Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Taking a Yellow Car to a Deeper Faith

Family vacations. Gotta love them.

Last month during our trip to South Dakota, my kids and husband found amusement in playing Yellow Car.

Huh? you're thinking. I don't blame you.

According to LOST's bible (Wikipedia), "Yellow Car is the name of a game commonly played between passengers when travelling in a car. When a yellow car is spotted by any passenger, they call out 'yellow car' and lightly hit the other passenger. It is played often in the United Kingdom. There are other variations of this game such as 'Mini Punch' and 'Slugbug'"

Oh, the important things you'll learn from me.

Even if I weren't a writer, I'd love Wikipedia. 99.9% of the time Wiki has the answers to my questions. Trust me, I have lots of questions. While on our family vacation, I made a list of random things I needed to google when I got the chance. I'll spare you my page full of all the random things/people I investigated. But I can't help it. My curiosity causes my Google and Wikipedia addictions.

The reality is I google because I want to learn.

If I really wanted to impress you with my reading library, I'd show you my copy of ANNA KARENINA, which I only keep prominantly displayed in my office because I want people to think I've read it. Just between us, I have no intention of reading it. Call me reverse snobby if you will. I think I'm quite clever.

In the last ten-ish years, I've notice a snobbery between literary readers and pop fiction readers, between non-fiction readers and fiction readers, between those who think Wikipedia should count as a credible source and those who don't. Oh, this tangled world we live in, where many folks won't eat the unfamiliar cereal. If Mikey likes it, then why not expand your cereal..umm, reading horizons.

I recently finished reading Malcolm Gladwell's OUTLIERS. Great read! Easy read.

Now my motto is "Love a book? Then tell someone." So I went to church and told several folks. One person looked oddly at me and said, "How do you have time to read?"


With anything, if it's important to you, you will find the time.

This past July, as I was helping Judy Duarte put together the worship service for the RWA Faith, Hope & Love chapter's general meeting, I asked several published authors for a quote about a non-fiction book that has influenced her faith, family, or fiction. The number of those who said they didn't read non-fiction kinda surprised me. On the other hand, many others graciously and openly shared. Here's a few:

"Debbie Macomber's book, KNIT TOGETHER--DISCOVER GOD'S PATTERN FOR YOUR LIFE is one of my favorites. It's the story of how she overcame a variety of obstacles to become a writer. I found her positive approach to life incredibly inspiring."~Shelley Shepard Gray, author of the Sisters of the Heart series for Avon Inspire, 2009 IRCC finalist

"I love Joyce Meyers' book, BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND because it not only gets my mind in a goodplace to hear from God before pouring my imagination into a story, but her book sparks lots ofideas about what kinds of things I can use for my characters' spiritual struggle/conflict fortheir faith journeys within the stories."~Cheryl Wyatt, author A SOLDIER'S REUNION, Love Inspired

"I attended a lady's retreat this spring and the speaker spoke right into my heart. She taught from a book she co-authored, called HOLY HABITS, by Mimi Wilson and Shelly Cook Volkhardt. One of the habits is keeping an alphabetical address book - if you will - with all the names and attributes of God as I read through the Bible. I haven't gotten very far, but it's been fabulous to take my eyes off my own problems and see how big God is and how He meets me everywhere I go." ~Sunni Jeffers, author EYES ON THE PRIZE

"I'd have to recommend Beth Moore's book, GET OUT OF THE PIT. It's about how to get out of the "pit", AKA overcoming anger and desperation from past hurts. The book was inspired by Psalm 40, and encourages us to turn to God. The study guide was awesome. Very thought-provoking." ~Renee Ryan, author HANNAH'S BEAU, Love Inspired Historical

Each week in Inktropolis, we'll have a theme. Anything from cooking to travel, songs, formula for romance, types of love, and...well, who knows what'll catch our fancy. Our first theme--for those who haven't guessed already--is non-fiction books that have influenced our faith, family, and fiction. Yippy skippy! I know I'm itching in my chair as I anxiously await to read what my fellow Inkys have to say.

Then again, my dog who is sitting literally on my feet could have fleas. (Hi there, little fellow.)

Serious Question of the Day: What's the last non-fiction book you read? Did ya like it? Learn anything?

Non-Serious Question of the Day: When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

Leave a comment with your e-mail address included (include spaces or brackets around the "@" sign so Net spiders, etc can't phish your address) and we'll enter you in a daily drawing for prize.

Deadline for entry via the comment section of this post is Sept 4 at Midnight EST.


  1. The last nonfiction book I read--am reading--is Albion. It's an ancient name for England. Research. Maybe that doesn't count. Shepherding the Child's Heart. Huh? I don't have children. Nonetheless... I've read War and Peace and Crime and Punishment. That's enough Russian lit for one lifetime, thank you.

    lauriealice.eakes @ gmail . com

  2. Yay, Laurie Alice is in the house!
    Good to have you here.

    Once upon a time all my non-fiction books were horticultural, now they're all about writing. Current 'how-to' is the Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass. And I'm doing the One Year bible.

    Gina, my cat sends her love.

