Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Encouraging Grand Kids

We have recently returned from  grandparent heaven, some would say.  My point is not that the parents were away and we were responsible for the wellbeing of a four and a two year old, but that we danced, giggled, and learned from that experience. Therefore, heaven.

The four year old presented to me a vocabulary that blew my mind. Yes, I am bragging, but still it was amazing. Judge for yourself: “community, potentially, extraordinary, probability, and evaporate”. Oh, there was also a discussion concerning DNA.  The two year old conquered the world of “No”.

The excitement of their words followed me home and I returned to my creation station, and made a scene! Progress! I shut the door, put in my ear buds attached to my ancient I-pod shuffle. While under the encouragement from Albinoni, Bach, and Vivaldi, I blocked out the noise from the living room. The GOP attempted to dominate my CNN.

Therefore, I wrote a scene!

Scene One

Chapter Three

Part 3

of…my current WIP.  No, not quite ready to announce the title to my readers.

Making a scene felt euphoric! It is full of holes from a plot point of view and any grammar expert would become ill. But…I wrote it!


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The Rough Ride of Research

While writing the first draft of my current WIP,  questions popped in my abnormal writer’s brain. Would my hero be in this Ellis Island hall in 1919? Did all travelers work their way through the maze of humanity in that stage of their journeys? My hero is wealthy and elderly and she travels in first-class on an ocean liner from the UK. So, were all the classes required to present passports and be subjected to physicals?

At the top right of my screen there is a tiny line which is a favorite of mine. Some call it a minimizer. I call it, “don’t go away”, or “be there when I finish researching”. Also, another favorite, and I understand many think Wikipedia is a no-no, however, I find it to be helpful, although not the last word on any subject. This time I turned to my two favorites.

My WIP was saved, backed up,  and sent to “don’t go away”. I went to Wiki and asked about Ellis Island. I found deep in the article that the waters around the island in the early 1900’s were quite shallow and most steamers could not dock. The mighty and wealthy of first and second-classes were allowed to disembark in Manhattan and rarely did they need to be questioned by custom officers. The folks in steerage were ferried to Ellis Island.

Now what? I had created a fabulous scene in which my hero saves a young family from a difficult situation while she waits in those infamous long lines. I hated to give up that opportunity to show her compassion, wit, and courage. I was outraged. I wanted to keep it, but the gods of accuracy sat on my keyboard and glared at me.

I fooled them. I moved the situation to the ocean liner and my hero persevered.


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High Heels, Hose, and Hurricanes

Sitting here in my swamp, I often review my recent decisions. Unfortunately, one decision was what to wear to a funeral. It was unfortunate in that my lovely sister-in-law passed away, yes, to heaven. That’s another discussion. This one is far less serious.

What to wear…my standard rule is No Heels and No Hose. I easily fall over because I’m round. Heels sink into the ground, such as in a burial site. I did wear heels to my daughter’s wedding in January because I wanted to dance with my tall husband. I’m short and I normally wear flats. Or my feet go bare.

I also wore hose, among other things. It was cold and they helped to add color. However, normally, no hose. If someone complains, especially a man, I’ve been heard to proclaim, “When you wear hose and heels, I will.”

Once challenged they tend to back off.

Also, recently I’ve been sitting in my swamp waiting for Dorian, the hurricane.  I played the game “Do I have enough”?  (Water? Bread? Wine? Cookies, Spam (yuck) Beanie Weenies?) I enjoyed listening to the forecasters explaining how close Dorian might visit. “He might wiggle a little to the east or he might wiggle to the west.”

Thankfully, Dorian knew to wiggle correctly, without heels or hose, far from my swamp.






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The Crises Cycle

The Woman’s Hour, The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss has taught me that political crises move in a repeating cycle. I am using this book as a research tool for my current WIP concerning suffragists on both sides of my nearby pond. Yes, dear following, I still live in a swamp, but the Atlantic is not too terribly far away.

