Archive for December, 2016

2016; Confounding Thoughts

My daughter gave me a necklace for Christmas; two really. One has a semi-colon on the pendant; honoring my newly published 1910 swamp mystery, Silver Cotton. She told me it meant, “a few thoughts to follow; I have another thought which contradicts the first; or supplemental information to follow.”

I love it.

The semi-colon defines the year for me; it needs to be used more often. Within this year I’ve increased my thirst for constitutional knowledge; a willingness to pray. I’ve read and followed several sources of news and “fact checks”; sometimes not understanding what I read. I have continued to write fiction in order to escape; reality and her “shows” are stressful; hopefully fictional.

I do not have to listen to some governmental voices; I shall remain somewhat sane.

I will continue to pray for our global community, write my historical mysteries, and research the news; grieving for the words that need to be said, written, and prayed.

Sweet and Peaceful 2017 Wishes; Dear Readers


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The Positives Win

True, you’ve read or heard enough 2016 summaries. Too bad, here’s one more. Mine. As an educator I taught young minds how to “map” their thoughts and now I do the same – a T chart. My third graders believed it stood for Tatum.

The positives burst forth on the left and the negatives repeatedly “emojoed” their tongues on the right. Here I go:

1. I am a grandmother/ 1. The National Election

2. I lost 22 pounds/ 2. NC Tarheels lost the national basketball championship

3. My fifth novel, Silver Cotton, was published by Rebel Ink Press in both e-book and paperback/  3. The NC Elections

4. Giggled in a British pub with my sister/  4. Dear friends adapting to widowhood

5. Traveled to London and Lubbock/  5. NC politics

6. Made several trips to my swamp…..nothing better, nothing else, egad and amen


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Silver Cotton, Chap 1, part 7

Dianna left him to check locks on all the doors and windows. She returned to place a cool cloth on his face and it brought their survival to the forefront. “You need to barricade the doors. Push the furniture….”

“I’ve already done that. Just tell me how to load this gun.”

She felt like an idiot. He had forced his eyes open and stared at her cradling his shot gun and dangling a cloth sack storing the bullets. Damn, he was mad. Why? She tapped her foot with the demanding impatience of a typical debutant socialite. That usually worked. Idiot, indeed.

“Put that back.” He breathed in a shard of struggling breath. “Carefully! It’s already loaded, stupid woman.” His temper seemed to consume his energy for any further insults or commands.

Through his haze, he heard her moving around and mumbling. He inwardly smiled at the dainty curse words and breathed more easily at the sounds of the gun rack accepting his gun back into the safety of its walls. She stomped around his small palace, dropped a pot and whooshed out a temper-filled cloud of frustration.

“Come here.” He had been right. She hated commands. The entertainment eased his pain. “Water!” He hid his smile. Her silence should’ve alerted his usual awareness. A cup of cold water splashed and jolted his macho fantasies into reality.

“Sir, your gun is ready and you’ve had your water. What’s your defensive plan now? Dimples!”

Edward winched at his childhood memories; the nanny pinching his cheeks while his younger brother, Charles, would enjoy his humiliation. “Don’t bother calling me that. It wouldn’t help your situation.”

“Help? And just what is my situation?”

He lifted up on his elbows to address his guest, who was in need of an idiot status reminder. “You’re stuck in a cabin with an injured cotton farmer. There’s a band of thugs about to return to raise meanness to new heights. The crops need weeding and you sent away my only farm hands.”


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“Come on Coffman, are you a coward and English or are all English cowards?”

Having no idea what they meant or what her plan might be, she opened the door and pointed the heavy gun. She strategized, while the gun grew heavier. “Get out! Leave!” Her first thought to penetrate her fear was the look on their faces.Had she really scared them? Would they really leave? Her second thought concerned the sudden warmth and strong wall behind her. He stood close and his arms came around her waist to adjust her aim. Dianna stared down the barrel which now pointed at the leader’s horse. The lengthy silence of the rider told her a story of stubborn disbelief and indecision.

“Damn!” The leader turned the targeted beast away. They grumbled, cursed, and gave graphically mean promises, but they left.

“Please close the door, Miss. They’ll be back.” He took the gun, returned it to the rack, and collapsed at her feet.

Usually her stubborn manner would question commands. Nor this time. Usually her attitude toward men would have her stepping over the collapsed male. Not this time.

“Mr. Coffman?” Dianna rested on her knees and she gently shook his shoulders. She prayed since she was down there anyway. “Dear God, in heaven, what do I do now?” She started a tactile broken bone survey. “Why am I doing this? He didn’t fall hard.”

“No, but if you keep that up, I’ll have a broken bone anyway.”

Dianna startled, pushed away from his groans, and stared into a pair of lake blue eyes coming closer to hers. “No!”

“If I was going to molest you, Miss, I’d have to feel a hell of a lot better. Help me up?”

She moved her worried muscles and gingerly stood. She bent over him and slid an arm under his raised left side.

“Chamber pot, if you please,” he grunted.

Together they hobbled back to the bedroom and he ungraciously used his toe to pull the pot from under the bed. “Turn your head if you must, but don’t drop me.” After a few awkward but relieving minutes, he fell back onto the bed, and into another sleep.

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