Monthly Archives: September 2012

Workshop on writing humor starts MONDAY!

I’m teaching a workshop on writing humor.  The title is What Sheldon and Mary Teach Us About Humor.  It starts Monday, October 1 and continues through October 28.

For a preview  http://www.savvyauthors.com/vb/content.php?2255-What-Mary-and-Sheldon-Teach-Us-about-Writing-Humor-by-Jane-Myers-Perrine

What’s in a name?

I started Kindergarten with the name Monica Jane Perrine.   Monica was the name of my mother’s best friend and Jane was the name of my father’s mother although they called her Jennie.   Mom hoped I’d be called Monica Jane but the school quickly disabused her of the possibility of using a double name so I was enrolled as Monica.

I hated the name because from Kindergarten on,  my classmates called me Monica the Harmonica.  I hope I do not insult any of you who believe a harmonica is truly the sound of angels;  however, I’m not fond of harmonica music unless played by  Johnny Puleo and his gang.   I decided at the beginning of fourth grade to become Jane.  I didn’t tell my parents, just made that change.  Mom didm’t know until parents’ night at school when  she walked into my classroom the mother of Monica Myers and left as the mother of Jane Myers. 

What I didn’t realize back in fourth grade was that people make fun of everyone’s name.   The joke about “Jane” that I hate most is when someone says,  “Me Tarzan.  You Jane,” then laugh and laugh as if this is the most creative joke ever made.  To be polite, I’d smile even though I’d  heard that hundreds of times.  Fortunately, the population is aging and the younger generation doesn’t know about Tarzan and Jane.  

Another nicknames I’m not fond of is Plain Jane.  Go to an on-line bookstore and search for titles with “Plain Jane” in them.  There are dozens and dozens but I will never buy one.  I’ve had people in conversation say something like, “Just use a plain Jane envelope,” and I wonder, “What’s wrong with saying a PLAIN envelope?”   And, although you may think “Jane the Brain” would be acceptable, you know if you’ve seen a picture of a brain, they are not attractive.  

All right, all right!  I’ll stop complaining.  Now it’s your turn.  What nickname do people use with you?  Do you like it or not or just learn to live with it? 

The Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt Is On!

THE WINNER IS Sharon Miller.  Thanks to all who stopped by, liked and/or friended me! 

Welcome to the Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! If you at any time need to read the instructions for the hunt, please visit www.christianfictionscavengerhunt.com

AND, welcome to my site.   I’m Jane Myers Perrine.  Delighted to be part of this scavenger hunt!  Hope you’ll have fun here!

You may know me from my books at Love Inspired:  The Path to Love, Love’s Healing Touch, Deep in the Heart, and Second Chance Bride.  I loved those books and hope you’ve read some or all of them!

I’m now writing a series for FaithWords about a young, inexperienced minister who is called to serve a church in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas.   This series has been so much fun to write because my husband and I are both ministers.  We’ve met some of these (carefully disguised!) people and experienced many of these event in churches we’ve served.

The first book in the series is The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek which is now available and has had great reviews.  It’s been compared to both Jan Karon’s wonderful Mitford series and Phillip Gulley’s Harmony books..

The second book in the series is The Matchmakers of Butternut Creek which will be out in late November of this year.

What should I tell you about myself?  First of all, I love to write humor and have really loved using it in these novels.  Second, as well as being a minister, I’ve taught Spanish in high school and college.  Third, George and I live in central Texas with two spoiled tuxedo cats who rule our lives.

I have a contest on this blog for an advanced reader’s copy of The Matchmakers as well as a set of magnetic bookmarks with scriptures.   You’ll get one point for posting here on this blog, one for TWEETING (@perrinejane  Please mention Butternut Creek so I know to count you) and one for liking me on Facebook  (Jane Myers Perrine).  Due to postage, I can only send this prize to readers in the USA or Canada.

About the book:  The Matchmakers of Butternut Creek picks up after The Welcome Committee ends.  Peoples have asked me if the minister, Adam Jordan, gets married in the second book.  Maybe.  Miss Birdie, the Widow who runs the church is back.  Even if you haven’t read The Welcome Committee, you know her.  She’s the lady who runs the church but only because she loves people and is sure everyone will be better off and happier if they do things her way.   The other Widows appear and one is added.  Leo and Nick still pull stunts and life goes on in Butternut Creek.  The parsonage is that Victorian house next to the Christian Church.  Sit down, pour yourself a glass of lemonade, and chat a spell.

