This weeks blog is special to me because I live in Randleman, NC.
Randleman is a wonderful small town that includes NASCAR's Petty family, the Richard Petty Museum, and the Victory Junction Gang Camp.
At this years NasCar day I was there signing copies of my novels and met another local author. We exchanged writings. The subject of her book touched a memory for all who lives in Randleman.
Lee Hartsell wrote a children's book called Adam Petty's Heartbeat.
The book is about the Victory Junction Gang Camp in Level Cross, NC. The camp is for sick children, they can come to the camp one week out of the summer. Every camper has a counselor. The children get to be involved in activities they otherwise might not be able to enjoy. Lee's book allows parents and children to learn about the camp.
How did Victory Junction come about ?
Adam Petty who was a young stock car driver and the son of Kyle Petty. He enjoyed helping others. Between races, Adam would visit pediatric hospitals where the children battled chronic illnesses.
In 2000, Adam tragically lost his life in a racing accident. To honor his memory, the Petty family partnered with Paul Newman, and the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp to begin the Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, North Carolina. The camp received support from many NASCAR drivers, teams, and sponsors.
Lee, tell us a little about herself and why you wrote Adam's Heartbeat.
I am 49 years old. I started writing Prose, after a car accident in 1996. I was a Nurse until the car accident. I could not go back to work as a Nurse. I had damaged Nerves in my back from the car accident. I am married to Bruce Hartsell and we have three grown children. We have three grandchildren and one more grandchild on the way. I have 5 books out right now. The last three books that I wrote are children’s books.
You can find my books on Amazon.com andhttp://www.acalltothechristians.com/
Adam Petty’s Heartbeat is the last book that has been released.
To answer your question.
I wrote Adam Petty’s Heartbeat because, I was a Nurse for a number of years. During those years I saw how protective parents are of their children with Chronic diseases. Some of these parents devote their lives to taking care of these children, without a break. When parents of serious ill children read this book, I would like them to be at peace with leaving their children at Victory Junction Gang Camp for a week. Some of these children never get to experience the excitement of riding a horse, bowling, going into a pool, etc. This is a place that has 24 hour counselors that are in the next room to the campers while they sleep.
Lee, I thank you for introducing me to your book. Although, this is a children's novel, it's also for every age. I enjoyed experiencing Victory Junction through the pages of Adam's Heartbeat.
Here is the Amazon link for Adam's Heartbeat:
I'd like to welcome Tamara Shoemaker to my blog, Behind Every Story. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet her on Goodreads. She's an inspiration to me and I'm sure she'll motivate others.
Today, my son decided that he was going to learn how to button his own shirt.
Today, I learned that it is virtually impossible to stop myself from butting in and “helping.”
My son just turned four, and up to this point, I have
always dressed him. I've chosen his clothes, pulled his shirt over his head, stuffed his arms through his sleeves, buttoned and zipped his khakis and slid his feet into socks. I've changed his diapers, wiped his bottom, combed his hair and tied his shoes.
Granted, I knew this day was coming, and if you had asked me a week ago, I'd have told you that I was actually looking forward to it. I couldn't wait till he was independent enough to do all those things by himself.
Freedom! Liberty! No longer am I strapped to the Velcro tabs of his Greater Value size 4 diapers. There is a whole world of little boy underwear out there that I will have nothing to do with! He can put it on by himself!
But today, as I helped my son slip his head through the neck-hole of his shirt, then push his arms through the sleeves, I reached for the three buttons on the front of his shirt to finish the job properly. He shoved my hands away. “No, Mommy. I wanta do it.”
“Oh,” I said in surprise, letting my hands fall helplessly into my lap. “Okay, go ahead.”
His little fingers struggled with the tiny buttons. All three of them were right under his chin, so his head tilted at an awkward angle to see what he was doing. The tip of his little pink tongue stuck just beyond the perimeter of his lips, his eyes crossed ever so slightly as he focused on the up-close project.
The first button took a good five minutes.
“Do you need any help, bud?” I asked.
“No.” He worked tirelessly on that button until, with a yank, it slid through the hole.
“Why don't you just leave the top two unbuttoned? You don't really need the shirt all the way closed.”
“No, I wanta.”
