Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Happy New Year's Eve Bloggers!
I learned yesterday that the second book in my Chesapeake Heritage series has gone to print! Chesapeake Legacy is the story of a woman caught between two worlds when she is banished for having Indian blood. Hannah, the great-granddaughter of Mary Charles whose history is related in Chesapeake Harvest, becomes Heron and tries to travel North to join the Iroquois, but her band is massacred by a hostile tribe along the Susquehanna River. Heron returns to the Choptank River and finds love and a future with her people the Nanticoke.
The print of for Chesapeake Legacy will be available at Amazon.com and at many ebook sites such as Kindle, Fictionwise, Mobipocket, All Romance Ebooks and from my publisher Write Words Inc. at www.writewordsinc.com.
If you enjoy history and the struggles our ancestors survived to build lives under harsh conditions, the Chesapeake Heritage series offers easy-to-understand history in novel form and a great start for your happy reading in the New Year! Cover art for the series is by Snow Hill artist Dawn M. Tarr. Find her art at www.dawntarr.com
Happy New Year and Happy Reading! Terry
Monday, December 29, 2008
I made a resolution to do my best to promote my Chesapeake Heritage series in the coming year. My series of novels follows one family of women who live and love on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, facing hardship and privation as they helpe build th colony that became a state.
Chesapeake Harvest, book one in the series, follows the adventures of Mary Charles who came to what is now known as the Delmarva Peninsula as an indentured servant. Her great-granddaughter Hannah is ostracized for her Nanticoke Indian blood. Hannah's granddaughter Jane faces the terror of an abusive husband, and her granddaughter Jewel learns a new way of life following the end of the Civil War. Each of these women has a compelling story to tell.
Chespeake Harvest, published by Write Words Inc. is available in print or as an ebook from Amazon.com, Kindle, Fictionwise, Mobipocket, All Romance E-books andmore. Chesapeake Legacy is available as an ebook with print copies available after the first of the year. Chesapeake Destiny is due to be released as an ebook in the spring of 2009. The final book in the series should be available in late 2009. The distinctive cover art for the series is by Snow Hill Marland artist Dawn M. Tarr.
For more about the Chesapeake Heritage series go to www.chesapeakeheritage.blogspot.com
Terry L. White
Friday, December 26, 2008
Good Friday Morning!
Well, Christmas is over and now that the celebration is has subsided, things get a little quieter. Sure, the stores will be crowded with people looking for post-holiday bargains. Then there are the gifts you need to return for one reason or another. The stores are full and all the shoppers are either impatiently looking for refunds or wandering around with a look of vague lunacy in their eyes.
For myself, I look for light. Winter is the season for hibernation - which should be a legal occupation for those of us with seasonal affective disorder. I can't go to a warmer place for the winter, I think we should be allowed to stay in bed until the weather warms up, but you and I both know that can't happen.
The thing remaining is to look for the light. My friend Sue, who has spent much of the free time in her life volunteering to help those less fortunate, collects lighthouses. Book publicist Nikki Leigh uses a lighthouse as a theme running through her wonderfully hopeful novels. Lighthouses remind us to look for the light in the darkest night, and I think the people who collect them have the right idea.
What brings the light into your life? Good friends? Your spirituality? Little kids playing in the snow? Even the darkest of days have a ray of hope. I got a seed catalog the other day, an arrival that always reminded me that spring always comes. All I can say is if we look for the light, it is always there.
Have a great day folks and stay on the sunny side! Terry
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Well, Christmas Eve us upon us. Today I plan to make some oatmeal cookies and try to stay out of the living room. Up until yesterday, I had boxes and boxes of gifts to be delivered to my pet charity. It looks pretty empty today, but I know there are a lot of senior citizens in towns who had a nice gift they didn't expect.
I remember Christmas Eves as a kid. We went to church and they had a Christmas play when each little class recited parts of the Christmas story. Then we went home with our little box of candy and had one gift to hold us until morning. We sure had trouble falling asleep, and when we got up we could only open the stocking because the grown-ups were sleeping. I don't think we realized it at the time, but those very parents wanted to watch us enjoy our gifts - and they surely deserved the rest.
