Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Camy's Here! Wooo Hoooo!


Peace and all good, good people of God! Just like I toldya, my pal novelist Camy Tang is visiting today, and we're gonna chat about her debut novel, Sushi for One? Relax and enjoy the interview, get the book, and support this fantastic writer.

Here's the blurb (and you know those are important! Marketing people work on these to get them just right. Pay attention!):

Sports-crazy Lex Sakai isn't too worried about "winning" the
unofficial family title "Oldest Single Female Cousin" when her cousin
Mariko marries in a few months. Her control-freak grandma is easy to
ignore, until Grandma issues an ultimatum—if Lex can't find a date for
Mariko's wedding, her ruthless Grandma will cut off funding to the
girls' volleyball team that Lex coaches.

Lex isn't about to look desperate by dating every player in the
dugout. She comes up with a stringent list of requirements from her
Ephesians Bible study in her search for The Perfect Man. She always
wins in volleyball—if she ups her game, she's sure to succeed.

Then her brother introduces her to non-Christian, non-athletic,
no-immediate-physical-appeal Aiden.

Aiden's on the rebound from a girl named Trish, who dumped him because
he wasn't Christian. Then he discovers that Lex is 1) not attracted to
him at all, 2) Christian, and 3) Trish's cousin. No way is he hooking
up with anyone from that crazy family, much less another hypocritical
Christian chick. He's certainly not masochistic.

Time is running out for Lex, and no matter what she does, she can't
find the right guy. Especially when she keeps running into Aiden
everywhere. If only the list would stop getting longer and longer...

I really enjoyed Sushi for One?, Camy. You know what? I'm not a sporty girl. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the volleyball scenes. Put me right there in the action. You're quite the wordsmith! Were those very precise scenes hard to write? What's your secret?

The volleyball scenes were fun because at one time, I lived and breathed volleyball, I loved it so much (I wasn't very good at it, but you don't have to be stellar to talk about it a lot with your volleyball friends). The scenes were very much like the games I watched and/or played. Also, many of the players mentioned are real players from the Nikkei Volleyball League here in San Jose.

There was a "Camy" mentioned briefly in the book. Lex called her a "ball magnet" after she got nailed right in the face with a volleyball. Were you throwing a little auto in there?

That little Camy-o is me! My husband dubbed me a "ball magnet" when we were dating because I always got hit whenever I even entered a gym. It's a gift, what can I say.

How 'bout "Can you take this back God, and give me a iPhone instead?" Ha! Just kidding. You got a love a gal with the ability to take a hit.

You know what? Reading your book made me hungry! And I so didn't have money to order out. Do you eat all those foods you wrote about? What about the stinky tofu? I actually read about that on the net. 'Sposed to be good for you. Fermented and all.

I've eaten almost all the Asian food mentioned in the book, because most Asian American families are ALL ABOUT THE FOOD! LOL I think a lot of families can say the same thing, Asian or not.

You got that right!

The one thing I haven't tried is stinky tofu, mostly because you can typically only get it if you're overseas like in Hong Kong. You might be able to get it in Chinatown, but you'd pretty much have to ask around, and it's easier when you speak Chinese, which I don't.

My husband has tried stinky tofu and thinks it's the most disgusting stuff on the planet. I've eaten a lot of nasty stuff, especially the various types of sushi, but I'm not sure if I'd have enough curiosity to try stinky tofu and overlook the horrendous smell.

Okay, my most important question is this: can we get that recipe for the mochiko chicken, or are we going to have to wait for you or your mom to invite us over?

That recipe is my mom's own, and she won't let me share it. It's similar to other mochiko chicken recipes you can find if you do a Google search, but she's tweaked the ingredients and proportions so that the chicken tastes fabulous.

Hey, maybe if you gave us the recipe, we can make it and have you over! And your mom, of course. Whatdaya say, Camy?

I'd rather you cooked me up something original from your own kitchen, sistah!

Careful what you ask for! You just might get it. Let me tell you a story real quick. I remember back in my black militant days I was gonna be all supah African girl and went to my neighbor's apartment because her Nigerian husband's mother-in-law was visiting from "The Motherland." Mom cooked and she whipped up the hottest dish I've even tried to eat before or since. Hell didn't have nuthin' on that chicken, girl. It was so hot fluids poured out of my body. I was crying, my nose was running, I was eating copious amounts of white rice to cool my palate while simultaneously dying! And there was a big chicken foot in the pot! I thought that little taste of African would kill me. And now us Burney's? My toddlers cut their teeth with Lea and Perrin's hot sauce. You're welcome if you can take the heat! And if you can eat Wasabi and that red Asian hotsauce in the restaurants in America, you probably can. So you're on.

