Monday, January 26, 2015

COINCIDENCE OR MIRACLE?

Good Morning.  Sandra here with a pot of chocolate velvet coffee, Teavana teas and hot chocolate. Grab a cup and lets talk miracles.  I picked oranges and tangelos off my tree this morning and they are juicy and sweet. So please help yourself to some Arizona sunshine.

Photo A


Have you ever pursued a project or a dream and all of a sudden the people you need appear or the information you need falls into your lap? Some would call this coincidence. There are even scientific studies where they have proven that your brain tunes into things when you have a goal.  Their example showed how you decide you want a certain type of car and suddenly you are seeing that car everywhere, ads for that car, information for that car. I'm sure these rationalizations can be proven, but personally, I believe they are miracles. I believe they are divine intervention and support for my work in progress.

Photo B


Let me give you some examples.  When I finished my first draft of DREAM SONG, one of my earlier novels for Warner, I got called to give some seminars on the Navajo Reservation. The setting for DREAM SONG is Northern Arizona. Debra, the heroine, is searching for her roots. Debra was adopted by Anglo parents but her mother was Navajo. Several ladies I met at the seminar gave me some valuable assistance in developing the characters in DREAM SONG. They even offered to be beta readers which was great, as they found things that would have been inconsistent with Navajo culture. Now I had never worked on the reservation before nor since. Was that coincidence? Did I go looking for that job? No. I was asked by ASU to go because of work I had done as a teacher. But did I need that information? And was it provided in a beautiful way?  You bet.

Photo C


By the way, I'm working on getting DREAM SONG back out there. Hopefully it will be on Amazon some time this spring.

Another example: Have any of you read LOVE'S MIRACLES?  I was spending the summer at Lake Tahoe when I was writing that novel. The hero in LOVE'S MIRACLES is a Vietnam Vet dealing with post traumatic stress syndrome.  I joined the closest RWA group which was in Reno, Nevada and met a woman looking for a critique partner. Guess what her day job was? She was a psychologist at the Reno VA hospital. Now was that coincidence? Did I go looking specifically for a psychologist? No. And was I there all summer to work with her?  Remember that was written in the 80's way before the Internet and online crit partners. So what a miracle that we were able to work together because she provided me with amazing information.

Photo D


CURRENT OF LOVE was written because hubby and I went on a cruise up the Mississippi on a riverboat cruise. And being a writer I interviewed the crew and the story brewed in my mind. It was a year later that I started writing this novel so I did not have contact with the crew members. The hero nearly drowned as a child so is not really happy on the water. This is why he is going with his father on a river boat cruise instead of a sea cruise. So of course, we had to have a huge storm, flooding and boat evacuation. I needed to know what they did in that situation. We were camping in our RV and guess who is camped near us? Yep. A retired river boat captain. Now is that coincidence? Did I go to an RV park to find one? Nope. But guess who provided one for me?  Yep. Our Father.

Photo E  (black and white)


My hero in my current work in progress is a retired Army Colonel.  One of the gals I play pickleball with is married to a retired Army Colonel. I have already been interviewing him and getting some great information that will ramp up my plot. Now is that coincidence? Did I go to an RV park looking for a retired colonel? And do I need to know one?  You bet.

Photo F  (sepia)


Not only do these miracles happen in my writing, but in all things related to writing. Many of you know that I signed books in November at the Scottsdale Library. Well book selling was a wash. Who goes to a library to buy books?  LOL   But God makes good out of all things. I met a publicist and since Amber was hired by a publishing house, I needed one. Nanci advised me that I need to update my photos. Well I am presently RVing in a resort on the outskirts of Tucson and its pretty isolated out there. But guess what? The RV resort features a photography club and I met Linda Needham. She took these photos and wow did we have fun. Not only did I get photos, but met a new friend. Oh yes, one of my pickleball friends is an actress and she had fun putting on the makeup and fixing my hair. (something about which I am completely hopeless)

So this brings me to the PHOTOS. Have you been thinking that I'm getting vain? Or losing it?
chuckle

Photo G


These are some of the headshots. What I need is help with picking out the best ones for my profile shots. I like the black and white. (shows less wrinkles) There is the sepia.  And color shots.  Also we tried some without the glasses which looks better, but hey, I do wear glasses so what is your opinion? Should I have them on or does it really matter?

I have numbered each photo. Please pick your favorite and you will be entered into a drawing for a signed copy of one of my books or your choice of an available Seeker ebook.

Also, PLEASE SHARE any miracles you've witnessed along your writing path. I love miracles. I believe in miracles. And I love hearing about them.

If you don't have any to share,  start looking for them. Seeing the big and small miracles that happen every day are what build your faith.  And they bring you joy because they are reassurances that the Lord is with you.


113 comments:

Marianne Barkman said...

