V- Venomous Words. Top 8 Bible Verses

gentle words

 As a writer, words are powerful. They create a world that didn’t exists before I put it on paper. Words have the power to give life to  towns, cities and people  that seem so real you want to sit at the coffee shop and have a chat. Yes, words can build worlds.

V for Venomous Words

V for Venomous Words

 We have all heard the rhythm: Sticks and Stones will break your bones, but words can never hurt you. Ha! I think we can all agree that is a lie.

I bet if I asked you to tel me a time that someone  tossed a negative word your way. It has created a scar on your heart. Maybe it’s scabbed over now, but I think everyone has those words that hang around, words that hurt.

I believe the spoken word has power. It can build someone up or tear them down. A carelessly spoken word can worm it’s way into the recipient’s brain and make a home there for years.

Being the voice that  justifies fears and doubts. Silencing that voice can be difficult.

In education, research has taught us that for every one negative comment the human brain hears it takes three (some reports say four) positive remarks to balance the bad one.

Not overpower or wash away…just balance it.

As teachers we were challenged to make a paper bracelet  and mark every negative comment that came out of our mouth. WOW! Even the most positive of teachers where shocked to find out  much they focused on the bad.

Our words have power!

Do you use your power for good or bad? Do you use your power without thought?

I like doing word searches in the Bible – So I looked up Venomous Words.  More verses than I bothered to count came up. Yes, the Bible has a lot to say about words we use. Here are my top 8 verses (I have one in twice- different versions):

gentle word 1

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.

Ephesians 4:29 ESV

river tongue

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,

Matthew 12:36 ESV (Ouch – this one is scary)

river-rocks-1

But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.

Matthew 15:18 ESV

gentle words

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Colossians 3:8 ESV

We like to focus on the obscene and find fault with it easily enough. But what about the other, anger…slander I think are more socially acceptable. We have to watch all of our words.

river-rock-10

Do you have a favorite saying or verse about the importance of words?

 

U for Untied States of America all represented in New York……Home of the brave…

Moon over New York City.
U for United States of America

U for United States of America

The United State of America…Home of the Brave…Sometimes they’re just words. Do you ever stop and think what they mean?

For many it was and is leaving everything you know for a hope of something better. In New York City the storyteller in me became enthralled, I felt the shadow of fear, hope and determination left by millions of immigrants. I could imagine them seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time after a long grueling voyage.

Imagine, arriving in the harbor and seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time

Imagine, arriving in the harbor and seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time

Lady Liberty from the boat. photo  taken by Jolene Navarro

Lady Liberty from the boat. photo taken by Jolene Navarro

I think sometimes we forget New York is surrounded by water and is a port city. Old ships in the docks of New York.

I think sometimes we forget New York is surrounded by water and is a port city. Old ships in the docks of New York.

New York, surrounded by water

New York, surrounded by water. Photo by Jolene Navarro

On 9/11 the fear as they tried to flee on boats that were taking people away from the horrific destruction. The day we all turned to New York, helpless. Just like everything else on this small piece of Earth the 9/11 Memorial is overwhelming.

911 Memorial as the set sets. Photo by Jolene Navarro

911 Memorial as the set sets. Photo by Jolene Navarro

I walk the streets of New York, filled with people from around the world that now make America their home – the history, spirit and feel of America was in every stone, brick, window and steel frame that makes up the city. I have to say man’s ability to create a habitat beyond our imagination is awe inspiring and maybe a bit scary.
Here are a few of my favorite pictures.

The old reflected in the new.

Taken from our hotel window, Andaz. The old and new next to each other. Photo by Jolene Navarro

Taken from our hotel window, Andaz. The old and new next to each other. Photo by Jolene Navarro

View from Central Park. Photo by Jolene Navarro

View from Central Park. Photo by Jolene Navarro

Sensory overload in New York City.

Sensory overload in New York City. Photo by Jolene Navarro

Central Park - Loved this part of New York.

Central Park – Loved this part of New York.

Approaching Central Park

Approaching Central Park

New York from Central Park. Photo by Jolene Navarro

New York from Central Park. Photo by Jolene Navarro

On the edge of Time Square. Have to say my least favorite part of New York City.

On the edge of Time Square. Have to say my least favorite part of New York City.

Hanging out in the M & M Store, waiting for the rain to slow down. Photo by Jolene Navarro

Hanging out in the M & M Store, waiting for the rain to slow down. Photo by Jolene Navarro

Time Square New York- the rain had started

Time Square New York- the rain had started

The storm is rolling into the city.