I wish I had such an eventful holiday to anticipate, but I have had a really great holiday so far. Linda and I had a great time handing out presents yesterday and then we went for lunch. That was fun. Then Jeanne came by and we exchanged gifts. That was wonderful too. Tomorrow I will go to Arline's house and have a big dinner and exhange gifts there. That seems like a lot, when I stop to think about it.
What about the church part? I pray all the time now, and I didn't do near so much when I was young. Talking to God is a big part of my day, and I know it will be a good sized part of my holiday activities. I pray that the people I love have great holidays, that they get the gifts they want and have the wherewithal to purchase those that someone else doesn't think of.
As for my readers, I sure would like to wish them the most merry Christmas they can conceive. Keep it real sunny folks! Terr
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Good Holiday Morning,
Yeah, yeah, I know. Christmas isn't here yet, but 'tis the season to reach out and touch people who mean a lot to you. Some of those people are close by and those individuals get something from my kitchen - cookies, or maybe some of my famous chocolates with macaroon, nut and raisin or pineapple under the dark chocolate. Mmmmmm.
Folks further away will get a call or maybe a card, although I send fewer and fewer cards as time wears on. Techno-Christmas finds me writing long emails to folks I cherish.
There is a lot of yap about how the Internet is free, but who among us does not fork out a sum of money each and every month to keep our computers hooked up to all those other computers? There is hardly a home without a working Internet link. People have cell phones to keep them connected on a daily basis. I don't know, but I cherish that daily call or frequent emails from some special person. They say that the other person cares and sure feels like a blessing to me.
And so, to all of you, I wish you a happy, prosperous and blessed New Year. Have a holly jolly! Terry
Monday, December 22, 2008
Happy Holidays Bloggers!
This morning I am thinking about all the angels in my life - and there have been many. I wish I could seek them out to thank them for the wonderful things they have done for me when I thought hope was gone.
Let me tell you about some of them: There was my childhood friend Janie, who liked me in spite of my differences. There was the English teacher, who encouraged me to write. There was Dorothy, who gave me a job whenever I was between jobs or husbands. There was John, who coached me in shameless self-promotion. There was Arline, who let me sleep in her living room for an entire year until I got my own place. There was Vinnie who helped me see I am a good musician, and Jewel who taught me how to see - period. I guess I could go on, but you get the idea.
Angels don't necessarily float down to decorate my life in clouds of glory. Sometimes, they are just regular people who have common sense solutions to my seemingly insurmountable problems: like Nikki Leigh, who found a way to help me promote my books; Vernon who fixed my roof and painted, and Dawn Tarr, who does my book covers (see today's art). I can't thank any of these folks enough, and I hope they all have a wonderful holiday season - no matter how stressed their lives seem.
So, count your angels and have a happy holiday season. Terry
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I am so excited. I talked to friends in New Orleans the other day and they have facilitated the reading of my book Runaway Hearts on National Radio for the Blind. I don't have a broadcast date as yet, but I will be sure to let you know when you can listen.
Now, you may ask why I am so excited about this particular great incident in my writing career. Well, Runaway Hearts is about Dorchester County, Maryland. If you look on a map of the state, Dorchester County is the heart-shaped area across the Chesapeake Bay from Washington, D.C.
Dorchester County is a unique place with a fascinating history connected to the Civil War. Anna Ellen Carroll, a woman who held great influence on Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman all came from this area, so when I moved here, I could hear the ghosts of those troubled times calling from the forests and marshes. The result was Runaway Hearts, a volume of poetry that tells the stories of the colonists and the struggle for freedom that originated here.
Yes, the stories are in poetic form, and you may say you don't like poetry, but I have read these stories for people of all ages, and they get it ... the search for love, the struggle for freedom, and the way war affected the lonely souls who scratched out a life on this magical place.
Don and Jewel Banning got the book to the station and lobbied to have it read. I can't thank them enough for believing in me and my work.
