Archive for February, 2017

The Omen of the Firefly

In 1923 Edith Perry submitted a short story for Writers Digest; the same magazine I read today. In approximately 1500 words she described the heart ache of a young teacher in 1900 who felt the sting of her local school board. They debated a law which dictated the martial status of teachers and she was in love. Her love was a struggling farmer; caring for his widowed mother and younger siblings. Her own parents needed her as their health care provider and to lose her meager teacher salary would strain any newly formed family. A firefly happened to enter the room through an open window as Miss Perry’s story begins the hearing.

The editor hand wrote (in pencil) suggesting that the young teacher speak for herself during the debate. More importantly, he advised that Miss Perry tread carefully about the subject since the state still required teachers to be unmarried.

The Omen of the Firefly hid between the yellowed pages of an early 20th century lesson plan book; which is fascinating in and of itself. I questioned the reasoning of the antique law, the legislative and financial struggles of the times, and  if the story was autobiographical.

She died in the early 60’s and I will rewrite the adventures of that firefly; for her. The early 20th century is a favorite to research; hence my Gray Lace and Silver Cotton. I have wondered why my creative and sensitive Great Aunt E never married.


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Ice cream first, of course. It was my husband’s birthday, but I had to have some. Yes, I’m that self-centered. Another “of course”…it was delicious.

The aforementioned ice cream was served in a restaurant hanging over the Atlantic surf. The beach was empty and the waves had a top edge that the cold wind sharpened and sent sprays of salt water to the south. I should have been home writing, but…there Was ice cream.

The ferry boat: North Carolina has a fantastic ferry boat system to connect her islands and Outer Banks. Because of today’s political and financial atmosphere, I pray the system can continue. For just a few dollars, you and your car can travel over those smaller waves in the sound,  watch the birds dive, squabble, and survive, and finish the ice cream now melting in your “to go” box. Always order extra, you never know when you might need a fix while being entertained by a pelican.

Book store: back on dry land in the fine town of Fayetteville, there is a small but delightful book store, The Center City Gallery and Books on Hay Street. No, they don’t sell ice cream, but there is some available nearby. The helpful and friendly  owners live upstairs over the shop, just like days of old. You know, back when ice cream was made in the home by cranking a handle a whole bunch of times before the cream and ice actually made a sinful and joyous union.

Oh! Wait! The most delightful part…Center City Gallery and Books sell my novels: all five of them.


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