Deep breaths, Mama. This one was a little harder. The hole was smaller, and he struggled even more with this one.
“Just tell me if you need help, okay?”
A grunt for an answer was all I got. I had to look away. The impulse to reach over and help him was overpowering.
Finally, the last button. This one, he couldn't even see. It lay snugly underneath his chin, and every time he would stretch the shirt out to the point where he could focus on it, the button would slip out of his fingers. Over and over he tried, and over and over, that button stubbornly eluded his grasp.
“Come on, son, let's just leave it.” Irritation was evident in my voice. Relax, overprotective mom!
“No, don't help me,” he snapped.
I glanced at my watch. Fifteen minutes since the beginning of the button-journey. I had other pressing matters to attend to—grabbing a glass of milk, checking email, finishing that chapter, obviously much more important things to do than watching my son struggle with his buttons.
I started to think about the deadline I had set myself for the novel I am currently writing. I wanted to finish the first draft in another three weeks, and if I don't get my allotted two thousand words in per day, it may not happen. I've been pretty good about not letting the stress get to me, but when I think of my personal deadlines, it has a way of leaking through. Or gushing through. Whichever.
I tend to worry about my chosen career a lot. Will my books sell? What if nobody likes them? What if I get a one-star review? How can I market my books better? How can I get a “break-out moment?” Will I be able to
make enough income off of this to work from home and still help with our family's expenses? How do I come up with new ideas? What if I should stick with the old ideas? What if the subject matter doesn't appeal to readers? Etc.
My brother owned a Labrador at one point. I remind myself of that dog. Tail wagging, ever eager-to-please. Pant, pant, pant, you want the ball? I'LL GO GET IT FOR YOU! You want to go for a walk? LET ME GO WITH YOU! You need your face washed? LET ME LICK IT FOR YOU! Don't like your shoes? I'LL EAT THEM FOR YOU!
Do you ever get light bulb moments? You know, where the invisible light bulb that travels around above your head magically switches on when a brainwave hits you? Suddenly . . . brilliance in spades!
At that exact point in time, I had a light bulb moment.
So often, I allow the stress of my own personal decisions, my silly deadlines, my drama-induced perspectives to take over my world as I see it. I go, I do, I spazz, I fidget, I fret, I cry. I wonder how often God sits there and asks, “Can I help?”
And in my own petty, childish, I-wanta moments, I jerk my frustrations out of God's hands and say, “No! Me! I can do this by myself!”
What patience He must have to sit back and watch me struggle. And fret. And fume. How he must long to reach over and button that last button.
And when I finally let go of my own expectations or the expectations of those around me and accept the help that God is so willing and able to give, I realize that all the struggle is so pointless. He's got my back, just like I've got my son's.
He lets me make my mistakes, just as I let my son make his. Why? So I can learn just how much I really needed God's help all along.
Tamara Shoemaker is the author of the Shadows in the Nursery series, which includes the best-sellers Broken Crowns and Pretty Little Maids.
She lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband and three young children. She writes fantasies and Christian thrillers between diaper changes and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. To find out more about her work, "like" her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter or check out her blog.
Thanks Tamara for such a delightful story. I think we all can relate. I know there are times I don't wait on God as I should, thinking I can do it, but I can't. I need the Lord each day.
Meet my colleague Buffy Andrews. She is an author, blogger, journalist and social media maven.
By day, she’s a journalist, leading an award-winning staff at the York Daily Record/Sunday News (York, Pennsylvania, USA), where she is Assistant Managing Editor of Features and Niche Publications and social media coordinator.
By night, she’s an author, writing women’s fiction, young adult and middle grade.
In addition to her writing blog, Buffy’s Write Zone, she maintains a social media blog, Buffy's World. She is also a newspaper and magazine columnist and writes middle-grade, young adult and women's fiction.
Check out her author page.
Buffy lives in southcentral Pennsylvania with her husband, Tom; two sons, Zach and
Micah; and wheaten cairn terrier Kakita.
Five quick questions for Buffy Andrews
Q. What do you do when you need to think or are stuck in your writing?
A. I run. For some reason it frees my mind and I often find that it provides the
clarity and direction I need.
