Archive for October, 2013

Falling Back

By Kathy NickersonOctober 31st, 2013mercyNo Comments

SONY DSCAh, the Great Time Change is about to happen here in the Midwest. Although I’m not a fan of all this messing around with our clocks, I do enjoy that extra hour of sleep on Saturday night in the fall. Of course, I usually waste it by staying up late since “It is really only 9:00 now instead of 10.00.”

Years ago, my husband worked night shifts in the ER, though. He said that moment at 2:00am when the time clocks were all switched back an hour was the worst time of the year. Everyone groaned.

If you happen to be the mother of small children, you probably don’t much care whether the clock goes backward or forward. Any change in routine throws toddlers off for weeks!

In the Bible, God turned the clock back once. Well, it was the sun, actually, and it went back ten steps. So I’m not sure if that was an entire hour. He did it as a sign to King Hezekiah to prove His promise of recovery from illness and rescue from enemies.

I don’t think the time change this weekend will herald an end to unemployment of the settling of the Obamacare dispute. I don’t think it promises an end to terrorism or a cure for cancer.

It does, however, say that God is giving us one more hour. Sixty precious minutes when someone might actually find the cure. 3600 seconds when a person about to draw his last breath might decide to repent and be reconciled to God. I’ll take that hour. And, I will be grateful for it instead of grumpy. (Especially if I go to bed on time!)

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We Win. Eventually.

By Kathy NickersonOctober 28th, 2013mercy3 Comments

IMG_9786Someone read my brochure this weekend and asked, “So what exactly is an eternal optimist?” Without launching into a theological treatise, I told him, “It is someone who believes things are going to ultimately work out. Not that bad things won’t happen. But, when they do, I believe we’ll eventually get to the other side.”

I’m not sure I live with a glass-half-full attitude. Sometimes my glass is completely empty by the end of the day. But I don’t panic. I usually just go to bed on time and remind myself we can get more water tomorrow. (Or iced tea. I actually hate water.) The glass won’t stay empty forever.

Being eternally optimistic doesn’t mean I’m always smiling. I have Mondays. (Despite my mother’s best attempts to remind me that God made Monday’s, too.) I get tired, sick, discouraged, overwhelmed, lonely, worried, and basically blah. I just don’t stay there. Because I do believe that, no matter what, no matter who, we really will win in the end.

Of course, even my optimism has a catch. It requires God. All of Him. Fully, fiercely, forever in control for those who belong to Him. He is the Eternal part of Eternal Optimism. And He always wins.

 

 

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Blog on Tour

By Kathy NickersonOctober 24th, 2013mercyNo Comments

Hello, Dear Reader. I hope you haven’t felt ignored lately. My blog is out on tour to celebrate the release of Thirty Days to Glory. I’ll be checking in here now and then, but I won’t be back to my regularly scheduled routine for another couple of weeks.

If you would like to ride along with me on the tour, (I’d LOVE to hear from you at the guest spots) you can keep track of me on my Facebook page. Come on over and join the fun!

And, if you are in the area for my release party, I’d love to hug your actual neck. (Not just your virtual one.)

Blessings,

Kathy

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While I Waited

By Kathy NickersonOctober 21st, 2013mercyNo Comments

It took about ten years from the first image of Elmer Grigsby in my mind until he appeared on the printed page of Thirty Days to Glory. Today I talk about what I did while I waited. You can read about it on the Palmetto Christian Writers Network blog, hosted by some lovely writers in South Carolina.

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A Family Affair

By Kathy NickersonOctober 17th, 2013mercy1 Comment

IMG_1770Birthing is a group event in our family. When John Michael was born (fourteen years ago today), he gathered quite a crowd. Three generations on both sides of his family settled into the hospital waiting room and paced the long halls while his mother labored to birth him.

We were there to celebrate. And to pray through. And to make a statement that even though Serenity was doing the physical work, we were all involved. We each had a role to play in this baby’s life, and we intended to fulfill it.

Not all our grandbabies had the same cheering section when they entered the world. At least we weren’t in the hospital at the time. Some of them were born in far-away places where grandparents and great-grandparents couldn’t possibly make it in time. But we gathered in spirit, like that great crowd of witnesses, and prayed and watched and waited for the news.

Then, we cheered. And we’ve never stopped.

I think all births should be that way. The first birth into this time-world and into the family of man. And our second birth into the Kingdom of God. We should all be prayed through and cheered on every step of the way.

How can we pray for you today?

 

 

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Hope Wins

By Kathy NickersonOctober 16th, 2013mercyNo Comments

Today I am guest posting over at Angela Meyer’s website, which is all about hope.

Thirty Days to Glory is also a story about hope. Hope that one life can make a difference. Hope that Light can break through darkness. Hope that prayer works, love lasts, and Christmas sparkles brighter every year.

Read more here.

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The Most Important Critic

By Kathy NickersonOctober 14th, 2013mercy4 Comments

thirtydaystoglorysliderThe countdown clock has reached Fourteen Days! Only one more Monday, two hump days, and a weekend before the release of Thirty Days to Glory. I’ve held a proof copy in my hands already, and let me tell you it was surreal. Words that have danced across my computer screen and in my brain for years are finally lined up on a printed page.