Each of the books starts with a letter from Adam.  Here’s the letter that begins The Matchmakers of Butternut Creek. 

 From the desk of Adam Joseph Jordan, M Div.

I continue to be a sad burden for Birdie MacDowell. Since I arrived at the church in Butternut Creek seven months ago, I’ve attempted to lift that weight from her shoulders and to correct the many errors she expects me to atone for.

If she were to comment on the first paragraph of this letter, Miss Birdie would point out that I wrote a run-on sentence and ended it with a preposition. Despite my earnest efforts, I have failed her again, at least grammatically.

When I first arrived here in Butternut Creek, called to serve the Christian Church, she saw me as too young and too inexperienced for almost everything. She was correct. She believes she always is. Personally, I’d hoped the passage of time would take care of both of my flaws, but Miss Birdie is not one to wait around and hope for change.

Although she’s never expressed this, an odd omission for a woman who prides herself on her speaking out fearlessly, she knows that a man of my age (too young) and with a sad lack of piety could never act as her spiritual guide.

She’s probably correct. I am woefully incompetent to lead another person to faith when I struggle daily with my own flaws. Thank goodness for grace from the Lord if not from Miss Birdie.

I have discovered a few things in the months I’ve been here. First, I fell in love with this small town in the beautiful hill country of Texas the moment I arrived: the friendly people, the Victorian houses, the live oaks shadowing the streets, the downtown square surrounded by coffee shops and gift stores and antique malls with a few businesses—the barber shop and the diner where Miss Birdie works–sprinkled in.

Secondly, I found out I do possess some skills. I preach a good sermon, teach an interesting adult Sunday school class, have an active youth group, and make much appreciated hospital calls and evangelistic visits regularly. I’ve also improved my basketball game.

But there was one area in which Miss Birdie still found me lacking: finding a wife and producing children to populate the children’s Sunday school classes.

Yes, she wanted me to find a bride. Wanted is an inadequate word here. Even determined doesn’t approach the level of her resolve. Add to that adjective single-minded and unwavering and the total comes close to her desperate need to marry me off. Do not add choosyto that list because she’d marry me off to any single woman still in her child-bearing years who lives within a fifty-mile radius of Butternut Creek. Her task is made nearly impossible by the dearth of single women in small central Texas towns.

Could be she expects God to create a mate from my rib, but that hasn’t happened yet. Nor do I expect to wake up, as Boaz did, to find a bride lying at my feet. Of course, if a woman should appear in my bed, whether at the foot or cozily snuggled next to me, her presence in the parsonage would create a scandal from which neither the church nor I would recover.

Because Miss Birdie has renounced these biblical approaches to finding me a wife, I shudder to imagine what schemes ARE in her fertile and scheming mind. All for my own good, of course.

For the protection and edification of all involved, I decided to document every one of the efforts she and her cohorts, the other three Widows, have made in their attempts to find me a mate. In addition, this book will cover my next year as minister in Butternut Creek, my search for experience and a wife as well as the joy of living here with the wonderful people who inhabit this paradise.

I send it off with my love and my blessing and in the desperate hope that someday Miss Birdie will smile upon me and say, “Well done, Pastor.”

For your next clue, go to  http://vickiemcdonough.com/www.vickiemcdonough.com/CFSH.html

A little late blogging today

I woke up this morning and realized this is Tuesday, my day to blog and I had nothing!  

There is a good reason.  I bought a new car.   By new car, I mean new to me.  

Twelve years ago, George bought me a brand new yellow Ford Focus.  I love cars in bright colors both because they make me happy and because I can find them easily in a parking lot.  It worked wonderfully.  Never had to spend money except for oil changes and new tires.

Until two years ago.  My battery kept running down.  I had to have it jumped every three or four months and bought four new batteries.  At the same time, when I got into the car and before I put the key in the ignition, the radio would come on.  I believed the radio was draining the battery so set an appointment with the radio specialist at the dealership to check it.   He said (I paraphrase here), “Lady, you’re nuts.  There’s nothing wrong,” because—in my experience–mechanics never listen to women.  I could go on and on about this but I won’t in this blog.

