Monday, April 21, 2008

Jackass Mail Run

To let you know how exciting things are in the part of California where I live, the Jackass Mail Run made the front page of the local newspaper--complete with photographs. The photo was of the posse that rode into town, guns a blazing, before the mail wagon's arrival. It they'd taken the photo just a bit lower, my booth would have been there, complete with my books and right in front of the dentist's office.

Not only that, an article about the Mail Run was on the second page of the Fresno Bee--with another photo. Oh, yes, there's plenty of bad stuff that goes on, but it's refreshing to read about something so family oriented instead of robberies and murders. Well--mostly family oriented. We did have a group of dance hall "girls" strutting around town (middle-aged girls), and some belly dancers who performed in front of the pizza palace.

Actually, the whole event is pretty mild compared to the "old days." Twenty plus years ago when we first moved here, the Jackass Mail Run meant lots of drunkeness as the afternoon progressed, by evening the deputies hauled dozens of drunks off to jail. We would go early, partake of the food, watch some of the entertainment, then go home before it got too rowdy. We always missed the actual Mail Run. It was fun to be right where the shooting went on--even if it was hard on the ears--and see the mail stolen from the mail wagon--then the bandits shot and the mail rescued to be delivered. the few yards to the post office.

And yes, I did sell some of my books--actually more than what I've sold at some booksignings.

Times change, not always for the better, but in the case of the Jackass Mail Run--this one has definitely improved.

Last night and this morning, I enjoyed a special house guest, Willma Gore, a writing friend and mentor. She's on a tour for her latest book, Long Distance Grandparenting. She's been gone from home for a month, traveling from place to place, making appearances at writing groups and libraries, even a senior citizen's home, and staying with old friends along the way. Quite an endeavor for an 80 plus woman--but she didn't seem the least bit phazed.

That's the news from Springville.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Looking Forward

This has been one of those weeks where I spent most of my time doing work that I no longer enjoy. For 20 years I've been the training chairperson for an association for providers of care to the developmentally disabled. I've arranged the classes, found the teachers, taken care of logistics, bought the supplies, done all the paperwork, and taught many of the classes myself.

I'm tired. It's time for me to spend more time on my writing and the promotion of my books and having some fun with my family. I gave my resignation, but will finish out this year.

So I look forward to the fun things. On Saturday I'll have a booth at the Jackass Mail Run in Springville. This is an annual event, kicking off Rodeo week. Between 50 and 100 horses and riders will escort the mail wagon from Porterville to Springville, where bandits will try to rob the mail and gunfire will break out. It's fun and noisy. Hopefully I'll sell some books and have the opportunity to visit with folks I havent seen for awhile.

On Sunday, good friend and fellow author, Willma Gore is coming for a short visit. She taught me more about writing than anyone. We'll have a good time catching up with each other.

On Wednesday, hubby and I take off for Las Vegas. First we'll visit my sister and husband. Then on Thursday, the Public Safety Writers Association's conference begins. I've worked on it and looked forward to it since the last one.

Looking forward helps when I'm to busy to do the writing I need to do.

More after my Las Vegas trip.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Lacresha Hayes Visits Today

The Rape of Innocence , by Lacresha Hayes, is the testimony of a child growing up mostly without her mother and going through incest, rape and molestation. It's a story of a child who grew up too fast, enduring the worst of hardships. She details the struggles of growing up without God and then being disillusioned in the churches by hypocrisy.

This book chronicles the life of a child who became a woman of God, business owner, author, and wife to a pastor. What should have been impossible, God made possible!

This book is for every woman who knows what pain feels like. This book is for every
Christian who has been hurt or disappointed in the ministry. Come share the tears and the joys of triumphant victory.

The Rape of Innocence: Taking Captivity Captive by Lacresha Hayes
ISBN: 978-0-9798154-0-9
Retail price: $19.95

Blurb: A renowned minister and business owner deals with issues of rape, molestation, disillusionment, domestic violence, and abandonment, showing that even the worst situations can be turned to good by taking authority over the victim mentality and trusting God to use all things for good.

The author, Lacresha Hayes, is the President of Living Waters Publishing Company and an author of seven books. She is the founder of Christian Vitality magazine, the wife of Pastor Lensey Hayes, and founder of Compassionate Healing Ministries. She and her husband have a 17 year old son and are currently praying for a successful pregnancy. She says, “I work hard, pray harder and couldn't live without Jesus Christ in my life. I am a survivor of physical and sexual abuse and often speak out about those issues. My passion is helping people overcome the circumstances of their pasts so that their future looks brighter.”

She goes on to say, “I would say that I am truly a work in progress. I've seen myself come through a metamorphosis that I cannot explain except to say that God's Will is perfect. I'm one of those who have done it all, and what I hadn't done, I've seen. I'm easy to talk to, and try each day to be easy to relate to. Yet, I will never compromise God's Word, not even for myself!”

Excerpt from The Rape of Innocence

"Molestation happens across cultural lines. It happens across racial lines. It isn’t based upon intelligence. It isn’t based upon financial health. It may seem to happen more in poverty-stricken communities, but I can assure you that most of it just goes unreported.

I found out the hard way that molestation isn’t just a black thing or a poor thing. It is a perversion thing. It happens to God’s called and chosen people, and it happens to the average Jane Doe in an average home. God created each of us with purpose. I don’t believe the enemy would waste his time tempting people to molest or rape a person who has no destiny and no call upon their life. Because of the very nature of the crime, it can be nothing less than a device of the enemy, one of his strongest weapons.

Someone reading this book may think that they have never been molested when indeed they have been. A molester is a molester long before he touches his first victim. He is first guilty in his thoughts. Some men never actually touch their victims. They just think and fantasize about touching. They rent the videos of children with adults engaging in sex acts. Some molesters do it with the words of their mouths. They talk filth to children. They take advantage of their positions in those children’s lives. They open a door that should not be opened by planting filthy word images in young minds. Some of you haven’t actually been touched, but you have been molested.

That family reunion opened my eyes to a lot of things. Because of that repressed memory, this book exists. God had to allow a series of events to happen to make me go back and deal with my past. This testimony was freed while I was in jail.

I was arrested in August 2005 for old fines and failure to appear warrants. While I was in jail, God kept bringing the memory of what my great grandfather had done back to my mind. It seemed to torment me. It had been 2 years since I first remembered and here it was, still cropping up.

One night as I was praying, God spoke to me in a whisper and told me that I would be in jail until I learned obedience. He would never specifically tell me what I needed to do because I already knew. I was in jail for 44 days, skirting the issue, hitting and missing at what He wanted from me. Finally, I put pencil to paper and began to write. With every paragraph I was stopping and crying. It was dreadful! I didn’t feel prepared for the suffering!

With every page I completed, the family reunion kept coming back up. The answer had been right before my eyes. The reason the memory continually resurfaced was that God was telling me to share my testimony with the world. He wanted to use my story to break heavy yokes of oppression, depression, worthlessness and anger off of others. In my own family, rape had happened… not only to me, but to others that I loved. I was angry. I was really angry at the devil for the first time and God helped me to channel that anger onto these pages.

My family reunion was the genesis of my assignment, my destiny. I was called to bring the light of exposure to the hidden world of familial incest and perversion inside and outside of the Church, and to bring encouragement to men and women around the world who have been victimized and disillusioned. Though this call is not easy, I wouldn’t trade it for anything."

There is a powerful message in this book. Ms. Hayes bravely told her story in hopes of helping others.