Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Transition I have been doing Wordless Wednesday, but today I think this will be my last post on this blog. Last night, well, the early morning hours, I discovered my ad sense account was disapproved. I'm not angry. I hadn't reviewed the policies for a while. One of them is to not ask readers to read the ads on your site. The jump in traffic alerted them to invalid clicks or something like that.
I had been pondering whether to go to Word Press for some time. I had heard good things about Word Press. I decided last night that this was a good a time as any. So I am transitioning to Word Press. I'm learning, as life is always learning.
The timing seems right, as I will be publishing my novel soon. New novel, new blog site. Kind of like when I was younger, it was 'New house, new baby.' I need a fresh look.
I'll be between the two sites for a time. I have to figure out how to get this blog over to Word Press. One of my writer friends already gave advice- see, I told you, writers are the best people. We only want your success, because we feel there is always room for the next one coming.
I want to repeat again, I am not upset with Google or Ad Sense, it just was the impetus for the move I have thought about for awhile. So don't speak bad about them. They had the clearly established policy. I was the one who forgot. It was kind of fun for a short time to get a glimpse into making money with this crazy idea of writing.
Writing for me is to encourage others. My words are to uplift and help someone along the way. The highest aim is to glorify God. I must never lose sight of that. God is my provider and my patron.
I do thank you readers for your support of me in my efforts in this new world. I wrote for a long time for only myself. Now, I am giving. I prefer this. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Maps for Hermitage Recreation
Maps of the trails I am writing about in the next few days.

Recreation in Hermitage-Part One

 My fine city of Hermitage does offer much recreation. The granddaddy of the options is our beautiful Buhl Farm Park, that I have referenced many times before(like yesterday with the concert and fifty cent hot dog). I live near the park, so it is by far my favorite. The park provides swimming, tennis, fishing as well as the trails. The committee also organizes days, like the Great Outdoors Event, a few weeks ago, Clean Up day in the spring and Winter Festival, as well as their jewel of a day, Buhl Day on Labor Day. I love the park.
We also have the Rodney White Park for trails. The tennis courts are on the school property, but opened to the residents. The trail for Rodney White Park meanders around the back of the high school grounds. Some of it feels like walking through someone's backyard. It is short, but shaded most of the way. Double backing would help with the mileage. In the summer, walking a dog with a black coat, makes this trail ideal. As you can see from these pictures, the feeling of being in the woods overwhelms, with red berries, not quite sweet from sunshine yesterday, but still good.
A playground for the kids has that soft foam. I appreciated this when my girls were young if it had rained. No mud when the weather cleared. A gazebo for picnics or next month, my book signing, sits in the middle. Public bathrooms are clean.
Other exercise seekers can always walk or run the track. Before the trail was finalized, I met some mothers a few times on the track for walking. Walking in circles did little for me, when I had luscious Buhl Park out my front door. 

I do enjoy the Rodney White Trail this year. Great for when time crunch raises its ugly head and the heat is on. Rodney White competed in the Olympics a few years back in archery. The park is named in his honor, one of the Hickory High School graduates' accomplishments.

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Day I Wished Wouldn't End

I had a day that I never wanted to end. Even though, I attended church by myself, I sat in a full pew with the others I meet at church, my niece, her friend and family and the pew in front with another family that we are close. The sermon hit between the eyes and into the heart. My only challenge after hearing it was that we would not gather in the huddle, then return to the bench and sit. We have to leave the pew with the equipment we received yesterday and do battle.
My writer's support group met in the afternoon and the ride to Boardman made me miss working there. I love summer and 224 on a Sunday afternoon isn't like a weekday or Saturday afternoon with traffic. Sunday afternoon lazes in comparison. Seeing patrons sit at the bistro tables outside created a lounging summer effect.
My husband and I relaxed after the youngest galloped off to a graduation party before the oldest came home from work. Around six the faint music of the trio playing at the park slipped into the air conditioned home. "Fifty cent hot dogs," I enticed for supper.
We strolled the back way into the park, bought our supper for four dollars of two Pepsi's, bag of Cape Cod BBQ chips and two perfect hot dogs. We found a bench in the shade to eat and listen to the jazz. A concert that got better with each song.
After the concert, we meandered around Lake Julia, then took the fitness trail that doesn't allow dogs. We glanced at the new free library filled only a quarter capacity with Full House books. If kids will read, we'll use an old TV show.
We relaxed some more at home. I reading the Sunday Vindicator and then Stephen King, David on the laptop, Katie on the PC.
"Let's go for ice cream."
A trip to the chill grill which just doesn't work like the Dairy Queen on State Street satisfied little a sweet tooth.