Photo E

Just Saturday I had left my Aunts phone number and addressat home...yeah, I know...and the RV park was huge. No one at home to phone, and it's an hour long ride. Drove around the park for a bit, then decided to stop at a park model with two vehicles with Alberta plates. Maybe one of them would know the people I was looking for. It was the right house. Now, I know it didn't include another person, but it was not coincidental!
Have a wonderful day, Sandra

Pam Hillman said...

Love Photo G! Gorgeous colors. And you meet the most amazing people, Sandra. What fun! :)

Natalie Monk said...

This is amazing and encouraging! I love how the Lord does little things like that with our name written all over them "just because."

I'm looking/praying for one of those miracles about the historical research for my WIP. I wrote my plot around an idea from Southern Appalachian incidents I read about and expanded upon, but I'm worried an agent might want more concrete historical evidence. :s

I like photos C and D. :) C may be my favorite since it's zoomed out a little more.

Keli Gwyn said...

Fun post, Sandra. Like you, I've experienced many writing miracles. One of the most memorable happened when I was working on my first story, a long and lousy one buried in the deep, dark recesses of my hard drive. My heroine was just about to learn that a person close to her had died, but newbie writer me wasn't sure how to capture the emotion. I was sitting at the computer doing my best to imagine how I would feel if I were in her place when the phone rang. It was a call telling my that my grandmother had just passed away. I was home alone with no one to help me process my initial grief, so I returned to the computer and poured those real, raw feelings into my story. Writing them was therapeutic.

My favorite photo is D. I think it shows your warm, welcoming personality very well.

Cindy W. said...

I like photos C, D & E. I love hearing about miracles and how God works in our lives. Awesome!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I love those Godly coincidences! I call them Holy Spirit moments and I know who's guiding my path! Oh, that God!!!

Sandra, I love "C".

JUST GORGEOUS.

And while a lot of us wear glasses (and yes, I'm vain enough to love my one-contact life so I don't have to wear reading glasses or distance glasses... I will own my vanity!!!) we weren't born with glasses! I'd go without them.

Now, on people with LITTLE FACES (you and I don't have little faces, we're squarer-faced and broader across the eyes) glasses can look cute or powerful or even sexy.

On you and me, I'd say they're a necessary inconvenience, and leave it at that.

SIGH.....

Tina Radcliffe said...

I like G best. BEAUTIFUL!

I don't believe in miracles. Only the hand of God.

Amen.

Tina Radcliffe said...

You wear one contact lens, Ruthy?

Jackie said...

Hi Sandra,

You look beautiful in all the pictures, but my favorite head shot is the black and white-Photo E. Second favorite is Photo C. But if you decide not to use a head shot, Photo G is beautiful. I'd use that as much as possible.

Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Have a great day!

Becky Dempsey said...

I like photo G. I love how God works things out for us!

Rose said...

Sandra,

I like photos D and G. But I'm a firm believer than an author's picture should look like them. After all, you want your readers to recognize you at a book signing!

I always believe it's divine intervention or a miracle when something unexplained comes together. I don't believe in coincidence!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Good morning Marianne, Are you at Palm Creek? We stayed there a week last spring. It was really nice there. How lovely that you found the right house. Or were led to it. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Pam, Thanks for trading days with me.

I think the most amazing people I have met are the Seekers. I thank God for you all every day. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

H Natalie, I love those God moments. Keep your eyes open because you have asked. smile Sometimes they are so subtle you miss them, but if you watch, you'll find them.

Thanks for voting and thanks for your comments.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Keli, Thanks for voting.
Yes, I find the writing process very therapeutic as well. I tell people who are starting to write that it is. And what a blessing about your grandmother. I'm sure writing your emotions helped you work through them.

Thanks for sharing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Cindy W. Thanks for voting. I would love to hear about one of those moments. They are so inspiring and help us know that we are beloved.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Ruthy you are tooo funny. Yes, quite up front and honest. I really don't like wearing glasses, but I do love being able to see. I've thought about contacts, but the idea of sticking things in my eye just plain creeps me out. Oh well.

Have a great day.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks for voting Tina. Yes, the hand of God is awesome.

Have a great day. Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks Jackie for the feedback on the photos. I like the full shot too. The photographer told me that the hour after dawn is called "magical" by photographers because the light is very flattering. I agree. I thought I looked best in that light.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Becky, Thanks for voting.
Yes, it is important to recognize that He does work in our lives. It is too easy to get busy and forget to look.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Rose, Thanks for the feedback.

I agree about looking like we are. I've been to conferences or book signings and get disappointed when the author looks nothing like the photo. Or the photo looks like it was taken 20 years ago. LOL You aren't kidding anyone.

Yep, no coincidences. smile

Elaine Manders said...