So. In the spirit of shameless self-promotion, I give you Runway Hearts and will let you know when you can hear the book on your own computer. That will be my gift to you this holiday season. Keep on the sunny side! Terry
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Happy Holidays Bloggers,
Just a note to tell you I had good news the other day. My new book Chesapeake Legacy is about to go to press and will be available in the new year. It is already available as an ebook at www.writewordsinc.com, Fictionwise, Mobipocket, Kindle and more.
Chesapeake Legacy incorporates the very real history of the Eastern Shore of Maryland with the story of a woman who faces a monumental struggle to survive during dangerous times.
Hannah is banished from her childhood home when her Uncle Percy decides he will not harbor a half-breed child in his home. Hannah's journey takes her to live with the Nanticoke Indians of the area where she finds a good life, albiet not without a great struggle to find safety in a land grown ever more crowded with white settlers.
Chesapeake Harvest is the second in my Chesapeake Series and will be available in print at Amazon.com and local bookstores soon. The cover art is by Eastern Shore artist Dawn M. Tarr of Snow Hill who ran with the idea of a woman living between two cultures and made it a reality.
If you like historical novels and family sagas, I know you will enjoy the Chesapeake series. Have a happy holiday, Terry
Friday, December 19, 2008
Well, today's image shows Santa talking on the telephone. The only thing is, these days a call is most often made on a cell phone. Do you thing Santa has one? I don't see how he can help it, the way the world rolls these days. I wouldn't be surprised it the jolly old elf spends a lot of time with his PC these days too.
All of this is very good, if you are really sure what you want for Christmas, but at my age, I find the intangibles are on more often on my list than the material goods everyone is chasing as the end of the holiday countdown looms ever closer.
I don't think I need any more clothing. There isn't any room in the closet, anyway. I don't need electronics, my chip is an old model and won't support the new technology. I don't need any more books or movies, I think they are multiplying in the corners, but I could be mistaken. I most certainly don't need any more food. Tis the time of year to be jolly - and gain weight. This is a tough one when everyone is putting out their best culinary efforts. I know I look forward to stuffing, and chocolate covered cherries.
What does that leave? I think world peace is on the list, but we have not achieved that particular goal in hundreds of years - I wouldn't take it off the list, but I won't hold my breath either. I would like better health, but here I am in my golden years, and the healing industries depend on senior citizens to keep them in business. I would like to be able to spend more time with the people I love, and here I think I just have to appreciate the time they can spend.
So what do you want Santa to bring to your house this year? I think a better economy is on the list, but I remember being really poor during the holidays, and having more doesn't really guarantee any real happiness.
I think the trick is to be really happy with what we have. Santa is checking his list... what will be in your stocking?
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Good Morning Bloggers,
This morning I watched the news and it isn't good. All sorts of lay-offs are predicted and it looks like a lot of people are going to be out of work. It is funny, though, some of the best Christmas holidays I ever spent were times when I was the poorest.
When I was a kid, my father worked in a factory and my stepmother stayed home. When it came time for the holiday decorations, we went out on the sidehill near the house and cut down a little pine tree. It wasn't shapely like the trees on the Christmas cards, but we had some treasured ornaments - a few glass balls, a string of bubble lights and lots of tinsel, which frosted every branch. There weren't so many gifts, but I remember the holiday fondly.
On Christmas eve we went to church and each of us had a 'piece' to say. When the program was over, Santa gave each of the children a little box of hard candy (which contained one chocolate creme drop!). That seemed like a very big deal at the time.
The holiday board was full of things Mom had baked, she baked for days, and that was one day when we all had as much as we wanted to eat. We had new mittens and hats to keep us warm on the mile-long walk to school and church. Things were good.
This year, I will join friends for a Christmas dinner and then come home and watch television. On Tuesday I will go to a medical facility and distribute gifts I collected from friends to the clients there and sing carols. The Birthday Babes will meet tomorrow for an all-inclusive lunch and holiday gift exchange.