We gazed at the super moon rising in the east, big and yellow. We got home, I posted on my blog and continued reading Stephen King, until two. I was still ready to arise at seven to beat the heat.
Tomorrow I'll write about the great walking trails in Hermitage. My battery ran down on my phone and I wasn't able to get too many pictures. Summer has seemed perfect this year. Maybe I'm content.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

My Writer's Support Group

Writers are the best people. I have been welcomed into this group of writers. After a few months of Sundays in Boardman, really just three, I am part of the group. They are open with ideas and help. Two that live south of me will work on formatting my novel for CreateSpace this week. Yes, I'm paying for the service, but there was no feeling that they were too busy to help me with the deadline.
We laugh and share. We plan book signings. My first, I hope, will be at the Hermitage Arts Festival in July. I feel this is appropriate. Susan already has the space at different ones and she gladly opens it to us. She keeps us informed of these festivals and such. Her next one is in Volant this Saturday and I think a trip to Amish country should be made.
A successful writer pours into upcoming writers. They listen to the stories written, with critique and praise. The husbands wander in and out of Caribou Coffee shop. This is more than a hobby, more than a group of friends, we learn and glean from each other. I hope to get more knowledge and local information to share with the group. I thought of Leana's Bookstore at our mall, writing questions to ask her about local writers to share next month.
I am refreshed so much more with writers than by any gathering I have had with nurses on a professional level. I love caring for people, but our sessions usually turn into griping. My one friend stated years ago, "Nurses eat their young." We don't support new nurses coming up. It is competitive.
Maybe I'm in that honeymoon phase of emerging on the professional level of writing, but I don't think so. I didn't run into wariness at St. David's Conference two years ago when I attended. Again, helpfulness and encouragement abounded for a very new writer on the cusp of just finishing her first novel with no idea where to go with it. I didn't even have my own laptop then.
The speakers and attendees at St. David's filled my arms with gifts, as I could only be there one day. One e-mailed me her notes for the next two days on magazine writing. She felt bad I couldn't continue with the week. A speaker gave me a book that she was saving for the last day. Everyone showed kindness during breaks and we picked each others minds for information. The attitude, we all can succeed and I will help you on your journey.
I'm getting this once a month with my new group because I reached out one day to travel to East Liverpool to meet the authors that used CreateSpace. One invited me and the rest they say is history. And a good history at that
.  This has a picture of us last month at Caribou.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

We Wait

We wait, not knowing what we are waiting for.
Quiet morning air with birds commencing their chatter.
Distant low traffic rumble.
Cool air soon to be pushed out by hot summer winds.
But for now, we wait and we don't know why.
We desire to be busy at a task, but afraid to begin.
Will we get a phone call to drop everything?
Sleep may be interrupted, so we sit in a haze.
Some can sleep, but we can't.
The waiting hangs heavy.
I think of other times of waiting, but this isn't my family.
It wasn't so far away.
I sat in hospital rooms, but not right now.
I think I should be there with a scared, lonely man.
He is sedated, we're told, and that's OK.
Rest is needed.
We wait.
It's not my call, but then is it ever?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Post from Last Summer

This morning went by too fast, getting people here and there and trying to do some research, tidying up my novel. And I need to get that walk in. Now  drive to the Credit Union to set up an account for the newest working daughter and work 3-11. Again, no lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer for this working girl. So I can't post what I had planned, it's a post from last year.
Enjoy Summer. It is just starting and it is beautiful here in Western Pennsylvania.
Well, trying. It wants to post the link from the first article I was going to write, but haven't yet. Love technology!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Heavy Heart and What to Do With It
With heavy heart I post today. I review the Teddy case, although, I hardly forget it. I see his brown smiling eyes and wonder at the pain he must have felt. The verbal abuse escalating to physical and sexual abuse till he was murdered. The shame he may have felt at keeping quiet by maybe trying to be a better man in front of his younger twin brothers. The indifferent mother allowed such terror to happen to her sons.
She shed tears from the moment she entered the court room. Where were they before she was caught? Her ex-boyfriend, instead, showed no emotion. Did he think that made him seem manly?
The sentencing is next week. The debate as to what he should get, fifteen years to life to forty one years to life, played in the comments.The worldly part of me says, "Fry him." I look at that reaction with a horror, too. Why do I think I'm better? We all have a dark side to us. I'm reminded in my spirit- All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
I want to do something. I have felt guilty as well. Do I miss seeing abuse? I'm not in situations where I see many children. I wonder in a case like this so close to home, what can I do?
A young woman, closer to the situation than I, was interviewed in the Sharon Herald. She stated she would start a fund, a charity. I e-mailed her that I would help in any way I could and linked her to my articles I had written about Teddy. I never heard back from her.
I will use this blog and whatever platform given to me to raise awareness. But like my rant about raising cancer awareness, is that enough? Can I just post little sayings on Facebook or write here and make a difference? Again, I look at my life. Where do I see children to sound an alarm? Should I volunteer in the school? What do I do personally to help?
The system failed Teddy. He left two school districts because the abuse became noticeable. Neighbors did call and children services couldn't find anything to stick. The police were only called once. His death brought police back on the case, where evidence hidden soon rose to the surface with Zaryl Bush's DNA mixed in with Teddy's blood.
Praying is never a waste of time. I pray for abused children. I pray God will show me how I can make a dent. If only like cancer awareness, my words can get my readers to observe with a greater intensity the children in their life, maybe that is a step. God didn't put this heavy on my heart to feel badly in my cozy little world. Doors will open. I will see the Teddy's and help. I'm not sure how right now. I can't keep quiet.
The second link has a web site to read about signs/symptoms of child abuse.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