Hi Sandra

I like photo D, very pretty. Some people look better in glasses. And I love G. Landscapes are my favorite. Yes, I've found things show up after I pray about them. If they don't, I assume I didn't need them or something better will show up.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Elaine, Thanks for the feedback. I like landscapes also. Less focus on me. lol

Great insight on not getting something you pray about. I've discovered over time, that it usually is for those reasons. I particularly love how something better than i even imagined comes along. Pretty awesome isn't it?

Happy writing.

Wilani Wahl said...

I love D and G.

I am doing research for a historical fiction want to write about Tsali and Wilani. Tsali is a Cherokee who gave his life so all the Cherokee's would not have to move to Oklahoma. Wilani was Tsali's wife.

I was named after this Wilani because I was born in Hiawassee, Georgia part of the Cherokee territory. Last month on an outing with the Senior Citizens from my church, one of the ladies asked about my name. She knows where Tsali is buried and is going to take me there.

This will be a busy week with reading. This weekend I received 6 books that need to be read and reviewed by Sunday. I am up for the challenge. I guess it is a good thing I love to read!

Jackie Smith said...

All pics are lovely, Sandra....I vote for G.

Count me in for a win of one of your books, please.

DebH said...

Oh I believe in things like this being "appointments made by God" (my mom's term for such incidents). No such thing as coincidences, just Divine appointments.

So far my writing miracles involve meeting Anita Mae on the Harlequin discussion threads, which eventually led me to here: Seekerville (a miracle in constant work imho...)

As for the pictures: hands down G! could you possibly crop a headshot from G? I'd be happy to try for you because I think that is the picture that best captures YOU.

after that I like F - but use the color version instead of sepia. apologies for getting long winded... it's the graphic artist in me. I think it's so cool you got to get all those pictures taken.

Cindy Regnier said...

Photo D gets my vote but I like them all! The miracle that comes to mind occurred last fall when I felt a real need to have a critique partner though none of the ones I tried before worked out very well. I prayed for a critique partner and guess what? Because of a Seekerville post I was contacted by the most awesomest critique partner ever - wanted to know if I was looking for one and could we share some writing? It has worked out wonderfully - my new CP is honest, makes great suggestions and doesn't seem to mind if I am "too nice" as I warned her I might be. Thanks Sandra. Great post!

Glynna Kaye said...

Good morning, Sandra! Aren't those "just what I needed" moment amazing?

I know in my first book "Dreaming of Home" I'd decided my hero would be ex-Navy. Of course, land-locked Arizona doesn't have any sailors or ships or oceans just down the street.

But when I was working on the story and nearing the end so that critical pieces of authenticity needed to be woven into what I'd already written, a co-worker whom I'd known for several years stopped by my office and started relating fascinating stories ABOUT BEING IN THE NAVY.

Best of all, he'd only been out of the service a few years so his info for my hero's background was current AND he was willing to answer my boatload of questions! Previous to starting the book, I had NO IDEA Manuel had been in the Navy! :)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks for voting Wilani,

And how wonderful to meet someone who knew where your namesake is buried. Great for research. smile

And thanks for sharing about your name. I was thinking all this time that it was Hawaiian. It is such a pretty name.

Happy reading.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Jackie Smith, Thanks for voting and yes, your name is in the puppy dish for a drawing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Deb H.

I really like your mom's term calling them appointments made by God. That is so true. smile

And how sweet to say one of your appointments was with Anita Mae and Seekerville. Meeting the gals from Seekerville was definiely one of my best "appointments." smile Because we have met so many wonderful people through this blog. It has been a blessing for us as well as you.

The photographer did actually crop a headshot from G. She gave me a flashdrive with almost a hundred shots. So I have lots to choose from. Since so many are liking G, I might use it for my headshot.

I don't have so much makeup on in that shot and that definitely is me. I don't wear any except creams to protect my skin from the sun and elements.

Wish you were close by. I would love to get ideas about graphic arts. Do you do book covers?

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Cindy. Thanks for voting and for sharing your "God" moment.

Wow, how exciting that you met your answer to prayer through Seekerville. Isn't it amazing how God works? And how He uses us.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Glynna, I remember you telling me about Manuel. What a blessing and yes a God appointment. smile

How fun to look back and recognize all the times He is with us.

Happy writing. Wondering if you are getting snow today.

Carolyne Aarsen said...

So many people seem to have those 'moment's when God seems to touch us in a way so real it feels like his hand on our shoulder giving us a little nudge. I've learned not to seek them but at the same time to welcome and be thankful for them. Blessings on your work.

Mary Connealy said...

Sandra these are all good pictures.
So, point one...don't necessarily pick just one.

You can change your picture now and then right?

I suspect if you come at it that way you'll find yourself settling on one you prefer after while.

I ended up with about five or six pictures I liked last time I had a new one taken and somehow I'd just settled into this same one all the time.

