footage about the island, some of my favorite places, etc. So, get ready to see that. I'm jazzed!

Until next time.

Write on...

Eva Marie Everson, Author
Cedar Key Novels (Baker/Revell)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday's Recipe of the Week

From my friend Flea.
Yep, that's her name.
Okay, not really... but that's what we call Mrs. Felicia Christenson!

She writes:

This recipe comes from my absolute favorite cookbook, The Cotton Country Collection, from the Junior League of Monroe, Inc. It was a wedding gift from my Louisiana cousins back in '92. There hasn't been a bad recipe in it yet. I've made this one several times - killed my hips!

Chocolate Chiffon Pie
Mrs. T. M. Sayre
Rayville, Louisiana

1-9 inch baked pie shell
1 envelope gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon instant coffee
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
3 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whipped cream

Soften gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup water, coffee and chocolate. Stir over low heat until blended. Remove from heat; add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored; gradually beat in 1/2 cup sugar; add salt and vanilla. Blend into chocolate mixture. Chill until partially set. Beat egg whites with remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Fold into chocolate filling. Pile in the baked pie crust and chill until firm. May be served with whipped cream on top.

If you want to know more about Flea and her world, go to: thegoodflea.com 
Questions about this recipe? Flea has all the answers! :) 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday Southern Style Tunes


Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Musings on All Things Southern

A friend sent this to me today (thanks, Kris!). It's kinda long and I've heard it before, but it bears repeating!

Southern FOLKS know their summer weather report:

Southern FOLKS know their vacation spots:
The beach
The rivuh
The crick

Southern WOMEN know everybody's first name

Southern WOMEN know the movies that speak to their hearts:

Fried Green Tomatoes
Driving Miss Daisy
Steel Magnolias
Gone With The Wind

Southern FOLKS know their religions:

Southern FOLKS know their cities dripping with Southern charm:
Foat Wuth

Southern WOMEN know their elegant gentlemen:
Men in uniform
Men in tuxedos
Rhett Butler

Southern GIRLS know their prime real estate:
The Mall
The Country Club
The Beauty Salon

Southern GIRLS know the 3 deadly sins:
Having bad hair and nails
Having bad manners
Cooking bad food

There's more... but I'll save it for another time. Y'all come back now, ya heah!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday with Friends "Rachel Lee Carter"

But first, a word from Eva Marie:  If you've wondered where I've been this week... I was off writing (and speaking, twice). Working from my netbook is fine when it comes to answering email and working on manuscripts, but manipulating blogs is just too much for me. So... I was silent.

However! Here's our next Friday with Friends and I think you'll enjoy it!

Sweet Southern Accents

Today, I’m a professional model-turned author and speaker, but during a brief hiatus from the fashion industry, I went to work selling furniture at the largest furniture gallery in the world. Twice a year, my colleagues and I would travel an hour to High Point, NC to peruse the latest fashions in upholstery and case goods. Dressed to the nines, and surrounded by the industries leading designers, presidents, CEOs and other highfalutin folks made this an occasion to be on our best behavior. We waltzed around each room, sipping our tea with an extended pinky finger and commenting on the intricacy and detail of the fine pieces. Everyone stopped as we approached an expensive 3 feet tall modern floor lamp made with fine rice paper wrapped in a woven mesh wire.  While everyone gazed in awe, my sweet southern accent turned horribly hillbilly as I smiled and shouted, “Well! That ain’t notin’ but chicken wire!”  Much to my embarrassment and of those around me, I couldn’t escape this devastating truth; you can take a girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl.
Selling furniture was not for me.
It’s uncomfortable trying to act like we’re something we’re not. Eventually, the true us comes out—sometimes in a blazing glory, sometimes in raw, unexpected foolishness. I straddled that proverbial fence as an apathetic teenager. I tried desperately to fit in with my high school crowd, while still managing to warm the pew at church.
I was two different people.
I was miserable.
It was many months after graduation, while I was living in NYC as a professional model that I surrendered my heart to Christ. Finally, who I was pretending to be, and who I was becoming collided. From that conversion, Christ began molding me into whom He wanted me to be and the ministry Modeling Christ was born.
I share frequently in churches to youth groups and women’s ministries and though I speak on different topics, my primary message is on modesty. I teach and encourage women and girls how they can be fashionable while maintaining their integrity. Coincidentally, as I’m writing this, I just received a call from one of my agents who has a booking for me this week in Chattanooga for a national brand of skin care lotion. I was to be photographed wearing a towel, and smoothing lotion on my thighs for a $2000 day.
I turned it down.
I’m no longer two different people. I’m still a professional model, but one who strives to honor God in heart, mind and body.
Practicing what we preach isn’t always easy—but the reward is extraordinary! These days, the only pretending I do is during playtime with my two-year-old—whom also has a sweet southern accent.