It all seems like a lot, so I know I am blessed to have friends who conspire to make Christmas a good holiday - even as I linger in my "golden" years. I still remember the reason for the season, and I hope you do too. Be an ornament for someone you love. Cheers! Terry
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Wow! I won!
This morning I opened my email only to find I had been awarded the Honest Scrap Award by Nikki Leigh. The rules say I have to pass the Award on by listing 10 brutally honest things about myself and then passing the award on to seven bloggers - all of whom will also be brutally honest about themselves. This sounds a bit dicey to me, but here goes:
1. I collect too much stuff, knicknacks, books, movies, people. I stop just shy of being a pack rat.
2. I don't like rutabagas.
3. I never liked to drive, and don't like to ride with reckless drivers.
4. I believe in a benevolent diety, but I don't care what you might call him/her.
5. I don't mind dirty work. Cleaning is good exercise. (Everything in moderation, though.)
6. I don't like squirrels. They have eaten or stolen everything I planted in the back yard for years.
7. I don't believe in buying on credit. If I can't pay for something, I don't need it.
8. I wonder where the healers are in medicine these days. It appears to me that if a doctor can't bring you back to the office again and again, he or she is not doing his or her job.
9. I believe that everyone is good until they show me otherwise. (Call me Pollyanna)
1o. I think we get what we put into life, and that sometimes we have to deal with some bad stuff from previous lives.
Arline Chase http://www.writewordsinc.com
CJ Scarlet http://cjscarlet.blogspot.com
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I got a notice yesterday the power company was going to shut off my gas because I did not make a full payment on the utility bill. I am a little confused. I have more than $1100 credit from a HEAP payment intended to help people with low incomes pay for their utilities.
Now, my budget payment went from $140 to $164 this winter, leaving me with $19 to buy food and medicines for the month. Even with prescription relief which allows me to purchase necessary medicines for as little as $2.70 to $5.60 per prescription, that doesn’t leave anything at all for frivolities like food. I am trying to pay my mortgage and utility bills, but this letter hurt my feelings since I did send them $125 last month. To threaten me with a shut-off when gas is what heats my home is completely abusive.
The thing is, I would not have applied for energy assistance to help with heating costs if I didn’t need it. . . I am not wasting fuel. I only heating two downstairs rooms in my home and have no heat at all upstairs where I sleep. I layer up. I count every penny.
Here’s my question: Why can’t some of the grant money alloted to me be used to help pay for my heat?
If you know, I wish you would tell me. You can be sure I intend to call the company Monday morning to find out why I am being threatened with a shut-off when there is so much money available to pay for the heat without using all my available money to pay for a budget so I don’t have a bill next summer. My summer use is negligible. I can pay for that!
You tell me and keep on the sunny side if at all possible.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I was looking for a clip for this morning and noticed this one with Santa speaking on telephone. It made me wonder if the jolly old elf had succumbed to the trend to the use of cell phones.
When I was a kid, we had one phone for five or more people all living in the same house. We were on what the telephone company called a party line, and that worked out fine too. People hung up if they heard conversation on the line and made their call later. If the cows got out, it was perfectly fine to interrupt the chatters, but otherwise one waited their turn.
Today we see cell phones everywhere. Teachers, kids and administrators all have them in schools, cops wear them as part of their uniform, and some folks carry both business and personal phones so they don't miss a call.
Poor Santa, though. I can't imagine how he can get all the prep work done for the big holiday if he is on the phone day and night dealing with anxious kids who just call instead of writing letters or bugging their parents for the most desired gift of the season. He must have some really boss elves to keep up with everything while the phones keep ringing.
I wouldn't call Santa if I had a cell phone - which I don't. I wouldn't call at all, since I can't call long distance on my phone plan and I guess the North Pole is out of my calling area. I wouldn't call anyway - there is nothing I need so badly that it won't wait.
If I could have Santa's ear, I would ask for peace and a better economy. I would ask for people to get along and be a little more patient with one another. Wouldn't that be nice?
