Too Big for My Britches: A Look at What I Wanted to Be

by Allie Owens Crockett

cat-71494_1280It’s been a little while since you’ve heard from me, but I’m here today to continue our discussion on what we wanted to be when we grew up.

There’s nothing like the imagination of a child. I remember being asked in kindergarten and again when I was nearing high school graduation. What did I want to be? Well, something of the sort. And oh how my answer has varied over that stretch of time.

Once upon a time, I thought I might like to be a Veterinarian. When it became clear that I would become responsible for administering shots to sweet little puppies and kittens, my interest wilted. Other than that small diversion, I have always been undeniably drawn to the arts. I used to see commercials for Welch’s grape juice, or Manwich or whatever, and I’d think to myself, “Hey, I could do that!”. So I did. I would rig up my dad’s enormous camcorder and film myself being as fabulous as possible at nine years old.

At some point, between this age and middle school, I’d contrived the idea that I could be not just anything I wanted to be when I grew up, but EVERYTHING. I could sing, dance, write, act, paint, sculpt–yes–I wanted to do it all.

potter-622708_1280Somewhere along the way, I began to believe that the most creative people in the world are less successful than those who work at a bank, or a hospital or for the government. Hence the term, “starving artist.” Fortunately,  I soon realized this couldn’t be any further from the truth. Almost daily, by way of social media, I notice more and more Creatives, writing books, producing films, taking on all sorts of projects, and all manner of eclectic endeavors.

acoustic-guitar-15598_1280The refreshing thing is, not all of them are starving. Some may be. But many are actually  sustaining themselves, doing what they’d do for free, anyway. And I think that’s beautiful.

Even if you’re already doing what you love, we can all commit to doing it with more heart, and inspiring others to do what’s inside their own. Instead of outgrowing our dreams, what do you say we dare to dream up something bigger?

Until next time, #DoWhatYouLove

Picture Prompt!–What’s the story? You can write a sentence or a paragraph, but tell us about this picture:

Sneakers on a Pier3

Complete the prompt for an extra entry in our quarterly drawings! Submit your completed writing prompt via Comments.

Growing up with an Imagination by Tammy J. Trail


I am sure many of our readers can remember their childhood dreams of being a nurse, a doctor, a fireman, or a mommy. Maybe you wanted to be all of those wonderful people at different points in your life. They are all admirable professions. When I was a kid I never thought I would live past the age of 25. I know that sounds morbid. To my little mind that was a huge number of years.

It wasn’t until I got into high school that my parents discussed anything about the future after graduation. We never discussed goals, or if I wanted to get a job in a specific profession. The plan was to get through high school. That was it.

Neither of my parents graduated from high school. They never went to a trade school, or college. Neither pairs of my grandparents went on to further their educations. So what’s a girl to do with no idea where to start? I wanted to be a singer in a band, like the Partridge Family. I constantly watched musicals on television, my favorite is “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I wanted to be Jane Powell and twirl and sing, and win the heart of a mountain man.

Later in my junior high years I began to read, read, read, and I wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder and live in….you guess it. A little house on the prairie. The other character I read about that intrigued me enough to want to jump into the page was Nancy Drew. Not only did she acquire a reputation as a solver of mysteries, but she had great friends, a steady boyfriend who never made demands on her, a great Dad who approved of everything she did.

In high school, it was all about survival. I don’t know about you, but you couldn’t pay me a million dollars to go and do high school all over again. It was the pits. The only thing that really saved me were, books. I read all the time. I read everything I could get my hands on. I daydreamed my life away in my teens. It was so much more entertaining than reality.

In reality I had very few friends. In my dreams I was popular.

In reality I had a very dysfunctional family. In my dreams I lived with the Walton’s

In reality I had very few choices in life. In my dreams I could become anyone I wanted to.

Now that I am all grown up I have found that life is what you make it. I didn’t know that when I was a kid. I have tried very hard to create a life different from the one I grew up in, I had help. I met a man named Jesus, and he has directed my path ever since. I admit, I have not always listened to him and I made foolish mistakes.

Now, I have a great husband who encourages me in my adult dream to be a writer. I have great kids who I have encouraged from day one to become whoever they want to be. My kids were able to explore after school activities, sports, and the arts. My daughter is currently attending Nursing school, and has a high grade point average. My son is an Eagle Scout, and plans to attend college as well.

My new milestone is that of Grandmother. I enjoy my grandsons so much. Now I am able to encourage the next generation not to settle for anything less than what the Lord has in store for them.




Tell the Writing Prompts Crew what you daydreamed about as a kid.

3 Questions Wednesday with Lori Stanley Roeleveld

LoriStanleyRoeleveld HeadshotToday we welcome author and disturber of Hobbits, Lori Stanley Roeleveld, to 3 Questions Wednesday!

