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

10 Reasons Why Every Writer Needs a Dog

10 Reasons Why Every Writer Needs a Dog

10 Reasons Why Every Writer Needs a Dog

No, I’m not talking about a dog of a story, I’m talking about the yapping, tail wagging, love you forever kind of friend that writers should not be without. However, in deference to all my kitty-loving friends I must admit that some cats have been able to capture the same wonderful traits found in dogs.

Katie is my baby…well, she’s actually a Bichon Frise, but as far as I’m concerned she’s my baby. She loves me unconditionally, pines for me when I go out and jumps for joy when I return. Okay my husband loves me, but he doesn’t miss me if I spend hours at the mall (actually he’s glad he wasn’t asked to come) nor does he jump for joy when I return.

Katie is thrilled with a piece of bologna…, husband, not so thrilled.

Katie is content to sit in my lap for hours on end while I work…husband prefers to watch ballgame (any kind)

Now that you’ve got the picture, I’ll tell you the truth. Sweet adorable little Katie is a replacement dog.  She was adopted from a rescue center after my first Bichon died at the ripe old age of 18. My first dog was Brandi, and she was every bit as loving as Katie (it’s a dog thing)  After I lost her, I was heartsick, could not write and cried at the drop of a hat. I was wearing my sadness like a plastic raincoat that has no warmth and leaves no room to breathe. As enveloped in this sadness as I was, I simply could not bring myself to go to a breeder or pet shop and pick out a dog to replace my Brandi, yet I missed the companionship more than words (even a writer’s words) can tell.

I finally wriggled out of my own sorrow and  decided that if I could no longer have MY dog, I could  at least give a less fortunate pooch a home. I found Katie through an internet adoption site and applied for her. Thus we became Mistress and Dog.  While Brandi was fluffed, puffed and adorable, poor little Katie came to me shaved, newly fixed and looking like she’d just escaped a concentration camp …how could I not compare this scraggly creature to the adorable dog I’d just lost?  But God in His wisdom gives dogs something that people sometimes lack…the ability to keep on trying to win your heart regardless of rejection. Within the week I was hers. Now I can’t imagine my life without her. Oh she’s not Brandi, and I know longer expect her to be. I love this feisty little rescue dog who of her own free will leaped into my lap as I sat at the computer, and stayed there. Quite obviously she knew more about love than I did…but I’m learning. Now Katie is as much a part of me as an arm or a leg; and I wouldn’t change her any more than she’d change me.

Now, here are the 10 REASONS WHY EVERY WRITER NEEDS A DOG

1)    A Dog needs to pee, so you are forced to periodic breaks from the  computer.

2)    A Dog happily listens to that revised manuscript as many times as you want to read it.

3)    On a cold afternoon a dog in your lap keeps you warmer than a space heater.

4)    A Dog does not expect you to actually cook dinner…a slice of bologna or take out is fine.

5)    Although you can paper your walls with rejection letters, your dog still thinks you’re better than Jodi Picoult, Anne Tyler, or Sara Gruen.

6)    A dog doesn’t punch a time clock, they’ll keep you company for as long as you work.

7) A dog will join you in a lazy day nap, or stay in bed beside you if you’re sick.

8) A dog will prevent you from getting fat (they get half of every cookie!)

9) A dog eliminates the need for a doorbell.

10) A dog will teach you what unconditional love actually is.

But a word of warning…once you fall in love with a dog it is a forever thing! I know. Trust me, I know!