And yet, the radio kept turning on and the battery kept running down.  I had the radio removed.   Didn’t change things and still no one could find a reason for this.  Yes, I know it was a short in the electrical system but, “Lady, there’s nothing wrong with your car,” but they couldn’t explain  the new batteries.  I had to keep AAA on speed dial.

I’m on deadline:  October 1 for The Wedding Planners of Butternut Creek.  When the car wouldn’t start last Wednesday, I had it jumped and drove it for thirty minutes, I thought the charge would last three or four months and I’d have plenty of time to look for a new car after October 1 because it was obvious I need a car that starts without the aid of jumper cables.

But the charge didn’t last.  Saturday morning, the battery was dead again. 

Monday, we bought a new (to me) car, pictured above.  It’s a 2008 Mazda 3 and is so pretty and clean but it’s white!   In the picture my dear husband took, my Power Cat (the logo of  my Alma Mater, Kansas State University) shows up beautifully against the white.

But the car is white and I won’t be able to find it in the parking lot.  My plan is to do something on the roof of the car to identify it.  I’m thinking a purple stripe to match the Power Cat.  I should be able to pick that out in a parking lot.

I am open to suggestion.  What do you think would brighten up and make my new car easier to identify?

 

 

What would you take with you?

When Hurricane Hugo headed toward Savannah, GA, George and I packed up and evacuated.   When we left, a direct hit was forecast.  While we drove west on the packed interstate, Hugo took a right turn and hit Charleston hard.

What fascinated me was how easy it was to decide what we needed to take with us.  The two cocker spaniels, of course.  Computers, televisions, our photo albums, and a couple of suitcases.  That was it.  That was what was important.  Anything other than the dogs and the photos, we could replace.  

If you had to evacuate and could take only one or two irreplaceables, what would they be?  Or, if you have evacuated, what did you take?  I like to know.

I married a man who loves history

I married a man who loves history.   We’ve been to Mystic Seaport in Connecticut and the Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego.  On a trip from Louisville to Savannah, we followed the battlefields of the Civil War from Chickamauga down the route of Sherman’s March to the Sea.

On a terribly hot summer day, George, his sister and I searched Gettysburg for their ancestors who served in the Pennsylvania 150th regiment.  Diane was chased and nearly devoured by a reaping machine in the Hay Field.

We visited frontier villages in Houston and Fredericksburg, TX;  The National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock, TX, one of my favorites;  the Texas Ranger Museum on Waco; the Billy the Kid Museum someplace in Texas;  Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park where we love feeding the burros and I wandered through a herd of buffalo.   Another favorites was the Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site in St. Martinville, Louisiana which we stumbled on by accident on a drive to New Orleans.  

And, of course, in D.C., we visited the Memorials; in Virginia, Monticello and Old Williamsburg. 

I can’t remember all the places but I’ve enjoyed every one of them because I was with George and because, fortunately, I love history, too.

What is the favorite place you’ve visited?  Historical on not, please share.

Good morning, Wrinkle Face

When I got up Tuesday morning, I had creases from my pillowcase on my cheek.  When he saw this, my husband said to me, “Good morning, Wrinkle Face.”  He’s smart enough to realize immediately his statement might could (as we say in Texas) insult me.  It did.  He will, I’m fairly certain, never call me this again because he is a really nice guy!

However, this isn’t the worst affectionate nickname I’ve ever heard.  George had a friend from college who called his girl friend–fiancee-wife “Dummy Flab”.  Yes, that’s right.  He called her a name that stated she was both stupid and fat.  I don’t know how or if the marriage  survived.

What’s the worst nickname you’ve ever heard, been called or used?   I love to know these things.

Do you like to laugh?

In November, I’ll present a workshop on Savvy Authors about writing humor because I’ve always wondered how I do that.  I truly believe having a weird mind is the main factor.

Over the weekend, I blogged about the up-coming workshop and humor.  I’d love for you to drop by.

http://www.savvyauthors.com/vb/content.php?2255-What-Mary-and-Sheldon-Teach-Us-about-Writing-Humor-by-Jane-Myers-Perrine#.UE32YJIVmVs.facebook