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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Writing Lane by Writer Janice Lane Palko: Sister Wars

The Writing Lane by Writer Janice Lane Palko: Sister Wars: I realize I haven’t blogged much lately but that was because I’ve been busy writing my next novel, Most Highly Favored Daughter ! So I ...

Sister Wars

I realize I haven’t blogged much lately but that was because I’ve been busy writing my next novel, Most Highly Favored Daughter! So I wasn’t being a complete slacker! Most Highly Favored Daughter is my new romantic suspense, and it examines the sibling rivalry between sisters, Cara and Sophia Hawthorne.

I’m taking a different approach to publication this time, which I think will be beneficial for both of us. Amazon has launched a new program called Kindle Scout. If a book is selected for the program, (which mine was) people can log on to Kindle Scout and nominate it, and then if the book is selected by Kindle for publication, everyone who nominated the book will receive a FREE copy! There may be no free lunch, but there are free Kindle copies!

If you haven’t nominated Most Highly Favored Daughter yet, I’d really appreciate it if you would do so now by clicking HERE. Go ahead, I’ll wait for you to come back.

Thanks. So let’s talk about sisters. When I was pursuing my writing degree, I did a study on the sister relationship, and this was one of the things that inspired me to write this book. Both sisters in the novel compete for the affection of their father. Sisters get worked up over many things—some small and some large.

Recently, I was at tea party hosted by a good friend and tea aficionado. Her younger sister was also at the party. After all the delicious treats were consumed and we were sipping the last from our tea cups, the conversation turned to how the sisters used to fight when they were younger. We all got a good laugh over their story of battling over the last Pop-Tart and how the older sister smashed it into the younger one's face in a fit of rage.

It seemed that everyone there who had a sister had some story from the “sister wars.” Fortunately, everyone there also shared that in their adult years, they enjoyed close relationships with their sisters. That is good because during my studies of sisters, I learned that the relationship between sisters will most likely be the longest relationship you will ever have.

In Most Highly Favored Daughter, the Hawthorne sisters face problems and battles that are much worse than waging war over a Pop-Tart. They face deadly circumstances. Fortunately, most of us don’t face such dire situations.

Do you have any stories from the sister wars?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


This was originally posted June 7,  2012

Just a Thought – The Finishing Touch

 By Janice Lane Palko

Did you know that marriage is good for you? There have been many studies conducted by social scientists and scholars on marriage, and it appears that being married helps you, your health, emotional and mental well-being, finances, your children and society.

The Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values, published some of its findings about marriage in a paper entitled Why Marriage Matters: Thirty Conclusions from the Social Sciences. The institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of approximately 100 scholars from across the country and across the political spectrum. (So it’s not just a bunch of concerned moms who want their kids to get married!) Below are some of the findings:

1. Cohabitation is not the functional equivalent of marriage.

2. Marriage increases the likelihood that fathers and mother have good relationships with their children.

3. Married couples seem to build more wealth on average than singles or cohabitating couples.

4. Marriage is associated with better health and lower rates of injury, illness and disability for both men and women.

 5. Married mothers have lower rates of depression than do single or cohabitating mothers. (Those are just some of the findings. More can be found at their website: www.americanvalues.org/wmm3.)

I will be celebrating 30 years of marriage on August 28, and since I’ve racked up some big numbers on the marital scoreboard, it got me to thinking about marriage in general and mine in particular. Most scholars point to God’s creation of Eve in the Garden of Eden as the beginning of marriage, citing this Bible quote from Genesis: “’The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’"

Adam & Eve by Albrecht Durer

This passage of scripture has always been a bit puzzling to me. I can understand the “not being alone” part. Even if Adam had Dr. Dolittle skills, it would probably still get a bit boring just “chatting to the cheetahs” all the time. But I’ve often wondered why God thought Adam needed a helper? Setting aside the fact that he needed someone with whom to populate the earth, there really wasn’t much Adam needed help with. He didn’t have a house to clean, they weren’t wearing any clothes so there wasn’t any laundry, and as for cooking—we know they had apples.

 So what did God think Adam needed help with? Why did God think it was good for people to marry?

 I don’t purport to know the mind of God, but from my own experience here is what I think God intended when He sent Adam Eve. It’s what I call the “You’re full of it factor.”

 I had several bachelor uncles in my family whom I loved dearly, and who have since passed away. However, one of the things we noticed about them after years of their living alone and not having to answer to a spouse is that whatever they thought was gospel. When you live alone without a wife or husband to tell you, “You’re full of it,” you think that what you think is the absolute truth or the absolute best way to do things.

Dictators notoriously surround themselves with “yes men,” but that is not the case with a healthy marriage. When you are married, your inner “yes” man collides with your spousal cabinet adviser, who says things like. “How in the world did you ever think plaid shorts go with a striped shirt?” Or “No, the on-sale beer does not taste as good as Guinness.” Or “Do you really need another pair of shoes?”

There is a famous line in the movie Jerry Maguire where Tom Cruise tells Renee Zellweger, “You complete me.” As much as I like that line, I think marriage is more about “You finish me.”

If it weren’t for my husband, I’d be a lot less of a person. I wouldn’t know important things like Mel Kiper has a hairline like Eddie Munster, that Eric Clapton’s “Badge” was called that because George Harrison misread “bridge” on the sheet music and thought the title was “Badge,” that Bill Bowerman founded Nike running shoes by making the soles of his shoes on his wife’s waffle iron.

I suspect if it weren’t for me, I suspect my husband would still be wearing knee-high tube socks and cut-offs, would never know who Hugh Jackman is, and would have never heard of Jane Austin, seen Mama Mia or been to the opera. 

Hugh Jackman

When I was a kid, the Sears Christmas catalog always featured scientific gifts like chemistry sets, telescopes and rock tumblers, little machines in which you inserted dull stones and by the machine’s constant rotation and a little added grist, the rocks brushed up against each other, polishing each other’s surfaces.

 I think marriage is a rock tumbler. Two people who choose to spend their lives together jump into the rock tumbler that is life. And over years of brushing up against each other’s wills, egos, desires and personalities, you help to polish each other into the shining beautiful people God had in mind. Marriage has not completed us; it has provided the opportunity for us to put the finishing touches on each other’s souls.

Originally published in Northern Connection magazine 

I’m linking up with Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb for #WorthRevisit Wednesday, a place where you can come and bring a past & treasured post to share, and link up with fellow bloggers!