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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

God Wanted Me, but....


We're still going through boxes of pictures and one surfaced that reminded me of a canceled baptism.

I was raised in a Christian home, but my parents did not have me baptized as a child; they believed it should be my decision later on as to what faith I wanted to follow. I never thought much about it in my younger years and in my "demon days", God wasn't even part of my vocabulary ...  I was too interested in partying and doing my own thing.

In 1977,  my parents and sister were attending a Methodist church in my home town, and my sister decided she wanted to get baptized.  I was twenty-four and lived on the other side of the state, but they wanted it to be a family affair.  They asked me to be baptized with my sister ... secretly hoping it might somehow change my evil ways.

I reluctantly packed my bags and took the three-hour trip on a Friday night. The baptism wasn't until Sunday so I had all day Saturday to do whatever I wanted.  I decided to attend an intramural baseball game sponsored by my previous employer, which gave me a chance to catch up with old friends.  I was busy chatting during the game and all of a sudden my ears started ringing and people screamed. I saw blood flowing, and I thought I had a nosebleed. The bat had slipped out of the batter's hand, into the bleachers and onto my forehead.  It didn't knock me out (hard headed aren't I?) but my skull was fractured in four places, I had a subdural hematoma and needed twenty-eight stitches across my forehead.  My parents were told not to get their hopes up for me making it through the night, and that if I did make it there was no guarantee of a full recovery. While they were stitching me up, mom and dad were at my bedside. Remembering the upcoming baptism, I looked at both of them and said, "See, God doesn't want me."

I believed that statement for years after the accident, and it wasn't until I sobered up and started on my wonderful faith journey that I realized how wrong I was.  I was too self-absorbed back then to see that He did want me. Otherwise, I would not have survived the accident, let alone my wanton lifestyle, and I would not have learned the valuable lessons still ahead of me.

I consider the accident a blessing in disguise. Although God did want me, I didn't want Him. The baptism would have been a farce; just something to make my family happy. I would have entered the water with a closed heart and mind then get in my car and return to my self-destructive ways. I would not have appreciated the significance of the sacrament, in fact, I would have forgotten about it the next day.

It took a few more years of lessons learned, but in 2006 I was baptized in the Catholic church. Not only did I appreciate the significance, I entered the water with an open heart and mind, I felt His presence, heard His invitation and joyfully welcomed Him into my life.

Habakkuk 2:3
 For the vision is a witness for the appointed time,
a testimony to the end; it will not disappoint.
If it delays, wait for it,
it will surely come, it will not be late.

This was a week after
the accident. The smile
was nice.
But look at this smile!  My baptism ~ 4/15/2006



Monday, September 29, 2014

HAVE A SEAT: OGNIAN GEORGIEV!

I was honored to be Ognian Georgiev's first Christian author featured on his blog and I am thrilled he agreed to be interviewed on mine.  Please feel free to ask questions or leave a comment.   


Ognian Georgiev is a sports journalist, who currently working as sports editor at the "Bulgaria Today" daily newspaper. He covered the Summer Olympics in Beijing 2008 and in London 2012. The author of the book "The 
White Prisoner - Galabin Boevski's secret story" specializes in sports politics, investigations and coverage of Olympic sports events. Ognian works as a TV broadcaster for Eurosport Bulgaria, Nova Broadcasting group, TV+, F+ and TV7. He is a commentator for fight sports events such as boxing/kickboxing and MMA. In December 2012 Nova TV and Diema TV premiered the biographical movie "Sons", dedicated to heavyweight boxer Kubrat Pulev. He was author and script writer of the film.

Ognian was born in the capital city of Bulgaria - Sofia. He started work as a sports reporter in 2000. In the following years Ognian Georgiev covered different sports events in USA, Germany, Switzerland, UK, France, Greece, Serbia, Hungary, Spain, and Italy.  The author lives in Sofia with his partner Ralitza and their one year old daughter Valeria.


What inspired you to become a writer?

My job is related with writing. I am working as a sports reporter in "Bulgaria Today" daily newspaper. In the last 15 years it was a daily routine for me. However, writing a real book is something very different. The main character of my first novel "The white prisoner: Galabin Boevski" was the reason that I was inspired to put everything in one big story. My editor-in-chief encouraged me to write the story and this was just the beginning.
 
  
  Which of your books do you consider your pride and joy?   Why?

Easy answer, because I've got only one book "The white prisoner: Galabin Boevski's secret story". For now it's my pride. I gave a lot in order to produce the final output. It was a joy as well, because the adrenaline during research and writing period was very high. Sometimes I had some problems with the sleep, because I was thinking non stop about the book and how to pave the readers' road.
  

 Do you have any preparation rituals before you begin to write?

I need silence. Because of my daily assignments in the newspaper, I don't have much time to focus. This is why I worked on the novel after my work. Sometimes I was staying until 3 at the night in my office to develop the story chapter by chapter.