I thought after a few read throughs (understatement) I'm close to setting up Summer Triangle to publish with CreateSpace. I lay my head on my pillow the other night and "copyright" barged into my mind. I used a lot of song lyrics and I don't know a thing about copyright laws. Well, enough to know I can't use words without paying for them.
I whipped off a quick e-mail to one of my new published writer friends. She confirmed what I knew. I look at the calender and heave a big breath. One more revision that I hope some day to get back into the story. I felt down. I felt pressure. I felt, "Oh, is this worth it?"
I know it is. I know I will make it. I know it won't be hard to make those changes and I look forward to when I'll have the money to publish it the way I want it published. I thank you, my readers for all the support you have shown me. I thank you for clicking on the ads in the right hand corner that bolster my ad earnings. That encourages me more than any of the monetary gain.
Actually I imagine this novel made into a Hallmark movie with all the music I thought about as I wrote. Now, I'm really dreaming. I know how hard it is to get a book made into a movie. It is a wonder they get made at all. I also know the movie can never be what is in your imagination. That is the best movie of all.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Conneaut Lake Park

As I write about my teen years, the end of school trip to Conneaut Lake Park, north of us, begs to be written. Ninth grade allowed us to ride the yellow school buses through the windy State Route 18 countryside  to the small amusement park in Crawford County. Maybe it was small but it kept us occupied all day.
Set in the lush western Pennsylvania northwest, I remember the trees shading the midway. The elegant Conneaut Hotel at the end of a stretching green lawn bordering the lake. A sandy beach for swimmers, but we didn't swim on the school day.
The first year I had a boyfriend. We didn't date, as he didn't drive. Our only real date was the Sadie Hawkins Dance in the fall, when my friend encouraged me to ask him, as she needed a double date for her car date. Our first kiss was after we got "married" by Marryin' Sam.
He couldn't hide his excitement at the ride called the Hell Hole, with centrifugal force allowing some strange positions until it pinned you against the wall. He pointed out some of the guys turning upside down during this process. Of course, there was the Blue Streak, the creaky old wooden roller coaster that whipped us kids around. Someone always got a minor scrap or scrap on that trip. My shin received a gouge from a turn. At last, we rode the Ultimate Trip, a scrambler inside a building with a black light and wild rock music. We kissed on that ride. I couldn't at fourteen have felt better.
The long ride back on those straight seats provided some necking time as well. The rural roads dark until we hit Greenville, then a few "Ooh's" as the neckers were discovered if they didn't realize how close they were to the light. My boyfriend knew and we ceased through that borough.
In tenth grade, we  had broken up about a month before school ended. Being a fickle girl, I ended it to go to prom with a senior. Maybe one of the stupidest mistakes I made relationship wise. He was a good boyfriend, but we could never get back together. I wanted to that summer when I realized how much I missed him, but it wasn't to happen, no matter how often I contrived. I rode back on the bus with his friend, commiserating. I'm sure that wasn't what he wanted on that dark ride with all the necking going on.
I'm not sure if I went my junior year. Driving for a while, we probably all thought we were too old to ride that bus anymore and found something else to do that day on our own. My senior year, I was working, grateful to have graduation day off.
I had other trips to Conneaut Lake Park with groups on buses, like with Degree of Honor Lodge and Rainbow Girls, when we had Grand Assembly at Edinboro College, then. I was more interested in the swimming that time in hot August. The bathhouse reminded me of the old beach movies.
A few trips with my nieces and the girls when they were small. The last time, Conneaut was just a shadow of itself. Maybe like that first boyfriend, never meant to be again and we grow up and on to different avenues.  

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Seven hundred posts I have written. Seven is complete, but I'm not complete in my dreams. Number one novel set to be published soon, but not the first I wrote. I like the way it is working out. Main Street, the first of Gables and Gingerbread Stories, will come out later. The second in that series named, Country, that needs to be finished, then Crossroads, which is yet to be written.
So Summer Triangle I wrote for NaNoWriMo in November and completed will get my five free copies from CreateSpace. This story is not historical fiction that the other three are. Maybe even a little bit biographical, although, I'm not as strong as Maria. Are any of us as strong as we want to be? My husband is not Brendan, Maria's husband, and the children are not mine. I poured much of myself into it, but it is not my story of my life.
I have always wondered when I read books where the authors' minds were. How much is personal? How much is factual? Except for fantasy, I don't wonder. Maybe those are the most real, though, huh?
I sit on my dreams right now. I wonder where the seventh month of 2013 will take me. Anita Mathias, a blogger from England wrote a post today  that addresses waiting on dreams. It is not waiting, though, as she writes, it is working toward them. The hardest part of writing is that sitting and writing. Then rewriting. And rewriting. I want to move on now, finish Country. Write the Nanny Princess children's books. Yes, I anticipate writing for a long time.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Careers Form Life