But I digress...

It's no secret that CBA (Christian Bookseller's Association)
writers are overwhelmingly as Lex would say, "Caucasion." It was a
pleasure to get a little wasabi flava in my reading, especially coming
from an Asian woman. Not that I mind writers creating characters that
are not the same ethnicity. I just did that creating Nicky Parker and
I tried to be senstive and real. And I didn't have a problem getting advice from White guys. My question: how's your book being received in
CBA, an really, really White audience?

I knew that most of my readers would be Caucasian, so I wrote the book with that in mind. I tried to immerse the readers in the culture without making it seem too foreign or overwhelming.

I loved how you did that. Excellent work!

It helps that I'm fourth generation Asian American, so I have a foot in both the "American" culture and the "Asian American" culture, if you want to use those terms. It makes it easier to explain Asian culture to someone who didn't grow up in it.

I really enjoy sharing my culture because it's like when my Italian American friend talks about food, or my Irish American friend talks about family--it's always interesting to me because it's different from what I'm used to. I hope my readers feel the same way about my
books.

I've already gotten a few reviews where people who worried that they'd be confused by the Asian culture were pleasantly surprised. I tried to make the cultural aspects of it accessible to anyone, just like how "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" was funny and anyone--Greek or not--could relate to it.

I got a review once from someone that must have been overwhelmed, smitten, something, by my blackness. This person alluded to my ethnicity three or four times. And the review was only five sentences long! I mean, they really noticed and emphasized it in the review. Fortunately it was a great review, but it weirded me out a little. I knew there weren't many African American writers in CBA, but we aren't aliens from another planet! Did you get any well-meaning... um, interesting responses like that?

Not yet ... but I have gotten feedback from other Asian American Christians, both good and bad feedback. Some people don't even like me writing novels about my culture, while some people are ecstatic and want even more ethnicity in my stories. Some worry my novel will
encourage sterotyping, other say it breaks stereotypes. So, I've had all kinds of opinions.

All I know is--and I know you're the same because you've blogged about it--God has given me these stories to tell. He's given me the gift of storytelling. I keep myself in prayer and the Word so that I can know His will and be listening for His guidance, and that's all I can do.

I'm writing for Him--I'm writing for my readers, too, but I'm primarily writing to please Him. If I thought my writing didn't please Him, I'd give it up in a heartbeat. If I prayed and felt that a story idea wasn't pleasing Him, I'd trash the idea. I try to keep in constant communion with Him so that my writing can bring Him the glory.

Girl, for that good preaching I've got to give you a Trinitarian Amen, Amen, Amen! I'm astounded at how many people suggested to me that I tone down the God. No thanks.

Okay, Camy. Christian fiction is really making an splash in the general marketplace. Do you think you'll have a wider appeal in the general market? I mean, for me, there were all these issues about where my books would sell the most, and I'll be honest, from what the marketing folks said I was led to believe the general marketplace was going to be the place for me. And then there was the market her as a Christian writer or market her as an African American writer question. In the end one publishing house decided to market me as African American, so my books will be shelved in the bookstores with African American fiction, and not Christian fiction. Did you experience any "where is her book going to go on the shelves" strangeness like that?

To be perfectly honest, I wrote these books for Christians. I didn't write with a larger audience in mind. I wanted to write a fun book that Christians would enjoy--a book that would make them laugh, sigh, and feel good, that had Christ at the center.

For some people, that's "too much God," for others, it's not enough. I know I won't please everyone, but I write what I'd like to read--something fun, light, and Christian.

The General Market doesn't have much appeal for me, so I didn't target it at all. If non-believers like my book, that's great--but I'm not expecting it.

I don't mean to harp on race stuff, but I just found it interesting that I had a lot more issues than your average CBA writer. My old publishing house was really perplexed about how to market my book. I'm wondering if you've faced similar challenges. I know for a fact that
you had a great team of editors and your agent is the sweetest person
ever! I hope it wasn't rough going for you at any part of the process.

