Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Santa Cruz, California, October 28th, 2014

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Where in the world is Jennifer Major??

Let's recap, shall we?
First, after 2 weeks in Ontario with family, I came home and did this.

Awesome. Just AWESOME.

No. I have NO IDEA how it happened. But the x-rays showed NOTHING. So the doc said, "it's either a stress fracture, or aggressive arthritis."

Because I needed that.

Now, normally, I'd just rest it. 
But I had to prepare for...wait for it...
...a 3 1/2 week trek from Vancouver (to see my parents) then to Dallas.

I must say, the fromage et crackeres selection on the flight from San Francisco to Dallas was rathath lovely...or was it Seattle to San Francisco?

Okay, whatever...the cheese was good!
I did have to force the chocolate down...

In Dallas, I attended the annual American Christian Fiction Writer's conference known as ACFW 2015.
There was a "zone breakfast" where people in the different ACFW zones could meet, greet and eat. The lovely Rose Dee from Australia brought all of us "Beyond the Borders" peeps this gorgeous flower arrangement!

Ahhhh, the joy of hanging out with friends who understand the writer's mind and crazy world!!

Gabrielle and Lisa...



Some...uhhh...random people who spontaneously broke into bad chorus line work...and some who stayed all mature-y and stuff.

Things were, exciting, stressful, full-out and finally, on the last night?

 Things got POSH.

VERY posh!!


I wore a GOWN!

There's moi, with my absolutely adorable and fabulous room mate, Shelli Littleton.
Isn't she a stunner? 

Once the non-stop ACFW was over, sniff, Shelli drove me to Love Field and I hopped on a Southwest flight to Albuquerque, where I met up with my partner in crime, Robyn Peters, and then after a night of SLEEP, we headed out to Jamestown, New Mexico.

Remember that ball gown?
Yeah, well....
Here's me in my pajamas, shorts, a hoodie, in awe of the sunrise.

Hey, Robyn? Care to go on a wee hike?

Here we are, loopy after surviving the Canyon de Chelly White House Ruins hike.


The Navajo homeland. 

Then, when it all got to be 'too much fun', as my niece used to say... night, we'd watch the Just, wow.

For 5 wonderful days, our hosts Ted and Evie Charles took us hither and yon across New Mexico and Arizona.

We even met royalty!!

Miss Navajo Nation 2015, Alyson Shirley.


THAT? Is the view from their deck on the only two story hogan in all of New Mexico.

And this place? Robyn and I christened it Canyon de Charles. WOW. And it's in their backyard!!!

On our last night, Robyn, Ted, Evie and I enjoyed a cook out!!

Now? Ted and Evie are in their big hogan, probably enjoying the peace and quiet. ;)

Robyn is back in California.

All the ACFW friends are home, too.

I'm back in Albuquerque. Alone in a hotel room, catching up on work, then off to see some friends. 
Tomorrow it's Santa Fe and a few museums.
Tuesday, friends and maybe another museum, and edits!
Wednesday, back to Dallas, and then more research!

Oh my, I should remember to enjoy the heat, since Fall has his hit from whence I came.

Enjoy the photos, and see you soon.


Ohhhhhh, something special is coming!! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The last verses of Job...

Have you ever wanted to change your name to Job and just give up?
Just turf it all and go live in a box and be left alone because, well, life has sucked you dry and what's the point anyway?
All the hurt just keeps piling on and along the way, life just changed the definition of "all" to "some with more on the way".
And where is God? Where is a respite? Where is a moment of mercy when the sky is falling, the earth is crumbling, and there seems to be no hope in sight?
While my life is not like that, I know that some of my friends do live in that Job-zone.

Job was a man who loved God. If you know your Bible, God allowed the enemy to destroy Job's world. I do not understand WHY or HOW this happened, but through it all, Job stayed faithful.

Lately, while my life has been great, a few things have nudged me too hard. 
And then over the weekend, my left ankle started to HURT. 
I went to the ER last night. 
They did x-rays.
Apparently, there's either a stress fracture, or a bout of "agitated arthritis" in there. Whatever it is, it HURTS.

I have a 3 week trip coming up and it includes a very important conference and a research trip to New Mexico, and then one in Texas.

But, umm, Lord? I'm in pain down here...

This morning, I read the very last verse of Job. I read the verses before then end, but this is what it said at the
very end:
 "And then he died, an old man who lived a long life."

Not "he was bitter to the end" or "he did curse God and die, and what a buzzkill" or even "Job died alone and miserable".