I'm out of ideas today. So good-bye.
Not really. I am tired and trying to get back the thread I picked about a month ago, now. I wrote about my dad earlier this week, (tomorrow is Father's Day) although I could pay tribute to my dad, all the time.
I watched All the President's Men, about a month ago when I started exploring my teen years and the decision to be a nurse. I wanted to hear all of Robert Redford's commentary before I wrote. Then I never finished it and Katie mailed it back to Netflix. Aw, research aborted.
The doggedness of the two men with the bone in their mouths impressed me. Observing how young Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman were reminded me why I had problems concentrating on the movie when I was young. I did yearn for the investigative reporting, but knew I didn't have the guts to put my life on the line for a story. Would I let a story lie? Or would I keep digging and digging? Seventeen, I don't think I knew or had the heart for that.
Finally, being a home health nurse allowed time to be a detective. Nursing also requires the digging below the surface. Dad had that nose about Mom's health when she had cancer. He sat observing her during her first round of I-131 radiation therapy, "She's not moving like she should."
Seasoned senior nursing student, I, replied, "Well, Dad, she had back to back surgeries within a week and just finished treatment. It has been a rough six weeks."
He refused that answer, "No, there is something else."
Thank God, the doctor, who had some issues, did listen to my dad. He ordered a myelogram of Mom's spine, revealing a tumor on the spine. I admired Dad even more. I thought if Dad weren't sixty, he could go to nursing school. He should be a nurse. Later that year, he would read the free RN copies I got that year.
I developed that sixth sense about patients "going south" as we say. Some doctors listened to that "gut" feeling. Some did not. Even in nursing school, I didn't brag because it scared me in a way, but I could tell when a person would make it through a code or not. We coded everyone when I worked in ER. I tried to over-ride those feelings because everyone needed our best in a code. Yet, one look and I knew.
This is more than studying, more than knowledge, although, that is very important. An inner voice that must be heard and powers of observation lead to decisions. A nurse and a journalist follow very similar paths. Nurses chart precisely with no time for proof reading. My love for writing helped with nursing.
Life prepares us for our careers. Careers form our life. As much as nursing seemed the easy decision when I was in high school, not necessarily my heart decision, I am a nurse. I have stuck with it through thick and thin, highs and mostly lows. I am proud to have never quit. The writing at this time of my life as more of a career seems to be in a plan that my high school years equipped me.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Time Crunch, Again!

So sorry, no time to post a message. Did a lot of Kingdom work this morning. Please keep me in prayer with prayer ministry, Bible quiz ministry and my novel publishing. Oh, and Clepper Manor for grace in my thoughts and actions. Thank you. Keep clicking on the right hand corner ads, too. It helps me feel like I can be a professional writer.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dad's Bible

One morning I went to our basement before church, not even sure right now for what reason. It was only a few months ago, but other posts clambered for attention and I needed to take a picture of Dad's Bible.
The Book stared at me from the bookshelf with his books on commentaries and other Bibles. I reached for it, as a connection to his faith. He loved the King James version. I looked to see if he had made any notes in margins or underlined verses.
Only notes on paper from the BBC- Be A Better Christian- Sunday School class taught by Barb and Bob Hettrick, good friends of my parents, gave me inklings of his thoughts. Barb told me later how Dad would not cut up scripture of old Bibles for a project they were doing. He honored the Word of God by not allowing himself to do that.
I thought as I handled Dad's Bible, he read this every day. I heard last night, "To be ignorant of the Word of God, is to be ignorant of Christ." My dad knew Christ. He knew the Word and he lived it.
That Sunday, the Gideons spoke in church. Dad was a Gideon, a group who gets Bibles into people's hands. Another Gideon speaking at church on Bible Sunday twenty four and a half years ago, when I was pregnant with Katie, inspired me to get back into reading the Word every day. The Bible is powerful, as Hebrews 4:12 states, " For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
The Gideon both days spoke of examples of getting a Bible into a person's hand, then heart, that changes lives. 
Last night Pastor Bernie Elliot, the director of our Assembly of God's National Teen Bible Quiz traveled from Pittsburgh to speak to the youth about quizzing. He inspired them to not only read God's Word or memorize it, but to live it. He spoke of how his moment of reckoning came when he had a half sawed off shot gun in his chest. Yes, your life does flash before your eyes when confronted with death. I watched this man worship and pray before he spoke to the teens, his heart humbled before God. He told of the power of prayer and how Bible Quiz is growing more this past month with people joining him in forty days of fasting and prayer for this ministry than at any other time in his thirty six years of ministry. He is busy setting up kids in teams to study and quiz around the country and getting calls from Africa. At sixty five, he is nowhere near stopping. The energy fueled by an awesome God.
My daughter, Katie, affected by the influence of her years of quizzing, had the heart to revive this ministry. It has always been on my heart, but I prayed for the right time. The pastors at church were praying. Pastor Bernie prayed Hermitage would become involved again, all about the same time. In fact, Pastor Bernie prayed about our teens, when ten minutes later, our youth pastor messaged him on Facebook to come speak to our youth group.
We have two teams. I'm excited for the study. I love working with teens. I love to see the miracles that come from this ministry, the answered prayers, the honoring of God. Kids reading the Bible many more hours than they would have otherwise, hearing the Word in quiz matches and tournaments on Saturday mornings, and hiding It in their hearts are some of the blessings.
The love of the Bible instilled in me early in life,  not only from Dad, but I think of Jack Stevenson, too, Reverend Hatch, Barb Hettrick, Edna Wencil, and so many others makes me keep my commitment of reading it every morning. I stretch myself with memorization. I read and listen to commentaries and lessons on this Book. I pray this next generation will catch the love of God's Word and Him.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