Having said that I think I like the one with glasses. They're all good pictures but that just looks like YOU. I like it in color but the one like that in color is too cropped, I like a little head and shoulders like in the sepia versions.

I love the last picture too, with the landscape showing behind. Very pretty and a good picture to use when you're not working with thumbnails, like our id pics here at Seekerville. Then that longer shot isn't going to hardly show your face.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Carolyn, Yes, I think that is all that is needed is to appreciate them when they show up. Like little light bulbs going off or wow moments. smile

I like how you said it was like His hand on our shoulder giving us a nudge. That is touching.

DebH said...

Sandra
awesome that the photographer gave you so many files and a headshot of G as well. no wonder you're asking for help with picking one because I'll bet all those photos are great.

i'm always happy to "talk shop", especially if it can be a return blessing to the community of Seekerville. I've been dabbling in book covers (no "official" site yet) because of inspiration/information provided via posts here at Seekerville. I've only done one for a "real" author and a few mock ups for unpubbed friends. It's good practice. Thanks for asking.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Mary, Thanks for the feedback. I know you can change the pictures. There are some friends who are changing their profile pictures almost daily. I guess this is good publicity. But personally, I'm lucky to figure out how to do it ONCE, let alone a dozen times. LOL

I agree about having the shoulders in it. She gave me several options with each shot.

Debby Giusti said...

Lovely post, Sandra, filled with truth.

Julia Cameron, in THE ARTIST'S WAY, says when we're creating, the whole universe opens up to provide what we need. Of course, I change the word universe to God. As you mentioned, He always provides!

All the pics are good. I like seeing the mountains in the background, showing where you write.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Great Deb H., I'll keep that in mind when I'm ready to do the cover for Dream Song. It is the only cover that the publishers in those days selected that I liked. All my other covers were horrid.

At least with graphic arts being used instead of paintings, an author has more say. I love my current covers. Well except for Price of Victory. Those cruisers just aren't racing bicycles. ha ha And I had no say in it either. But my other current covers are really great.

The covers in the eighties were just plain awful, except for Dream Song. And the author had NO say unless they were super famous.

Missy Tippens said...

You look lovely! I like D (for a headshot) and also G!

Sandra, I think anytime I need to research for a book, I'm heading to an RV park! :)

Seriously, it is amazing how God leads us to stories. I get a lot of my ideas for themes while in my Bible study class. I love those moments when God will suddenly bring my story to mind while we're talking about a particular Bible passage.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Debby, Thanks for your input and you're sweet to say all are great. Yes, I like the mountains in the background also.

I know there are a lot of scientific studies showing the same thing, but we both know who is behind these "moments" don't we? smile

Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Missy, You just proved you don't need to go to an RV park. You found your answers in Bible study class. That is the amazing thing about our Father. He uses the circumstances we are in.

Happy writing.

Myra Johnson said...

Love the photos, Sandra! D is really pretty, as is the long shot with the landscape in the background! Guess I'm partial to the ones with glasses because that's how I know you best.

Loved your stories of those "coincidences"! It really is cool when we meet the right people or find the right information exactly when we need to. And even if we are just being more open because we're focused on those topics, I think the Holy Spirit does His part by steering us in the right direction and making us more aware.

Jeanne T said...

Sandra, I love Photos C and G. :)

Let's see, miracles..... One might be when I was talking with a friend who knows people who work in a field I needed to research for my book. She put me in touch with some wonderful women who brainstormed with me and helped me by answering LOTS of questions. And, one offered to read my book when it's done. So, I'm hoping that will help me make sure what I've written is authentic. :)

I think one of the biggest miracles in my personal life is seeing how my BIL has really opened up over the last number of months. After being married to my sister for nearly 25 years. It's been a blessing getting glimpses of his heart.

Thanks so much for the reminder to be on the lookout for miracles. I'm going to be more purposeful in this. :)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Myra, Thanks for the feedback on the photos. It is so hard to look at yourself. LOL When I'm putting make-up on I don't have my glasses on so I don't see all those wrinkles and age spots. Then I put the glasses on and say "Oh my. Who is that?"

Yes, the Holy Spirit is amazing. When I get together with my high school girlfriends, that is what we mainly talk about. Our "God moments." So that has made me open to keeping my eye out for them. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Jeanne T. That is wonderful that you have met the people you need for your wip. And the best part is recognizing that the appointments are from God. smile.

Thanks for sharing about your bil also. Doesn't it warm your heart when you see someone coming around to the Lord that you have been praying for?

When you become more purposeful in noticing you will be surprised at how often in big and small ways our Lord is there.

Happy writing.

Meghan Carver said...