Not at all! My marketing and sales teams pitched this book like any other Christian novel, as a good read and not because it's PC or ethnically oriented. They believed that people would be attracted to the cover (which is the fabulous work of my fabulous art department)
and the funny, light-hearted, romantic blurb on the back cover. I think that most people will be attracted to the Asian American culture in the novel and want to read about it, but others will simply like my heroine's personality and want to find out what kinds of trouble she
gets herself into.

When I was researching Zora and Nicky, I really got an eyeopening looking at racism against Asians in some of the material I looked at, particularly a book called "Overcoming Our Racism: The Journey to Liberation", by Derald Wing Sue, a wonderful Chinese American psychologist. We have a long way to go, and I think to just have a safe place to talk about it is progress. I long for the day when we can just enjoy our stories without any thought of "if there's a person of color on the cover, some people, who are not that particular color, won't think the book is 'for them.'" You know? Just enjoy the journey,the story, and the people even if they are different. In fact, most of the time I enjoy reading books about people who are different. They always teach me something. Any thougths on that Camy?

I agree. I usually enjoy reading books about people and cultures who are different. I think a lot of people do--look at the overwhelming response to Amy Tan and Toni Morrison's books, which are steeped in their respective ethnic American cultures. That's not all Asians and
Blacks reading those books--that's a wide audience who just likes reading about people who are different AND YET THE SAME. The family and societal issues are often similar no matter what ethnicity you come from.

Okay, so clearly I really enjoyed the peek into both Chinese and Japanese American culture, cuisine and contemporary life, but what another thing I LOVED, besides the romance, was the family drama. Tell me how you created such vivid characters? Your descriptions of characters were fantastic. Are they based on people you know? I so cheated in Murder, Mayhem, and a Fine Man and used the people in my life to create characters from, albeit a far more fabu version of us.

I purposefully do NOT base my characters on real life people (partly because I don't want Aunty Mae asking, "Is that horrible woman really me?"). I use archetypes from 45 MASTER CHARACTER by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, and then I turn the archetype on its head to make the
character both vivid and unique.

I like using archetypes because they resonate psychologically with readers--our brains are just wired that way. It makes sense to me since I was a psych major. LOL

I'm gonna have to check that book out.

Any parting words? Recipes? Volleyball form tips? I so wanted to go
sign my big behind up for a gym after reading your book. And you just look fantastic! Dang, girl.

Aw, you are so marvelous! Lex is as skinny as I wish I was. I'm actually feeling guilty about now because I still haven't lost that 30 pounds my doctor told me to lose, what with my hereditary high cholesterol and my bum knee. Right now I'm only 5 pounds less than my
wedding weight, which is when I was my fattest. Sigh. After this book launches, I'm losing weight. Really. Don't laugh.

Laugh? I may be emailing you everyday for support and accountability so I can lose weight, too! A sistah needs some help! And I so don't want to go to Swaziland 50 pounds overweight all like, "Come 'ere, orphans. Let Big Mama feed ya!"

Thanks, Camy. It's been a pleasure talking to you.

The pleasure has been all mine! You totally rock, babe!

Well you don't just rock, you RAWK, sis. Before you go, give me the blurb and vitals for the next book in the series.

It's Only Uni, and it's out February 2008. Here's the blurb:

Flirty biologist Trish Sakai has alienated her best friends and her
family because of her wild behavior with her artist ex-boyfriend,
Kazuo. Then she finds her father kissing another woman, and her mom
suffers a heart attack. Convinced God is punishing her for her sexual
promiscuity, Trish comes up with three rules from First and Second
Corinthians: 1) Stop looking at guys, 2) Only date Christians, and 3)
Persevere in hardship by relying on God. If she follows them, God will
restore her life to the way it was before her mistakes. If she can
somehow regain her chastity, she won't feel as dirty and unworthy as
she does now. They're only three rules. How hard can it be?

Handsome Spenser finds himself attracted to his coworker Trish, but
his dinner invitation gets slammed down with a lame excuse about
Corinthians and rules. That cools his ardor pretty quick. But then
Spenser discover that his old enemy Kazuo needs Trish as the "muse"
for his unfinished masterpiece painting due in a few months for a
gallery show. Kazuo pursues Trish with everything he's got, but
Spenser decides to throw a wrench in Kazuo's plans by pretending to
pursue Trish himself.

Trish is going nuts trying to stand firm against two hunky guys. Her
three simple rules aren't so simple anymore . . .

