Span Seas and Secrets with Patti!
Hello, reading and writing friends! Four projects here in 2013 keep me away from here more than I'd like, but stop by every other Friday for a snippet of writing advice, a psalm, a hymn, or a picture of live in everyday Normal.


May 28th, 2013


Time to catch up on the novel you’re reading…or writing.

Time to catch up on the prayers you’ve been meaning to say.

Time to tell everyone you know about Jesus. If necessary, add words. 

Time to visit old friends…and make new ones.

Time to go through that basement box of letters…and then write an old-school letter. Stationery required!

Time to get close to nature…and let nature get close to you!

Summer’s about deciding what you finally have time for…while you’re still in this earth season of life.

What plans have etched their way onto your summer Daytimer…onto your heart? My prayer is for your actions in June, July, and August 2013 to find a forever place in your memory…and to be counted as treasures in heaven above.

Rejuvenation–Just in Time

April 28th, 2013


                            (LeTissier Designs)

With an Impressionist’s thick brush strokes, God paints Easter egg pinks and lavenders on newly budded trees. Bunnies frolic in dewy grass. Doves coo to their mates an age-old song.

Every burst of color proclaims God’s resurrection. Rejuvenation. Truth. 

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you…(Job 12:7)

Dear friends, in what area of your life do you need to see God’s rejuvenation? Has “sight knowledge” of God’s resurrective powers worked its way into your heart?


(Robert Copple, artist)

This April, may God tune your ears to the songs of spring. May your life be renewed, allowing you to serve and proclaim the Good News of Christ the Savior as never before!

He Is Risen! Hallelujah, Christ the King!!!

March 27th, 2013


The tomb stands cold and empty. He is risen! Christ sits on His throne and will return!

May the wonder, the mystery, the joy, the miracle of  Easter transform your soul!

Have a blessed celebration, family, friends, and writing soulmates!

Spring Dreaming

March 1st, 2013

Winter teased us here in Normal. Little snow fell in January. February…until last week.

Snowmen appeared in pristine white yards, winking button eyes and waving stick arms. Luscious big flakes kissed rosy cheeks.

Then salt and chemicals and tire tracks and warmer temperatures gutted and rutted and ruined the beauty and left us slogging and slipping and shivering and daffodil dreaming.

Do you imagine bird chirps and insect whirrs and a life sans the great Midwest coat and sweater and scarf and hat and gloves bundling process? Does spring green color your soul?

Regardless of the weather, Jesus provides a year-round reminder of resurrection by His rise from the tomb. With saving faith in Him, we can spring dream for eternity…and be assured that it’s not a dream of fancy and fairytale. 


Through Hiss light, Jesus provided our path to eternal Light. As winter winds whip and snarl, isn’t this the most glorious news?

Agape Love Knows No Boundaries

February 13th, 2013

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).

Red hearts and a Cupid’s arrow mark this as the season to tell loved ones how much they mean. Have you sent flowers? Bought chocolate? Tucked away a Neti-Pot for the practical one in your clan?

When Jesus chose to die on the cross, he loved in a way that spanned time and opened eternal gates that would otherwise be barred. Jesus saved us, by His decision to come to earth as a helpless infant, from hell.

Agape love dispenses with things that money can buy, things that stretch the budget.

Agape love allows muscles to be torn, wounds to bleed.

Agape love spans time and space to touch you and me. 

During this season of love, remember the One Who died so that you may, not just survive but LIVE, eternally, gloriously, and pass on His love to others, one day at a time. One hour at a time. Even on February 14.

Something Old, Something New…Not Just for Brides!

January 31st, 2013


Brides get the admonishment to wear something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. Authors would be well served to apply these tenets to their work.

Everyone needs a touch of the blues, whether it’s a la N’Awlins jazz or a melancholy mood. Seek out emotion, and run the gamut. Your readers will be grabbing Kleenex…and thanking you!  

The Ecclesiastical writer said it best: There is nothing new under the sun. Learn the difference between borrowing, inspiration…and plagiarism. Find authors you like, and study how they deal with tricky issues, like transitions and dialogue.

God made you in a fearful and wonderful way, and gave you DNA squiggles unlike any others in the universe. Craft your unique voice, and tell the stories He lays on your heart. Find that “something new” that you can add to the world’s collection of books.