It tells us that he lived a long life. That his family was important to him. He even left an inheritance to his daughters. Which, yeah, was a huge deal in those days.

But, despite all that happened to him, he lived. 
Not, endured.
Not, survived.
Not, crawled to the edge and jumped off.

With what God restored to him, Job lived.

I need to remember to live through this minor bout of nothing serious, and not dwell on the ways to endure the drama.
To count my blessings, which are many.
To be a good steward of what God has given me and not dwell on what I don't have.
To be thankful, to live thankfully.
To live!!

So, sore feet or not, onward and upward.

I'll see you all in a few weeks!
And then? I have a HUGE announcement!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Annnnnnnnd we're back!!

I went on vacation with my here...

Then here...The Ontario Camp for the Deaf. My husband's parents are both deaf, and we go to 'family camp' every August.

 Ditched the family for a day, to go meet up with my friend Cathy West. Whereupon my arrival, we did this...

It was ROUGH.
Especially when we got up from the lovely recliners and realized our butts were SOAKED.
Apparently, it had rained...the day before.
Who cares? It was a fabulous visit!!

Back at Deaf Camp...

Husbands who like to cook??
 We were spoiled!!!

And we did stuff like this...

Ahhhhh...and now? 

Back to the real world.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Cecil the Lion, the witch hunt, and the war drones on.

I'm sitting here pondering the FLAMING ridiculousness of the world wide horror of a lion being shot.
Yes, that a lion was shot with an arrow and left to wander in pain for 40 hours IS awful.
Yes, that the man who shot him was out for a trophy, and not taking down a rogue lion that was killing people. That is disgusting. 

Buddy, you want a trophy? Join soccer.

BUT, that being said, the guy who shot the lion does NOT deserve the horrible treatment he's getting!!

He shot a LION, not a CHILD!!

And seriously, whether or not he killed a big pretty animal, there are MUCH MUCH bigger things to deal with than a dead lion.

The average Zimbabwean monthly wage is 253$ US.
The GDP (Gross Domestic Product ) of Zimbabwe is 953$ US. What's a GDP??
A GDP is the dollar value of the goods and services produced in a country over a specific time period, per capita. Meaning, per person, over a year.

The GDP of the United States of America?? 53,000$.

So, I can bet that not exactly every Zimbabwean cares about a lion, not when their country is in the dumps and their leader is a dictator who robs the country blind.

So, yeah, a rich guy shot a lion.
Now he's getting death threats. 
His business is probably ruined.
His staff will probably be out of their jobs.
That is just plain wrong.

But NOT worthy of the vilification of the free world!

Save that for something else.

Oh, sorry...what was that sound?

Riiiiiiiiiiight, another ISIS bomb in Syria. 

Or was it the scream of a young Yazidi girl sold at an auction?

Let's look at what makes people more angry?

A dentist going into hiding because he was dumb enough to shoot a pretty lion? 

Or the fact that poor, young, nameless refugee women are sold for 100$ in a market to be used as wives until they kill themselves or escape?

Because WHO is going after them?

Seriously, what is more important in the eyes of God?

A lion?

Or a lamb?

I hope that last photo upsets people so much that they're livid that I posted it.


Look at her!!

Now, if you're so mad, go donate to World Vision, MMC, War Child, Save the Children, CARE, whoever you'd like to help.

Just don't be indifferent to the sight of a young girl being auctioned off for the pleasures of violent men who care nothing about the horrific thing that is selling a human being.


He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Yes, but what about the wings?

So, I've talked about why I write and what I write.
Now, I'd like to talk about how I write.
Or, more specifically, how I came about actively pursuing the dream of writing.

I've always been an avid reader, and I read rather quickly, with excellent retention.
Which makes book buying expensive when one factors in the amount of time it takes me to read a book.

Let's go back to 1990, when I was pregnant with the first of our four children. All was fine up until late October, when I got very tired. I wasn't due til December 22nd, which means I had about 8 weeks to go.

I went to my check-up, and was stunned to find out my blood pressure was WAY up.
The doctor hmm'ed and said. "Go home. Rest. NO sodium."
I rested, went back a few days later. And it was worse.
"Go home. Rest. Stay in bed."
"Stay in bed?"
"Yes, you're now officially on bed rest. I sure hope you like reading, watching TV and reading. Oh, and by the way, you cannot be alone. Not for one minute. Don't even lock the bathroom door."

I had toxemia. And I had it bad. 

Well, there went all the fun plans. 

So, on certain days of the work week, my husband John would drop me off at my parent's house. While there, they and my Mom's Hearing Ear Dog, a white poodle named Lambchop, would take care of me.  
The other days, my best friend Robyn Peters would arrive before John left for work, and would take care of me until he came home.