Trish and Spencer!!!! Oh, I gotta see how that one plays out. Can't wait, Camy.

Everybody pre-order when you get your copy of Sushi for One? And stay tuned for more interviews and innerviews from my favorite authors and yours.

Sushi for One? (September 2007)

http://www.camytang.com/
She's giving away Christian fiction and an iPod Nano! Visit the contest
page on Camy's website for more information.

pace e bene!
mair

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Coming Soon: Writer Camy Tang!

Hey, lovies. Let's lighten things up around here. I'm going to do some interviews with really way cool people in the coming weeks.

First up: Camy Tang!
Okay, how cute is she? Camy is one of my favorite writer folks, and I'm telling you, whenever I see her I can always count on a really good hug, not one of those weak, noodle-arms numbers. No way! I get a hug that girlfriend puts some love into. I'm so happy to have her. So, you gotta come Wednesday. Okay?

She's on a blog tour for her supah-dupah fine novel, Sushi for One?

It's a really fun read, with cool characters, great family drama, and plenty of wit and style. You gotta love it. Chick lit with a wasabi kick. Yum! But it ain't just fluff and designer duds. It's sporty, with some hard issues, too. She's going to join me on September 19th and we're gonna chat it up about Sushi for One? and other cool things. So be here September 19th. Won't be the same without cha.

Meanwhile, go to Camy's website:

www.camytang.com and enter her contest to win a basket of books and an iPod Nano! Love my iPod y'all. Don't miss it!

peace and all good!
mair

Friday, September 14, 2007

Rest in the Arms of Jesus, Lovie.


Tonight I went to a funeral of one of the brightest, kindest, most extraordinary young men I've ever known. He came from a family who loved and doted on him, had a lovely, intelligent, fiercely gifted girlfriend and at the age of twenty-one, a bright future ahead of him. I spent the day with him at his family's place a few months ago, just after his birthday. Usually, I can spot the broken ones. I missed it this time.

The news of his death came in bursts. We found out he was gone, and Ken and I cried together, devastated, and broken hearted for what his family had to endure. We puzzled over why they said they had no details, and we waited--not particularly patiently--for news. You want to blame someone, something when a young person dies. You want a place to place your bewilderment and rage. We speculated about hidden heart disease, foul play, and for just a moment, the thought that maybe he took his own life.

Nah. Not him. He was full of life! Overflowing with it. This young man said everyday, "This is the best day EVER! And he made you believe it. His smile made it all so real.

But to our horror, we learned he did take his life, and the news magnified our grief. We asked ourselves the questions one asks in this situation. Why didn't I see how much he hurt? Why didn't I tell him my story? Maybe I could have help him. Turns out he was bipolar, and on a medication that apparently made him worse. My near fatal run with Cymbalta had me bottomed out in a matter of weeks and reduced to a crying, suicidal mess, but I'd been in the dark before. Spent a long time there. I'd trained myself over the years not to do myself any harm. I can remember nights when I'd hold my arms and rock in bed, knowing if I let my hands free I'd hurt myself. And I stayed that way until it passed and blessed sleep or a new morning came and I could face the day again. But I remember that the night seemed endless, and death a welcome friend.

I guess he welcomed death. He chose to end his suffering, and for the first time in my life, I have mixed feelings about his final act. I feel compassion for him. Maybe he thinks what he did was the bravest thing. I don't think he knew how deeply it would cut into the souls of those he left behind. I know when I was there, in that thick, weighty darkness, I couldn't see past the pain RIGHT NOW. I learned to get past that in time, with grace, work, and a lot of people who loved me rooting for me and telling me they'd kill me if I killed myself. Who am I to judge him because he simply couldn't go on anymore? Oh, but I wish he had gone on, because whatever he felt would have passed. I'm certain of it.

Lord, have mercy.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not about to join the assisted suicide bandwagon. I'm simply saying I feel compassion for him. But having survived three suicide attempts myself, I wish at least I could have had a conversation with him about these matters. My last attempt was in 1996. It was me who became my hero, and I called an ambulance after I took an overdose of pills, maybe in the nick of time. What I didn't know on that terribly sad day when I turned my bipolar rage on myself was that if I only held on, I'd get past that day. Sure, I'd have more bad days, but I'd also have good days. Sometimes I'd have great days, and a few would be so filled with grace and utter fabulousness that I'll bet the angels got a little jealous. I realized how fortunate I was for hanging on until my change came one day when I was holding Nia Grace when she was a baby. I would have never had the joy of being with her had I taken my life. And I just cried, right then and there at the thought of such astounding mercy, so grateful to God who was more persistent in saving me, than I was in trying to off myself.

