Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Gossip on Main Street

Once again, you can be privy to the happenings and rumors in the fictitious little town of Park Place, South Carolina as I write my new book. Here's today's Park Place Gazette. The Wednesday Edition is giving you a few teasers from my next book!

Hmm... Strange things are happening in Park Place. Everyone's talking about the stranger seen behind May's Flower Shop during the worst thunder and lightning storm of the season, but the next day they've forgotten all about it when the town's first murder in decades has been committed in the same alleyway behind the shop's dumpster. Who could it be? Rumors are flying and no one in Park Place will feel safe until Police Chief, Jess Hamilton finds the killer.

Someone in town is having a baby, but we're not telling who!

Who's the mysterious nun who's working with the homeless shelter at the catholic church? She's awfully interested in the murder victim, but you'll have to read The Sweet Tea Quilting Bee to find out why!

Stay tuned.....

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Once again, we'll get a little glimpse of what life is like in Park Place, the fictional town that's written about in the Southern Grace Trilogies. The Park Place Gazette will give small town news as it happens! Read all about it! A fictional newspaper for a fictional town!


THE PARK PLACE GAZETTE
Tuesday, July 20, 2016
Special Edition

Local News

Park Place General Hospital to get a new wing

       The family of the late Dr. John S. Beverly has once again shown their benevolence by donating the funds to build a new wing on the west end of Park Place General Hospital.  Jackson R. Beverly, the grandson of the late Dr. Beverly is carrying on the family tradition that the late Dr. Beverly started in 1976 when he donated his old plantation home and property to be used to open The Beverly Hill's Children's Home and Orphanage. The new wing of the hospital will be built as an oncology center with state-of-the-art equipment for diagnosing and treating cancer patients. Park Place residents will no longer have to make the trip to Charlotte for treatment. Construction starts in September, 2016 and an estimated completion date of June, 2017. 
Park Place General Hospital
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Sports Section

Women's Softball Team Goes to State Finals

        Park Place's very own Diamond Diva's Softball Team will be traveling to Columbia on Friday to participate in the state finals for Women's Softball. A stand-out on the team, Penny Evans, spoke to this reporter last week. "We're out to win," she said right after practice on Thursday night. "We have the best pitcher in the league and every single one of our girls have hit the ball out of the park at least once this season. We're not settling for second best. We want victory!" The girls around her were cheering her own. Let's not forget to wish them luck this week.
Diamond Diva's Softball Team 2016
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Park Place High School Football

     Football anyone? Tryouts for the 2016-17 school year's football team at the high school will be held on July 29th from 8 - 11:30 am. Rising 10th, 11th and 12ths graders are eligible to try out.  Practice sessions will start on August 10th. 

Last year's senior Corey Kayfield at practice
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About Town

  Park Place Presbyterian Church's Ladies Tuesday Morning Bible Study group completed their study of the Gospel of John on Tuesday morning followed by a delicious covered dish luncheon. Park Place has some of the finest cooks in the country. As a matter of fact, just to enjoy the occasional lunches makes this reporter want to join the group for their upcoming Bible Study on the Book of Isaiah starting on September 20th. They welcome new members, so join them in September!

Park Place Presbyterian Bible Study Luncheon

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Matthew Eli Clark, son of Reverend Rock Clark and wife, Liz Clark, celebrated his first birthday last week with friends and family. Guests included Danny and Maura McCarthy, Holly and Sonny McCarthy and daughter Abby, and both sets of grandparents. We wish little Matthew a very happy birthday.

Matthew Eli Clark's 1st Birthay
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     There's a new club in town! The Dixie Bee Quilter's Club was formed last month by antique shop owner, Valerie Owens and the meetings will be held in the antique store on Tuesday mornings from 9 - 11:30 a.m. Register early because the spots are filling up fast. For more information, call Valerie at 223-413-4000.



That's it for this week's edition! See you next week for more news from Park Place!

Reporter: Glenda Manus

The Park Place Gazette - Week Two

Once again, we'll get a little glimpse of what life is like in Park Place, the fictional town that's written about in the Southern Grace Trilogies. The Park Place Gazette will give small town news as it happens! Read all about it! A fictional newspaper for a fictional town!