Yes, I did A LOT of reading. And talking. And napping.
Robyn helped with my Christmas baking. Ha! "Helped". She did it all
I did the sprinkles.

John and I would share the books I'd gotten from the church library. 
He'd say "you could write better than that."
I love him, but he was nuts. He said that a lot.
 Not that he was nuts, but that I could write.

Fast forward to December, 2011.
I had come to the Rubicon of my deeply hidden dream. I decided if I was to ever take the leap to write, it was going to have to be soon. I was 48, and not getting any younger. Also, my days of Momming littles was over. 

So, I began.

In secret.

It was Christmas holidays, all the kids were off school. Which meant they all slept in. So, beginning on the 26th, I stayed up late into the wee hours, writing.

A few nights after I started, I tiptoed into our room at about 2:30am.
It was pitch dark. John was asleep.
Since I was still in jeans and a sweater, I needed to get into my pajamas and slip into bed without waking him up...
I closed the door as quiet as a mouse.
I took a step.
I took another.
One more step.

"Do you mind telling me WHAT you're doing on Facebook in the middle of the night?"

He was furious.
Not slightly annoyed. 
Not kind of mad.
He was seething. 

Oh no.

I could hear how his anger shaped the fury of his...his...not his question, but...his inquisition.
Pain was already involved. 
What was his wife doing online late at night?  

"I'm...uhh...not on Facebook..."
My heart was about to burst.

"Oh really? Then what exactly are you doing?"
It was pitch black in that room.
And that was just his voice.




Total silence.

Jennifer, you are so stupid...

I heard him take a breath. stupid!!


Have you ever had a moment when you could just about feel that most important someone set your wings into your back, and tell you it's time to fly?

When I get tired of what it actually takes to write a book, and the feathers fall and I need encouragement? There he is, my husband of 26 years, smiling up at me. "Fly. Just fly. You can do this."

In my second book, I ask a question about love. The question was gifted to me by my dear friend and Navajo mentor, Theodore Charles.
"Which wing is more important to the bird?"

Monday, July 13, 2015

The State of Pollyanna's Union.

There's been some talk lately about the state of Christian publishing, and how things are either grand, or grinding to a halt.

I may be a bit Pollyanna-ish on this, but here's my take.
And as always, for my strength, I look to my faith.

One of my favourite phrases has always been "Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might."

So, let's look at that passage in Ephesians, shall we?

But first, imagine you're actually Ephesus....sniffing the pink oleander...

You just checked some scrolls out of the library...

Now you're waiting for Paul of Tarsus to come and speak...

Eph 6:10-17 (NIV) ...Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Now, read that again, and tell me what armour is missing?
Go ahead, I'll wait.

Figure it out yet?

There's no mention of what shall cover our backs, what piece of protection will the armour makers have forged to save our spines and necks?

Perhaps, and this is a thought I heard a while ago, and I can't remember where, but maybe...

God never meant for us to turn our backs on the battle

Read that again.

When does God realize He's losing? 

When does He sound the retreat for His kingdom? 


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Visiting with Jenni Brummett today...come visit!!

Hey peeps, Happy Canada Day!!!

Today, I'm visiting with my good friend Jenni, and we're discussing houses...and I'm discussing a home that is VERY special to Canadians.

Yup, Green Gables.

So hop on over to

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

So, THEN what happened???

A Dangerous Mercy tells the story of Tsi'tnaginnie and Kemma.

A Warrior's Grace tells the story of Natanii, Tsi'tnaginnie's older brother.

The day after Tsi'tnaginnie and his family surrendered, a battle took place in Canyon de Chelly. His brother Natanii led his men into that battle.
Natanii was a warrior. A soldier for his people, a defender of his clan. A battle ready servant. 
And a man who saw the unthinkable, who heard the unfathomable.
His wife was shot before his eyes. 
He watched her fall.
Heard her call out his name. 
Ask for his help. 
Die in front of him.
Then he did the unforgivable.

He ran from battle.

Why did he run?
Did madness destroy his mind?
Or did a dream save his life.
The night after she dies, Natanii's wife comes to him in a vision, and tells him to ride West. To find sanctuary.
To "stay alive and wait for the broken one".

But who is this "broken one" and how long must he wait?

Natanii escapes across Hopi country, deep into the mountains of Northern Arizona. 
Given sanctuary by British settlers, he becomes Nez Hutchinson, and is lost to his people forever.

Jay Tavare as Natanii.

