Strange Love

It’s getting late, and I’m tired.  But there are a million tiny thoughts clambering around in my head, and I know tomorrow will be even busier than today.  So I don’t even want to think about it.  Outside the leaves were burning like tongues of flame, but I know in my heart that soon the flames will fade to ashes and the trees will be empty and bare.  It’s a tragic thing really, but it means Christmas is quietly creeping upon us like a silver mist of enchantment.  So I’ll live with the sadness today just for the joy of tomorrow.

Today was a nostalgic kind of day, even though I barely had enough time to stop and breathe.  But for one moment I closed my eyes and listened to my heartbeat, and I thought about falling in love and how it’s filled with those beautiful moments when you think it’s forever, and then suddenly it all just breaks apart like a shattered pane of glass.

And isn’t it funny that we can plan for forever and then find we were just wasting time?  Isn’t it strange how love grabs us and spins us and makes us believe, just to throw us down and tear our hearts out and promise us nothing but grief?  Yet we can’t seem to live without some kind of love because our hearts just keep crying for more.

It’s a beautiful tragedy.

It’s a bittersweet melody.

So you laugh when you really need to cry.

I don’t understand.

But that’s life.

So I wrote a song about that funny kind of love.

Funny Kind of Love

We’re saying our goodbyes

Ending it tonight

Like a tragedy

We’re walking separate ways

Remembering those days

Chasing dreams under the city lights

And it crosses my mind

As you’re walking away from me

Ain’t it funny

Two strangers just fallin’ in love

Spending all those days thinking you were the one

Never dreaming we’d be givin’ it up

Ain’t it funny

Ain’t it a funny kind of love

Yesterday I’d hang the moon

On every word you’d say

Now I wouldn’t even spare a tear as you walk away

We fell in love

And fell right out again

I guess it’s just one of those things that just happens

And it crosses my mind

As you leave me behind

Ain’t it a cryin’ shame

Funny how life spins us around

You fall in love and then you hit the ground

Strange enough how life turns out

Spins us around takes us down

Playing tricks on innocent minds

All things end given time

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Trapped: A Runaway Romance

Two sisters.

A headstrong teenager.

A librarian.

One too many fights.

A runaway.

A desperate search.

Time is running out…

Laura Griffith is a librarian turned guardian who constantly clashes with Darcy, her 16-year-old sister.  Returning home from work one day, Laura discovers that Darcy has run away.  Laura immediately begins searching for her lost sister, even enlisting the help of a private detective.  Meanwhile, Darcy finds herself stranded in the middle of a snowstorm with nowhere to go.  When she puts her trust in the wrong person, will Laura find her in time?

Trapped is the second installment in the Private Justice series.  This was the first novel by Irene Hannon I have read, but I was able to follow the story just fine.  Although having prior knowledge would have been nice, it was not necessary.  I was a little surprised that the audience is given the identity of the villain almost right away, but in this case, the information only intensified the level of suspense.  There is romance woven throughout the novel, but this story is still pretty dark – not quite Ted Dekker twisted but darker than I expected.

In my opinion, there are two kinds of suspense: the kind that you read over and over again for the story or romance, even after the initial suspense is gone, and the kind that you read in one sitting because you can’t put it down.  Trapped by Irene Hannon is definitely the latter.  I just couldn’t tear myself away!  The downside is that while the suspense is great, this is a book I probably won’t read again, mainly due to the length and its dark nature.  I’m also getting tired of reading plots where the villain is mentally twisted due to something that happened in his childhood.  All in all, this was a good book if you like darker suspense, a little romance, and a bit of Christianity thrown into the mix.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Trapped-by-Irene-Hannon

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with White Chocolate Chips, Raisins, and Apples

I have a confession to make.  I love fall!  (You could probably tell.)  And not just because of the crunchy leaves and beautiful colors.  In fact, my love of fall is mostly born from the fact that I love to bake pumpkin things!  Let’s face it.  Maybe it’s just me, but I can bake pumpkin flavored treats any day of the year, and yet somehow they just taste better from September through December.

Last week was my fall break, and for some reason I suddenly had a craving for pumpkin cookies.  But not just any regular, soft pumpkin cookies.  No, I wanted a chewy pumpkin cookie filled with oatmeal and spices.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a recipe that combined all of my cravings into one succulent, moist-yet-chewy taste of pumpkin goodness.  So I was forced to create one.  And eat one several.  In fact, they tasted so yummy that I couldn’t stand the thought of hiding the secret recipe away under my mattress for 50+ years, and so I’m sharing them with you.  Indulge yourself.  You’re welcome!  🙂

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with White Chocolate, Raisins, and Apples

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 package hot chocolate mix
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • A generous pinch of salt
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups oats (I recommend rolled oats, but quick-cooking oats will work.)
  • 1 bag (11 oz) white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 3 small to medium sized apples, chopped

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit!
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy!
  • Add egg and mix thoroughly.
  • Add pumpkin, hot chocolate mix, and vanilla.
  • Toss in all your spices and the salt.
  • Add the flour and mix until just combined.  Don’t forget to scrape the sides!
  • Stir in oats, chocolate chips, raisins, and apples.  Your dough should definitely not be liquid, but it shouldn’t be stiff either. It’s pretty sticky stuff!
  • Drop by large spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet.
  • Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are slightly browned and set. (This is basically a preference thing. I like my cookies slightly underdone, so if you don’t, just adjust the time.  Also, keep in mind that ovens differ, so check your first batch often until you figure out exactly what you want!)
  • Enjoy!

This recipe made me about 25 large cookies, but the number depends on your definition of large.  🙂

The Colors of Fall and Writer’s Block

Fall is swiftly creeping into the air, wrapping chilly fingers around the leaves and squeezing out their life in a beautiful yet deadly way.  The leaves are in the throes of their lovely death dance, blazing with a hundred different shades of color before crumpling to the ground like a multitude of rich, brown ashes.  And I wish I could find the words to paint the pictures I’d like to say, but it’s all buried somewhere deep inside me, and I just can’t bleed it out.

I really don’t like writer’s block.  It’s bad enough when you just can’t find anything to write about, but it’s so much worse when there are a thousand ideas and feelings bubbling up inside of you and you can’t find the words to express them.  I know in my heart if I could just pour this cauldron of emotions out onto paper I could write beautiful, tragic things.  But I can’t.  So I wait and hope and wish and keep on trying, even though the ache to write is so strong I can feel it and taste it like a bitter pill I just can’t quite swallow.  I have so much I need to say, but when I take up my pen, suddenly I’m empty again.  

It’s beautiful and tragic and there’s nothing you can do except grasp your pen and cover the page with a thousand words about nothing until something magical spills out.  Sometimes you can push through and create something wonderful, and sometimes you have to walk away.  But the struggle is worth it, because if you don’t fight for beauty, you’ll die a little inside.  And given time, even the most painful moment can become the most beautiful love song.

So if the leaves are whispering their last goodbyes and all the things you need to say get lost in translation, don’t worry.  There is always tomorrow, and writer’s block doesn’t last forever.  Take your pen in hand and fight.  You might lose a battle or two, but sooner or later you will win the war.  And eventually the words will come in their own beautiful time, just like the leaves will return in the spring.