THE PARK PLACE GAZETTE
Tuesday, July 20, 2016
Special Edition

Local News

Park Place General Hospital to get a new wing

       The family of the late Dr. John S. Beverly has once again shown their benevolence by donating the funds to build a new wing on the west end of Park Place General Hospital.  Jackson R. Beverly, the grandson of the late Dr. Beverly is carrying on the family tradition that the late Dr. Beverly started in 1976 when he donated his old plantation home and property to be used to open The Beverly Hill's Children's Home and Orphanage. The new wing of the hospital will be built as an oncology center with state-of-the-art equipment for diagnosing and treating cancer patients. Park Place residents will no longer have to make the trip to Charlotte for treatment. Construction starts in September, 2016 and an estimated completion date of June, 2017. 
Park Place General Hospital
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sports Section

Women's Softball Team Goes to State Finals

        Park Place's very own Diamond Diva's Softball Team will be traveling to Columbia on Friday to participate in the state finals for Women's Softball. A stand-out on the team, Penny Evans, spoke to this reporter last week. "We're out to win," she said right after practice on Thursday night. "We have the best pitcher in the league and every single one of our girls have hit the ball out of the park at least once this season. We're not settling for second best. We want victory!" The girls around her were cheering her own. Let's not forget to wish them luck this week.
Diamond Diva's Softball Team 2016
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Park Place High School Football

     Football anyone? Tryouts for the 2016-17 school year's football team at the high school will be held on July 29th from 8 - 11:30 am. Rising 10th, 11th and 12ths graders are eligible to try out.  Practice sessions will start on August 10th. 

Last year's senior Corey Kayfield at practice
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About Town

  Park Place Presbyterian Church's Ladies Tuesday Morning Bible Study group completed their study of the Gospel of John on Tuesday morning followed by a delicious covered dish luncheon. Park Place has some of the finest cooks in the country. As a matter of fact, just to enjoy the occasional lunches makes this reporter want to join the group for their upcoming Bible Study on the Book of Isaiah starting on September 20th. They welcome new members, so join them in September!

Park Place Presbyterian Bible Study Luncheon

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matthew Eli Clark, son of Reverend Rock Clark and wife, Liz Clark, celebrated his first birthday last week with friends and family. Guests included Danny and Maura McCarthy, Holly and Sonny McCarthy and daughter Abby, and both sets of grandparents. We wish little Matthew a very happy birthday.

Matthew Eli Clark's 1st Birthay
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

     There's a new club in town! The Dixie Bee Quilter's Club was formed last month by antique shop owner, Valerie Owens and the meetings will be held in the antique store on Tuesday mornings from 9 - 11:30 a.m. Register early because the spots are filling up fast. For more information, call Valerie at 223-413-4000.



That's it for this week's edition! See you next week for more news from Park Place!

Reporter: Glenda Manus

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

New Format - Newspaper Style

Today I was thinking, wouldn't it be nice if I could share some of the daily happenings in the lives of my characters. The town of Park Place and its population of characters live in my head as well in my books and I often imagine them living day-to-day much like we do where I live in Van Wyck. I'm sure they had a July Fourth celebration and the ladies of  Park Place Presbyterian Church will be hosting their annual High Tea as a fundraiser again this summer.

The Park Place Garden Club is busy trying to choose the prettiest Yard of the Month. I've heard that Jenny Wilson and Betty Ann Williams are in the running and are planting a few more annuals to give their yards and gardens a burst of color before the judging begins.

Wanda Burns is busy writing her new book, and when asked about the publication date, she said, "I've been spending way too much time on Facebook. I've got to find a secluded place to write where I don't have access to the internet!" Last year she wrote from a gazebo by the sea. Perhaps this year she'll find a nice, quiet spot by a mountain stream.

There's a rumor going around about a crime that was committed in the alley behind the Banty Hen Antique Shop, but the crime is still under investigation since the new book is not due for a couple more months. This reporter doesn't want to give too much away!

Stay tuned! The Park Place Gazette will be in production soon!


Glenda Manus, reporter

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Character Feelings

Are there times when you can't think of a single word to evoke the emotions of a character you're writing about? This was a tip I recently found on The Writer's Circle Facebook page. I'm finding it helpful but just remember, it's always better to show, not tell.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Magic of Christmas

Author: Glenda Manus

Devotional January 6, 2016


Romans 12:2 (ESV) “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”


