He is Risen!

Happy Easter!

He is Risen!IMG_0125

If we have been united with Him in a death like His, we will certainly also be united with Him in a resurrection like His.– Romans 6:5

By Christine Kelly


Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!

Sons of men and angels say: Alleluia!

Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!

Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply: Alleluia!

(Charles Wesley, 1707-1788)IMG_0055


May you celebrate Resurrection Day every day!


Just a little talk

tea and sconeHappy first weekend in spring! The weather is perfect in north Louisiana–80 degrees, windy, pollen, dogwood, azaleas. And I love sitting outside writing and reading. I know not all parts of the states have the same weather–perhaps it is on its way.

IMG_0040As I write in my flowering garden, I like to have a little talk with my characters. No, I don’t say anything out loud. So, no one will be able to call me crazy.

I’ve gotten to know Elizabeth through the years, so these questions might seem a little personal. Here is the list of questions I recently asked Elizabeth (the heroine of my Revolutionary Faith series): Setting–Charles Town 1776 in the Lestarjette sunroom, a pot of coffee and a plate of scones, two comfortable, cushioned wicker chairs, and lots of sunshineIMG_5611

  • Do you feel you are putting your children in danger?
  • Could you separate yourself from the procedures of the revolution while others starve, die, or die?
  • You know how to shoot a pistol, could you kill someone?
  • What do you think God thinks about spying?
  • Was it wrong to want a family even during wartime?children of 1770

These are things I would ask myself if in the same circumstances. As I write my present novel, I’m working through Elizabeth’s answers. The questions are tough, filled with emotion and consequences.

Do you have questions you would like to ask characters in the books you read?





My Staycation

IMG_0027Have you ever taken a staycation instead of a vacation? Well, I just finished a five-day staycation during my spring break from teaching school. Usually, my husband and I take a week and go somewhere fun, such as last year to Charleston, South Carolina. Many of my spring breaks have been spent with my students in France, Spain, Italy, or England for ten days. But, this year I decided to not venture far from home. One reason–the real one– is that my husband has a new job and could not take the time away.

IMG_0007So what is a staycation? It is a holiday without the transportation or hotel expense, your own bed, no detailed agenda, a few “fun” restaurants, movies–really anything goes. Since I had nine days (that included two weekends) to define my own Staycation.Movie-Leap

1) slept in daily until 7:30 a.m. (compared to 5:00 a.m.)

2) stayed up past 9:00 p.m.

3) gardening–two flower beds, green house vegetables, border trees

4) a 1,000-piece puzzle (I’m addicted to puzzles so I can’t have one out often.)

5) lots of reading (progress on a print book, an audio one, an e-book, a research book, and a writing help book)

6) movies (a few animated ones for fun–“Leap” and “Sing”)

7) and some writing…now up to 12,000 words on my WIP (work in progress)IMG_0032

I ate out many times with my husband, saw a movie (“A Wrinkle in Time”) with my parents, time with my son and daughter-in-law, shopping, and basic down time. I loved it! I didn’t miss the hotels or planes…

Share your staycation experiences.




A novel within a novel

IMG_9824In my reading of fiction, I often run across reading material that the characters reference, quote, or use for entertainment. After all, before television and the computer, many hours were spent with an open book, newspaper, or magazine as well as letters of correspondence. Since I read and write historical fiction, I understand the importance of filling in those gaps in the characters’ days with a hint at something her or she would be doing. Reading is one of those activities.

In my Revolutionary Faith series set in the 1770s Charles Town, I have included reading material for Elizabeth and Louis. The King James Bible is the most prevalent, of course, since I write Christian fiction. Yet, my characters tend to be well read. Mixed in with the classics of the day, such as Shakespeare and Molière, are books like Gulliver’s Travels and Pilgrim’s Progress and works including Paradise Lost and  The Way to Wealth. I occasionally add popular French authors for Louis. Poems, pamphlets, journals, hymns, and letters are scattered through the pages.img_9826.jpg

For Book Four in the Revolutionary Faith Series, which I am writing now, I’ve added Common Sense by Thomas Paine and The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith. I’ve reread Common Sense and have started The Vicar of Wakefield. I want to experience what my characters might have experienced over two hundred years ago.

The Vicar of Wakefield is supposedly about the author, an Irish vicar who lived from 1728-1774. I’ve read four of the 32 chapters. Already, I am caught up in the “contemporary” piece with all the trapping of 1760. The first person account draws a slightly humorous picture of the woes and hopes, the ups and downs, of family life as fortunes come and go as do jobs, health, and children. I’m loving it. The spelling is captivating: traveller, encrease, shewing, drest, cloaths.img_9825.jpg

Oh, but each paragraph is a page or more long, containing four or five conversations or incidents. Amazingly, though, I am quickly getting used to them, especially if I keep my finger on my place in the paragraph. I’m glad to know my characters had something entertaining to read.

If you had to write a contemporary novel, what outside works would you include for your characters to read?

Small Town Festivals

IMG_9862Saturday, I felt like I stepped into a Hallmark movie at my town’s Jonquil Jubilee Festival. It had all the elements of a wholesome, family-centered movie or story. The annual event brings vendors, tourists, and locals together to shop, eat, visit, roam, and learn. Of course, there is probably some drama underneath the friendly faces and laughter. I could have conjured up a protagonist or two with an antagonist lurking. Perhaps a romance or a mystery among those who roamed the closed off streets.IMG_9853

I attended the events of the day with my sister and parents. We began with a pancake breakfast provided by the Lion’s Club. Lots of visitors and area citizens mingled with the regulars. A few large tour buses entered the fray. Then, I followed my sister’s lead (she loves to shop and is really good at it) through the vendors dispensing my cash on bird houses and a colorful bench and table. This little sister has a bad influence on my pocketbook!

IMG_9936City Hall hosted a speaker, Shelly Redmond, who presented some interesting cooking facts for Louisiana recipes. Yummy! I purchased her cookbook “Skinny Louisiana in the Kitchen,” hoping to whip up some Cajun dishes on the light side.  Her talk made us hungry which found us at the Gibsland Grill for gumbo and pulled pork sandwiches with buttermilk and chocolate chess pie. IMG_9885

The rest of the afternoon included a driving tour to see the daffodils since  Gibsland, Louisiana is the Daffodil Capital of Louisiana. Fields of lovely yellow and white festive flowers soaking up the sun after days of rain dotted the hilly landscape.  A quick visit to the Stage Coach Trail Museum once again highlighted the long history of the area where my family had chosen to live and prosper since the 1840s.

IMG_9921I must admit the most unique event of the day was a tour of a tiny house on a farm. It almost made me trade my present renovated house for a 500 square foot house facing a huge pond surrounded by tall, pine trees. The owners say, “It has everything we need and nothing more.” The only problem I see is where would I put all my books!

I’m watching a Hallmark movie now and can visualize my day and its similar aspects. Small town life has its rewards especially at festival time.

Does your parish, county, or town have a celebration or festival that you enjoy?