Hello Lori! Glad you dropped by for a visit.

First tell us which author you would never get tired of and why.

Lori: I never tire of C.S.Lewis because of the depth and variety of his writing. As far as modern writers, I adore Stephen Lawhead’s writing and, again, love the variety of his work. I always have several books going at a time and bounce between fiction and non-fiction. I’m also breathlessly awaiting James L. Rubart’s next novel. It’s been too long since the last one!

I totally agree. I have a space on my bookshelf waiting for the next Rubart novel. He writes an awesome villain.

Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Lori: My favorite fictional villain is Antonio Salieri from the play and movie Amadeus. Salieri’s creative admiration and envy of Mozart’s talent is a study in one of the pitfalls for every creative person – especially Christians – as Salieri directs his rage toward the God he wishes to please. Whenever I wrestle with jealousy, all I have to do is spend a few moments in the company of this fictionalized character to run to God for the cure.

Interesting thought. I can relate. :)

Now what projects are you currently working on?

Lori: I continue to write for blog three times a week. I’m speaking at churches and writing conferences. And I’m editing a novella I’ve written titled, “Red Pen Redemption.” It’s the story of an octogenarian editor who believes all her life story requires to be ready for heaven is a “light edit” and dares God to prove to her otherwise one eventful Christmas Eve.

It’s a great story! Thanks so much for being our guest today, Lori! Leave a comment for a chance to win “Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus.)”

Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus)

600 x 900 CoverKing David thought his life was headed in one straight direction – to the throne – when suddenly, all he was doing was running from King Saul. Saul’s the original crazy man but we all have something that interrupts our regularly scheduled programming and we wonder where God is in the middle of it. I believe God was with David in the caves as surely as He was with him when he wore the crown. My book is about following Jesus when it doesn’t make sense, when it’s challenging, and even when it feels like God has no concern at all for your comfort in this life. I’m praying it gives readers eyes to see Him in their time “in the caves.” Each chapter is adapted from an original blog post and concludes with study questions and a thought to remember.

Lori Stanley Roeleveld is a disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians late for dinner. She’s authored an unsettling blog since 2009; a pursuit that eventually resulted in her first book, Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus). You’ll find Lori at her website or on her front porch writing. If not, know this married mother of two homeschooled adults is off somewhere slaying dragons.

Why Disturber of Hobbits?

I identify with the hobbits of Lord of the Rings who love comfort, routine, and timely meals. I also, though, identify with Bilbo and Frodo who were drafted into adventure and found it to be addictively exciting. I believe Christians can become too comfortable and we not only need to be disturbed into adventure, we benefit from it.

Most Popular Blog Posts:

Lori’s post titled, “They’ll Be Dead by Morning (What Difference Does It Make)” about the persecution of Christians in North Korea, challenging American Christians to make the most of their freedom was viewed over 1.7 million times. Another post, “What We Owe Beheaded Children,” about how to process the news about ISIS activity in Iraq and Syria was shared over 275,000 times on Facebook. Ann Voskamp cited Lori’s parable “A Parable of Haiti” with inspiring her family to travel to Haiti on a short-term missions trip. Another post, “Refusing the Cure,” was read by a woman in Aurora, Colorado just hours before she sat in the theater with her teenage daughters the night James Eagan Holmes entered shooting at the crowd.

Great Authors, Winners, and Fun? Oh my!

CongratulationsEntrusted FRONT Cover_edited Harriet Michael! You’ve won a copy of Julie Arduini’s book Entrusted! 

There’s still time to win Joan Devene’s book Saving Eric or Deborah M. Piccurelli’s book Love Comes Calling. Just leave a comment under their interview.

Tomorrow Lori Roeleveld joins us and talks about Amadeus, C.S. Lewis, and her latest project. Don’t miss it!

We hope you’re enjoying our Monday and Friday posts on “What did you want to be when you grew up?”

Next month, we’ll discuss the monster under the bed…







What I Wanted to be When I Grew Up

by Betty Thomason Owens

10171180_10203041015340695_307067443322518168_nA long, long time ago…about the time this picture was taken, I imagined a life filled with my favorite things (I’m the one on the right, by the way). I loved flowers and animals. I frequently invaded prize-winning flower gardens and brought bouquets home to Mom. She was not happy when an angry gardener showed up at her door. I was a sweet, girly version of Dennis the Menace, apparently.

So I dreamed of growing my own beautiful beds of flowers. I’d imagine myself sitting in my porch swing surrounded by cats and dogs who could understand every word I said. Birds sang in the trees. A peacock prowled the yard. All in my fanciful world, of course.

At the time, I lived in a magical place called San Diego. Where flowers bloomed all year round. Tangerines ripened on a tree outside our back door. We climbed date palms and ate cherries from a hedge. Not sure about that last one. I remember eating cherries, but not sure why it was a hedge.