Today is January 6th, the Epiphany, traditionally the day in which the wise men brought their gifts to Jesus. During our stay in Germany, our landlords celebrated Christmas up until this day and invited us to join them in their festivities. Since then, I’ve used this excuse to leave up my tree, enjoying the soft lights just a few days longer than most of my friends and family. 
Christmas Day has come and gone and now all that is left are a few Christmas trinkets gracing my mantle at the start of the new year. The tree is left standing, looking somewhat forlorn with no presents underneath and the lights from the tree are spotlighting the bits of glitter that will take months to get out of my carpet. And oh, there’s the small table in the foyer displaying shiny multi-colored lights surrounding the nostalgia driven decor of my childhood.
I have tried every year since I became an adult to conjure up the magic of Christmas that believing in Santa inspired. The tinkling of bells as his sleigh settled on the rooftop, the footsteps on the roof, the whoosh of a fat man sliding down the narrow opening of the chimney; all those things filled my head as a child, just like the sugar plums from the famed story, Twas the Night before Christmas. If Santa could do all those things, surely he was magical enough to continue his spell on me. But every year, I failed to achieve those awe-inspiring moments my youth. The glimmer of recognition was there, but it was always just out of my reach. Sure, some of the magic came back while watching my childrens’ eyes open wide when they saw the toys Santa left under the tree. Bigger and better toys each year until sometimes it became a financial burden, all just to create that feeling once again. Nostalgia, it’s a wonderful thing, but aspiring to claim it year after year is not healthy and I’ll admit that I carried it with me like an albatross around my neck.
I’ve always observed the spiritual side of Christmas too, involving myself in church activities of the season and loving the old Christmas hymns. I’ve picked names off the angel tree and enjoy buying for those who have so little, abiding by the message of Proverbs 14:31 which says that to help the poor is to honor God. I slip dollars in the kettles of the Salvation Army bell ringers. I enjoy the Advent season, preparing for the coming of Jesus. It’s a time of anticipation and hope in what can sometimes seem a bleak and hopeless world. I’ve studied Luke’s account of the Birth of Jesus, the Son of God. But it’s almost as if I have celebrated two entirely different holidays at the same time. The one of magic, glitz and glitter and the one of a dear Savior’s birth.
But as I’ve grown older, I’ve stopped trying to “fix” Christmas. I shop for the family, but I don’t let it consume me as I have done in the past. I don’t go all out decorating as I once did. My excessive amount of Christmas decor now sits in the attic waiting for  grandchildren to grow up and stake their claim on the nostalgic trinkets from Grandma’s house. I no longer sit in a dark room with only the lights of the Christmas tree, digging down into my memory bank for glimpses of the Christmas magic I might have missed, then feeling disappointed when I didn’t quite grasp it.
What caused this transformation of thought and why am I no longer searching for “Christmas”? It’s because I’ve found that Christmas is not confined to December; it’s an everyday occasion and it goes hand-in-hand with Easter. The Son of God born in a lowly manger, his death, his resurrection along with the promise of an everlasting life. These are not tangible things we can hold in our hands like Christmas trinkets; they’re not sparkly lights and glittery objects that we can see with our eyes. It’s just something that you know in your heart; it’s called faith, and the joy of knowing it and believing it surpasses all the “magic” that our childhood Christmases ever held.
Tomorrow, as I take down my tree and store it and my few trinkets back in the attic, I will not be melancholy. I will pack them away knowing that Christmas lives inside me all year long. I will bring them out again year after year, looking upon them fondly, but not needing them to satisfy the yearning of years gone by.


Prayer: Lord God, thank you for creating in me a new spirit. A spirit that celebrates You all year long. May we never forget that what you have in mind for us is good, acceptable and perfect.


Glenda Manus

01/06/2016

Saturday, September 26, 2015

"Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble"

Proverbs 21:23

In case someone from a far away planet hasn't heard, I will break this news gently. 2016 is an election year and the mud-slinging has already begun. There, I've said it, and I have made a commitment to stay out of the fray. Why? Because I want to keep my friends. 

Facebook has been a pleasant experience for me. I've reconnected with old friends from all walks of my life, and I've made many new friends that I would have never met otherwise. I've laughed with them and cried with them. Met them for lunch and had long phone conversations. I've found that I have so much in common with classmates that I had absolutely nothing in common with in school. We've grown. We've helped each other find joy in our life celebrations and comfort in our sorrows. And a few of them, I've held their hands in homes and hospital rooms as they've reached the end of their lives here on earth.

Most of us have tried to find a common ground even though we may have different religious and/ or political beliefs. I don't want my new or old friends to think less of me because of something we disagree on. And I don't want to think less of them because of opinion. And that is where this is all leading....

I enjoy reading posts from people I agree with, but isn't this the way of things? If we picked all our friends on Facebook who shared our same views, then we could Facebook "share" all the dirt and throw barbs at the opposing political candidates as much as we choose and laugh about it. But we don't pick our friends that way. I don't have any problems at all reading newsworthy items from a reliable source and try to stay as open minded as possible as I've made my voting choices.  I've stepped beyond Party lines to vote for a candidate not affiliated with my party several times since I became eligible to vote because I didn't agree with the party's choice. 

What I don't like is the sharing of garbage bashing one candidate or another from some off-the-wall Facebook post that the person sharing has not even bothered to research to see if it's true. The factchecks and snopes sites are not always reliable sources. If I'm going to post something as the truth, I'm going to dig a lot deeper before I embarrass myself by passing on false information. My advice is to google it and see for yourself where it came from, and see if there's some truth behind it, before hitting that 'share' button. 