I need seat time to polish my novel. I also want to walk and take advantage of the summer perfect day. Glad I'm off today!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book for Mothers and Daughters

I finished Diane Keaton's Then Again, published in 2011.  First, I was struck by so many similarities. I started my blog in 2011 in response to not being able to go to my mother any more for the stories of our family. Diane's mother died in 2008, her dad in 1990, the same years my mother and dad died.
Does it take about two to three years to process what losing a mother means to an adult daughter? For me, it seems to have, especially after a long illness and care giving. Another episode Miss Keaton and I shared.
Diane is older than my oldest sibling, Diane, by two years. Yet, I feel we are all of the same generation. She would be one of the first and I, by most statistics, of the last. Our parents were about the same age, which may be another reason I feel of the baby boomer generation. Her parents both came from broken homes, with my dad, the last child of a widow and my mother, who's mother walked away from home in 1936, I felt affinity.
Another tid bit I thought interesting, Diane Keaton, watched Times Square on TV every New Year's Eve in Pasadena, California, dreaming of being in New York City. She left sunny California for dreary, dirty New York, for acting school. My brother-in-law watched the Rose Bowl Parade every New Year's Day, in dreary, dirty Farrell, Pennsylvania, knowing he was not going to stay with the cloudy days. My youngest daughter, too, has directing and California dreams.
The feel of the memoir draws me into Diane's life. A middle income California girl, who happens to meet Gale Storm's son later in life, who dates her childhood crush of Warren Beatty, (remember Bonnie and Clyde?), meets her childhood idols of Audrey Hepburn, Richard Burton and Gregory Peck at award ceremonies is ordinary. The celebrity life never seemed to take over her wonder.
Diane's mother, Dorothy writes journals, copious journals, a woman who came of age after her children flew the coop. She writes of Woody Allen, like any mother would write about her daughter's new boyfriend. I'm envious. Not of the celebrity status, but of Dorothy writing her stories. I wish Mom had written more. And my daughters will have my writing and maybe never want to read it.
Diane becomes a mother at age fifty by adopting a daughter in a basket. Latter, a son, the same way with visitors delivering a boy in a blue blanket basket. She loves the ordinariness of her extended family, like the swim meets early in the morning, when she wrote much of this book. There is no mention of birth mothers or the kids wondering about their families. I wonder how Lost Daughters would feel about this?
Reading a book about mothers and daughters from a baby boomer, a famous baby boomer, explored feelings of that special relationship two females can hold. Having Dorothy's words about her childhood and motherhood added to the journey. As always when I hear about these stories, I am so thankful for the difference Jesus made in our family. The born again Dad, the mother following along, joining in his vision that was real. We had the genuine experience, yet my siblings and I have to make our own choices. Our children have to follow their path. I witnessed little hypocrisy in my family. I am not disillusioned. I think of my mother with children, the smile of love and I know her love was true, as well.
Like Diane Keaton, at the end of her book, I, too, pen words for my mother. I turn some days, wishing I could pick up that phone or hop in the car to speak and see her. I believe where Mom is, Diane notices that she speaks to her mother in "Then" which becomes "Again." The truth Dorothy wrote before she starting losing her mind, It's so hard to understand the complexities of our human existence. Why were we created with emotions of love only to be left with such emptiness when those we have felt love for are taken out of our lives? I will never know the answer until I die...
1 Thessalonians chapter four states we do not grieve like those who have no hope. 
I am glad I have the hope of eternal life. I'm glad the religion presented to me rang true to me, unlike the religion of Dorothy or Diane did to them. Still when Dorothy pondered this question above she did think of the Bible and found some comfort. I believe truth is found there. I have been taught, the Holy Spirit will lead all into Truth and Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life." I hope those truths these ladies heard as young girls in church will come through to them.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Support Your Local Bookstore 
More on Stephen King. I bought his new book Saturday at our local bookstore. He is supporting the "brick and mortar" bookstores. I want to support them, too. The owner has local author signings. She wasn't there on Saturday, but I hope to develop a relationship with her.
In the meantime, I need to polish Summer Triangle before it leaves the sky. I'm watching the real one slowly, yet quickly march across the sky. The beginning of May, the formation was in the East. Saturday evening it dominated the Southern sky right outside my door. Last year at the end of June, when I first discovered it, it filled the night sky in the Southwest corner. As time flies, soon it will be gone for another year.
The cover is close to being finalized. I need to re-read the story yet another time. And pray. Stick my courage to the hitching post and run like the wind. Or something like that. Because I am scared. Where did all my plucky confidence hide?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Thoughts on Dreams