Sarah Monroe Crossman has finally escaped the living nightmare of a hellish marriage, and the wrongful murder conviction that sent her to an asylum for the criminally insane. Finally safe at her sister's ranch in Arizona, Sarah is entirely unprepared for normal life, freedom, or the gentle kindness of a stranger.  
A stranger in the form of Nez Hutchinson, an Indian who quotes the Psalms and speaks the King's English. The brother in law who her sister never once mentioned. Not in twenty years of letters.

Jo Sullivan as Sarah Monroe

Fear dances with prejudice. The truth rips open old wounds. War comes to their doorstep as Natanii is forced to fight one last battle. 

A battle thirty years in the waiting.


What do we learn in the times when God doesn't seem to hear us? 
How does God heal wounds so deep they become part of our soul? 

Where is grace when the world falls apart?


Here's the Pinterest link for A Warrior's Grace:


*DISCLAIMER: These pictures are from my Pinterest boards and do not imply that either Jay Tavare or Jo Sullivan are involved with my work, but are meant only to provide a visual for the reader.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Okay, so we know WHY I write, but do we know WHAT I write?

Most TFTR readers know that I write about Navajo history, specifically The Long Walk and the prison camp near Fort Sumner, New Mexico known as Bosque Redondo, or most properly, "Hweeldi".

So, let's talk about the first story...A Dangerous Mercy.

The first book starts in 1864, in the POV (point of view-the person "telling" the story) of Tsi'tnaginnie (Sit-nah-ginnie) a Navajo silversmith whose family and clans are being marched at gunpoint from their home in Canyon de Chelly (du Shay) across the desert to Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

Then things get worse.

At the time the story takes place, Native Americans were despised by most settlers and military personnel. Absolutely DESPISED. They were seen as savages, vermin, wild creatures, blocking the God-fearing folk from progress and destiny.
But, not just in North America. The attitude of European Anglos toward indigenous peoples almost everywhere on Earth was patriarchal and superior. Africa, the South Pacific, Asia, Latin America, everywhere...white=smarter, better, more civil. thus, the darker the skin tone, the more ignorant a person was.

But hey, who built Machu Picchu? The Great Wall? Who read the stars and crossed the South Seas in outriggers? Who saw the night sky as their map?

And for many, the sad state of affairs was mostly encouraged with the blessing of whatever religious authority was around. 

So, let's review... very few Anglo-Europeans and Native Americans got along. Treachery and death had a lot to do with things. 

On both sides.

I tell the story of one family, the people they loved, and what would've happened in the land story tellers adore...the land of What If.  

Martin Sensmeier by Wolfn Photography*

Kasha Kropinski as Kemma Fallon*

What if after he's taken prisoner, Tsi'tnaginnie finds work at Hweeldi with the blacksmith, Eamon St. George? He's skilled with metals and learns the trade quickly from Eamon.
What if he becomes the brother that Eamon always wanted? 
What if kinship saw only the heart, and Tsi'tnaginnie's parents and daughter loved Eamon as one of their own?
What if Tsi'tnaginnie's worst enemy was the fort commander, Josiah Fallon? 
What if Tsi'tnaginnie's greatest love was the fort commander's daughter, Kemma?
What if the only person between Kemma, and intentional death, was Tsi'tnaginnie? 
What if the ever present evil of slavery touched Tsi'tnaginnie, and destroyed his whole world?

What if Tsi'tnaginnie's belief in God hinged on the impossible? 

Sometimes, only the impossible will do.


Here's the Pinterest link for the book:
*DISCLAIMER: These pictures are from my Pinterest boards and do not imply that either actor is involved with my work, but are meant only to provide a visual for the reader.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Caitlyn Jenner, Rachel Dolezal, and stones.

These are my personal opinions.

See that?



While the interwebs are all abuzzle about persons named Caitlyn, and Rachel, I had to stop and really ponder a few things.

What is the Biblical response to Bruce Jenner and his life choices?

Simple. What did Jesus do to and for the hurting?
He showed them His love.
Let's see that again.
He showed them His love.
Am I Bruce Jenner's judge and jury?
Do I understand why the man did what he did, and says what he says?
Not at all.
Do I think he's mixed up?
Maybe. Sorta.
Does that story upset me?
Yes, but more for the publicity rained down on his family.
But, does Bruce Jenner care what I think?
HA! Not at all. He has no idea that I exist.
He does not and never will care what I think, what I say, how I act, or who I am.
But God loves Bruce Jenner.
If I ever meet the man who says he's a woman, I would hope I kept myself as bright a light in the man's world and treated him with kindness and respect.
There is no call from Heaven to do anything other than show love and grace.
Jenner has basically stated that what he has done has been about personal turmoil.
He who is without sin, throw the first stone.