Or better yet - don't post it at all. Because, honestly - why would anyone want to know my opinion about politics? The fact is, they don't. And if I've shared my opinion, they may think I'm some hotheaded lunatic. And likewise, do I want to hear what other people say about their political likes or dislikes? Absolutely not.

Yes, I have posted an occasional political post, and yes, I'm now embarrassed that I did. Did it make people think less of me? Probably. Did it change anyone's mind politically? A forceful, NO, it did not. Then why would I want to force my opinions on others and in the process ruin a good friendship?

 Occasionally I've started to "share" something, and that little voice inside me that I call conscious stops me and says, "Glenda, don't you want to think about this before you post it?" So I stop, and when I go back to it later, I'm glad that I listened to the voice and didn't post. The same with comments. I've learned to hold my tongue. And now, I have vowed not to post anything political at all. If I do, it will be through private messaging my like-minded friends. Will it be easy? No. I love voicing my opinion - sometimes loudly, sometimes viciously. Therein lies the problem. So for me and my house, I will keep my mouth shut.

We all have a right to free speech. We have a right to say and post anything we want as long as it falls within Facebook's guidelines. Thankfully, we also have the option of changing our friendship status to weed out posts that we get tired of seeing. We're all in this old world together. Let us seek to get along peacefully.

There are several Bible verses that address this. Here are a few that come to mind:

Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."

Exodus 23:1 ESV "You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness."

James 1:26 ESV "If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless."

Matthew 12:36 "I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,"

And my personal favorite and the one I have the most trouble obeying:

Proverbs 21:23 "Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble"




Monday, August 17, 2015

The Mustard Seed

My granddaughter goes off to college in a few days and I've been melancholy for about a week now just thinking about it. She lived next door to us during her entire childhood and popped in and out of our house when she pleased. They moved about 5 years ago, but only about a mile away. Today was the last time I'll see her before she moves on campus, so I went to visit and take her a gift and a letter.
The gift is a small pendant necklace containing a mustard seed along with the gift of my heart.

Dear Chloe,
You’re off to college and a whole new world. I’m excited for you and teary eyed at the same time.

You’re my little one who, before you started school, would come bustin' through our front door every afternoon when I came home from work, exuberantly yelling “Hey, Mamaw"! And then you would hang out with me for the rest of the afternoon.  Then, “Hey Mamaw” in the mornings when you starting riding with me to school and the same when you came in my office in the afternoons after school.  I would love to know how many “Hey Mamaws” I have heard in your eighteen years with each one of them sounding sweeter than the one before.

You’re my little one who told an impromptu story of Moses in its entirety to a packed congregation during Mr. Al’s children’s sermon one Sunday morning when you weren't quite three years old, delighting the whole crowd, and causing Mr. Al to say, “Amen. You told it much better than I could have”. 

You started going to our church when you were a little over a year old and everyone fell in love with you, and then later, your sister Genevieve.  Remember that our church family still loves you and prays for you as you go off to school. Always remember the things you learned during confirmation classes with Randy and the commitment you made when you joined the church. We also made a commitment to you to when you were baptized and you can be assured we won’t forget.

The little necklace I’m giving you symbolizes having faith – even the tiniest bit of faith - as small as a mustard seed. One of my favorite mentions of the mustard seed in scripture is from Matthew 13: 31-32. I know you’ve heard this passage before, and it was just used Sunday in our children’s sermon.

31  "He put another story before them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and put in his field: 32  Which is smaller than all seeds; but when it has come up it is greater than the plants, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of heaven come and make their resting-places in its branches."

The church has played an integral part in planting seeds in your heart from your early years. If you let them, the seeds will grow and multiply and the kingdom of God inside you will be carried on. You may not understand it now, but a little encouragement on your part to make the seeds grow will give you strength and will be more useful than you’ll ever know.  When the gospel comes alive in you, it works and spreads itself into all the powers and faculties of the heart and soul. I hope this necklace reminds you of that!

I love you, my sweet princess. Have a wonderful year in school! You may open your dorm door one day soon and find me there for a quick visit - just long enough for me to hear you say, “Hey Mamaw”, in that same exuberant sweet voice that I’ve always loved.


Love you!

Mamaw


Note:
There are many things that influence our children and grandchildren as they go off to school. As their Christian mentors we can offer them encouragement and pray they'll cling to the Word in times of uncertainty and in times when their faith may waver.

In most Protestant churches, we make a commitment when children are baptized. We, "as members of the church of Jesus Christ, promise to guide and nurture them by word and deed, with love and prayer, encouraging them to know and follow Christ and to be faithful members of His church." That is a huge responsibility.

We can send them cards letting them know that their church family hasn't forgotten them even though they may be far away.

Glenda Manus, 8/18/2015