My father, engineer

This slide rule belonged to my dad, the engineer. Eldred W. Hough, although he was the oldest son, wasn’t named for his father, Thomas C. Hough. Instead, his younger brother got the name Thomas Hough. So, why did the younger one get the father’s name? That’s kind of odd. Dad’s names came from his mother’s […]

Thomas Hough, immigrant and entrepreneur

Thomas Hough, an enterprising young man, was born in 1844 into a lower-class family in Yorkshire, England, and didn’t like his prospects. His education stopped at the sixth grade, and his dad was a wagon driver. He got a job at the local  cotton mill as a lift operator, but whenever there was a pay […]

Granny Jennie’s mother, stuck on the prairie

This is about Granny Jennie’s mother Mary Jane, who dominated the Illinois prairie around her in the late 1800s but may have longed for a trip to … Switzerland? My great-grandmother, Mary Jane Robertson, always wanted to go to Switzerland, or so I imagine. So she painted this fantastic landscape with a crooked chalet and […]

Granny Jennie, a genteel lady

Phyllis Wheeler's family heirlooms

My Granny Jennie, born in 1885, hand-painted this pitcher in an art class in college. She had a college degree, rare for her generation, especially for women. I remember her the best of all my grandparents, because she traveled south to live with us in the winters when I was small. She spent plenty of […]

My grandfather, a surveyor

I am sorting stuff from the attic and basement. I ran across my grandfather’s precision surveying instrument. Later on I knew his wife Granny Jennie — she was as mild-mannered as they come. But I never knew Grandpa Tom. He died before I was born. I’ve heard that Grandpa Tom could be hard to get […]

Tag! You’re it!

I agreed to be part of a blog hop, but I’ve decided to change the rules (because I don’t want to talk about myself right now). Let’s play tag! Blog tag! I’m tagging these inspirational writers’ blogs as places for you to explore and be blessed. And I hope those who receive this “tag” will […]

Reaching out through fiction

Carl Ellis Jr. tells Christians to speak into the culture, affirming core Biblical values without necessarily naming them as Biblical, in order to nudge the culture back toward Biblical norms and begin the process of preparing the soil for planting, so to speak. Tim Keller says that Christians who want to follow Biblical examples of […]

Coaching and editing services

I specialize in structural analysis for fiction. If your story doesn’t quite work for your beta readers, I should be able to help you figure out what to do. I believe my calling is to help others get published.To that end, a friend and I started a small press, Castle Gate Press. It’s a traditional […]

Don’t give up on your dream …

My Tales of Faeraven series began as a story to entertain my little girl during a drive. For the main character of my story, I twisted the name of her doll, Cinda, and came up with “Syl Marinda,” a half-breed princess in a divided land. Long after my daughter had forgotten that first story, the world of Elderland took shape in my mind.

I got the joy…joy…joy

I don’t know about you, but I want some more of that inexpressible and glorious joy. But how are we supposed to get it when life is filled with numerous challenges and struggles. I believe the Bible tells us exactly how to do that and it’s a commandment from Jesus so…