Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Ultrasound

Today I have a writer moment to share. I've told many friends that birthing a book is similar to birthing a baby. Pregnancy can feel very long and sometimes uncomfortable. You desperately want to hold the baby, but sometimes fear that day will never arrive. There are preparations to make--painting the nursery, buying diapers. And because you want to be an exceptional parent, you study many books on how to excel at this role. Midwives are there to guide you through the experiences of each month of the pregnancy. Still, it can be hard to imagine holding that longed-for child in your arms as day after day passes.

Today, I saw the ultrasound of my book-baby. The cover art.

Like hearing a heartbeat, and seeing a tiny figure swimming in a hidden place, the life of this book-baby is vibrantly real in a new way.

Can a book "quicken" like that moment you first feel the flutter of your child? If so, The Secret Life of Becky Miller quickened for me today.

I LOVE the cover that the artist designed. It conveys so many aspects of the novel. I feel incredibly blessed by this ultrasound moment--this glimpse of what the baby will look like.

We'll be posting the cover art on my website soon, so check it out. I'm an unabashed proud mom, waving her sonogram around for all to see. And if I'm this delirious now, just wait until the day of the birth!

I pray your heart with quicken today with whatever God is birthing in your life!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Nine Dead Mice

Something smelled funny under the stairs. We pulled out all the suitcases, tax records, and other odd things we stored under there, and found nothing. So we scrubbed and put everything back, hoping we’d solved the problem even though we didn’t know what the problem was.

Over the next few days, the smell grew stronger. We suspected there was a dead mouse in the wall. Since we live near woods and wetlands, we occasionally have one sneak in, especially in the fall. Since there was no way to reach it, we kept windows open, burned candles, sprayed Oust, and figured we’d have to wait it out.

But it grew worse.

So yesterday Ted pried off the wood paneling of the basement wall to expose the studs, while I stayed far away, and my fifteen-year-old son videotaped like a crime scene investigator.

Ted found the dead mouse. And eight mouse buddies, also deceased. Ew!

Besides giving me nightmares, the experience made me think. How often do I spray Lysol on my soul, hoping to disguise the stench? Do I try to clean under my stairs, figuring I’ve done all I can so it’s good enough? Only God can pry away the wall and expose the sin that is rotting away. Only His forgiveness can clean it out.

All right. It’s a disgusting (and true) story. But I think that’s why it struck me. Ted was very brave to tackle the decayed rodents. God is very brave to face the repulsive odor of sin—even more gross than nine dead mice—and restore me in love.

Lord, next time I catch a whiff of pride, a scent of a harmful habit, a sour smell of selfishness, remind me not to gloss it over. Remind me to let you pry back the walls and purify my heart.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Interview with a Restorer

Do not read if you haven't read the book yet.:-)

Kelly Lorton, a talented seventh-grader, read an early manuscript of The Restorer's Son before it was published. She created this interview as a book report for her class.

The Restorer’s Son
By: Sharon Hinck

Setting: Year: two years after Markell left their world (during which time twenty years pasted in our world.) The scenes in our world take place in 2007.

Time: The weeks following the big battle of Morsal Plain (they don’t have a moon, so they don’t have months like we do.) They mark their years by six seasons… a season is how long it takes the grain crops to sprout, grow and be ready to harvest – about 60 days.

Place: The clans of the People of the Verses (including Lyric and Braide Wood) and the dark kingdom of Hazor.

Host: Ladies and Gentlemen: today we are fortunate enough to have Kieran of Braid Wood join us. He is one of the brave
Promised Restorers sent from The One to the People of the Verses to help them in many great ways.

1. Host: Tell me Kieran, do you have any relatives or close friends in Braide Wood?

Kieran: Yes, my sister Kendra and her husband Tristan live there with Tara and Payton. Plus, they also seem to have constant company.