Now, the problem: I have assigned the book to my adorable book club. When we meet we bravely try to not speak of religion or politics. The weather is usually a safe topic, except when discussing FEMA and other types of insurance companies paying for hurricane repairs and of course the approaching storm season.

Author Elaine Weiss won’t be satisfied with the weather. She has proven in her excellent report about the tensions that occurred one hundred years ago as they too had problems that intermingled. Example: guns, abortions, temperance (liquor, tobacco, drugs), voters’ rights, and of course race relations. The fine folks in Tennessee had all those topics and the weather (the humid August of 1920) to jam together in that final hour of the 19th amendment’s creation.

I hope my book club will learn about the struggle that was not taught in any history class I attended. I hope they’ll look around and notice the similarities on our evening news reports. I hope they’ll appreciate the compromises and convictions that were and are strained. I hope that … Enough! 

My book club doesn’t meet until September.

I still have time to learn more and be ready to smile and nod. Yes, I love my book club.

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Deep Water

I am still here. Thank Goodness. It HAS been a while. Deep Water because that’s the title of the setting on my washing machine that I’ve been waiting for to finish. The jeans take forever and that makes me think of my ancestors. There is a logical connection if you remember your homophones.

There’s an empty lot next door that provides morning entertainment. Duck families on their way to the swamp, stopping for a bite, squirrels racing to first get to those bites  and various bits of other wildlife competing for the same bites. Sounds like our “civil”ization.

Then there is nineteen month old Margaret dumping out the contents of a red mess laundry basket, pulling over her head, and growling her way down the hall, while laughing at all of us…serious adults. There’s a lesson there but no deep water.

For the past three months I’ve been preoccupied with the planning and execution of a ten-day pond-jump to check on those descendants of the ancestors in the UK mentioned in the first paragraph.  Since I returned, I’ve written a 3000 word journal. No, I’ll not ask you read it. Maybe soon.


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Running Slow

Hot and Humid in the South, in my swamp, means Hot and Humid. And I still have not made it to the post office. I walk. I’m also quite good at procrastination. Which is why I have not posted recently.

If you followed that, you’re a great thinker and since it’s Hot and Humid you must be a good stinker as well.

I should write “Enough” here, but I have more to say. My WIP (s) are now combined and now I have only one. I am an admirer of simplicity. I do believe, however, I’ll reveal the title at a later date. Allow me some more time, please.

Here are a few random thoughts:  learning about hybrid publishing (not a fan so far), does the comma go before or after the quotation marks in a spoken statement? [“Ouch,”] or [“Ouch”,]  AND there’s a white duck in my yard. The locals titled her/him Quackers.

Oh, I’m traveling to the UK soon. Family.




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All the Way Over the Ocean

Egad and Holy Technology!  Today…well backup, but watch out for my toes.

In 1961 my sister married a roof thatcher in England. Jobs in that profession are scarce in the US. Anyway, on that day my parents wanted to call and congratulate her and The Thatcher, since they could ill afford a trip over at that time.

To make the call they had to beg AT&T (the only carrier then) to reserve a Trans Atlantic Cable time. I remember the excitement, the squeals of delight, and accents not understood. The main attraction, however, was that the call was “All the Way Over the Ocean”.  That phrase could be heard numerous times on both sides of the Pond. We thought Alexander Graham Bell must be the genius that he really was.

Now, today…I made a slight push on my cell phone (mobile) and there was my niece, my beautiful Ann, “All the Way Over the Ocean” in the UK.  She was gardening, of all things. She sounded quite local. Well, we giggled and gossiped, made plans for my up-and-coming Pond Jump, and marveled at Mr. Bell and his progress.

I’m still tingly.

My mobile is small, folks. All that technology inside is a marvel. Yes, I am old and currently glad I am. There must be some who call internationally all the time. Not Me. This was wonderful!

Next week I’ll try Facetime.  Next time I’ll post about my Pond Jumping Plans and the white duck in my front yard. Bet you can’t wait.



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