Just blocks away, the beautiful mission of Balboa rang its bells during the day. Not far away, lions roared and elephants trumpeted from their environs at the San Diego Zoo.

Sounds lovely, I know. It was my reality at the time. So I imagined myself in whatever walk of life included beautiful flowers and taking care of cute and cuddly things. My destiny.

51hUtA3M-cLFast-forward a few years and I’m eleven years old and living in a small town in West Tennessee. A far cry (in so many ways) from San Diego. I visited the school library and found a red-and-white book, one of a series of books about Cherry Ames. Cherry was a nurse. The series followed her from candystriper to head nurse and beyond. I vaguely remember romance and intrigue. I determined to follow in her footsteps and earn the white cap.

I made it as far as nurses’ aide in a retirement home during my high school years. I was accepted to a prestigious nursing school, but never went. Life intervened. Dad lost his job a few weeks before I was set to enter. I couldn’t pay for the school, and he wouldn’t let me get a loan. I didn’t have the confidence to do it on my own.

Dreams derailed, I went to work in an office. I married, raised three sons, developed a sense of humor while raising three sons. Hey, you do what you have to do to survive.

Years later, I’ve retired from full-time work as an office manager. I didn’t have much choice, the company I worked for closed. I still love flowers. I love animals. I long to visit San Diego again. Life didn’t turn out the way I imagined way back then. It might actually be better than my dreams.

crocus-673477_1280Fast-forward to 2015. I watch the seasons pass outside my window, waiting for the first signs of spring so I can get out in the yard and dig in my flower bed. I write books and stories and blog posts. I talk to friends all over the world on Facebook and Twitter. I welcome my grandchildren and enjoy spending time with them. Dreaming with them, about what they’ll be when they grow up.


Here’s your Writing Prompt: 

Lois Maxwell smiled as she watched her six-year-old roll out cookie dough. “You’re doing a great job, Lily. Maybe you’ll grow up to be a baker, or a chef.”

Lily laughed as she popped a bite of cookie dough into her mouth. “Tell me the story again, Mommy. What did you want to be when you grew up?”

Complete the prompt for an extra entry in our quarterly drawings! Submit your completed writing prompt via Comments.

Love Comes Calling by Deborah M. Piccurelli

Picture of Me (6-17-14)Today, Christian romance author, Deborah M. Piccurelli, joins us to talk about her romance novel, Love Comes Calling. Let’s start at the beginning.

Have you always wanted to be an author?

Deborah: I remember at age 10 or 11, loving to read so much that I tried my hand at writing a couple books. I never told anyone, so I never had encouragement, and that inevitably went by the wayside in my teen years. But I still always had a book in my hand all through the years. I would finish one book and begin another in the same day. But after marrying and having children, the desire to write returned, but stronger than ever before. That’s when my journey began.

I’ve always loved reading since I was very young. Now about your writing schedule:

Do you write every day? What does your typical writing day look like?

Deborah: My life is such that I don’t get to write every single day, but I do perform writing-related tasks every day.

Sounds good. I try to apply the same strategy to marketing.

What’s your favorite marketing strategy?

Deborah: The Facebook book launch party I hosted last night (4/10/15) was pretty cool, and may fast become my favorite. I also like the Goodreads giveaways.

I really enjoyed your book launch party and know I will enjoy your book. As for the future,

What project are you currently working on?

Deborah: Right now, I’m working on a futuristic TV drama series. I had to put other writing projects aside, because the Lord impressed on me that this one was of greater importance.

Great! Last question:

Have you ever had a unique experience connected with being an author?

Deborah: While researching my previous novel, Hush, Little Baby, which has a dwarf couple as its main characters, I found the website for Little People of America. I got the phone number for the president and called. I never expected the actual president to answer, but maybe a secretary. Well, the president, himself picked up who just happened to be Matt Roloff, star of Little People, Big World on The Learning Channel. That show hadn’t aired, yet, at that time. Shortly after that, I began seeing him and his family on different talk shows, saying they had a reality show coming up. I said to my husband, “Hey, that’s the guy I talked to on the phone.” Needless to say, he was no longer president of LPA, and it was virtually impossible to get a hold of him. I did speak to his wife, Amy, once, and we chatted for a good amount of time. I’m not saying I idolized them. I just thought it was kind of cool that after speaking with them, I began to see them on TV.

Amazing the experiences that we find as writers. :)

Thanks Deborah for dropping by! If you’d like to win an e-copy of Love Comes Calling, leave a comment to be entered in the drawing.

Love Comes CallingCover_LoveComesCalling Final (3-5-15)

The day new Christian, Derek Spencer, shows up on Charlie Parkes’s doorstep to make up for what he’d done, is the very day he falls in love with her. But Charlie’s sister mistakes him for a home improvement contractor, and he decides to play along until he finds a way to tell her who he really is.