A little more about Rachel: Rachel Lee Carter is an international professional model of more than 20 years and has worked for clients such as Cover Girl, Tommy Hilfiger, Reebok, Clairol, Jones New York, Wrangler, Fitness Magazine, Perry Ellis, Chico’s, Nicole Miller, Greg Norman Golf, DKNY, SAKS Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and many others. She is represented by top tier modeling agencies worldwide.
Rachel is the President of Modeling Christ;  (www.ModelingChrist.com) a faith based organization addressing the issues and needs of both participants in the modeling industry, and the world it influences. She has developed a successful speaking career while ministering at various women’s and youth conferences nationwide. 
            Her book, Fashioned by Faith (Thomas Nelson) is available for pre-order on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Fashioned-Faith-Rachel-Lee-Carter/dp/1400316928/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1291843380&sr=8-1.It will be available in bookstores May 2011.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday with Friends, Dan Walsh

A Writer’s Expectations
(Or…“Whatever happened to my cabin by the misty lake?”)

By Dan Walsh

A light breeze sweeps across the lake, becoming almost visible in the morning mist which yields politely to its touch. A blue heron swoops down from a mossy live oak, joining its partner in the shallows, bobbing for its breakfast. I hear tiny waves lapping on the beach, not fifty feet from the porch. My teakwood Adirondack chair is perfectly positioned to catch the sun as it rises above the treeline. Any moment now.
Beside me, a perfectly blended cup of coffee sits on an overturned peach crate. My mind is free from all cares, knowing a six-figure advance is growing in my investment portfolio, as the royalty checks from my last two books pour in like clockwork every quarter. I look down at my laptop. Even now fresh words, the essence of literature itself, is building inside me, like an earthen dam ready to break.
Is this my life? Well…not exactly.
Hollywood often portrays authors in such ethereal settings. When I used to read books that stirred me deeply, I’d imagine the author had written it in such places. Even as I penned the words above, I wanted to be there. But…I’ve never been there, except in my head. Since my first book, The Unfinished Gift, has been published, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know many other published authors. Most don’t write in scenes that resemble this (or sit comfortably atop large investment portfolios).
Where do I write? Mostly in my backyard. I have some nice places to write out there. Sometimes in the house, with people walking back and forth, engaging in conversations. If I said, “Don’t you understand, an epic novel is in the making here?” They would laugh, and say, “Can I get you something while I’m up?” If it gets too noisy, I go to a back room.
So…when do I get to write by the misty lake?
I’m not holding my breath on that. But I’m not frustrated anymore, either. I’ve allowed God to adjust my expectations to what He has actually provided. When I spend even a little time dwelling on that, I realize I have a lot to be thankful for, even now. Writing fiction allows me to go places and do things I’ve never done or may ever do. At least in this life. I can go there now in my God-given imagination.
It’s why we call it fiction.
One passage that has helped me silence the cravings of unrealistic expectations is Psalm 16:5-6. “The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”
God has enabled me to have two novels published, a third is releasing TODAY (April 1st), called The Deepest Waters. My 4th book, called Remembering Christmas, comes out in September. My 5th novel will be out next spring. And my publisher (Revell) has just signed me to write 3 more books for them. And all this from the boundary lines of my backyard.
Apparently, I don’t need the misty lake. This is where God has me now. Smack dab in the middle of real life.
The reason it works is because He is here with me. He is my chosen portion and cup. He holds my lot. I don’t have to look to the edges of the horizon to find contentment in my writing circumstances.  The greatest story ever told is the gospel, written by the greatest storyteller to ever write any tale. But this tale is not fiction. And because of what Christ has done for me on the cross, I am forever His child.
I can simply sit in my backyard (or back room) and dwell on who He is and the wonders of His love. Soon, He gives me eyes to see that the boundary lines He’s assigned me really have fallen in pleasant places. He is the One who makes them beautiful.   
So, I can let go of the cabin by the misty lake. Better yet, I can write about it. Make it the place where the murder mystery gets solved, where the young couple falls in love.
Let me encourage you to let the One who loves you with an everlasting love give you new eyes to see the boundary lines He has set for you. And write from the place where He’s placed you, knowing that He is there, willing to help you right where you are in life.
Know that one day His angels will escort those who are His to a place that will make us forget all about blue herons and cozy cabins (or wherever your fantasy writing place is). And that, my friend, is not fiction.

Author’s Bio

Dan Walsh is the award-winning author of The Unfinished Gift, The Homecoming, and The Deepest Waters. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Dan served as a pastor for 25 years. He lives with his family in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel.

To my readers: Want to know more about Dan? Go to:

            Twitter - http://twitter.com/danwalshauthor