Photo Friday

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I've come to enjoy photography through a photo-a-week challenge. It is so fun to take pictures based on a theme. I wanted to share some of these photos with you.

Theme - Serenity
Theme - Focus
Theme - B&W
Theme - Childhood Memory

The Bookshelf Tag

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Thank you, Donna L.H. Smith, for tagging me. Please take a moment to check out Donna's blog.

THE RULES For ‘The Bookshelf Tag':
Answer the following questions about books, and then tag five other bloggers. You can answer the questions any way you want, whether it’s on your blog, in a video, or a combination of the two. Then remember to let whoever tagged you know when your post is up so they can read it.

1) Is there a book that you really want to read but haven’t because you know that it’ll makeyou cry?

In 'real life' I'm not a crier, but give me a book or watch a movie and I cry every time. I can't help it. I feel deeply when I'm engaged with a character. Since I want stories that touch that sensitive part of me, I don't shy away from reading tear-jerkers. However, I make sure to do so in the safety of my own home and not when I'm out in public.

2) Pick one book that helped introduce you to a new genre.

Steven James' The Pawn introduced me to the world of thrilling suspense. I love the grittiness of the Patrick Bower series.

3) Find a book that you want to reread.

The Familiar Stranger by Christina Berry. Currently, my friend is loaning it from me and her excited comments about the book makes me want to read it again when it comes back home.

4) Is there a book series you read but wish that you hadn’t?

I won't share names, but I once won a series from a self-published author. I read them because I enjoyed the interaction we had during the contest, but each book was worse than the one before and I felt bad telling her what I really thought of the books when the author asked.

5) If your house was burning down and all of your family and pets were safe, which book would you go back inside to save?

I don't think I would return for my books, but I would try to save my trumpet and computer.

6) Is there one book on your bookshelf that brings back fond memories?

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by AVI opened the world of reading to me. Within those pages, I learned the magic of the written word.

7) Find a book that has inspired you the most.

The Bible. I know that sounds like the perfect Christian answer, but it is true. My life is lived by the wisdom and instruction found within the text.

8) Do you have any autographed books?

I have a few.

9) Find the book that you have owned the longest.

The Rose Beyond the Wall by Kristi Holl. A friend gave me the book after I was in a terrible snowmobile accident. It sat on my shelf for years, unopened (as I was a reluctant reader until high school) but when I did finally read it, the story resonated within me.

10) Is there a book by an author that you never imagined you would read or enjoy?

When my brother started reading Anne McCaffrey's The Dragonriders of Pern, I never thought I would read them or like them. But then I depleted my reading pile, gave the books a fair chance, and enjoyed them immensely.

I now Nominate:

Photo Friday

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I've been taking part in a photo-a-week challenge. I've enjoyed taking pictures based on a theme and wanted to share some of them with you. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Theme - Antique
Theme - Feet
Theme - Dinner
Theme - Hot

Babies Stink

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Babies Stink 
By: Christina Banks

“Where’s my little man?”

The moment Parker heard Nana’s voice he jumped up and ran from his bedroom, knocking over the block castle in his haste. He rushed into the living room, but only Daddy noticed his arrival.

“Walk Parker,” he instructed.

Both Nana and Papa sat on the couch, completely engrossed in counting the little fingers and toes of Gabe. The baby started to scream and Parker covered his ears. Nana cradled Gabe in her arms and rocked him. The crying stopped almost as soon as it started. Parker walked to the edge of the couch and stood next to Papa.

“So, what do you think of him?” Papa asked, tousling Parker’s hair.

“Babies stink.”

Everyone laughed. Everyone except Parker.

“We brought you something.” Nana said still looking at Gabe.

Parker noticed a large gift bag sitting at her feet. His heart started to beat a little harder.

“Parker, could you take the bag to your Mommy?” Nana asked.

The bag was more than half his height, and Parker had to hold his hands way above his head, just to keep the bottom off the ground. What could be in the bag? All kinds of ideas filled his head. Maybe it was more building blocks, or that huge dinosaur they had seen together at the store. He was also a little upset that Nana thought he needed Mommy’s help opening the package. He wasn’t a baby anymore, not like Gabe.

“Shall we open it?” Mommy asked, placing the bag at her feet.

Parker nodded his head. Together they pulled out the extra tissue paper, and Parker excitedly put his hand in the bag and pulled out the first item – a rattle. The rest of the contents of the bag were just as disappointing: baby clothes, diapers, pacifiers, bottles and a little blanket. What was Nana thinking? Parker couldn’t use any of that stuff. Mommy didn’t share Parker’s thoughts. She gushed about how wonderful the gifts were and how much she was going to enjoy using them. Parker just went back to his room.

The castle that he had spent the entire day building lay in a tumbled down heap in the center of the room. Parker picked up the pieces and went to work rebuilding. A knock on his doorframe startled him; his jump caused one of the towers to collapse. A stray block rolled all the way to Papa’s shoe.

“I’m sorry, Parker.” Papa apologized. “Can I help you fix it?”

Parker nodded and Papa got down on his hands and knees and started building right alongside of his grandson. The two worked along in silence, as a castle grew out of the rubble. When the final piece was placed, both sat back and admired their work.

“You would make a good architect when you grow up.” Papa reached over and enveloped Parker in a hug. “I love you, my boy!”

Parker clung to him, and cried. Ever since Gabe came home from the hospital, everyone had been too tired, too busy, or too preoccupied to give much thought to the other little boy who lived in the house. No wonder Parker thought babies stink.

Photo Friday

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For the last year and a half, I've been taking part in a challenge to take a picture a week based on a specific theme. I want to share some of these photos with you.

Theme - Rough

Theme - Yellow

Theme - Outside the Frame

Theme - Summertime

ACFW Pre-conference Mix & Mingle 2014

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I've been preparing for the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference for months. I'm so excited to rub shoulders with other writers, soak up the workshops, and pitch my novel to agents. It's hard to believe I'll be there in three weeks. Laurie Tomlinson is hosting a pre-conference mix and mingle and I thought it would be fun to play along.

Here are my answers: 

Name: Christina Banks

Location: Deep River, ON, Canada

What you write/tagline/trademark: Contemporary Women's Fiction with a Slice of Suspense/ Historian of Imaginary Events

Place in the book world: Pre-published author looking for agent representation.

On a scale of hugger to 10-foot-pole, please rate your personal space: Love receiving hugs... if I know who I'm hugging.

The unique talking point that will get you going for hours: Books, writing, and parenting.

Loved ones at home you’ll be missing: My husband, three-year-old son, and maybe the black cat.

Conference goals we can pray for? That the perfect (for me) agent will love my book and take me on as a client.

Anything we can celebrate with you? I'm getting over my introvertism and stepping out of the safety of my home to attend this conference.

One or two ways we can help you build your platform? Please like my author page on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

New business cards ready to hand out at the conference

Photo Friday

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For the last year and a half, I've been taking part in a photo-a-week photography challenge. I'd like to share some of those photos with you.

Theme - Lasting
Theme - Fabric
Theme - Early This Morning
Theme - Water