Living the life in “Rivers of Wind”

Growing up in Southeastern Colorado gave me a cunning grip on the reality that the wind does blow. Rivers of Wind, written by Gary Penley revealed the paths of the wind. Escaping the wind was not an option. You survived it. You learned to thrive through it. Or you defied it. There was no escape.

From stories of growing up on the prairie, to lanterns about shipboard adventures, Gary Penley writes with an authority he learned well from the man who raised him. He called him Dad.

George BlizzardGeorge Blizzard was the fiercely determined man who conjured up a life on the prairie against the odds. He fought through the horrors of living on a land where strength and self-preservation were required, unappreciated, and often mistaken as bravado.

A stout man in his youth, Blizzard didn’t cotton to bullies and he eliminated a bully in my hometown. The cost ran cold in the dirt streets of cowtown, but rumors spread like wildfire. In the country, men heard of Blizzard, repeated his name, and  honored he man who had taken the bully down. Near half a century later, his name was still honored in our home.

A lifetime after that battle, my mother called one morning. “Jan, there’s a book signing in town. It’s Gary Penley, he wrote a book about growing up here, and George Blizzard. I want to go. Will you go with me?” I could hear the thrill in her voice. I couldn’t NOT attend this book signing, or reading. I had no clue who Gary Penley was, but I knew about George Blizzard.

Gary and Elaine Penley

Gary and Elaine Penley

I attended the book signing with my mother, and a good round number of the citizens of our fair community, including several of my favorite teachers. It seemed I was one of few who didn’t know Gary Penley. Although, I’m certain I’d heard his name before, and I did know he’d graduated from Lamar High School, I wasn’t familiar with him.

By the end of the evening, I’d been told many times, “You should look him up and get to know him. You’re a writer too, this would be an amazing connection for you.”

I took them all seriously, I met him that night. I introduced myself, and we’ve become friends through the years. Our worldviews are similar, and the connection we have as writers carries us places we might never have gone without it. But the one connection neither of us can break is the river of wind running through our heritage.

It’s there…

In the quiet hours of morning, or the stillness of dusk, I feel the chill. The river runs deep.

Visit Gary’s page on Amazon, buy his books. You’ll meet the kind of man that George Blizzard raised… A good one.

Always, I appreciate the friendship Gary Penley and I have built through the years. God bless you, my friend.

It’s all about what you read

Do you fill your mind with motivated, inspirational reads, or junk? There are a lot of amazing novels out there that prove a point, drive the motivation home and lead you to achieve your goals – yeah, even fiction.

Think that’s pretty crazy?

Me too.

But I love to read. LOVE to read.

So, I’m always reading anything I can get my hands on and most of it’s pretty good.

Imagine for a moment, you’re caught up in the emotional fray of a bad romance, one person is slamming the other one’s head in the pavement, just beating the holy hell out of them, and as the story moves forward, the bad guy realizes that isn’t right. He starts trying to make amends and really, truly makes a difference in his own life, bringing his reality back to some saner moments and starts making up for all the wrong he’s done. Repentance is a sure footed event, when it happens. There is no doubt, the sinner has come to Jesus.

Are you coming 2But the story, the part of the book that brings you to your knees, to tears, and fills your heart with motivation, hope and inspired acceptance of this nasty, evil person is the realization that he’s as human as any other. There must be some good in him, because in the midst of all the evil you witnessed from him, you saw him be kind to a child. His kindness was almost unaccepted, due to the evil in his nature. But that one little, tiny moment of kindness, made this character acceptable as a part of the human race.

That’s the part of the book that is inspired.

Without that moment, the whole book would have been useless. Just another brutal force of reality hitting home with no justification, no righteous moments, and no redemption.

But a spark of right and goodness makes the whole book worth reading, and the character worthy of God’s precious grace. Aren’t you glad you read that part?

Forgiveness comes from such moments as these.

Maybe not in this lifetime.

But in the eternal existence that is our life, there can be forgiveness, because of moments such as these.

You Can Do This

Life isn’t always puddin’ and pie. Sometimes… It’s a desperate need for coffee, up all night caring for sick babies, and wishing you weren’t doing this alone. And you’re not.

The thought has crossed my mind, as a writer, that things happen to writers for the specific purpose of giving us things to write about…

We have adventures in life that nobody else has, and our very existence is breathed out in words. We dare to write about things most people might want to forget, because we want everyone to remember.  Writers choose to share their lives, their experiences, and their solutions.

To encourage, or offer confidence, the motivation to write comes from within the writer.

We breathe, we write. It’s a given.

White Space

The key to good writing is margin, or white space, as we call it in the publishing fields. Do the words fit on the page? Are there too many? Are there too few? Is there enough space to rest the eye? Is the page too wide? Too narrow? Or should there be more graphic interest?

When I first read Tricia’s writing, her first blog, even though it was after her husband had passed, I remember words filled every crevice. They were overflowing the page. There was an energy about them, as if she couldn’t write them fast enough. She flowed through the words, grasping at life as if she were afraid to lose it.

And I felt the same way…

My mother had passed away in October, and I couldn’t absorb enough of LIFE. I remember that desperate feeling of clutching life to me, and holding it tight, as if it might slip away.

Then, with the realization that by the sheer desperation of holding on too tight, I was smothering it out. I began to let go.

Along side Tricia, in some parallel universe, I learned about White Space, margin, and boundaries. I learned to let go, and allow others to live. In the process, I found myself living too.