I just thought I would add my two cents. Keep on the sunny side. Terry
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I have sort of gotten away from sending holiday cards since I got my computer and the price of stamps has gone up so much. Back when I was about ten years old, I went out selling Christmas cards in an effort to raise money to buy gifts. All the adults who saw the cards thought they were nifty, but said they couldn't afford cards because postage went up from two cents to three cents per card that summer. Huh.
These days, I send an email to my beloved friends - and I used to call until my recent go-round with Verizon who now requires subscribers to pay for the privilege of paying for long distance calls. I guess nothing ever really changes.
Christmas cards are nice, and they convey a happy message, but I know that if I only think of a person once a year, they are really not worth all that much. Maybe that tells us something? Maybe we need to pay more attention to our loved ones all year 'round?
Today I am going to make chocolates. I will put them up in holiday bags from the dollar store and deliver them to my favorite people. Nothin' says lovin' like chocolate, right?
I sure hope you are having a good time remembering your favorite people this holiday season.
Take care, stay well and keep on the sunny side. Terry
Monday, December 8, 2008
Saturday I attempted to call friends in New Orleans and learned how much the world has changed in the last few years.
Five years ago, I bought a house using my savings as a down payment. At that time I had friends with cell phones with out-of-area numbers so I chose to add 'unlimited long distance' to my phone services.
Prior to this, I had a local phone account that charged for long distance calls, so adding 'unlimited' long distance made sense with friends around the corner whose phones originated in other cities. I didn't think much of it, since I could afford the service. But times have changed.
I am now on social security, and while I might not look as cute as my picture (it is my favorite!) I am not that dumb either. Like lots of other Americans, the economy has forced me to cut back some of my spending, so I called Verizon and asked them to take the 'unlimited' long distance off my account. I thought I would still be able to make my long distance calls as long as I paid for them.
Little did I know this request removed ALL long distance from my account. It was early Saturday morning when I tried to call friends out of my local calling area when that danged little mechanical voice insisted I had to have a long-distance calling code in order to complete the call. What long distance calling code!
Well, you know I called customer service - only to learn that I had NO long distance service at all on my account. It costs extra to pay for long distance calls. Excuse my lapse into the vernacular, but I ain't buying it!
I sure hope the new administration can fix what is wrong with our economy. This seems like a case of pure greed to me. My grandfather was a lineman and Granny was an operator back in the20's and you got all the long distance you wanted on your reglar line back then.
Today, you plain don't get any service unless you pay for them to charge you. I sure hope someone catches up with all of this stuff because it doesn't make sense.
In the meantime, if you want to talk with me and I'm not home, keep calling because I can't call you back! Keep on the sunny side if you can. Terry
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Good Grief Bloggers, it is cold out there!
Winter has arrived on the Eastern Shore, and lots of hardy souls are going to come out tonight to attend the Cambridge-Dorchester Christmas Parade. I'm staying in where it is nice and warm and shop for books at the new gift guide from Promo 101 Virtual Tours. You can check it out and download a copy at: www.nikkileigh.com/gift_guide_2008.htm.
My gift came yesterday when my friend and book publicist Nikki Leigh sent me my own copy of the gift guide. I was surprised and delighted to be included as her Roving Reporter and featured author! Looks like she got every one of my print and e-books included in the guide and I am feeling hopeful that holiday shoppers will find my books for gifts. Maybe Santa will put some copies under your tree?
I really love to write, and the characters in my books are my sisters - women who prevail through hard circumstances and never stop believing that life is good and love is possible. Maybe one of my heroines will remind you of someone you know? I hope so.
Keep on the sunny side! Terry
Friday, December 5, 2008
Good Friday Morning,
Last night I attended the gala for the 9th annual Festival of Wreaths at Pleasant Day Medical Adult Day Care Center. It was a glittering affair complete with four musical presentations, and more than 125 wreaths hung in the halls of the facility -all of them ready for sale by silent auction. The event was catered by just about every restaurant in the county. What a party.