Les Miserables

Something old. After a recent viewing of the 2012 film version of ”Les Miserables,” I pulled my dusty copy of Hugo’s masterpiece off the shelf. The binding groaned and shed yet another page in protest. I’m on Page 191 of a bizarre system which repaginates at least three times within the volume. So far, Hugo’s broken most of “the rules” on good writing…and I am reading while eating lunch, while getting ready for bed–as often as I can grab a minute! Hugo’s teaching me about captivation with characters, about interweaving history into the plot. Oh, the things we can learn from the classics! Yes, I will borrow a thing or three from Hugo!

In this tumultuous literary world, dare to dabble, to mimic, to emote! God notices that you’re doing your utmost for His Highest. 

Do you struggle with the rules of writing? Which tenet of these four is hardest for you? Readers, do you like the same,old, same, old or search for an exciting new name?

Cowed by Commas

January 17th, 2013

“I spent the morning putting in a comma and the afternoon removing it.”
(Gustave Flaubert)

Gustave Flaubert

Critique partners bleed red over your pages. You edit. Condense. Expand.

Your agent puts in her two cents–more like a C note, with her pull:)

You search, scan, globalize, emphasize.

Print out “one more draft” and find TYPOS!!!!

For heaven’s sake, when can you raise your writer’s victory flag, or white flag, depending on your POV?

To offer your best to your readers, and to the Lord, there’s only two good options, aren’t there?

I. Edit until you empathize with Flaubert.

2. Edit until your Daytimer says DEADLINE!

In the meantime, don’t be cowed by commas or stumped by semicolons. Treat these punctuation marks with the respect they deserve.

Your readers will thank you!!!

Do you struggle with finishing a manuscript well or, well, finishing the manuscript?

Do you worry over every little sentence or let things blow and go?

Do you get ticked when you find misused colons, poorly turned phrases, or even, gasp, typos in a book? Do you circle them in red?

2013–What’s Luck Got To Do With It?

January 7th, 2013


We’ve stowed the lovely presents in suitable new places–except for the chocolate, which is disappearing faster than snow on a warm sunny day! We ate a New Year’s Day feast and basked in the love of family on January 1st. Now work hollers from Word files, and I’m answering. Our church has kicked off a ”stand in the gap” resolve, asking each of us to pray fifteen-plus minutes every day. 

God has big things in store for all of us in 2013…and it has nothing to do with good luck, or bad luck, for that matter, despite the prominence of the number thirteen in our new year’s date. 

An online dictionary defines luck as, “Success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions.” Our Christian view, clearly delineated by Bible passages (such as Romans 8:28, Lamentations 3:37-38, Proverbs 16:1-4) teach that nothing can happen to us in this life without God’s allowance…and forordaining. God doesn’t leave ANYTHING, not even the finding of a four-leaf clover–to chance!

As you go about your business and play in 2013, guard you heart and tongue about use of the word luck. There’s really nothing to it, contrary to popular thought!

The Old, Old Story

December 15th, 2012



11. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ [a] the Lord. 

12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (Excerpts from Luke 2)

Whether you use elaborate means or simply point toward the work over which others have labored, this Christmas, tell the old old story!!!

Have a blessed season!


Think Globally to Transform your Gift-Giving…and Your Heart

December 1st, 2012

“What do YOU want for Christmas?”
“Here’s my list!”
“We’ve gotta get more. There’s only six gifts for her.”
“What can I get my in-laws? They have everything!”"
“He’s so hard to please. When I get an idea, I learn he’s already bought it!”

Does the materialism of Christmas burden, not just your checking account, but your heart? Have these dialogue snippets hit a bit too close to home?

God has used an organization to transform our gift-giving…and our hearts. Christmas has become a joy rather than a burden! Why? A child will learn to read and write in honor of my schoolteacher mom. A friend that eats vegan will provide a garden for a family that’s hungry. 

Samaritan’s Purse pulled us Lacys from a Scrooge-ish view to, “Can You believe What God Can Do?” Gift-giving went from ho-hum to FUN!!!

We have we bought? Sports equipment so kids can enjoy the simple act of playing ball…Clean water for a family…A fruit tree…or was it a garden????? Fun, fun!

Don’t have much? With Samaritan’s Purse, YOU choose the amount of your gift. The sports equipment suggested price? $8! Hot meals for the hungry? $7. 

Another advantage to Samiritan’s Purse? Purchases can be made on line OR over the phone (for those of us who desire that “real voice” connection.) Just dial 1-800-353-5957. Gift cards are sent in honor of or in memory of that special person on your list!

Think globally, guys! Transform your gift-giving. You just may find God’s given you a new heart for Christmas!!!!!

Do you get tired of the commercialism in Christmas? What measures have you taken to fight back?