Good morning, Sandra! Thank you for the reminder that miracles are all around us, especially in our writing. Great thoughts for a Monday! I love the full-length photo with the background, but in a small version it would be hard to see your face. I vote D, with the glasses since that's the beautiful face I'll see when we meet in person. :-)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Meghan, Thanks for the feedback and for voting.
I can hardly wait till we do meet face to face. Wouldn't that be so much fun?

Yes, we do need to focus on those God moments. He is always with us. smile

Happy writing.

Janet Dean said...

Sandra, thanks for sharing all the miracles God brought your way. What blessings and perfect timing He provided for your research. Love it!

I have not had as many with my writing though certainly with my life. But God gave me a sentence that triggered a novel. A critique partner when I wasn't looking for one. And a second cp when I'd prayed for another.

This miracle isn't writing related but my dh and I were at a large airport riding the up escalator just as a cousin I hadn't seen in years was riding the closest escalator down. I called his name and we had a nice talk before we had to board. Only God could have us passing at the exact moment and had me notice. Proof it pays to keep our eyes open for what God is doing.

I vote for C and G. I love colored photos.

Janet

Vince said...

Faith makes miracles.

So expect a miracle.

You’ll see it when you believe it.

“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” John 20:29

Philosophers have long said that we see what is behind our eyes. Yet in a lifetime millions of miracles will go unnoticed because they were not seen from that privileged vantage point.

The old saying that “when the student is ready the teacher will appear,” is true because until then the teacher remains invisible.

The best photo depends on the context. Do fans want to see Louis L’Amour in a business suit? No, they want him to look like he ‘should’ look. Like he always did look in his publicity photos.

When I think ‘Sandra’, I see a personality bursting with life, crouched in a stance, determination reflected in her eyes, ready to pounce on a serve, while dominating the pickleball court. In the background is a desert panorama artfully framed by snow capped mountains lingering in the distance.

Show a portrait and people can identify you.

Project your personality and people will feel what it is like to know you.

Until then, photo G.

Vince

P.S. I just noticed as I entered this post that my photo happens to have a southwest painting in the background. This is just like the one I was imagining for your photo! This was not planned. This stuff must really work! :)

Mary Connealy said...

VINCE: “when the student is ready the teacher will appear,”

This makes me think of the writing I did that would receive sometimes confusing critiques from contest judges that made no sense.

I'd get advice and try to take it but at first I just DIDN'T KNOW ENOUGH. Then, sometimes years later, I'd go back and look at that advice and it made perfect sense.

So maybe teachers appear in our lives or pass through our lives a lot but until we, the students, are ready, the teacher is just a wanderer that we don't recognize.

Mark Abel said...

Hi Sandra,

Miracles, Yes, Absolutely!

Also: Photo 'G' without question. I like the color and mountain backdrop. Shows you off as the Wild Western Wordslinger!

(Hey, that's a new word - you heard it here first - this reply documents it)----:)

Andrea Strong said...

Photo C because it's not too close cropped.

Photo E, though it's close cropped, I actually like the glasses.

Photo G because we can see that lovely head is attached to a body, and in a setting that fits what I know about you.

I've worn glasses since 6th grade. In 7th grade my "boyfriend" told me I looked funny with them on. My response, "You look funny without them." I lost touch with that boy when I moved away. I certainly hope he has learned more tact in dealing with girls.

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Sandra,

First of all, my picture vote is for G. Your personality shows through in that one. You could even ask your friend to crop it a little so that you're more central in the picture - although I'd hate to lose any of that gorgeous background!

And I see the kinds of miracles you describe all the time. And it's a two-way street. Sometimes God brings something that I've been needing to learn more about, and sometimes He shows me something that I need to write about.

For instance, the main character in the story I'm working on now is a reluctant shepherd. I was just beginning to think how that would play out in the story when my husband taught a Sunday School class on John 10. Hmmm...there's a lot of information about sheep and shepherds in that chapter, and it helped direct my story.

Thanks for the great post!

Julie Lessman said...

HEY, SANDRA ... this post gave me goose bumps, girlfriend -- WOW!!

One of the biggest "miracles" I experienced in my writing career was with my debut book.
I practically had a breakdown when I realized inaccurate research almost derailed my plot for A Passion Most Pure, AFTER I had already sold it to Revell. I was horrified to discover a huge and unacceptable mistake that got past me, my critique partners, AND my editor. A huge mistake that, ironically, was caught by my editor’s husband who happened to be — what are the odds? — an Irish historian! He innocently pointed out to his wife that the O’Connors traveling on a ship to Ireland during World War I would not have been feasible as passenger ships had been commandeered for war approximately FOUR months prior to my sailing date due to German U-boat warfare that made it too dangerous for ship travel. YIKES!!

I was desperate because the book was to be published within the year, so I frantically researched alternate ports for the O'Connors to sail to in North America (Novia Scotia, where Irish immigrants had landed), but it would not have been the same as Dublin, Ireland in my mind and would have messed with my timeline for book 2.