I was there nine years ago when the boss, Jackie Vickers, told me she wanted a fund-raiser to help keep indigent clients in day care. Back then, it cost something under $70 for the services: transportation, two meals and a snack, medical supervision,activities, shopping, and social worker services. Last night proved the festival was pure gold. The sale of all those wreaths, a couple of raffles and a live auction of wonderful donated items generated thousands of dollars to keep our elders in the program.
I retired from Pleasant Day several years ago, but every Christmas I take time to make some wreaths - for myself, and for others. It is a lot of fun, and I always use up some of the tons of materials that seem to find their way into my craft shelves. Each year, I help decorate one of the 18 trees that decorate the center, and this year a couple of friends from the Wednesday Morning Artists helped. We made a wreath too - with dozens of little paintings by the members.
The gala was so much fun. I collected hugs and reconnected with friends I made during a career as fund-raiser for two non-profits and as a news reporter - one of the reasons I adore Cambridge. People are great here, and they aren't afraid to tell you they love you!
You can't beat a night like that. I hope you take time to do something for others less fortunate this holiday season. It sure keeps you on the sunny side. Love, Terry
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Good Morning Bloggers,
I bet you are wondering why I am writing bats in the dead of winter. Well, I have been wondering about bats ever since I noticed one solitary bat roosting between the screen and glass in a bedroom window.
Never having seen a bat at close range before, I took the opportunity to check out the little guy. Less than three inches long, the small flying mammal had its tiny wings wrapped tightly around his/her miniature body. Looking closely, I could see two tiny ears and the little hands that clutched at the screen. Huh. What an amazing creature.
I understand bats can carry rabies, but my miniscule visitor was a pane of glass away and I was fascinated by its proximity. My little bat was present some summer days, but not others - when the hunting was good for flies, mosquitoes and other flying peskies. Some days he/she roosted on one side of the window, some days on the other side. Some days I didn't see the little guy at all.
Last week the most miraculous thing happened. My bat brought home a partner. Now the two of them are cozied up in tight formation in the right-hand corner of my window. Now,, if I found thse guys in my room, I might freak out, but there they are in blissful sleep (bats enter a state of torpor when it is cold and insects are in short supply) just behind the glass of my window. They say there is someone for everyone, and I guess my little friend proves the point.
Stay warm, peeps and keep on the sunny side! Terry
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I am a little late getting started this morning. For some reason, the process of posting the blog here changes almost daily. Today I got computer jargon instead of the nifty holiday drawing I hped to post. So... if it doesn't work this time, think of a cute little girl with a teddy bear.
Isn't it funny how life gives you gifts? I know there are times when I decide to do one thing and then life turns left instead of right. That's when learning sets in -- and learning often involves effort. About that time, the gifts creep up on you. Nifty, huh?
I try to stay open when change hits. I mean, why get all upset? None of us are too old to learn a little something new.
Today, my lesson is to be brief. I need to get busy wrapping gifts so I can see who I still need to find something nifty for. I find gifts all year long, so the wrapping is about all that is left by the time December rolls around.
So, happy shopping, wrapping and receiving gifts. The sun is shining, it is going to be a pretty day.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Have you ever noticed how the eve of a holiday offers an endless vista of time off?
Last Wednesday evening we thought the holiday would last forever. But today? Monday morning is always a bear – today it is even worse. It is a bear with a toothache.
I am pretty sure the difference is relativity.
Think back to when you were a kid. Remember how much fun it was to play in the snow? Remember how you never got cold and it didn’t bother you to move several tons of the white stuff in order to build a fort? At my age, I will deny all relationship with a shovel. Winter is too cold, and my back won’t let me pick up heavy stuff.
Everything is relative.
When I was a kid I could eat a whole batch of cookies. Now, one brownie will put my blood sugar over the top. What kind of a deal is that?
When I was a kid, nine o’clock was too early to go to bed. Today I can hardly keep my eyes open after supper.
It is all relative, kiddo.The thing is, everything is relative. You just have to look at it from the right angle.Well, I gotta go, lots to do. After all, it is Monday morning.