I do have a MUCH more visceral reaction to a woman named Rachel who is causing quite a stir for her issues.

Precisely, she is a Anglo woman who for all intents and purposes, has declared herself to be African American.
She has stated herself to be, and not corrected anyone who has attributed her to being, African American.
So, what is the difference between what Bruce Jenner has publicly stated, and Rachel Dolezal's statement that she is not white, and in fact, is African American?

In my opinion, there's a man who says he's a woman. Is he taking anything from anyone? Is he lying, left right and centre, about what and who he is? About his past, about his parents, about his siblings, his children, his job, his career, his hair, his skin?
He may be misguided and I may not agree with his choices, but he hasn't committed a crime, or perpetuated fraudulent behaviour in every facet of his life, for YEARS.  

Jenner isn't taking from someone's historical struggles of slavery, whose ancestors were sold in markets and shipped across the ocean to live a life of hellish servitude, and using that to perpetuate a lie. He is a privileged Anglo who has changed himself into someone who will still live the life of the privileged. No one will kick him off a bus for simply posing on the cover of a magazine and saying what he thinks he is.
Seriously, when was the last time he rode a public bus because he was too poor to buy a car?
Honestly, Jenner's struggle is that of a tiny percentage of the population. It is a struggle, and we owe it to those who deal with those issues of who and what they are to be Christ-like.

No, I did not say we have to agree, I said we HAVE to be like Jesus.

And people, that is our duty. We who have the love of Heaven should share it, don't you think?

On the flipside, we have a woman who has embraced a culture to which she was not born.
Is that wrong?
It's not wrong to want to be something we aren't..
I want to be more kind.
I want to be healthier.
I want to be a better writer.
I want to be the best wife and mother I can be.
I want to be a catalyst for change.

But with Miss Dolezal, there is a slightly more un-nerving tack in the ship's course.

She wants people to believe she was the victim of hate crimes.
She wants people to believe her ancestors were slaves.
She wants people to believe she was born in a tipi, and hunted with bows and arrows.
(Okay, so now we bring Native American cultural appropriation into the mix.

Do you see and feel the difference here?
It's all about the level of duplicity.

Jenner, as I see it, really just wants to be a woman. Whatever. We all know he was born Bruce. He has chosen to ask those around him, and the public, to treat him as a woman. But does anyone think that if a few thugs tried to mug "Caitlyn", or any of his loved ones, especially his daughters, that they'd get a skittish nervous female? Noooo, they would get an Olympian fighting back. And that would be the last thing they remember.

Rachel Dolezal has not said, "I know I'm not African American, but I choose to present myself as a woman of that culture. I love the history, the struggle, the richness I see there. I know I'm white, but I choose to identify as African American. I'll never knowingly and willingly set out to offend anyone, but please, let me in and I'll use my skills to bring these cultures together."    

But...what would Jesus do?
Well, He'd say "He who is without sin, throw the first stone."

Then He'd say, love her anyway.
He'd take her, despite her massive con job, and love her anyway.
He'd tell her that He'll be there beside her on the road back, when even her parents and brothers are mad at her.
Hold her hand when her world comes crashing down.
Yes, she faces harsh judgement. Let the legal and ethical experts deal with her crimes.
If given the chance, if we find her in a place that we can offer grace?
Be Jesus to her.
She's going to need Him.

Speaking of Him...

The only thing I've never needed to wonder about Jesus? 

How hard He could throw a stone.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Spring sprung?!

Ahhhhh, Spring has sprang!!

And no, that is NOT the view out my front door.

(Back door, actually, right near my unicorn corral.)

Or is it "Spring has sprung"?

Is "Spring sprung" in deeper POV than "Spring has sprung?"

If Tigger says "Spring has sprung" does he bounce while he says it?

Why did I mention Tigger?

Is Jennifer, Queen of the Redheads, officially losing her mind!?!?!

To answer those questions...

And here she is, going to find it.
Google Images

"Ummmm, excuse me? You on the sand dune? Go left honey. Or just back to The Home." 

Speaking of home. I am ensconced in mine, editing my second manuscrpit.


There are 7 weeks of school left. 
Which is JenniferSpeak for "I won't be able to get as much work done on the days it isn't SILENT around here."

So, if I am here, there, and nowhere, please forgive the eclectic schedule.
Thank you.
Oh, and please send chocolate!!!