I found the life I thought I’d lost, and I began to regroup, grasp my own reality, and regroup. When her latest title was released, I recognized the tone… Confidence, my word for the year, revealed in the tone of exuberance, a reminder that “We’re not alone!” There’s ALWAYS someone there. Across the aisle. At another table. In the same coffee shop. Drinking my favorite brew… Someone is there, close by.

Margin, It Can Separate, or Bring You Closer


Sometimes it just takes confidence to look around and find someone to share your moment. Tricia shares the secret in her book of finding the confidence to ‘do it alone’ and know…

You Can Do This From Amazon:
Our culture as a whole, and often the Christian culture in particular, discourages confidence in women. Tricia Lott Williford explores how confidence and self-awareness can be a path toward stronger and richer faith. She offers stories and strategies to inspire and lead women to develop the confidence to stand firm in the face of the blows, losses, and disappointments in life.

Readers of this book will think, laugh, and gain confidence to do what is set before them. They will feel hopeful, courageous, strengthened, encouraged, present, and confident. And finally, readers will be equipped to implement simple strategies to inspire contagious confidence in themselves and others.

* * *

The exciting part of reading this book is that you can actually read all three and follow Tricia’s journey back from losing her husband in her first book “And Life Comes Back” or the next book, where she regains some normalcy in life. “Let’s Pretend We’re Normal” gives insight to life.

* * *

About the Author

(from her blog)

I’m pretty active on social media, so much so that my son once completed this sentence in preschool: My Mom’s job is: Facebook.  True story.

You can find me on—

My Blog:

Facebook Page: The Thoughts and Writings of Tricia Lott Williford

Twitter: @TriciaWilliford

Instagram: TriciaLottWilliford

Look me up. Let’s be friends. Drop me a line, if you want.  I read every word.  I am delighted to meet you.

When Red Heads with Curls Write Books…

…they title them “Let’s Pretend We’re Normal” and think people will read them.

Let's pretend we're normal by Tricia Lott Williford

Click through to purchase

And they may be right! At least, this red head has my number. She knows I’ll read her book, I’ll write her up in my blog, and I’ll share the title of her book. It’s almost like I’m forced to do so by knowing her for the past five plus years, who could help it?

Nope, the book isn’t wrong side up, it’s all upright and dare I say it… normal.

Tricia Lott Williford broke teeth on her first book about two years ago, brought tears to my eyes more times than I can count… Okay, reality check, the girl made me cry-out-loud more times than I care to remember throughout the writing of the book, and then the reading of the book. And now – she pretends to be normal.

But still, she knows I’m going to READ her book, even if… I have to buy one. Yeah, I’ve already pre-ordered my first copy.

Author Tricia Lott Williford

Find more of Tricia’s books here

So what does Ms Tricia write about? She writes about life as a single mom. About losing the love of her life in a shocking pre-Christmas case of the flu in 2010, instead of bickering with her children over which present they got to open on Christmas Eve. About living life with the pain and agony that comes from life changing, horrific loneliness, as a result of the trauma that sends a girl scrambling for her pillow instead of the door in the morning as the kids ready themselves for school. About life. She writes about LIFE.

And as she writes, “and life comes back” – it does. Life does come back. And she begins to feel like there may be real life available, and she begins to pretend she’s normal…

Kind of like a million other single moms…

Single moms who may or may not have lost their husbands to death, but they’re busy raising their children, and too busy to worry so much about being normal.

Instead, they just pretend…

Don’t miss her amazing book. I haven’t read it yet, but I know – it will be amazing.

How Would Jesus Do Business?

How Would Jesus Do BusinessLooking for the ultimate way to start a business? As a writer, I can’t imagine a more appropriate story-teller for this concept than Jesus, the historic teller of parables and truths who remains the power of the free world, even 2000 years after his parting. And yet, as a believer, I’m aware of his presence ever more, and more…

When you start the process of building a business, you know you need a mentor – an ageless guide – who understands everything you need to know about business. No doubt about it, you need the Lord.

But there’s so much more you need…

An understanding and comprehension of what the Bible might say about being an entrepreneur?

If you’re out there hanging up your shingle and wondering how you can build a better business, I’ll tell you, nothing is better than a business built on the principles and values of Jesus Christ. HWJDB offers whole concept business principles based on key verses and values found in the Bible, as well as a foundation of Godly principles adhered to by ethical entrepreneurs the world over.

How you do business matters to more than just you… 

Your clients want to know they’re getting the best deal for their money. But they also want to know they’re being charged fair market value for work completed.

Business to business, professionalism matters. You’ll make a huge impression on your business associates if you learn the secrets to professional business exchanges and negotiations based on these ethical principles.

The reality – if you want your business to be UNSTOPPABLE consider the ethical values and results of building your business on the HWJDB model?

Kevin CullisKevin Cullis sets out to share Biblical Principles for building a solid business with ethical values, profitable precepts, and designed-in-place elements of the Biblical power of upholding righteous ideals in the workplace, resulting in a powerful business model that works in today’s world. His thoughts are tied together with Biblical citations of verses that drive home the incremental steps of doing business the way Jesus taught his disciples, and the people of Nazareth, quit effectively instructing them to go out and multiply, be profitable and support the church.

Get your copy of How Would Jesus Do Business today!

For more information about How Would Jesus Do Business – be sure to visit the HWJDB website – Click for HWJDB!