The storm is rolling into the city.

The Financial District.

The Financial District.

View from the Financial District.

View from the Financial District. Photo by Jolene Navarro

Then there is the art…everywhere.

New York Art

New York Art photo by Jolene Navarro

One thing that was suggested to us was to go to the website of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and map out what you want to see and go to those rooms first. This is a must or you might miss the art you really want to see – there is no way to see this museum in one day. They art they house is incredible so go with a plan and when you see the originals up close…well words can not do the emotions justice.  I could do a whole blog on the art of New York.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The ancient civilization among the newbies.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The ancient civilization among the newbies. By Jolene Navarro

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Degas.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Degas

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Degas

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Degas

To see the textures and colors up close is simply amazing. Even if you can’t make it to the museum, you should follow them on facebook. They share a piece of art each day.

http://www.metmuseum.org/visit

This summer I get to go back to New York for the Romance Writers of America conference. I’m excited to go back to the city. Is there a place you would love to visit again? Have you been to New York? What is your MUST do when you are in the city.

T for Texas Seasons. Yes, there is more than one.

Fall foliage on the Frio River
Texas Seasons

T Texas Seasons

There’s a rumor about Texas that we only have one season.

Some say we have two seasons..hot and hotter than hell.

I’m here to tell you it’s not true, not for the Hill Country anyway.  We have football season

Fall is for Football

Fall is for Friday night light! Football in Texas.

Fall is Football Fun! Bridger Navarro is #78

Fall is Friday Night Lights., Football Fun! Bridger Navarro is #78

Then we have baseball season…

Enjoy a cool night during baseball season

Enjoy a cool night during baseball season. Watching my cousin play in Round Rock Texas with Mr. D&H

And the favorite in the Navarro household…Basketball season!

Basketball means Spurs!

Basketball means Spurs!

What? You weren’t talking about sport seasons? Well, than we do have hunting season….

Hunting lease across for Garner State Park

Hunting lease across for Garner State Park

Oh, you mean the seasons of weather? We do have more than HOT…let’s look at the evidence.

One of my Favorite seasons is fall or as some might call it autumn. A great deal of our trees and plants stay green but we do have some beautiful reds and yellows along the river.

Fall foliage on the Frio River

Fall foliage on the Frio River

Fall foliage on the Frio River

Fall foliage on the Frio River

Our winters are pretty mild. Ice is our worst enemy, but it never last past noon! LOL We have been known to get a few flurries of snow. Now remember, I’m central Texas, in the southern tip of the Hill Country. So West Texas and North Texas they have their own set of weather patterns. The hills must break up all that cold stuff that blows down from Canada. Poor Dallas. We do get all grey and cold looking but if it last more than a week we think something has gone wrong.

Winter in the Hill Country

Winter in the Hill Country

winter-5

Real Snow! It never sticks around though. Leakey Texas

Real Snow! It never sticks around though. Leakey Texas

The only snow we get most of the time in the Texas Hill is the fake kind.

For winter the only snow we get most of the time in the Texas Hill is the fake kind.

Aww..Springtime. Everyone loves spring , right? And it would not be a post about Texas If I didn’t include the Texas State Flower.

Texas Bluebonnets in front of the ranch next to our house.

Texas Bluebonnets in front of the ranch next to our house.

Texas Bluebonnets - Watch out, snakes like to live here.

Texas Bluebonnets – Watch out, snakes like to live in the Bluebonnets, Storm Navarro

Texas Bluebonnets in front of the ranch next to our house. Photo by Shawn Streib Gray

Texas Bluebonnets in front of the ranch next to our house. Photo by Shawn Streib Gray

Spring time and the babies arrive in my back yard.

Spring time and the babies arrive in my back yard.

And then we have one of our most famous seasons and our longest…Summer. In Texas summer is best if you are on are by water.

Summer on the Frio River

Texas Summer is best on the water. Summer on the Frio River

Texas Summer is best on the wate

Texas Summer is best on the water. Canyon Lake

Texas Summer is best on the water

Texas Summer is best on the water. Port Aransas.

Texas Summer is best on the water. Port Aransas

Texas Summer is best on the water. Port Aransas

So what is your favorite season?

Sunrise, Sunset over Texas

Early morning view from my studio at Navarro High School
Story inspiration in every Sunrise & Sunset

Story inspiration in every Sunrise & Sunset

I truly feel blessed to live in the Texas Hill Country. Just the act of driving to work and heading home at the end of the day can be spectacular.