The miracle comes in when I begged God to resolve the problem, and when I was telling a girlfriend (one I seldom see) about it, it just so happened that she had JUST read an article about how German u-boat travel was so dangerous during WW1, that freighter captains started traveling in convoys, which drastically reduced u-boat sinking incidents. So I simply gave my hero's father a cousin who owned a freighter company to transport the family over. Took one paragraph of edits to complete that change. And the book sailed on to its original plot. :)

And your pix? I love all of them, but my faves are C and G, although G may have the edge just because of the background, making it really interesting. :)

Hugs!!
Julie

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Janet, Sounds like you have had as many miracles all around. They don't have to be big--just noticed. And you certainly did notice. smile

Thanks for voting. Everyone likes G a lot. I think its because it is outdoors--like me.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Vince, Oh I love that comment that when the student is ready the teacher will appear. How many times have I seen that in my life? Makes me wish I had been a more willing student. smile

Yes, I do have pickleball shots, and I like those because with sunglasses and a hat you don't see any of my face. chuckle. But my publicist wanted professional. Guess I'll have to put on real clothes once in awhile--practice for conferences and book signings.

PS I don't think that painting is there by accident.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Good point Mary. But they are there just in case we are ready to LISTEN.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Mark, Wordslinger. I like that. Does sound wild and western. I was toying with the idea of getting out my gaucho hat and looking really western. Oh well.

Thanks for the input.

Tracey Hagwood said...

Hi Sandra,
I like the D shot, it looks spontaneous and not posed, to me that's what makes a photo look natural.

I love miracles and all things miraculous, the Bible is FULL of the miracles of God, we have only to check any concordance for a listing of them. I love that God is still doing them today!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Andrea, You cracked me up. What a funny girl. And yes, we can only hope that boy learned some tact.

Hey, he would make a great secondary character in one of your books.

Thanks for the feedback on the photos.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Jan, What a great testimony about hearing the right words when you needed to hear them.

Sort of the same thing happened to me. My current wip is a survival story and I'm heading in to write and my brother starts the movie Gravity. Well her talking to herself, gave me some great ideas also.

I love it when we actually hear what we are supposed to.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Julie, Talk about goosebumps. And how wonderful that the resolution was so simple. Our God is pretty amazing for sure.

Thanks for the feedback on the photos. I'm so glad I did this because I was really having a hard time deciding which ones. Its so hard to look at yourself. Its much more objective to look at someone else or have someone else look at yours.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Tracey, Yes, it is wonderful to know that miracles are still happening. I love reading about all of the miracles in the Bible, but experiencing real life encounters are such a blessing.

Thanks for your input on the photos. Like I was telling Julie, Its so hard to be objective.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Tina, yes.... I wear one contact lens so that one eye sees distance and the other eye can read close-up so I don't need either set of glasses. Isn't that cool?

It's a thing I'd read about and talked to my eye doctor about when I first started needing reading glasses and he said "Sure. Try it. Once your eyes get trained, it's a great solution."

And it is. So yes, I'm VAIN enough to want to back burner glasses because I wore them for like... 40 years. I've only had the contacts for about ten years, and the idea of having to go back to glasses to read was making me BUGGY!!!!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Like Mary, I love that last pic. That's totally you, all the color and sass and beautiful background.

When Sandra and I roomed together in Orlando for RWA a few years ago, her side of the closet was TROPICAL!!!! Mine was so stinkin' dull, it was such an eye opener. Northern, uptight Yankee vs. world-traveling, pickleball-playing southern gal!!!!

I still laugh to think about it!

Cara Lynn James said...

I like pictures G, B and C. They'll all great.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I'm all over Vince's comment, too.

That sage advice has happened so often in my live that it's amazing.

And I remember recognizing that even as a child, and sometimes that makes me wonder how much there is out there... that we might know, but can't bring to mind.

Whether you call it deja vous, or intuition, or premonition, I've always felt that the plan would come together if I stayed the course. And it has, in every avenue.

But I had to stay the course.

When the student is ready, the teacher will come.

Janet Dean said...

Sandra, God surely wanted your books out there with all the help He gave you with research. Isn't that cool!

Janet

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Ruthy, I have a friend who does that. I guess it works for her. I wonder what it would do to pickleball. Maybe I need to try it because every time the ball comes into one of the lines of the trifocals I'm totally off on my swing. It is so funny. Well not really but what else can a girl do but laugh.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Ruthy I remember your comment about the closet. It was rather different. But you northern girls are all into certain colors in each season. Out west we don't really have a season so we where what we like. chuckle.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Cara, Thanks for the input.

Happy writing girlfriend.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Yes, Janet, Every time I think I'll just kick back and play pickleball and enjoy reading a book for a change, something comes along like a kick in the behind and I listen and get busy writing again. smile

Guess He does want me to write. At leasts it keeps me out of trouble.

