The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Reality Check Brings Humility

Have you ever thought you were really good at something? Then you had the opportunity to step back and see or hear yourself doing that thing and realized that you weren't as good as you thought.

My church started streaming our services on Ustream. I play the piano nearly every Sunday and sing specials almost as often. So I've spent a good portion of the morning trying to find my clips in the new video archives. I found myself on several of the videos, and I have now gotten a good dose of humility.

As a piano major in college, I had no illusions about my skills. I was average in the realm of pianists and often listened with awe and a touch of envy as the more talented pianists played. If I had ever practiced, I think I would have been a step above where I was, but I never did dedicate myself as I should have.

I can honestly say that I have learned a lot since I left college. I am a better pianist today than I was then and am much more able to communicate through the songs I play. However, I still know that I am not anything special as a pianist.

Singing, however, is a bit different. I never had formal voice training, although that's one of the things I desperately want to do. I think I'll have to wait a few more years. But people still compliment me on my singing and tell me I have a beautiful voice.

While I knew my voice was not professional quality by any means, I did think it was pretty good. Then I found the special I sang just this past Sunday night.

Oh, boy!!! Listening to and watching that was humbling! Shaky notes, pitch problems, thin quality on the higher notes. I cringed. And I have now gotten a good dose of reality. I'm not "all that" when it comes to singing!

Will I quit singing? No. But I will be aware of my weaknesses and work to improve them. I'll also be quicker to give the glory to God for using me in spite of me.

I have a feeling some of you might ask for the links, so here are two.

Sunday night 4/4/10: singing and playing "The Majesty and Glory of Your Name" - wait for the commercial to finish and then click the progress bar until it gets close to 25:10
Sunday morning 3/14/10: playing "He Hideth My Soul" - wait for the commercial to finish and then click the progress bar until it gets close to 9:25


Thursday, April 08, 2010

Blog Tour: A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin

Thanks to LitFuse Publicity for providing a free review copy of this book. No other compensation was received for this review. The opinions contained herein are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.

Debut novelist Sarah Sundin has nothing about which to be ashamed of in her first published book.

The Official Blurb: Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval--even marry a man she doesn't love.

Lt. Walter Novak--fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women--takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas. Walt and Allie meet at a wedding and their love of music draws them together, prompting them to begin a correspondence that will change their lives.

As letters fly between Walt's muddy bomber base in England and Allie's mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart?

A Distant Melody is the first book in the WINGS OF GLORY series, which follows the three Novak brothers, B-17 bomber pilots with the US Eighth Air Force stationed in England during World War II.

My Review: Hold on to your seat because this book is going to blow you away. A Distant Melody is a masterful blend of historical fact and romantic fiction attractively packaged in well-written prose.

This was one book that kept me engrossed from page one all the way to the end. I read a lot of books and often find myself skimming over bits or entire sections because they are boring. I don't remember that happening one time with this book. Mrs. Sundin's tale weaves a spell that is hard to escape.

The characters, main and supporting, have a depth that makes one become emotionally invested in the story. The story itself includes so many historical facts and rich details that there is no doubt that the time period was well-researched.

My only tiny nitpicking criticism would be that the very last section of the story was a bit of a stretch for me to believe, although I have heard of people acting like the characters in the book.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Distant Melody and look forward to the next two books in the series. This was a fantastic novel, first or otherwise, and I'm anticipating great things from Mrs. Sundin in the future.


Sarah Sundin is an on-call hospital pharmacist and holds a BS in chemistry from UCLA and a doctorate in pharmacy from UC San Francisco. Her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England during WWII. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children. This is her first novel.

For more info please visit her website at!

Want to know what other bloggers think? Visit the blog tour post for links to additional reviews.

Win your own bit of nostalgia. Enter the Netflix and Nostalgia contest no later than April 25, 2010.


Netflix and Nostalgia Contest


Enter the  Netflix and Nostalgia contest from author Sarah Sundin!If you like WWII fiction, you'll be happy to know that A Distant Melody, Book 1 in Sarah Sundin’s exciting Wings of Glory series, is in stores now! To celebrate the release, we’re offering one Grand Prize winner the chance to get NOSTALGIC!


The Winner of the ‘NETFLIX® & Nostalgia’ giveaway will receive a vintage prize package, including:

  • A 6 month NETFLIX® subscription
  • $25 Starbucks® gift card
  • A box of See’s Famous Old Time Chocolates®
  • A jar of homemade strawberry jam
  • A Big Band music CD
  • A Mini B-17 Model airplane
  • Vintage stationery and pen
  • British specialty tea
  • WWII style playing cards

To enter just click on the icon above! Contest will be live April 5th and run through April 25th!