Early evening over Boerne Texas Main Street. during Dickens On Main

Early evening over Boerne Texas Main Street. during Dickens On Main

Sunset over the Texas Hill Country

Sunset over the Texas Hill Country

Castroville Texas, the reflection of the sunset over the football game.

Castroville Texas, the reflection of the sunset over the football game.

Early morning back road in Boerne Texas taken by Brandi Quinn

Early morning back road in Boerne Texas taken by Brandi Quinn

The colors and lighting just makes me think how wonderful it is to be part of such a grand plan.

Sunrise on HWY 474 in Boerne

Sunrise on HWY 474 in Boerne

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Sunrise at the end of my road. Yes I live in the country. And love it.

Sunrise at the end of my road. Yes I live in the country. And love it.

Early morning view from my studio at Navarro High School

Early morning view from my studio at Navarro High School. Can you tell what city I work in?

Sunset Port Aransas

Sunset Port Aransas

On Vacation one of my favorite activities is watching the sunrise and set. I got this from my father. He loved the rise and fall of the sun. When I see it, it helps me feel connected to him even though he has watching from the other side for almost 19 years now. Some of my best memories are sitting on a balcony or porch and just enjoying God’s work.

On a balcony - early morning at Port Aransas. One of my favorite places to write

One a balcony – early morning at Port Aransas. On of my favorite places to write

Most of these pictures where taken with my Galaxy 3.

I actually love to write while on vacation.

Do you have a favorite time of day? If you’re a writer do you write on vacation or take a break from the computer?

A Recipe for Romance: Mexican Hot Chocolate

A Recipe for Romance Authors of Love Inspired
Recipes for Romance

Recipes for Romance

A fabulous group of authors invited me to add a short romance story and  recipe to their collection: A Recipe for Romance. I was honored. First thought? What would make a perfect recipe to write a sweet romantic story around. Well, it had to have chocolate. So I went with Mexican Hot Chocolate!

Yes, I drink hot chocolate year round.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

  • 4 CUPS of MILK
  • 4-6 Pieces of chocolate baking bar
  • 1/4 Cup Cornmeal
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1-2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • ¾ tsp Vanilla

Combine milk, sugar, chocolate baking bars and cinnamon sticks in pan over low heat until chocolate pieces melt completely. In a separate container, mix cornmeal and water and dissolve any lumps. Add cornmeal mixture to milk. Stir or whisk over very low heat for about 10-15 minutes. You will notice the milk will begin to thicken. Add pure vanilla extract after removing from heat. The more cornmeal thickens the milk, if you prefer it thicker add more cornmeal. Whisk it before serving to get a frothy topping. Grab a book and share a story while wrapped up in fuzzy socks, comfy blankets and a mug of the best hot chocolate ever.

A Recipe for Romance Authors of Love Inspired

A Recipe for Romance Authors of Love Inspired

Q for The Quiet Corner Every Writer needs

West Texas A&M Writing Academy with Alex Sokoloff.

A Quiet Corner of Her Own

Q -Quiet Cornor to Write

Q -Quiet Corner to Write

In one of my literature classes in college I read A Room of Ones Own, by Virginia Woolf. I loved that short book, somehow it called to me, even before I thought I could be a professional writer. Before my brain could fathom making money as a writer. I mean come on those people were truly gifted, talented and mysterious and I bet they could spell. A shudder goes up my spine, they never failed a high school test because they spelled the answers wrong.
Anyway, I digress. Even back then, over twenty years ago, my heart loved the idea of being a writer. This little book touched that heart. Made me think of the women that were more servants than wives, women who never had the opportunity to read let alone write.
It a long essay that reads more like a letter to all women writers, well maybe society as a whole. Even thought by today standards I’m not sure I’m a feminist, but I believe every child has right to grow into the adult and fulfill a purpose only they can do.
A Room of One’s Own, covers her thoughts on society and art and sexism. Woolf, English writer and one of the foremost modernists and critics of the twentieth century, has an utterly entertaining conversational with us as she walks through the European history of women in writing. With humor and tongue in cheek she smoothly points out the success of the likes of William Shakespeare while lampooning the chauvinistic state of university education in the England of her day.
When she made the claim that to achieve their full greatness as writers women will need a solid income and  privacy, Woolf pretty much invented modern feminist criticism.