Missy Tippens said...

LOL, Andrea! I, too, sure hope he learned. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Cindy R, that's so exciting about your cp!!

Missy Tippens said...

Sandra, I'll also add that I like the shots WITH glasses because that's how I always see you in my head. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Vince, I loved seeing your name pop up! I'm glad to see you.

You're so right. I'm wondering how many miracles I've missed. I must keep my eyes open and be alert!

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI Missy, Thanks for the input.

I have worn glasses for so long, it would seem strange without them. But my ears are on crooked so they are never straight. So weird. LOL

Sandra Leesmith said...

Cara, you are the only one who has chosen B. I kind of thought it was cool with my photo framed by my books. I might use that in promo stuff.

Maybe its the face shot without glasses. No one is used to seeing me without them.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh that's right. You did when we roomed together at Rocky National Park and at the ACFW conference in Denver.

We did have fun that trip didn't we?

Jessica Nelson said...

LOL I was wondering what was with all the pics. :-) I like D!

And yes...these miracles happen often. It's pretty amazing, actually. :-)

Kav said...

Grueling day, but this visit to Seekerville has been a lovely respite. I vote for picture G but I don't think that's going to help you any. After reading the comments I think we're all divided evenly between them. LOL.

Writing miracles? Seekerville on a daily basis, of course.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Jessica, Thanks for your patience. The things we put ourselves through as writers. LOL

Thanks for voting.

so glad you find the miracles too. Isn't it wonderful?

Happy writing.

Sandy Smith said...

Since you wear glasses I would probably go with D for a head shot. But I love that last picture.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh Kav how sweet you are to say that about Seekerville. This blog and all the friends we've made, the things we've learned and the help we've attained have all been one big giant work of our God. smile

Thanks for voting. And as for evenly divided, we are for C,D,and G. But very few on the others. hmmmm
That tells me a lot.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Sandy, Thanks for the input. Sounds like many are liking G. I do have a head shot of that photo. I might try it out.

Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Sandy do you live in Tucson? There is another Sandra Lee Smith here. I've never met her, but she and I would both be signed up for the Southwest Society of Authors conferences. That is why I changed my name. If that isn't you then there are at least three of us writing. chuckle.

Missy Tippens said...

Sandra, my eyebrows are crooked, so my glasses never look straight. LOL

Sandra Leesmith said...

Missy, That is too funny. Our creator does have a sense of humor.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Sandra, the one contact works great for everything. Both eyes work together, but they do different jobs and my brain is trained to let them work.

It's so much better for sports because you can see clearly, you have 20/20 vision for close up and 20/20 vision for distance. The only thing that took a little while was driving at night, but after a few weeks, that was fine.

Honestly, it's the best thing ever. No glasses in rain, snow, I get to wear cute sunglasses, and I can see!

Win!!!!

Leola Ogle said...

Oh my, Sandra! How this resonated within me. I needed the encouragement today - a reminder that God does supply small and large miracles along our daily journey in our writing and everything else. God bless you and thanks for sharing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh Ruthy, Maybe I should try it. But the thoughts of putting stuff in my eye. ewwww.

But 20/20 appeals.

Maybe when I go in for my eye check up I'll ask about it.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI Leola, I"m so glad you were encouraged today. One of those little miracles--right?

When you start looking for them, you see so many little small things that just delight your heart.

Happy writing.

Chill N said...

Absolutely Photo G! It's G for Gorgeous, right?

Too many 'just what I needed' experiences to list. Several of them have occurred here at Seekerville when I've read a post or comment and thought, "I can't believe how timely that is!" Which causes me to wonder how often we help without even knowing :-)

Remember, Sandra -- Photo G.

Nancy C

Tanya Agler said...

Thank you for the post, Sandra. If the photo is for a website, my vote is for photo G. No matter which one you choose, I think your sincerity shows in all of them.

For me, writing itself has been its own miracle.

Thanks for the post.

Sandy Smith said...

Sandra, no I am not the Sandra Smith from Tucson. I live in Nebraska. Guess it is a common name!

CatMom said...

LOVED this post, Sandra!!
I do believe in miracles without a doubt. :) And I enjoyed reading the examples you shared with us. I feel certain the Lord arranged those situations for you, so you could gather the info. you needed.