I had a dream this morning that at once was unsettling and comforting at the same time. Someone I hadn't seen in a long time came back into my life. The relationship tried to develop into one that no one could understand. His arms strong around me gave me the comfort, yet he understood more than I that I couldn't give in to the feelings.
I have been stressed and I'm sure the dream was an outreach of that. I had just read in Psalm 57 and 58 before drifting off to sleep where God is my comfort. I do want to look only to Him.
I'm not sure if I want to publish this. This is where fiction could come in and help. Protect the innocent and all that. A fantasy life not of my own making but expanded in my waking mind. Sometimes these forays help me.
Do dreams own us or do we own them? Notice how we wake ourselves before we are killed or hit the ground when we are falling. I'm not alone in wondering about dreams. I know I have addressed this before. Grandma put stock in dreams with her dream interpretation book on her bedside stand.
In my case does the comfort come from God or a vivid imagination? Part of the dream was wondering around East Liverpool, Ohio on foot climbing from the valley of the Ohio River through those old brick streets at night. Dreams gather all kinds of thoughts and tid bits from the day weaving them together in a memorable fashion. I don't think this dream meant anything, although David and I talked about East Liverpool with meeting my writer's support group there. I just happened to remember the dream with a comforting feeling. I wished the man had been my husband, but I dreamed of David earlier. My overworked (worried) mind needs rest.
I guess I'll publish this. Any thoughts on your dreams?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Deadline or Dead Start?

I'm going to be a little lazy in my writing today. It is the Christmas season of graduations. Open houses every weekend this month. The graduation ceremonies completed throughout the Valley, now parties begin. I wrote about this tradition before- I'll link to my posts.
I started reading my second novel ever I have read by Stephen King yesterday. I see why he is popular. He tells stories well. I read Carrie years ago. I thought about reading The Shining, but could never bring myself to it. I'm not a horror/ suspense reader, but I always read his interviews about writing. He is a prolific writer and his family follows his lead. That alone is awesome in my book.
A quote from the book I'm reading now, Hearts in Atlantis:
"There are books full of great writing that don't have very good stories. Read sometimes for the story. Don't be like the book snobs who won't do that. Read sometimes for the words- the language. Don't be like the play-it-safers that won't do that. But when you find a book that has both a good story and good words, treasure that book."
I have been thinking more in fiction lately. I love the phrases, the words, but I'm looking at story again, too. I feel I have been caught up with the publishing. I'm scared, to tell you the truth. I'm venturing out into a field dim to me. I don't trust my flashlight, either. I cling to the edge of the porch. I want to be on the other side, but the first steps are the hardest.
Look at the lion. Where does my help come from? From the Lord God of Israel, who neither slumbers nor sleeps. I pray for a back that will allow me to sleep. I pray for restfulness to finish the first step of publishing. I am glad for deadlines or I would remain at a dead start.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Generous Husband

I got off the phone with my husband. He chattered away about what he has for my daughter's birthday today. He finds unusual items. He loves to spend money on gifts.
I think how one time David paid for personalized T-shirts or hats at a local store. The Salvation Army had an order right after he finished his transaction. He grabbed his wallet and pulling out the amount for their order.
Speaking of the Salvation Army, David will literally throw his coinage into the kettle at Christmas time, laughing, "Merry Christmas!"
Forget cheerful giver, David is a hilarious giver. At first, this bothered me, wondering if he were sincere. I found out he is. I discovered he is painfully honest. When Seafood Express didn't charge us for a dinner that we ate, he went back in and paid for it. An impressed nineteen year old gave up her heart that day to an honest man. Most would think, "Oh, I'm lucky," and pocket the money.
Another reason this conservative guy won and kept my heart. He may not be a financial wizard, but in God's economy, he knows what he is doing.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


I don't know how to unfollow any blogs, but for your information, I will not be reading "Lost Daughters" any more due to their narrowness of opinions. Seems to be the way of the cyber world now. Only "MY" opinion counts, there is no openness of ideas. This trend may also be a product of the "ME" Generation. I prefer to be positive and if that is a problem, you may chose to not read me, either.
As Dad said in Prize Winner of Deliverance, Ohio, "You know what your problem is Mother, you're too damn happy."  I want that said of me. Well, in fact, one of the residents told the aid and me that, the other day. Yes, I want to be too damn happy.
I hope to uplift people. I want to encourage struggling ones. I have the listening ear. People have told me their troubles since my junior year of nursing school- thirty two years of, as Fraiser said, "I'm listening." In fact, I never even have to say that. Strangers will approach me to tell me their problems. I see this as a privilege to share the hope of Jesus. As Peter wrote in the Bible:

1 Peter 3:15

New International Version (NIV)
15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

So I strive to be gentle and respectful. I only request that from other Christians, whom I hope have read the epistles of Peter. I'm saddened when I experience this not happening. I expect to be ridiculed  from the world. Maybe I am being the ostrich with my head buried in the sand, but I will not read blogs that are not opened to opinions.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Liberal Gal Marries Conservative Guy