And there were other joys. I lived in relative isolation in those days. Now I have friends--true friends, all over the world. My dream of being a writer has come true in a big way, even though at times it was a rough road, and I was bitterly, painfully disappointed. I don't think I'll ever forget holding that book in my hands. I cried and prayed and cried. I made it to that day of triumph because I lived.

If I had killed myself, I would not have met so many men and women who mean the world to me. Their friendships alone make me a wealthy woman. And that's just the few I'm thinking of at the moment, but there are so many of you that I have to say, surely I am blessed among women. Surely. Truly. Magnificently deeply.

Everyday I have to give over some suffering to Jesus. There isn't a pain medicine I've found that has really given more than it's taken from me. I know what it is to live with crippling emotional pain, and devastating physical pain, and both of these I give as an offering. It ain't easy, but I'm learning that you can live through suffering. I've spent the last three days in bed, sleeping, waiting, hurting, but I got up again. Gave the suffering to God, took a little rest. Got up again.

And that is just plain grace. Amazing grace.

Not much more to say tonight. We've cried till we were spent. I just want to end with saying I truly believe he found his rest. I believe in the mercy of God. I believe God knows bipolar people are literally out of their minds sometimes, and bad decisions get made. I believe he is with God and now knows there would have been wondrous days ahead had he held on. And finally, I believe that despite the pain of this past week's events, He is in Jesus' embrace, and that this is truly his best day EVER. And that is a mercy.

I believe it. I believe God's love is greater than our pain. His mercy endures forever.

Rest well, sweet prince.

mair

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How Does My Garden... Blow?


I think my garden is depressed. I'd be depressed if I looked like that. Actually, I do sorta look like that, which means that it's official: my seasonal depression has arrived with all the fanfare of a dead garden. That's why I've been so quiet. You didn't think I was still celebrating my birthday twelve days later, did you? (Though I must admit, I'm still getting gifts!)

I started the garden about two weeks after I got here. The ground was covered in red mulch, and there were these stones spaced out to decorate the mulch. I so wasn't feeling that. So, we got the mulch up and I planted hardy mums in a variety of colors--it was August, and I knew we'd get the chill in the air soon. We planted something else, I can't think of the name of it, but it looks like lavender, only it isn't. I said a little prayer over it, put my garden stone that says, "A friend loves at all times,"(Proverbs 17:17) and waited for it to get gorgeous.

Mind you, there's a lot of pride of ownership in our courtyard. Most people have flowers. Beautiful bountiful flowers exploding onto the grass. I knew our little planting was inadequate by comparison, but I figured in a few weeks they'd stretch out and fill the spaces where the other flowers I couldn't afford were supposed to be. I just had to be patient. I was inspired by Robert Benson's latest book, Digging In. I was very hopeful.

It's four weeks later, and honestly! That WRETCHED garden! I want to close my eyes and run in the house when I see it. Only I'd trip on the porch, and I'd likely be that single person who dies in that kind of freak accident because somehow, against all odds, I hit my head. Death by garden avoidance! And I could just see some of you, "She would have wanted to die running in stark terror from her own garden. She'd think that was funny." I would think that was funny, but darn it! I wouldn't want to die that way!

Do you remember Charlie Brown's Christmas tree? I've got his freakin' garden! Just look at the scraggly frail mess that I'm afraid for each time I water it, thinking the force of the water coming out of the hose might kill it even more than it's already dying.

It's AWFUL! My garden blows! It bites! It sucks! And whatever other Freudian oral fixation slang that means it looks like doo doo you can think of. Ha! "It looks like doo doo" is anal fixation slang. I'd better stop mixing my fixations.

But I digress.

So, I had a box of wildflower seeds so old they'd fossilized. Ken spread the fossils around the soil because wildflowers will grow anywhere. Right? Apparently they'll grow everywhere except my front yard! I'm beginning to think my new home is like, Final Destination for living things. I've been here a little more than a month and already we've lost three fish and the Nathan the guinea pig! And we had the nerve to get Little Peter Bun Bun, our new dwarf rabbit. And are we ever watching him carefully! It's like we're on night vigil mode 24 hours a day.