  3. Good morning! I left a wonderful comment yesterday about my 'get up and get moving' moment and details I'm sure you would've loved about my Sonicare toothbrush ... and then it flew into cyberworld and landed somewhere other than your comment section. Hope that's not indicative of my week.

    So, for today's lovely questions -- the last NF book I read was What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa Terkeust. Small book, but there's more to it than you might think -- really got me mulling over some things.

    When I first looked in the mirror this morning I thought I looked exactly like I felt -- that I needed more sleep!

    Glad to see the blog (thanks for telling me about it, Dina) and am looking forward to fun here. I'll be back! :-)

    leigh at leighdelozier dot com

  4. The non-fic I'm reading now is The Breakout Novel by Donald Maas. Gotta get in gear before the conference. Also have a devotion going.

    As for the mirror...let's just say I avoid the mirror at all costs first thing in the morning. In fact, I almost never look in a mirror if I'm just passing by. The only time is when I'm getting ready for the day usually. Now what that says about me, hmmm. I will say that the worse thing in the world are hotel bathrooms that put a full length mirror facing the toilet seat. Ugh!

  5. Non-serious: Oy, my hair!

    Serious: most recently I've been reading a women's devotional, but it hasn't wowed me. Before that, I read Kevin Leman's TURN UP THE HEAT, and I really enjoyed it. Nothing like a Christian sex book, lol! And yet I feel the need to point out that I was reading it to review it . . .

    In college we read about 80 non-fiction books for every fiction, so I got a little burned out on it. Everything from Plato to Tolstoy (ha! Not Anna Karenina though) to scientists and mathematicians . . . all of which greatly affected me. None of which has inspired me to keep reading them when it isn't required;-)

  6. Happy to see Leigh here. Hi, Leigh. Met her at Blue Ridge.

    Laurie Alice, glad we were able to accomodate you, welcome.

    Lisa, I really feel like reading The Breakout Novel took my book to a new level. The part I really applied was trying to tie all threads and themes together in one gut wrenching climax. God took over from there, and I'm thrilled with the results. Found an agent the first time I sent out the revised version.

    Serious question: I tend to read a few nonfiction at a time whereas I faithfully stick to one novel until completion.

    But, I'd like to metion 90 Minutes in Heaven, which I read, and didn't particularly like, but learned something tremendous from...wait...this is huge...THE IRRELEVANCY OF OUR OWN THEOLOGIES.

    I say that because in the book, a Baptist preacher who doesn't believe that miracles are for today is used to raise another Bapist preacher from the dead. Awesome irony, right. How in the world did he do this, you might ask. Very simple, he knew how to listen to God's still small voice, and he listened and obeyed when God spoke. He did, of course, take a moment to point out to God that Baptist preachers don't believe in raising people from the dead. God told him, pretty much, too bad, I want you to do it anyway.

    Non-serious question: "Not too fat today."

  7. Loving God with Your Whole Mind is capturing my and my child's attention right now. Insightful and TRUE, Elizabeth George encourages me to evaluate my thoughts according to His Word and not by my imaginings. Essential, to my way of thinking.

    No way am I looking in the mirror first thing! Yikes!

  8. Good morning, ladies! Y'all are so bright and chipper. I need at least a good hour to meanered into the bright-and-chipper waters.

    Since Laurie Alice mentioned Crime and Punishment, my oldest son is reading it. Required for his English class. Well, he was bemoaning the book on Sunday. Why? Well, who wants to read 250-ish pages of a guy thinking about killing someone. Cut to the chase and get it done with. The reader doesn't want to wait for a good literary death.

    Gotta go take my oldest daughter to get her hair cut. Will chat more later.

  9. Debbie Macomber's book, KNIT TOGETHER--DISCOVER GOD'S PATTERN FOR YOUR LIFE is one of the books I read this year in preparation for the ACFW Conference. I always try to read something that the keynote speaker has written. I love books that cover the subject of God's purpose for your life and really make you think about what that purpose is and this is one of those books. Mixed with great humor and encouragement I'd recommend it to anyone. The road to success is not easy.

    When I looked in the mirror this morning I thought one word: SUNBURN!

  10. I even like the design! Congratulations on a site well done.

  11. Good morning, everybody! I have honestly never heard of "yellow car." We pseudo-played "Fididdle," where if you see a car at night with only one headlight, the girl can lightly punch the boy, but the boy can kiss the girl. And I was taught by my mother! (gasp) As you can imagine, my brother and I chose to punch each other.

    Lisa, I'm reading The Breakout Novel, too. And I just picked up The Love That Keeps Us Sane, about Therese of Lisieux, by Marc Foley OCD. I am big on Therese, spiritual growth, and trying not to go insane, so this book should have it all.

    This morning I somehow managed to wash up, insert contacts, and even put on mascara without looking at myself in the mirror. It's better that way.

  12. My children used to play Slugbug while we were driving.

    Until I threatened their lives.

  13. On the way to and from the haircut, my daughter yellow-car punched me five or six times. Of course we did discuss whether or not a yellow corvette should count as two punches.

    On vacation, I saw a yellow bike. Seriously, how mant times do you see a yellow bike?! They refused to let me punch any of them.