    If you had to come up with a book title to describe your life, what would it be?

The Angel Who Saved My Life. I've got many risky situations since I was born. Thanks to my personal angel, I am still alive and in good condition. Now, at the age of almost 34 (next Monday is my birthday), I started to realize many things, that before were just passing by my mind without paying enough attention.

    If you had a chance to have dinner with any author who would it be?

I will give you Top 3, ok? The first one would be Karl May. The German writer was my favorite during my child years. He describes by incredible way his characters and is a real teacher of the best human qualities. Number two would be Raymond Feist. He is my favorite fantasy author. I was very deep into his Midkemia world and all his great personages. Number 3 - Michael Connelly. He is a great master of crime literature and a person who I would like to interview one day.

    We all have family, work and other obligations...how do you maintain balance while in the middle of a writing project?

The sad thing is that my family suffered when I wrote my book, because not much time left for them. Sometimes I feel kind of guilty about that, but my girlfriend and my daughter always supported me. They were very happy when the book finally was published and I would like to thank them once again for all the hugs they gave to me, when I had some bad moments during writing and publishing period.

    What is the one piece of advice you received about writing that helped you the most?

Probably when I read somewhere that I need as much as possible eyes to take a look on my script before being published. I am very grateful to all test readers, who helped "The White Prisoner: Galabin Boevski's secret story" to become better novel.

    Where can we purchase your books and how can we keep up with you?

You may order the print version of the book here:

https://www.createspace.com/4808648
E-book is available here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KMFP2VK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00KMFP2VK&linkCode=as2&tag=thewhitepriso-20&linkId=NP6B3MHCASFJ4QI3

Follow me here:

Blog - http://ogigeorgiev.wordpress.com/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/galabinboevski
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/galabin.boevsky


Last, but not least.....What and when is your next release? Provide a brief synopsis....

I started recently with the research for my next book. Once again it will be a non-fiction sport book about the last man who beat the richest athlete in the world, Floyd Mayweather, and his incredible fate. Plans are the Bulgarian version to be published at the beginning of 2015 and the English version to be ready for the start of the next summer.








HOPE?




With a blog handle of Gridiron Granny Football Fanatic, football will be a topic from time to time. This is one of those times ... in fact, for fantasy football, probably the last time (sob).

It is week four of the fantasy season and do you know what my record is?
0 - 4.  That's right ... after all my post-draft/pre-season smack talk against my opponents, here I sit - 12th place (out of twelve, by the way).

I've lost four (averaging one per week) top players, and replacing them has been difficult because all the good ones have already been scooped up.

Recap Week One:  Sackmaster Mike (1-0) (My husband no-less) beat me in a tight match:  107 - 105.  I was the first to put up points and actually reached 20-0. That lead slipped away like a wet spaghetti noodle.

Recap Week Two:  I had two great players score zero points ...  Zero, Nada, Zilch, and wound up in last place.   

Recap Week Three:  My extremely talented running back scored zero points....why?  He broke his ankle in the first quarter (I do feel bad for him, it was a season ending injury).  I'm proudly holding steady in 12th place with a 0-3 record. No one is even close to taking away my esteemed position.

This Week:  My regular quarterback is on a bye, so I had to use a back-up.  I wasn't concerned because last week that particular QB scored 35 points. This week:  5.  He decided it was more fun to throw to the other team. Right now I have 72 points to my opponent's 177....Monday Night Football is coming and I have one player left. Think it's too much to ask a kicker to close the gap?  

Don't get me wrong, I'm not giving up ... just needed to vent a little.  Being one of strong faith, I know God would not want me to lose hope.  So.... I'm going to pull up my big girl panties and face my future opponents with head held high and boundless determination ... and if not successful, there is always next year.......















Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Blank Zone

There's nothing more frightening for a writer -- staring at a blank page. Deep within our souls the words are there, but something keeps them from reaching the tips of our fingers and onto the keyboard.  It's the dreaded writer's block.  If I had a dollar for every time that has happened, I'd be able to afford Seattle Seahawks season tickets on the second level, fifty yard line -- plus the funds fly up there for every game.

When entering the "blank zone," I either stare at the computer screen hoping words miraculously appear or close my eyes, take a deep breath and pray. You'd think the latter would be automatic, but nooooo, not for me. I sometimes get a crazy notion I'm in control, and end up wasting a considerable amount of time frustrated with a strong desire to throw the laptop out the window ... and I know God is watching, shaking His head and smiling.

When faced with a blank page, be it while writing or waking to a new day, we need to look upwards and say, "Okay, God, it's all yours."  We will, at times, succumb to self-will; we're human.  Be comforted knowing all He wants us to do is try ... He expects progress not perfection.


Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely;
In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NABRE)