There are a few things I need in order to write:
At times my quiet corner has been in my car as I wait in the pick up line or for volleyball, football or basketball practice to finish. I’ll write as I wait for a track event or a meeting to start. During my thirty minute lunch break I write dialogue. I make notes on my smart phone as I shop or drive. I have learned to create my own room wherever I am.

At home I do have an office I could write in, but I prefer to be close to the family. So I have made a creative corner at the end of my dining table. With my Beats and storyboard I’m good to go. The view is nice too.

The view from the corner of my creative space

The view from the corner of my creative space

West Texas A&M Writing Academy with Alex Sokoloff.

West Texas A&M Writing Academy with Alex Sokoloff

San Antonio Romance Authors

San Antonio Romance Authors

I would also say that a writer needs a supportive community that understands the writing demons. I’ve been blessed to have a few of those too.

Do you have a corner or room that is just yours or a group that supports your dream?

P – As a Romance writer P has to be for Pirates

So are you a traditional Hook fan?
P for Pirate Romance

P for Pirate Romance

Why are pirates so popular in romantic fiction? In reality he would make the worse boyfriend or husband but somehow many fantasize taming this ultimate bad boy. To be that woman he passionately loves above all else, gives up his ways. Well the ones she wants him to give up anyway.

Pirates have been around as long as humans have kept histories. If there is a wealthy establishment to rob from and  freedom to be had pirates will be on a ship. For romance, the pirates might have stolen the …uh hearts of maidens heavily in the 90s.

1989 A Pirate's Pleasure. Heather Graham

1989 A Pirate’s Pleasure. Heather Graham

The first pirate I remember falling hard  for was James Malory in Johanna Lindsey’s, A Gentle Rogue

First Pirate love. A Gentle Rogue, Johanna Lindsey. 1990

First Pirate love. A Gentle Rogue, Johanna Lindsey. 1990

Yes that is Fabio.

Not really how I see James, but in the 90s you couldn’t avoid the long haired broad chested model.

Lindsay made a living with the Mallory men and women.

A Pirates Love Johanna Lindsey 1996

A Pirates Love Johanna Lindsey 1996

 

Promised to a Rogue

Promised to a Rogue

Stormy Persuasion-2008 Johanna Lindsey

Stormy Persuasion-2008
Johanna Lindsey

My favorite might be the one where Lindsay turned the tables and put the heroine as the pirate and what does she do? Tie him to the mast. LOL

The pirate is a lady in the 2008 Captive of my Desire by  Johanna Lindsay

The pirate is a lady in the 2008 Captive of my Desire by Johanna Lindsay

You might be wondering why Lindsey’s pirates have shirts, but none of them are buttoned. The lady pirate took the shirt off of her man before she tied him to the mast. The other guys are smart enough to protect their shoulders from the sun, but leave them open so the salty breeze can cool their hot skin. Makes sense, right?

So from novels, movies started changing the way we look at pirates…well, maybe Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow has a great deal to do with that…

Pirates of the Caribbean.

Pirates of the Caribbean.

Pirates of the Caribbean.

Pirates of the Caribbean.

Pirates of the Caribbean.

Pirates of the Caribbean.

My new favorite pirate is Captain Hook in Once Upon A Time. The pirate can be the hero!

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook.  Once Upon A Time

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook.
Once Upon A Time

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook.  Once Upon A Time

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook.
Once Upon A Time

Colin O'Donoghue as Captain Hook.  Once Upon A Time

Colin O’Donoghue as Captain Hook.
Once Upon A Time

The twist is Pan is the bad guy…really bad. 0

Peter Pan and Captain Hook - Who is really the bad guy?

Peter Pan and Captain Hook – Who is really the bad guy?

How about Dustin Hoffman's Captain Hook?

How about Dustin Hoffman’s Captain Hook?

So are you a traditional Hook fan?

So are you a traditional Hook fan?

Soon a new pirate movie will be hitting theaters, the untold story of how Captain Hook came to be…Hugh Jackman…Yes, my all  Hugh Jackman will be Blackbeard. Do you remember a while back when he was sporting a weird beard and bald head? It was for this role. 

Captian Blackbeard Hugh Jackman in Pan

Captain Blackbeard Hugh Jackman in Pan

So I think I have spent enough time thinking about pirates…do you like them or do you prefer another type of hero…cowboy, rich businessman, guy next door, athlete,  doctor, fire fighter, lawman, soldier…so many to pick from. What about twisting old stories upside down? Do you appreciate the creativity or want things to stay the same…DON”T MESS WITH MY HEROES!