Charlie is attracted to Derek, but knows the attention he pays her is only flattery. How could such a great-looking guy fall for someone with a face like hers? Nevertheless, the two form a relationship that brings a joy to Charlie that’s way beyond her wildest dreams.

But what will happen when Derek’s true identity is revealed?

After years of reading books and watching movies with an element of romance, Deborah M. Piccurelli’s desire to write romance novels came naturally. She is active in her church and is an advocate for sanctity of life. Deborah is the author of two novels, a novella and several cause-related newspaper articles. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and the New Jersey Society of Christian Writers. As one of the winners in a contest by The Christian Authors Show, details of Deborah’s writing journey can be found in the 2013-2014 edition of the book, 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading. Deborah lives in New Jersey with her husband and their two sons.

Why Should Truckers Have All the Fun? by Linda Yezak

Linda YezakClimbing high in the saddle. Feeling all that power under you as you ride. Singing at the top of your lungs any song that comes to mind. Eating simple grub and seeing America first. Really. Why should truckers have all the fun? During my teens, we had a choice between biker or trucker heroes. I chose trucker. My favorite movies  were “Convoy” and “Smokey and the Bandit”–outlaws who defied the establishment on eighteen wheels instead of two. Since I never was much of a rebel, I’ll never understand where I got the notion that trucking would be romantic, but the idea of criss-crossing the country and seeing America through the windshield of a big rig attracted me like a trucker to chrome.

Can you imagine what stories a driver could tell? Doesn’t matter if the tales are based on what he sees or what he dreams up during long, boring stints, he’s likely to be an entertaining story teller over a breakfast of grits and java. I love grits and java. Even though the idea didn’t last long, at the time, I decided I would apply for trucking school right after graduation. I’d ride like a sight-seer on a mission. I’d sleep in the rig in a quiet park, make my deliveries on time, then bee-line home with a new delivery and a head full of stories, poems, and song lyrics. Back then, keeping it between the lines was good enough for me. The long stretch of highway could take me places I didn’t even know existed–and I’d get paid for discovering them.

As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve realized that big rigs don’t always fit down the side roads. There are other places I want to see, other things I want to experience. Besides, traffic is much slower.18 wheeler

These days I find myself navigating the highways of cyberspace more than those etching the face of the country. What I’m driving depends on the day and the reason to be out on the road. On a good day, I’m zooming down the fast lane toward publication. But more often than not, I’m traversing the side roads. Not necessarily a bad thing, if I can keep these jaunts in check.

Research leads to rabbit trails; whether or not they’re useful is a different matter. Networking and promotions takes me from house to house to visit friends, a fun, wonderful, dangerous use of time because time disappears quickly when I take these detours. I don’t get as many story ideas from this kind of driving as I do the other, so a modified dream exists. I keep my car gassed and ready to roll so I can do some “real” traveling. Refresh the soul and mind. Accumulate story ideas. Visit friends in the flesh. Both forms of travel–cyber and physical–are good for a writer’s life. All work and no play dulls the senses and bores the reader. All play and no work offers nothing to reader at all. Keep your tires balanced and your vehicle facing forward. Enjoy the ride.


Writing prompt: As I climb into my big rig to carry a load of ___________ to ____________, I expect to find ____________ along the way. Sure enough, I do, and . . .



GtLaR Front Cover FinalGive the Lady a Ride
Patricia Talbert is a high-class social coordinator from New York. 
Talon Carlson is a rugged bull rider from Texas. 
He thinks she’s too polished. 
She thinks he’s insane. 
Opposites aren’t quick to attract when the lady who enters the cowboy’s world is on a mission to sell the ranch. But a box of letters changes her mission–letters of unshakable faith and a love deeper than anything she’s ever experienced. 
Soon she finds his integrity appealing. Her spunk draws him in. He has the faith she craves; she may be the love he longs for. But faith and love aren’t achieved in a single weekend. 
To buy time to explore the possibilities between them, she issues a challenge: “Teach me to ride bulls.” 
From here on, they’re in for the ride of their lives.

Linda W. Yezak lives with her husband and three cats in a forest in east Texas, where tall tales abound  and exaggeration is an art form. She holds a BA in English and a graduate certificate in Paralegal Studies. Thirty years later, she’s finally putting her degree in English to good use, combining it with her natural inclination toward story-telling to create fun, unique novels, which include Give the Lady a Ride, The Cat Lady’s Secret, and The Simulacrum. Her non-fiction works include Writing in Obedience, co-written with Hartline literary agent, Terry Burns. Amazon author page: Twitter: @LindaYezak Facebook: LinkedIn: Goodreads: 777 Peppermint Place: AuthorCulture: Newsletter: Coffee with Linda: