Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Guest blog with Debby Mayne

God's love is abundant in our lives, even when we don’t see His hand. Such is the case with Mandy in Portrait of Love, the third of my West Virginia books, when she doesn't get the promotion she wants and her needy sister returns after failing as an actress and giving up in Hollywood. To make matters worse, her new boss Tony is related to the owner of the company, so his promotion seems totally unfair. Mandy isn't sure if the fact that Tony is attractive is a good thing, since she has to see him everyday. At least she still enjoys her job—taking pictures at a children's portrait studio. And she's good at it, too!

I love writing children into my stories because they can lighten the mood, add a different perspective, and show the character of the adults around them. Not all grownups know what to say or do around kids, so the little munchkins also add opportunities for comedy.

My own children were hilarious, and some of the memories from their childhood gave me tons of material to sprinkle into my stories later. As a mom struggling to make ends meet, I tried to take advantage of portrait specials and coupons at the photography studios nearby, so we could go freeze moments of their lives…and then do it again six months later. I remember and appreciate one of the children's photographers who pulled all kinds of tricks out of her hat to get my kids to smile.

The heroine in Portrait of Love knows how important these pictures are, so she tries to help the parents every way she can, just like the photographer who snapped shots of my kids. As Tony's appreciation of Mandy's skills grows, so does his attraction. Mandy learns more about Tony's heart, and she realizes God's plan for her is so much greater than anything she could have dreamed. Every once in a while, something happens that makes Mandy wonder how everything could possibly work out. Each challenge is followed by a blessing.

Many times when I think I know what's best for me, I'm set back a few steps, only to find out later that the Lord had something so much sweeter in mind for me. I have to constantly remind myself to pray for His will rather than mine. Some of this is reflected in Mandy throughout Portrait of Love. Unlike Mandy, I don't have a needy sister, but I've had family members rely on me at times when I could barely stand on my own. As time goes on, I realize that my challenges are often followed by blessings.

Question of the Day: In this digital world, film and photograph prints are becoming a thing of the past. So, do you print out pictures or have them printed somewhere, or do you put them on CDs and jump drives and view them on computer screens?


  1. I must confess, I do them on the computer.
    My aunt would be horrified!
    She loves the printed photos..she's great at photography.
    I can't wait to find this book...it looks like a great one!

  2. Up until just a couple of years ago, I did it the old fashioned way: Snap the pix and take them to CVS to be developed. Finally, a friend gave me the gift of my first digital camera, insisting that I step into the new millennium. :-) She had no idea what she was starting in me! I drive people crazy snapping photos all the time now. My poor dog takes off every time the camera comes out (and then I surprise her with my cell phone camera).

    I enjoyed your commentary on your new book. It looks really good, and I'm looking forward to reading it. In another life, I was a photographer myself, and I spent about six months taking children's portraits at J.C. Penney!

  3. For years I used 35mm camera's, but then my husband gave me a digital camera for my birthday. Best gift ever!
    So, now I don't have to wait for days to get my precious photographs I just head out to Wal-Mart and have 'em printed up right there before my eyes from my SD card. Isn't technology great?!
    I download them on my computer, too.

  4. Tamela Hancock MurrayJuly 20, 2010

    You're so right -- children are adorable in real life and in books! I confess to keeping my treasures in all three mediums -- print, CD, and memory card -- until I run out of memory on the card, that is. Digital photography is such a gift since now we can see how our pictures will look before we print, and I save tons of money not having unflattering pictures printed in the first place. Remember when you went to a photo studio and had to wait two weeks for proofs to come back? The last time I went to a studio, the whole process was completed in one trip.

    Anyway, great job on this post! I have this book in my "take" pile for an upcoming trip, and I can't wait to read it! Hugs to you!

  5. I take my pictures with a digital camera. Put them on my computer until I'm ready to have them printed. Then I either take them on a SD card to the store, or upload them via the web and have them delivered to the store.
    If I haven't the money quite yet to print pictures, I leave them on my computer and view them that way.
    Also, I try every so often to make a back-up of my pictures so that if I haven't gotten them printed yet and something happens to my computer I'll have a copy.

  6. AnonymousJuly 20, 2010

    Love this blog, and cannot wait to read this book! I take pictures of my daughter, family and friends - and everything else - with both my digital camera and my old 35mm film camera. I love being able to take many photos and choose to print only the best, after I've cropped and enhanced them. I also keep them on the camera, on CDs and post them. I cherish candid captured memories as well as structured ones. Children bring such blessings to one's life.

  7. I have a great little digital camera that I carry in my purse. I love it! I keep all my photos on my computer.

  8. My pictures are scattered everywhere--on my computer, at Photobucket, at Flickr, in my camera, on my cell phone, in photo albums, and in boxes under my bed. I need to organize them.