When I drafted this post it was Pie Day. 3.14…that is cool, but I didn’t get too it. No, I did not bake nor eat a pie. If I had I would need to walk far more often. Then Spring Sprang, but it was a cold day, yet lovely in my swamp. No, I did not walk that day either.  My Grandfather Cash once told me that he wrote this poem:

Spring has Sprung. The grass has Riz. I wonder where the flowers is.

He did not, I later discovered.

Then it was Southern Farm Day. We invited my family and we explored the culture. Interesting fun indeed. The best part were homemade push toys we bought for The Grand Daughters. There are several more comments, but those might be filed under Cultural Conditioning of this city girl.

I did not turn left that day, either.

Today, after turning left and returning,  I decided  to write about another wonderful book I just finished reading. I wish I could report that I wrote it. Maybe when I grow up as a writer.

Deanna Raybourn, one of my favorites, recently published A Dangerous Collaboration. I adore mysteries, especially in an historical setting, but I am also a romantic down to my tibia. (a bit worried about my toes. I squirm during a pedicure). Therefore, I am pleased to announce that the tension between Deanna’s main characters, Veronica and Stoker, was riveting and kept the who-done-it questions popping up with at least every other page.

And, I actually learned a fair amount about plants and butterflies without having to read boring non-fiction.

Well Done, yet again, Deanna. Keep it up!

BTW: I also appreciate your numerous Turn-Left Tweets, Deanna Raybourn.

Enough

Today I did walk left. Really. Yes, it was not far, to the post office, but oh, the treasures, even the bills were interesting. One bill was for $3.93 for traveling on a highway where a camera from Orwell’s 1984 took a picture of my car. I paid it while wondering how long it will be before other cameras charge us for photography. Check the walls in your restrooms.

Now, I wish to review a recently read novel, Uneasy Lies the Crown by Tasha Alexander. Fantastic. Five Stars. Alexander has been a favorite author of English History Fiction since her first book, And Only to Deceive. Emily and Colin Hardgraves assist the new Edwardian king, Edward VII, in solving a series of gruesome murders. I particularly like her smooth transitions between her story line and the characters’ historical family background.

Alexander did not disappoint. Her characters, plot, and descriptions are brilliant. I am looking forward to reading more about Colin and Emily and my second favorite homeland.

Our lovely UPS lady just delivered Deanna Raybourn’s newest, A Dangerous Collaboration. I would start reading right this minute, but there appears to be a controversy in the laundry room. Mr. Whirlpool doesn’t approve of his matching dryer. Ah, life is rough.

Enough! 

It’s Monday or as my morning has proven: Three Tylenol and a Tums Day. That is another story for another Monday involving travel and mystery.

Today involves a book review. Don’t worry. It’s not my book. I belong to a book club, Novel Friends. I love the name, members, and the books (most of them).

Last month we read Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng. I can remember how to spell that name. Her plot was interesting and her descriptions were healthy, real, spot on. This reader was caught in the beginning as I assume most were. Who set the fire? Ng takes you through the fires within each character and how these hot spots affect others everywhere. An amazing idea, which I wish I had thought of. Most authors explain how main characters interact with others, but she pin points how the actions of one determines the decisions of others.

Mia, a housekeeper, “corralled the crumbs” off the kitchen counter as she listens to her employer’s children. They had dismissed her out of mind. I find that I too, gather our crumbs while I take in others’ conversations, the scenes through the window, and TV news, dismissed by others. Great detective technique.

More importantly, Mia later offers a definition of a child. Hopefully, Ng will forgive this free ad. It’s beautifully written.

“To a parent, your child wasn’t just a person: your child was a place, a kind of Narnia, a vast eternal place where the present you were living and the past you remembered and the future you longed for all existed at once.”

“You could see it every time you looked at her: layered in her face was the baby she’d been and the child she’d become and the adult she would grow up to be, and you saw them all simultaneously, like a 3-D image.”

Now, that’s great writing.

Enough 

 

 

 

 

 

I have written about the church in our backyard, or Back Garden as the British say. It rings the hour (9a, 12p, 3p, 6p) and then plays one verse of a Christian hymn, most of them I either recognize or can sing along, because of my appreciated childhood. This morning it was “This Is My Story”.