2. Host: So, Kieran, how did you feel when you found out that you were going to be the next Restorer?

Kieran: To tell you the truth, at first I was furious and mad at The One. I thought that He had made a big mistake by choosing me. But soon I learned that The One doesn’t make mistakes, and everything he does is done for a purpose, His purpose.

3. Host: We’ve been talking a lot about Restorers. Could you explain to the viewers what exactly is a Restorer?

Kieran: Well there is an old prophecy that pretty much sums up the entire roll of the Restorer, and it goes like this; “In every time of great need, a Restorer is sent to fight for the people and help the guardians. The Restorer is empowered with gifts to defeat our enemies and turn the people’s hearts back to the Verses.”

4. Host: That’s pretty cool. How did you feel when you learned that the teenage boy you almost killed was Susan and Markell’s son?

Kieran: I felt all of the blood drain out of my head and I stopped breathing because if I accidentally killed their son, Markell would never trust me and possibly even kill me.

5. Host: Why did you decide to pledge your protection to Jake Mitchell?

Kieran: Well, I just felt like I couldn’t leave him there because he was totally helpless and on top of that, he was Susan and Markell’s son, the Restorer’s Son. I just couldn’t leave him to fend for himself.

6. Host: Kieran, I heard that you fought with The One, how did it feel to clash swords with one so powerful?

Kieran: Well, at first I was surprised when I saw a figure coming toward me through the mist. When he drew his sword, I did the same and we fought all through the night. Finally, when I couldn’t stand it any longer, I fell to the ground and I waited for him to kill me, but he didn’t.

7. Host: What happened after he didn’t kill you?

Kieran: He told me to yield. A million thoughts ran through my mind as we waited there. I couldn’t fight, but I wouldn’t yield. But then he put his sword back in its sheath and stood over me. Then he said it again, yield. Finally, I had no choice, so I said, “I yield.”

8. Host: Are you sure that it actually happened? How do you know that you weren’t just hallucinating?

Kieran: Well, After The One left me; I fell into a sound sleep until morning. When I woke up, my sword was lying on the ground a few yards away from me and by body ached all over, so I know it really happened.

9. Host: When you were at the temple in Hazor, why did you stop the sacrificing ceremony to the hill gods?

Kieran: I just had this feeling from The One that it was wrong to sacrifice the children to the hill gods. I’m not really sure why I did what I did, but I knew that I had to do something.

10. Host: How did you feel when you learned that you could heal people with your Restorer gifts?

Kieran: Actually, it was The One that healed the people through me, but to answer your question, I was very amazed and surprised.

11. Host: What thoughts ran through your mind when you found out that Nolan was your son?

Kieran: At first I was very shocked, but I knew that I couldn’t leave him to fend for himself because his mother had just died.

12. Host: There have been rumors that you are friends with Zarek, the king of Hazor. How did you get to know him?

Kieran: Actually, he called for me when people told him that I worked “magic” on the little girl at the ceremony. He wanted to know how I did it and why. After that, I saw him daily and we became good friends. I actually spared with him once.

13. Host: Are you serious? You spared with the most powerful man in Hazor? Tell me about it. Was he any good?

Kieran: I was very surprised myself at first. He just walked up to me, drew his sword, and said that he needed some practice. And yes, he was surprisingly very good.

14. Host: I heard that the king of Hazor wanted to “steal” The One. How exactly did he plan to do that?

Kieran: Well, he planned to capture the Tower of Lyric, where he thought The One lived so that his country could posses Him.

15. Host: So, how did that plan work out for the Hazorites?

Kieran: I knew that the One didn’t dwell only in a certain place, but in the hearts of his followers. So, with a few complications, I succeeded in getting that message to Zarek. In the end it all worked out and Zarek even invited The Singers to go to Hazor to help teach the people about The One.

Host: Well Kieran, I’d like to thank you for coming out here to be on our talk show. We’ve enjoyed having you and learning more about the many different ways that The One can work through whom ever he chooses. I hope you have a safe trip back to your world!

Until next time, have a great week and see what ways the Lord is working in through your life.