This isn't directly writing-related, but it's something that happened at my very first ACFW conference and was a true miracle for me. :)
The first day of the conference I'd lost an earring (only took one pair---not smart, LOL). Since I was already super nervous (didn't know anyone in ACFW back then) so losing that earring seemed like a big deal at the time. I was sure that it had gotten vacuumed up since the floors were carpeted.
The last night of the conference (after the awards banquet) an author I'd met told me she wanted to give me a book, and if I'd wait by a table in the hallway, she would sign it for me. So I stepped over by the table to wait, looked down, and there on the table lay my EARRING!! Apparently someone had seen it and placed it on that table. Had I not met this precious author (who is now a dear friend) who asked me to wait by this particular table, I never would've seen my missing earring. (I was SO surprised it hadn't gotten trampled or vacuumed up---but it was in perfect condition!).
I know that the Lord was showing me that even in the little things in life, He is still in control and likes to make us happy. :)

Your photos are wonderful!! If I had to choose, I'd say F or G, but you can't go wrong with any of them.
Hugs, Patti Jo

Elizabeth Van Tassel said...

I like G also.

SO many miracles - my Seekerville miracle was meeting Tina on the plane returning from ACFW this year. The encouragement I received to keep moving forward and complete my WIP while there, many others over the years in writing classes. I remember getting the call from an editor that my protagonist needed more background on what took her hearing - we were evacuated from a wildfire and I poured that terror into the scene of her accident. Lemons into lemonade...

We've had several medical miracles with our children and my husband's miraculous recovery from his stroke last year. The doctors coming in saying our son wasn't going to make it, then getting him on a prayer chain and within days his turn around. I guess that's where my desire to persevere in hard times comes from. Personal miracles, like cars not hitting me in traffic, how we got our home a few years after the fires, could go on. Gratitude above all that He cares so! Thanks for reminding us today.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Awww Nancy, That is so sweet. Thank you. And you are so right. We are used too. And we don't even know it half the time. Makes you mindful to pay attention and stayed tuned to our Lord. smile.

Thanks for voting and I like G=gorgeous. So clever.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Tanya, Thanks for voting. And I agree. Writing is very therapeutic.

Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Sandy, Well Smith is common that is for sure. I haven't met many Sandy's so it is always fun to meet.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Patti Jo, I so love your story. Yes, He takes care of the little things as well as the big things. I have friends who don't like to ask for the little things, but hey, I figure He gets just as much pleasure out of giving us the little things as well as the big things.

Thanks for sharing Patti Jo.

Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Elizabeth, Sounds like you have been paying attention. What a collection of miracles and divine appointments. I love it. Loved hearing about them too.

Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hey folks, It is past my bedtime. I'm off and hoping you have a great week. Look for those miracles.

Thanks for joining me today and for helping me decide about my photos. You have been a great help.

If you check in later, I'll check in the morning and respond. Thanks again

Happy writing.

Edwina said...

Photo D for formal headshot; Photo G for informal

When I thought about a miracle vs coincidence while writing, I couldn't think of any. Then it occurred to me that God has done a deeper healing in me. That is truly a miracle!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Edwina, Thanks for sharing that. Those inner healings are so important and miraculous in themselves. smile

Thanks for voting.

Deanna Stevens said...

Isn't it fun when you have things just work out. I've read one author who calls them God Winks, just little mini-miracles sent your way.. I like photo c & g.. I would enjoy a copy of your book!
Dee

Carol Garvin said...

My first paid writing assignment came 'out of the blue', with a request for an article about my experiences as consultant during filming of the movie, 'Best In Show'. I was almost as overwhelmed by the request as I was by the size of the cheque after publication, but it all turned out to be part of a plan that only God could have orchestrated. :)

You've already received lots of opinions about the photos. They're all lovely, but the one with the scenic backdrop (G) sets a wonderful mood, and since you're wearing your glasses in it, I'd be consistent and have them on in a headshot, too. My choice would be D; I love the warmth of your expression in it.

Deanne said...

My photo favorite is the Sephia one. Sometimes we can not accurately say what has happened is a coincidence. I believe miracles are God's way of helping us with whatever is too much for us at the time.

Kelly Blackwell @ Heres My Take On It said...

I love photo G & E. I wish G was enlarged because the colors are magnificent.
I have seen God's miracles again and again in my life in general. I writing life (and speaking life - I work at a radio station on air part time), I decided on day in September that I would do all I could and asked God to do the rest to make it to She Speaks in NC. People came out of the woodwork to sponsor me to go. I got house sitting gigs as well and the impossible for Kelly was made possible through God.

He is so faithful.

Carolyn Chambers Clark said...

I love photo G because is shows the magnificent setting you live in!

Mary Albers Felkins said...

Photo C. Prefer color. Lights up a radiant face. My husband and I made a difficult decision last summer to pull our son (16) from his public high school and place in him a 15 month boarding school, a ministry of Teen Challenge. He'd been getting into trouble, making life-altering mistakes. The school just "happened" to be here in our area, just "happened" to be starting up this year, the pastor who followed God's call to be the executive director at this school just "happened" to be the pastor at a church in VA where very dear friends of our attend, and funds just "happened" to come available to cover the cost at the time we were praying through this difficult decision. God is always on time, never late and never early. Amen!