Surreal. And scary.

I’m not worried about total strangers reading this book. I hope it blesses them. I hope they laugh. And cry. And say, “I can do that!” But I’m not worried about their judgments. If they hate it, I’ll probably never know. If I do know, it won’t break my heart. (Hopefully.)

But the most frightening moment was when I sent twenty-five review copies to people I know and love. People like Judy Coleen. We learned to read together, for goodness sake! No one could be more important in my literary career than that.

I don’t want to embarrass people like Judy or make them have to search for kind words when they review the book. So, I held my breath (figuratively) while childhood friends, former students, and fellow writers turned my pages.

Judy must have known how I felt. (She usually does.) Because she started shooting me encouraging emails within hours. By the time she finished the book, I was crying happy tears. And I suddenly realized I didn’t care what any other critic in the world says about my work. Judy Coleen, former member of the Bluebird Reading Circle in Mrs. Epperson’s first grade classroom, current head of the English Department in our shared high school, Bff since before we ever went to school… likes my book.

That’s pretty much all that matters.

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Generations of Blessing

By Kathy NickersonOctober 11th, 2013mercy1 Comment
Generations~~element39Mothers who deliver babies in the same hospital on the same day sometimes form a connection. They may not see each other for the next three years, but then they show up at the same pediatrician’s office and instantly strike up a conversation. Going through such an intense process at the same time simply creates a bond. It is something like men who go to war together, I expect.
Sharon Garlock Spiegel and I have a similar bond. Our babies, born in the same two-week season, are not flesh and blood. (Though they sometimes feel that way.) Instead, they are books. And though mine is pure fiction, and Sharon’s is a true history, they carry the same message.
Prayer works. And Jesus saves.
In Generations, Sharon traces the spiritual roots of her family back to a drunken forefather. His transformation started an amazing chain of events. If you need reminded that one person’s life can make a difference, read this story of hope, faith, and a family tree that bears real fruit.
index~~element211When Edward Garlock was sober, he was a kind, hard-working farmer providing for his wife and eight children, but drinking transformed him into a bully, capable of absolute cruelty. When he stepped into a revival tent in the early 1999’s the Holy Spirit got ahold of him, changing not only his life, but thousands of others through Edward. This true story of a family’s troubled past will leave you breathless at the depravity of human nature and amazed at the power of Divine intervention.

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They Talk to Me

By Kathy NickersonOctober 7th, 2013mercy4 Comments

Fiction as SpiderwebAt a writing workshop last week, an attendee asked me, “Do you talk about your characters as if they were real?”

I hesitated only a second and then said. “Yes. Even worse, I talk to them as if they were real. And they talk to me.” I went on to explain that sometimes my husband even talks about them as if they are real.

So far, we haven’t bought any of them Christmas presents or put them in our will.

Novelists, however, carry on an almost real relationship with these completely imaginary people. And, I suspect, therein lies the truth. They are not all that imaginary. L.M. Montgomery once said the character Anne, of Green Gables fame, was so real to her she believed such a girl surely existed somewhere.

I’m not sure if Anne Shirley existed. I only know my characters talk to me, and I talk back. Sometimes I say to one, “We really need to get this scene down today. Would you please walk across the room and answer the phone? Let’s see who is on the other end.”

And she replies, “I’d rather not. I’m going to ignore the phone and write a letter to my sister instead. You may read over my shoulder if you like.”

And so it goes. I can try all day to make a character behave in a certain way. But like a child with it’s own free will, each character tells her own story. I can’t explain the theology of this phenomenon. I can only tell you it is true.

If you would like to see what Catherine, Emily, Elmer, Madge, and the Glory Circle Sisters have been saying to me lately, check out Thirty Days to Glory, which releases in three weeks!

 

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People, not Planks

By Kathy NickersonOctober 3rd, 2013mercy5 Comments

speakingkathynickThis is the month my first novel arrives on store shelves. Or in the shopping carts of online stores, of course. And here is one of the most important things I’ve learned from the long journey. People are not planks.

The word platform has become a dagger in the heart of many aspiring authors. Publishing houses insist a writer must have a good platform. Which is exactly what it sounds like. A stage. A soap box. A high place from whence we can shout out the news of our forthcoming book to the tens of thousands of people who read our blog, follow us on twitter, or friend us on Facebook.

For most writers, such a platform does not exist. So, we spend hours learning how to grow our following. How to build our crowd. How to get more planks of wood to broaden our stage. And we forget the most important thing.

What we really need is a circle of friends. A few faithful friends who are like the ones Paul mentioned in his letter to the Corinthians. “Epistles written on our heart.” Then each of our friends has another circle of friends. And each of them has a circle of friends. And suddenly relationship spreads the word about a new book on the market. (If it is any good. Please don’t feel obligated to spread news about mine if it bores you.)

So, I’m writing to you today, Dear Reader, to thank you for being my friend. For walking with me on the journey. For encouraging me when I wanted to quit. For cheering with me when things went well. You are much more than a plank in my platform. And I am grateful.

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