What I have learned…

What I have learned…

I’ve learned….
That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

I’ve learned….
That when you’re in love, it shows.

I’ve learned ….
That just one person saying to me, ‘You’ve made my day!’ makes my day.

I’ve learned….
That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

I’ve learned….
That being kind is more important than being right.

I’ve learned….
That you should never say no to a gift from a child.

I’ve learned….
That I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him in any other way.

I’ve learned….
That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.

I’ve learned….
That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.

I’ve learned….
That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.

I’ve learned….
That life is like a roll of toilet paper.
The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

I’ve learned….
That money doesn’t buy class.

I’ve learned….
That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.

I’ve learned…
That under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

I’ve learned….
That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

I’ve learned….
That when you plan to get even with someone,
you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.

I’ve learned….
That love, not time, heals all wounds.

I’ve learned….
That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.

I’ve learned….
That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.

I’ve learned….
That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.

I’ve learned….
That life is tough, but I’m tougher.

I’ve learned….
That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.

I’ve learned….
That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.

I’ve learned….
That I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away.

I’ve learned….
That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.

I’ve learned….
That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

I’ve learned….
That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, you’re hooked for life.

I’ve learned….
That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.

I’ve learned….
That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done.

Writing in Crayon

Writing in Crayon

Writing in Crayon

We live in a world of description—green trees, brilliant flowerbeds, dark hallways and overstuffed chairs. Those are the words that show us where the story is taking place; they set the scene. But the heart of most stories is found in the words the characters speak…the dialogue. This is especially true of the stories and characters that stay with us long after we’ve finished the book.

Creating an authentic voice for a character is the greatest challenge an author faces. But the task becomes even more daunting when you write in the voice of a child.

Writing in a child’s voice is like writing in crayon. You have to let go of everything you’ve learned over the years. You step away from the computer and wrap chubby little fingers around a fat crayon. You no longer think about being politically correct and you say what you mean without worrying what others think. The honesty of a child’s voice can reach out and take hold of a reader’s heart in a way mere words seldom can.

I often write stories that involve children and I have been blessed with the ability to think in crayon. I believe this is a result of the many years I’ve taught Sunday School to Kindergarten and First Graders. The honestly in a child’s thoughts and prayers has challenged me to look inside every character and find their true voice. To remind myself of this, I keep a box of crayons on my desk. When I stumble over the most heartfelt way to say something, I take a crayon in hand and start a list of words. Inevitably the right word is in there, it just takes a bit of crayon time to find it.

I pray that I never grow too old or become too serious to write in crayon.

It’s holiday time with Bette Lee Crosby

It’s holiday time with Bette Lee Crosby

It’s holiday time with Bette Lee Crosby

It’s holiday time and here at the Crosby household we are busy as a band of elves— tying ribbons, hanging stockings and trimming trees. Although I truly do enjoy summer, this is still my favorite time of year. It is a time for hosting parties, spending time with friends and family and singing the merry songs of the season.

Since sharing is part of what makes the season so festive, I’d like to share some of these holiday decorations with my readers here on my Heartbeats Page. I hope you enjoy them.

It’s holiday time with Bette Lee Crosby

If you’d like to share photos or stories of your holiday events, please visit my Facebook page and do so – CLICK HERE

Paris in July! Part Deux

Paris in July! Part Deux

DublinPub

Paris in July Deux! – #fanfun

TRAVELING BEYOND THE CITY

There is so much to do and see in Paris, you are hard-pressed to find enough time for everything. But we saved a few days for beyond the city excursions. One was a tour of Normandy. We visited all of the WW2 sites I’ve so often read about, climbed in and out of the bunkers and felt the sting of the wind coming off of the Channel. The French believe the spirits of the men who died at Omaha Beach still linger there and it’s quite possibly true. Standing on that particular beach has the reverent feel of being in church. The same is true of the American Cemetery in Normandy. Most heartbreaking of all was the small white cross with the inscription, “Here lies an honored comrade known only to God.”
normandy
I have been working on a novel set during WW2 and this trip to Normandy was a great inspiration. It will definitely have me moving that story up to the front burner.
Monet-Pond
Perhaps our most enjoyable day was the one spent with our charming hosts. They drove in, picked us up at the apartment and together we visited the home and gardens of artist Claude Monet. In college I was an art major and my favorite era was the impressionists, so seeing this was a thrill. When you stand beside the pond of water lilies that inspired Monet’s painting you can understand the love that went into each brush stroke.
Garden-W-Babeth
As if all this wonder weren’t enough, we did an overnight stop in Dublin, Ireland on our trip home. How many people want to guess what we did there?
Guinness
Now here’s my laugh of the day. I always imagined pubs were for eating and drinking, I’m thinking maybe shepherd’s pie or Irish Stew but it seems in Ireland the pubs are just for drinking. No food. Not even pretzels. Just drinking. I think that might be why the Irish are so well known for their blarney.

GIVEAWAY!

I have a box of Monet Note Cards to give away! Just sign up for the newsletter (on the right). You’ll get a free story just for signing up. In the comments below let me know you signed up. If you’re already signed up for my newsletter, no problem, just let me know in the comments. I’ll pick a random winner next week and notify you by email. ***US shipping ONLY***
Note Cards

Paris in July! Part Un

Paris in July! Part Un

Eiffel

Paris in July! – #fanfun

A JOURNEY TO REMEMBER

Sometimes we get lucky and have a chance to do something we’ve been dreaming about. For me, it happened this summer. Three years ago Dick and I were in Paris for four days and ever since I have been itching to go back. This year we finally did it.

Following the advice of fellow author Patricia Sands, we planned a home exchange with a charming couple from France. In March they spent a few weeks enjoying our pool and the Florida sunshine and in exchange, they gave us the use of a lovely Paris apartment on a street that leads to the Eiffel Tower.
Street Eiffel
Paris is indeed everything it is rumored to be. We visited the museums, shopped in the open-air markets, dined in charming little bistros, rode the metro, even attended a concert at the Eiffel Tower plaza and yes, strolled the Champs Elysées. Most evenings we stopped for a glass of wine or had dinner in an outdoor restaurant. It’s the thing to do. Once the weather turns warm, all of Paris takes to the streets.
ChampsRestaurant
It is a city that never sleeps… at least not in the summertime. In Paris the sky waits until about 10:30 to grow dusky and regardless of the hour there is always a musician or singer serenading you on the metro. The fromagerie (cheese shop) and Boulangerie (bakery) are open until 8PM so there’s never a need to hurry.

You may have heard that the Parisians are cool and standoffish. Not true. They are as charming and gracious as could possibly be expected. They go out of their way to give directions, or explain something. We often rode the metro during rush hour and several times a young man stood up and offered me his seat. Try finding that on a New York subway!
Kitchen

Check back next week for more about my trip to Paris! AND a GIVEAWAY!