Friday, July 15, 2011

Back to Venezuela with Nyra and Hong Kong Temple with Michael

I'm back!! And very happy to take the blog tour back to Venezuela for a beautiful, touching review from Nyra Escribiendo! Nyra posted her thoughts about CAYMAN SUMMER in both English and Spanish, so I need you all to visit her blog and give her some love and hugs. I got all teary-eyed reading her post. Nyra is like so many of you--a golden reader, perfectly attuned to my books. Thank you, Nyra. Thanks to all of you. You warm my heart, and you're why I keep writing.

The next locale I want to share with you is the LDS temple in Hong Kong. That scene was one of the first UNBROKEN CONNECTION scenes that came to me. So, open your copy of UNBROKEN CONNECTION to Chapter 30 and read that scene again with these pictures in front of you. I still love Brother Gilbert. He's like many older Mormon men I've known--especially temple workers. So many started out just like Michael.

If I remember right, this is the street-side of the wall. 

The garden is small but full of brilliant tropical blooms.

I love these doors. During the day, they are always open.

I believe this says, "Holiness to the Lord" in Chinese characters. Every temple has those words inscribed on it.

The Hong Kong temple is the first high-rise temple. The temple is on two floors and the other floors have chapels for local congregations to gather in, classrooms for Sunday school, scripture classes, and auxiliary meetings, mission offices, and offices for local leaders. 

More of the garden where Michael meditated, haunted by Leesie.

Aren't the stone columns beautiful?

More lovely flowers. 

When you step through the doors into the courtyard, you are welcomed by a bigger pool and fountain. The running water helps deaden the Hong Kong traffic zooming by on the other side of the wall. Temples are quiet, reverent places.

Ah, here's the door. Only adult members in good standing can go in the temple and do ordinances there.  There are beautiful waiting rooms for wedding guests who are too young or aren't members of the LDS church. Couples married in the temple are sealed together forever--not just this life. Couples who weren't married in the temple can go there and be sealed to each other and all their children. The kids get to go in the temple then. Everyone wears white in the temple.

The garden is small, but raised beds and terraces expand the space.

I imagine Michael sat in a corner like this one.

Here's a better view of it. Picture Michael sitting with his head in his hands right there! Enter Brother Gilbert.  If you are curious about LDS temples, you can visit for more information.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Gone with the Pen

I'm still at ANWA's very fun retreat--"Gone with the Pen." I went out for a beautiful early morning walk. Fresh mountain air. Warm pine scent. Restful. Still except for the birds and squirrels. I turned around to retrace my steps back to the cabin, and a deer bounded off into the woods. A few yards farther and I came across a second deer calmly nibbling on a bush. She stared at me. I stared back. I pulled my phone out to snap a quick shot of proof, and  . . . I forgot to charge it last night and the battery was dead. I held my breath and smiled at the deer. She kept eating. I turned my phone off and on, and voila! I got a snippet of power and got this shot of her. I enlarged it some, but phone photos don't have the res to make them really big. I think you can see how bored she is with me.

I was fascinated watching her nibble at the bush. She kept stopping and staring at me. Okay. I get the hint. A little privacy, please. Wander back down the road with me. Breathe deeply. It's crisp and cool and perfect this morning. Leave the road and wander into the forest. Let your feet sink into the thick layer of pine needles and dead leaves.  More Michael and Leesie memories tomorrow, but today I'm gone with the pen.

Here's the cabin we're all sharing. Hilarious bunch of talented women here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hello from the Pines and Michael in Hong Kong

I left the cactus for the pine trees and am posting today from a cabin outside of Prescott and the ANWA retreat. It's beautiful, cool, and green. I need to take a hike so I can inhale the trees. I have to apologize--I couldn't post yesterday because our internet decided it wasn't in the mood the function. Yikes! So I need to catch up on the tour.

Yesterday, the tour returned to Bonnie Gets a Say for part two of the interview. She had some great questions on TAKEN BY STORM. Today, I revisit Margaret's blog for part three of my interview with her. Huge thanks to both Bonnie and Margaret for giving me so much time and space on their blogs. Please, stop by and check out the posts.

I'm heading out to take a walk--I'll bring my phone and take pictures so you can all see how beautiful it is up here.

The next scene in our scrapbook journey is Michael in Hong Kong. Add traffic, heat, humidity, the smell of Chinese spices, and boundless energy to feel like you're really there.

These are the seats on the Star Ferries. The following pictures are on the Star Ferries.

The Skyline taken from Mt. Victoria

This is the Victoria Park up at the top of the tram. Michael was supposed to go up here and took off to the Hong Kong Temple.

More tomorrow. I promise. Oh, the air is so fresh here and beautifully cool. I'm sitting on the back porch taking in the forest. I'm off for my walk. I promise pictures.