    Kelly, thanks for liking the site's design. We credit Lisa. She's our Blog Czar. Hmm. Czarina? Czarette? Czaralicious?

  14. "...I google because I want to learn." Boy, if they had Google when I was in school, I'd have never finished a paper, but I'd have won every round of Trivial Pursuit and tried out for Jeopardy!

    I stopped reading non-fiction for the most part when I began overdosing on fiction as a means of learning how to write. Call it the immersion method.

    But I recently have been drawn back to non-fiction, and the book that I'm stuck in, studying one chapter per week, is Frank Damazio's The Attitude of Faith. I'm also studying Christopher Vogler's The Writer's Journey.

  15. Now I have another dozen or so book titles to add to my 'must read' list. Sigh! There are never enough hours in a day!

    This summer visiting the grandkids, I was introduced to 'yellow car'. Oh, my, I still have to bite my tongue to stop from blurting it out as we drive. It's like a tune that won't get out of your head!

    Great post, Gina.


  16. Wenda - thanks for posting the announcement about this blog. Great site!

    Non-fiction book: Into the Depths of God by Calvin Miller. (I was privileged to hear him speak at the last Florida Christian Writers Conference.)
    Although, technically, I've been spending more time lately "reading" the Chicago Manual of Style to prepare a non-fiction manuscript for final submission. Not exciting, but necessary!

    Non-serious question: "How could I live in Florida and still be so pale?"

  17. Most recent nonfiction book: I Became A Christian and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt, by Vince Antonucci. LOL funny and heartrending all at the same time. Currently reading Dr. Beverly Rose's book "So Close, I Can Feel God's Breath."

    First thought upon encountering the mirror this morning: "What the heck, did I sleep hanging upside down?"

    Slugbug has been banned from our vehicles as it became less of a fun and playful road game and more of a way to inflict serious bodily harm on one's siblings.

    I'm at work, and I should stop fooling around!

  18. I'm in the midst of two non-fiction books right now, but the last I finished reading was "Columbine." Fascinating and heartbreaking.

    As for the mirror, this morning the first thing I thought was, "I need a trim." Relating to my hair, of course :+}

  19. I don't read many non-fiction books but this past spring I became a Thomas Nelson book blogger and the deal is they send me free books and I review them. So, the first and last non-fiction book I've ever reviewed is Reflections of God's Holy Land which you'll get to read here very soon.

    I'll add that my 2nd non-fiction book from Thomas Nelson is What's He Really Thinking. Hubby raised his brows when I opened the pkg for that one. LOL But I don't think I'll get to it until after the ACFW conf in Denver.

    As for the non-serious question:
    my eyes were drawn to a spot of something on the neckline of my t-shirt. Heh.

    Excellent post, Gina.

  20. Let's see if I can get a comment to stick- Gina, if you won't read KARENINA, how are you going to understand PLACES FAR FROM ELLESMERE by Aritha van Herk?
    Or did you read Aritha's book already and it put you off Tolstoy for life?My yellow lab, Jezebel, likes your black lab.

    Good BLOT - short for blogspot!

  21. When we were kids, we used to play the game, only it was VW Beetle. No punching, just had to yell it out first. Most firsts on the trip won the game.

    Last NF book read: Jack Whyte, Forty Years in Canada. He is a Canadian, born in Scotland, who came to Canada in 1969 as a teacher. He dumped teaching in favour of storytelling, mostly in narrative verse and doing an annual Robbie Burns show every year across the country to celebrate the Scottish bards birthday on January 25th. He will be a presenter at the Surrey International Writers Conference in October that a number of writers from the Saskatchewan Romance Writers will be attending. Jack Whyte has written seven novels in a series about Arthurian England (plus another half dozen others). I have just started the first one, The Skystone. (Forgive me, you didn't ask what fiction I'm reading.) From his memoir, I learned that sometimes we take for granted where our talents lie. Whyte had grown up always being fascinated with words and telling stories, and never thought he could make a living at it until he tried.

    If I happen to glance in the mirror in the morning, more likely than not I'll say, "What's my grandmother doing in my bathroom?"


  22. Great post Gina. Non-fiction book I'm reading? National Geographic Traveler: Provence and the Cote d' Azur. Non-serious questions: When I looked in the mirror this morning, my first thought was that I looked like my grandmother. My second thought was that I'd better go back to bed and get up again.

  23. The last non-fiction book I read was Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore.

    Changed my life.

    I have also read Same Kind of Different as Me by Melissa Faye Greene.

    I will never again look at orphans and AIDS the same way.

    CRead4 [@] prodigy.net

  24. Oops! Meant to write, There Is No Me Without You by Melissa Fay Green.

  25. I am way behind in reading my blogs, but I have to answer the questions!

    Serious: With The Armies of the Tsar: A British Girl in War and Revolution. It's the diary of a Brit named Florence Farmborough who signed up with the Russian Red Cross during WW 1. It's research, but also incredibly fascinating. She was an amateur photographer too, and her descriptions are incredible.

    Non-serious: My hair didn't completely collapse while I slept!


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