Q. Are you one of those people who stop writing while you know what’s coming next?
A. Absolutely. Just like Hemingway. Does it always work out? No. But it’s what I aim for.
Q. First person or third?
A. It depends. I write in both. And sometimes, as in The Yearbook Series, I write
Q. Coffee or tea?
A. Coffee -- a lots of it!
Q. What are you most proud of?
A. My sons and the fine young men they
Buffy, I know the readers enjoyed getting to know a bit about you. I like coffee too, but mine needs to be decaf. :)
Listed is Buffy's books and coming soon novels.
The Yearbook Series: Gina and Mike
The Moment Keeper
The Christmas Violin
The Yearbook Series: Sue and Tom (coming soon)
The Lion Awakens YA (2014)
Ella’s Rain YA/crossover (2014)
Freaky Frank MG (2014)
Connect with Buffy
Google+ Author page
You Tube channel
Thanks Buffy for stopping by.
I enjoy having authors on my blog and plan to continue to showcase writers from time to time. Also, I want to open the blog up to musings about different subjects.
Starting this week, Behind Every Story not only will offer author interviews, but bring thoughts and articles from anyone who has something they want to say.
Positive articles that makes us see a brighter side to things, refreshes the soul.
I may even include a few giveaways occasionally. They could be books, jewelry, or other eye catching trinkets.
This blog is always open to ideas. Send me a comment anytime you have an idea about a article or story that you believe will spark interest.
Special birthday gems
I spent several hours at a craft fair and signed copies of both my debut novel, Escape to Big Fork Lake and Stone of Destiny. I had a wonderful day.
The ring in Stone of Destiny is the Sapphire. That choice sparked lots of conversations about gem stones. When asked why I choose the Sapphire, I responded "it's my birthstone," then I explained that when my publisher told me to research the meaning of the Sapphire I was amazed at the way the stone fit into the storyline.
What does your birthstone mean?
Does it fit your personality?
Garnet is the birthstone for the month of January.
The bright red color of the garnet is associated with blood and thus, thought to bestow good health upon its wearer. The garnet, thought to provide protection against nightmares dangers posed by being alone in the dark. A person who favors the garnet is supposed to possess patience and the capacity to endure hardships and be blessed with a creative mind.
February has the amethyst.
Peace and clarity of the mind is the wearer of this stone. This gem also brings a heightened sense of self-awareness and intuition.
For the person born in March, aquamarine is the birthstone.
This stone, represented to nurture friendliness in its wearer’s personality, making a fierce and loyal companion. The aquamarine is said to grant its wearer protection when swimming or traveling by water.
April is the diamond.
The stone of strength, longevity and innocence, because the diamond is the hardest gemstone, it symbolizes success and excellence. The diamond is brings forth purity and
encourages the wearer to be truthful.
The birthstone of people born in May is the gemstone of peace and healing.
The emerald is supposed to grant good health and protection against illness. Wearers of emeralds have a higher level of foresight and possess the ability to communicate well with others.
June is the Pearls.
The month of June is favored for weddings in the Western world, and so the pearl has come to be associated with successful marriages, as well as with faith, loyalty and tranquility in life.
The sanguine ruby is the birthstone for July.
Because of its blood-red color, the ruby represents courage, strength and vitality. It also nurtures the wearer’s integrity and contentment.
People born in August can have two birthstones, the peridot and the sardonyx.
Both stones bestow a heightened sense of dignity upon the wearer, and brings good fortune. They are believed, to provide the wearer protection against evil intentions.
Sapphire is the birthstone of September.
It is a gemstone thought to build wisdom and clarity of thought in its wearer, as well as discernment to see truth no matter how deeply buried. The sapphire also inspires its wearer to develop serenity and tranquility within the soul.
The birthstone for October is the opal.
The opal, with its varying colors, is associated with depth in emotions. A person who wears the opal is noted to have the ability to feel deeply for his or her fellow person, to look at life with hope.
Topaz, the birthstone for the month of November.
A gemstone that represents health in body as well as health in mind. Wearing the topaz hastens a person’s ability to heal in times of illness or injury. It also nurtures practicality and creativity.
Wearing the turquoise, the birthstone of December.
This gem is supposed to bring luck and prosperity to the wearer in time for the coming
New Year. The turquoise, believed to banish negative vibrations that can hinder happiness and good fortune.
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