Please welcome Derinda Babcock to The Sword and Spirit blog. Derinda has generously offered to give away a copy of Dodging Destiny. Read on down to find out how to enter. And don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you should you win. Also, if you are a follower of my blog be sure to tell me so I can give you a second entry.
Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth. I'm in my office and I'm wearing black jeans and a comfy, long-sleeved cotton shirt. I usually wear long sleeves year-round, because if I'm working outside, I don't like the feel of hot, scorching sunlight on exposed skin, and if I'm inside, I don't like the sensation of cold air blowing across my arms.
What is the funniest, strangest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research? Researching for historical novels is one of my favorite things, though the process takes as long as the actual writing. When I researched travel on the Oregon Trail, I found out that about two thirds of the women who set out on this two thousand mile journey were either pregnant when they began their travel, got pregnant or gave birth on the trail, or had a full-term baby soon after arriving in Oregon, yet of all the diaries I read, very few women mentioned this. Pregnancy was a fact of life that didn't appear to cause much comment. I can't imagine traveling for five or six months, experiencing all the hardships, and dealing with the problems or changes associated with pregnancy.
What is something that very few people know about you? Though I've completed a Master of Arts Degree in education, earned more than 65 additional quarter credits, and taught English Language Acquisition / English Language Learners for almost twenty-five years, I returned to school in August to take classes in Digital Media and Design. I'm delighted to be able to take courses I want to take, instead of classes I have to take. After I finish these, I plan to sign up for more American Sign Language, Spanish, and woodworking classes. Welding is also on my bucket list.
What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)
My iMac i7 27 inch computer helps me organize my life, create stories, and communicate with the world, so I'd say this is my favorite material item.
If you could live in any time period other than the one we live in, past or future, when and where would that be and why? Life in the U.S. in the mid- to late nineteenth century fascinates me, which is why my upcoming historical novels are all set in this era. Though life was difficult for many, I'd probably choose the time period because the amazing advances in science and technology changed the course of our country. I'd like to ride coast-to-coast on the completed transcontinental railway, or visit Thomas Edison's lab at Menlo Park. I'd like to meet Mary Edwards Walker, the only commissioned, pants-wearing female surgeon in the Union Army, or be present when Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone and Nikola Tesla invented the AC motor and transformer.
If you were writing a book about your life what would the title be? Steady Rocker. Dolly Parton sang about “Rockin' chairs, rockin' babies, rock-a-bye, Rock of Ages,” and these words sum up most of what's important in my life. Throughout my child-rearing and teaching years, I tried to model integrity and dependability. I wanted my children and students to be people of their word – people others could rely on to do what they said they'd do. I wanted them to understand the value of hard work, to drive toward excellence, and to develop moral integrity.
What one novel did you read that made you want to be a part of the story? An Echo in the Darkness (Mark of the Lion #2) by Francine Rivers. I loved Hadassah's story. She touched the lives of so many, even though she was a condemned slave who was sent to the arena for her faith. Though the lioness' teeth and claws marked her and left her with irreparable physical damage, the animal didn't destroy Hadassah's faith or her desire to serve others.
What is the biggest secret you ever kept (of course it can’t be a secret anymore)? I never wanted to teach. I wanted to be an architect, interior designer, or graphic artist, so when the Lord started leading me toward the field of public education, I resisted with all my might. Eventually, I surrendered, and this decision changed my life. I remember how grudging my words to Him were: “Okay, I'll do it, but You know I don't have money to go back to school and get a degree. If You want me to do this, You'll have to provide the funds.” Guess what? Scholarships rolled in, and not only were my tuition, fees, and books paid for during the time required to complete my Bachelor program, but I also received a stipend that paid for my gas.
Teaching students from different linguistic and culture backgrounds who had a wide range of needs has been one of the hardest, most challenging jobs I've ever attempted, but the benefits have been worth the uncomfortable stretching. The experience forced me to become better balanced as a person, and many of my students have expressed their appreciation for the investment I made in their lives. During her Senior presentation, a former student said, “I dug myself into a very deep hole, and Mrs. Babcock was the only one who cared enough to pull me out.” Wow. What kind of value can you place on a comment like hers?
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
One hot summer day in my pre-teen years, I decided to make life a little more exciting. My plan was to drop ice cubes down the back of my dad's shirt as he sat at the dining room table, run out the front door, swing up into our large cottonwood tree, climb as high as I could, and tease him from the safety of my perch. This plan should've worked, because I was a practiced tree-climber and my dad was old – at least thirty-two. I dropped the cubes down his collar and ran. He yelled and chased me. I got into the tree, but the unthinkable happened – he climbed up after me, hauled me out of the tree, and turned the hose down my back.
What do you do for fun?
Tutor elementary and middle school students, read, write, study, garden, work on our small ranch, and hang out with my family.
GIVEAWAY! Leave a comment and let us know what is the craziest thing you've ever done to be entered in the giveaway.
Lexie knows God has called her to the mission field of Guatemala as a missionary's wife, but she has no intention of obeying. She has her own dreams: she wants to complete a Master's degree program in music and to play violin for the Topeka Symphony Orchestra.
As she waits to speak to an advisor, she pillows her head on her arms in the library of Kansas State University in June 2014, and wakes up in the back of a Conestoga wagon in June 1857, four years before the Civil War. Kansas is not a state, women do not have the vote, and slavery divides the nation. She is taken in by the Bells, who are homesteading in the newly opened territory.
While she lives with this family, God teaches her many things about obedience, trust, faithfulness, and love, but the most important lesson she learns is that there is no place in time or space where she can go to run from God, and that there is nothing that can separate her from His love.
When given a second chance, will she obey though there is risk involved, or will she play it safe and settle for second-best?
Lexie Logan thought she could run from God . . . and, like the Prophet Jonah, faced a storm of epic proportions.
About Derinda Babcock:
Derinda Babcock has been an English
Language Acquisition teacher for almost twenty-five years. During this
time, she worked with students of all ages and many different linguistic
and cultural backgrounds. The richness of this experience has lent
flavor and voice to the stories she writes. She enjoys historical
research and the crafting of entertaining stories written from the
Christian world view.