“This is my story. This is my song. Praising my savior all the day long.” There’s more, but memory fades somewhat. My point is … that title fits this author and it has kicked my literary backside into gear.  The amount of time I have dedicated to my writing life has been pitiful.

Which brings me to the non-creative side of my business. I am not happy in this part. Procrastination prevails. I need to write a synopsis for each of my six novels if I am to successfully capture an agent of worth.

I am not condensed milk. I do not enjoy condensing my beloved historical characters, and all they have to say, into the present time and delete conversation. It feels as if I have put them in an electric dryer, deflowered them somehow. The plots are similar in difficulty, but not as gut-boiling. The setting, my swamp, hasn’t changed for thousands of years, except for manmade stuff. Still the process is stifling.

I have decided to mix this business around. I’ll do what needs to be done, but work on my WIP on the same day. I need the fluid bit to loosen my joints and enjoy this life.

Enough!

 

I was asked to keep my posts non-political. I do try.

Turn Left. Is this a physical or political command? Perhaps both.

Sunshine, at last! Yes, that is a political exclamation! You see, climate change – too much moisture makes clouds that block the sun for days, quite claustrophobic, but this is a swamp so I should hush right here, but I am not going to do that, nor end a sentence, even a run-on, on an infinitive.

Wind, clean air persistently brushing against my face; resisting my forward progress. Yes, that too is a political sentence.

“Get it? Got it. Good. Keep it.”  From a Danny Kaye movie, a really old one. My nephew would understand. Oh, all right, I’ll explain.

Progressive, resistant, and yet to persist. I did make it home.

During the walk to the left, I avoided judgement on the puddles, the beer cans and Styrofoam plates hidden near a church, and the damages Florence made to various piers, some struggling to reach into the lake. Hurricane Florence is to blame rather than Michael, because of her excessive moisture, again the moisture, a consequence of climate change, no doubt. Michael was more of a big bag of wind.

I that one a gender-biased statement?

Enough!

Not Walking Today

Just Listening

There’s a church behind my home. Do not start judging. I can’t either. I’ve never been inside and I’ve seen the front only once. It appears Christian because it has a steeple and when “Googled”, it reads that it is. I rarely see anyone walking outside, but then I am its backyard or it’s in mine.

Here’s the interesting part:

At 9a, 12p, 3p, and 6pm it correctly announces the hour in a subtle “Westminsterly” manner.

Wait! Here’s the better part:

It plays a hymn, only one verse, but still I find myself addicted. I stop and listen. It makes me wait a bit then I am flooded with memories: my childhood New England churches, my father’s voice, and my mother’s humming. The words often come to me, but not always. Sometimes I try to pick out the notes on my piano, whose lower F is devastatingly ill.

Again, wait! Here’s the Best Part:

It makes me smile.

Enough!

 

 

 

A few weeks ago I caught a short news documentary concerning a public school safety drill. This one was in a fourth grade class and, like a fire drill, everyone knew what to expect. All were rehearsed. With the exceptions of three visiting parents and the film crew, the children and teacher seemed normal.

The difference was the reason.

This was an Active Shooter Drill.

It sent chills to this retired public school teacher. Oh, we had practiced fire, tornado, and  the post 911 era lockdowns, but never because of guns. Since the painful nightmare of Sandy Hook, I wondered what I would do as the teacher, how would I react? Should we, as taxpayers, support police officers on our campuses? Should we arm teachers? That one really worried as I prayed for my precious granddaughters.

Then my antique-collecting memory brought forth a vision of diving beneath my own fourth grade wooden desk and slapping one arm over my eyes and one over my neck. Twisted into a ball, hoping my dress covered my white cotton panties, I waited for the teacher to announce, “You may come up now.” As children we wondered if we were really protected from an atomic bomb. Did our parents wonder why their children were still not safe after they had fought WWII?

Now, I wonder and worry why there’s little to no gun control. Why must our grandchildren learn “An Active Shooter Drill”?  In their future will they wonder what on earth were the adults were thinking?

Enough!

PS: Yes, I am drafting, revising, editing, and searching for an agent. Hopefully, after the midterms, I will be able to think less politically. Silly Me.