David had a vote for Nixon shirt in 1972 before he could vote. I had a bikini that year that had VOTE on the butt in red, white and blue. My parents voted for Humphry, David's for Nixon. We hadn't met yet. We had seven more years till I was fascinated by someone totally different from any one I had ever known.
In many ways, the young man I encountered on Labor Day weekend of 1979 looked the liberal part. Long hair, detached, not a church goer, even though he had come to live with his brother, a minister. He belonged to S.E.F.A.- Sex Education For All- in college and spent more time with that organization than his studies, which explains why he came to live with his brother. He thought abortions should be legal, but limited.
I,  just out of high school, still attended church, Sunday School and Bible study, which is how I met  Ray, first. I'm not sure what my ideas on abortion were at that very time. Shortly after that, I saw a few movies on the botched abortions before they were legalized and I thought they should be at least safe. Who'd think that Kermit Gosling's would exist forty years after that reasoning?
I thought government should help people, because I was taught the people were the government, right, "We the people?" The government did help my dad get two jobs, which reinforced my idea. I thought though a person had to earn these benefits. My dad was a great worker and a good person.
David's father worked for the borough, knowing more than his elected boss. He had a different opinion of working for the government. Both our mothers worked the voting polls, all day for twenty five dollars. Mom's went directly to Diane in college.
Slowly, we learned that we were similar in many ways from our fathers being the same age, serving in the Army Air Corp, working on the same planes, to being Masons. Family was first in both homes. Homes were always opened for district chorus members to missionaries to long lost relatives. Hospitality was more than a way of life.
The first election we learned together in 1980. I didn't like Reagan, at all. David didn't like him because of the way he stole votes in the primary or something like that. Jimmy Carter for re-election was a no brainer with his failed presidency, although, I think my parents still voted for him. David and I voted together for John Anderson, the last time I vote for a third party candidate.
We had fallen in love. David's intelligence thrilled me. He showed kindness and integrity also. I think how young we both were, yet I was so ready for marriage. We were both traditionalists.
I could hardly believe David when he said the big chemical company didn't pay taxes when we first lived in Connecticut. Of course, they paid taxes. No, he said, they pass the taxes to the consumer. He stated facts that made me think.
I held to my Democratic views through the 1984 and 1988 elections. I actually applauded Mondale for saying he would have to raise taxes. How can a government provide services without money? They say that lost his election. We voted on a mild November day, waiting in a long line outside a Norwich, Connecticut elementary school, both knowing we were voting opposite of each other. I guess David forgave Reagan for ruining the convention four years earlier.
1988 saw us living with my parents before we finalized our house. Needless to say, political discussions became lively, although, David always remained calm. He really never argued or called the opponents names.
In the summer of 1992, Ray talked to David about a radio show he had tuned in and listened. Soon, I heard Rush Limbaugh. At first I was suspect, but when David told me Ray recommended this talk show, I opened my ears. I didn't know about the blow hard voice, but as Rush advises it takes about six weeks to adjust to it. He made sense to me.  I learned things I wouldn't hear on the big three networks.
I began my home health career in August 1992, with a lot of radio time with the traveling. I learned about Bill Clinton. I felt sorry for a patient, a very Christian woman, who had no idea one of Bill's first acts would be for the gays in the military. She thought, it was the economy, stupid. Bill came across as a good ole country Christian boy to her and she, at least, was duped. I never argued politics with my patients, so I felt badly she learned the hard way.
So did the party change or did I? Probably, a little bit of both. At this point, I don't look to either party as what we need. Jesus is the One to whom I look. I don't think I could vote third party, though, again. I understand the reasoning, even believe a person should vote what he believes, but enough will not do that. As the line in Into the Woods, remarks I did not stray from the path, the path strayed from me.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Political Views of Two Families

Coming from a family of farmers, Grandma Evans was always a staunch Republican. Remember she walked five miles to hear Alf Landon, the Republican nominee against FDR, kick off his campaign in 1936. She remained faithful to that party. Her sister, Jim, on the other hand, had five children to feed switched her alliance to the Roosevelt presidency. My mother recalled Jim snapping back to her father, when he questioned that," I have mouths to feed, Papa."
I do find it interesting, that Grandma moved to the city, never lived on a farm the rest of her life. She married Grandpa, his job was in Pittsburgh. The Westinghouse branched to Sharon and he transferred here. Aunt Jim married a farmer, Ralph Slater, over the line in Ohio. She left the traditional party of farmers.
My mom and dad first registered as Republicans. Later along the way, I believe it was Jane Thompson, the head of the Democratic Party in West Middlesex, signed them up for that party and they remained that. Dad worked for different candidates in Mercer County, mostly friends. All politics are local. The state representative helped Dad get jobs after he retired from Sharon Steel.
So I, naturally, at eighteen registered as a Democrat. I shouldn't say naturally because some eighteen year olds rebel. Yet, I loved my parents, respected their beliefs, as well, as mostly held them.
I contend the old Democratic Party did have a good heart. I listen to old John F. Kennedy speeches or read an obituary of a leader in the local party and they hold conservative ideas. The Democratic Party lost me when they refused to let Governor Bob Casey speak at the national convention due to his anti abortion views. I'm not even sure if I had become totally pro-life as I am now, but that just didn't seem right.
My husband came from a family of farmers as well, one generation away. His Grandfather Nickler, a die hard Republican pretended to not like David's brother, Ray, because Ray was born on FDR's birthday. The old bank calenders at the time had a little drawing of every president in the corner of their birth date. Ray, one year, cut out his school picture and pasted it over FDR's, that man in the White House. Adam Nickler never pretended to not like Ray again.
David remarked that when he was in high school, probably for a civics class, they observed the registry of voters in Cameron County. The names fairly jumped back and forth between the two parties, mostly. Then came the Lyon's, almost all of them on the Republican side, with maybe one or two exceptions. This was over forty years ago, I have no idea where that is now.
The parties have changed for sure. Yes, the idea of the rich fat cat running the Republican Party is still there. But I think all the leaders are rich beyond most of us. Farmers were Republican because, they, too, are small business owners and less regulation from the government aids them. Some hold that the two parties are not much different. I have never changed my party, due to in the primaries, I can vote for the most conservative Democrat. Many in this area cross over anyways. This region is highly Democratic. I had home health patients that liked a nurse, except for her name of Reagan. Yet, I could detect an undercurrent of truth. They would like her more, if her name had been Kennedy.
Tomorrow, I'll write on how a liberal gal married a conservative guy.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Forgive My First Response