But back to the garden.

I pray for it. I grieve it, but despite it's unbearable ugliness, I still get out there and water it. Mom Burney took pity on us and gave us some red impatiens to plant in our death trap. So Ken put them in the ground and of course they immediately begin to drop and keel over. But do I tend to them anyway? I do.

Maybe my garden is an exercise in grace. Maybe it's teaching me to love even though the outcome is disappointing. It would be pretty darned easy to love a beautiful garden, but to get out there and keep tending a ragamuffin garden--well, that takes a little more soul work, and a lot more faith. But I'm a friend to my garden, and Proverbs reminds me on my garden stone, "A friend loves at all times."

I'm learning something, and it's important. I'm learning to care without conditions. And how not to be attached to a certain outcome. I'm learning to give when I'm not getting anything back. When I water that messy garden, or try to prop up a droopy impatiens or a dying hardy mum, I'm reminded of how everything dies, but that doesn't mean you have to give up on it, or forget about it in the process. Charlie Brown gardens are much like the Charlie Browns in our lives. They need love. Unconditional love. And maybe the only reward we'll get when we tend to them is the fact that we love, love being its own reward.

Now, I will say, I've seen a few brave sprouts in the past few days. I don't know if they're from a few good wildflower seeds, or what. I'm almost afraid to get too attached to them. The temps are dropping, and who knows what'll happen? But I'll tell you this, I'll certainly find out, because I'll keep showing up for my friend, the garden, making my way out there, talking to the flowers, giving them water when they're thirsty, and loving their Charlie Brown selves, no matter what. That's what love does.

peace and all good!
claudia mair

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Pax et Bonum!


From St. Francis of Assisi:

“It is not fitting, when one is in God's service, to have a gloomy face or a chilling look.”


Peace and all good things, lovies. It's time to celebrate life! I'm grateful that God has granted me 43 years. When I had that car accident on the eve of Easter, there was a moment there that I thought my time with you was over, but Our God was kind to me and my children. He was merciful, as He always is.

It's 2 in the morning here in The House of Love (that's what I call my new place.) I'm surrounded by my family, we've drank cold white zin, and earlier Ken abducted me and took me to the Detroit Jazz festival where we got to hear the last sweet notes Herbie Hancock played. I bought some venetian glass beads to make a couple of Anglican rosaries with from one of the vendors. In the last few weeks I've found a Franciscan and Benedictine community to fellowship with as I discern whether or not I have a Franciscan "calling." And it is my sincere prayer that I do, and that I can give the remainder of my life in service of "the least of these" loving the poor Christ through them. Maybe I'll figure out what "Blessed are the poor in spirit" means after all.

This is an exciting time my life, full of delicious Gospel and life affirming possibilities. I feel like I'm practically levitating--and it isn't the white zin! I assure you.

I'm so happy.

So, let's start the fun. I'm putting on my rough brown cloak now. With the white three-knotted cord, each knot representing the virtues of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Hey, stop laughing! I'm serious about this! And yeah, the chastity and obedient parts, too!

But, we can still have plenty of poor, chaste, obedient fun! We're troubadours today, each and ever one of us. Sing, dance, be happy, and write a canticle or something! It's also the start of the calender year in the Eastern Orthodox church. So happy new year, y'all. May God grant us all many years!


I've got some virtual champagne and cavier for everybody! There are several party platters overflowing with food. Fine meats. Yummy fresh veggies.
I've got a delightful marinated tofu for you vegetarians, and veritable Garden of Eden worth of fruit--and none of it is forbidden. In the spirit of St. Francis I didn't have to spend a dime on any it! That leaves more resources for us to give to the poor.

Now, I'm going to share my St. Francis quote, which is surely my testimony. Bobbie gifted me with this one, and I'm going to give it back, with much love, to you all.

I have been all things unholy. If God can work through me, he can work through anyone.

Ain't that the truth!? Hallelujah!

Thank you all for sharing my journey of faith, fear, doubt, life, everything.

I love y'all.

And now I will give you the blessing St.Francis often gave to his lovies.

The Lord bless you and keep you.
May He show His face to you and have mercy.
May He turn His countenance to you and give you peace.
The Lord bless you!

Peace, and all good! (Pax et Bonum)
claudia mair francis<--this one is new. Ha!,
fool for Christ and whirling troubadour.

Thanks for coming! Now, eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we fly!