I have another sin to confess. I edit books now. I try to be generous, as I hope people are generous to me. Last night, I started a New York Times best selling author. I try not to pass judgment too quickly, because I have been moved by books before that at a first I considered juvenile. I finish books.
Yet, last night, I found myself first looking at grammar, then the plausibility of an action taken by the heroine. I had to stop myself. I don't want to be that way. I do hope my books will entertain and not make people stop reading because of some point irritates them. I give passes on some, especially, if I'm also reading a C.S. Lewis' novel. Maybe not a good idea to pair up first time writers against a classic.
I think last night, I had higher expectations because this author is a New York Times bestseller. I have heard her interviewed. This is the first book of hers I started reading because at the library they usually have the third or fourth of series without the first or second. First is what this new novel is.
I'm having an easier time reading Diane Keaton's book about herself and her mother because I expect a degree of scatterbrain from this delightful woman. I'm a sucker, too, for mother/daughter relationships from the fifties and sixties, as well as a bit of history. All history is personal. I will post on this book, later, when I finish it. Plus, Diane is not a professional writer with many books under her belt.
Anyways, I'm confessing that I have this habit of being maybe a bit too critical. I don't want to be so. I want a degree of understanding from my reader, too. I read to learn. I look past some faults because learning is not always intellectual, but emotional and spiritual. I'll plow through, hoping to learn. I'll be patient, as in the golden rule. Forgive me my first response.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

No Parking My Courage

Half way through the year I reflect on my picture of this year, representing courage. I'm on the cusp of publishing my first novel, although it is not my first to have written. I can't park my courage, now. That lion may lay there in the sun, but I move forward.
I have changed jobs this year and stretched myself not only physically but mentally and emotionally with that. They basically know me only as a nurse. I am not a writer in their eyes. I keep that somewhat to myself, but not a secret. Changing workplaces and styles has taken much courage.
I am a bit scared of publishing. I peruse my numbers on my blog and groan, is my platform enough? Will I make even the initial investment back? Then the pondering of the reason I write. I can't at this time quit. I feel plucky, the little writer who could. I don't fear. That flash can happen. No parking my courage, I have to do this, no matter what.
What will the next six months bring? Book signings with the help of my new writer's support group. I love people but sometimes the cold call aspect of being in the public makes me sweat. Will I say the right words? Will I offend? Courage, my dear, courage.
Courage to look up first, to depend on God. Courage to listen to wise advise and not rush into anything that may not bring the benefit promised. I may have almost done that yesterday with the promise of funding for publishing with West Bow. I have my eyes rose colored on the Christmas catalog, as I glance at my checkbook. I really don't have the money to get started with West Bow. No, I must stick to plan A, to use money made from the free novel printing from NaNoWriMo to pour into Main Street. 
Writers today need to build a platform, promote themselves and sell their product. Courage bucks me up as I ask for people to click on the ads from my blog. You don't have to buy anything, really, don't even have to look at the ad, point and click is all I requested.  From the blitz yesterday, I made five dollars for the month of May. I nervously typed that request, although, I did think it would be fun to see if many would respond.
Back to, Why? Why do I, a shy person, do this? Well, about as shy as Katie was at three, plowing into a room of distant relatives, proclaiming, "I'm shy." I feel comfortable sometimes, but deep down, I'm scared. I sense writing is a gift that I have been honing for years and I must share these stories, still will others deem them worthy? Maybe with some lost of desperation the task is easier? I'm not sure. Writers need an edge as well.
A friend posted on her comments about how much God has worked in her life the last four years. I hope she will share her story here some day. A point of hers is not to look back, but to look up. Courage, I ask from the Courage giver. Here's to the next six months and courage to face what may come. I am not parking my courage anywhere, but forging ahead- little pioneer, me.