Keep on the sunny side, Terry
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Isn’t it odd that Christmas emerges in the stores before the turkey leftovers are consumed. This year it seemed to me that merchants have been displaying Christmas merchandise for more than a month already. If you ask me, the reasons for many of our holidays has disappeared, giving way to holiday frenzy.
What has happened to our holidays that we think we have to spend them in retail stores? Used to be, a day off meant lying around the house, playing games, baking brownies or taking a walk in the woods. Holidays meant reconnecting with one’s family, not so much anymore. Oh, I got to share a wonderful turkey dinner with friends and I know lots of people did, and I realize what a crush the cook endured to gather the ingredients because the stores were mobbed by holiday shoppers. I see one man was crushed to death by a mob of frenzied shoppers on Black Friday. What a shame!
For me, Christmas is a sad time, but I try to leaven that depression by doing things for others. Each year in late autumn, I make some wreaths for a medical adult day care center. The money the wreaths earn provide days of care for clients who might not have the resources to pay for services. The wreaths are sold by silent auction and the whole town turns out for the fun on gala night.
I have also mobilized the writers and artists I know to gather gifts for the clients at the facility. We will take the gifts over to the center and sing carols with the clients on Dec. 23. Stuff like that helps me remember what Christmas is all about.
I am not telling you all of this because I want credit for my good deeds. I gather the gifts and make the wreaths because I want to help. I could have gone to the Lutheran Mission or maybe to the Salvation Army and packed up food for the needy. I could have donated toys to the Marines for kids whose parents can’t afford to provide anything more than the necessities for their offspring. There is always something to do for those less fortunate.
I think Christ might like these gifts of time more than the ones we fight the crowds to purchase every Christmas fad. I know in my heart JC didn’t suffer so retailers could prosper. That doesn’t make any sense at all.
Well, there’s my December soapbox. I hope I don’t offend. I also hope you find a way to do something extra for those less fortunate. It will make both parties involved feel better.
Keep on the sunny side. Terry
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
I am not going shopping today. Oh, that doesn't mean I am not going to give gifts during the holiday season, it just means that I don't plan to go out and join the madness. The thought of fighting my way through hoards of shoppers to buy things I can't afford for people I don't love is beyond my ken.
Besides, I have work to do. More than 50 years ago I set out to write the Great American Novel. I have written about 15 of them (Like the old woman who lived in the shoe, I can't name them all offhand ...) but you can check them out at http://www.writewordsinc.com/. My books are also available at Amazon.com and local bookstores if you can figure out the search engine.
Sometimes I wonder why I haven't made it to the big time. I had the requisite miserable childhood. I endured abusive relationships and worked my way through college by slinging hash at a truckstop and playing bass in a bluegrass band. I survived Appalachain as a kid and winters in the Adirondacks when no one had any work in the winter. Man! Do I have stories to tell.
Today I am still a starving artist, and I sometimes find that puzzling, although I have done my best to honor the dream. I guess that is the point. I still have a dream, and I still work every day to write one more page. There is always a next book - although I always wonder if I can do it again when I set those first words down in a new story.
The books give me reason to get up in the morning. They keep my mind sharp as I make sure I put in all the necessary words and leave out all the extra words. The stories keep me at my desk every day in order to find out what is going to happen next. I have friends who languish in the depths of depression, and I can't imagine not getting up and getting busy each day. I feel sorry for people who don't have a dream.
Maybe someday I will wake up and see that all the work means something, but at this point, I don't necessarily mean fame and fortune. Not everyone gets that hat. I have a good house and pretty much all the necessary things for a good life. Being rich wouldn't drag me out to shop on Black Friday. Heaven forbid.
After all, if I run out of money for gifts, I can always pass out books on Christmas morning! Keep on the sunny side and have a truly blessed day,
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tomorrow will be a big day for most of us. We will likely share a big turkey dinner with all the trimmings and the guys will watch football while the ladies wash dishes and chat in another room, and plan their shopping for Black Friday.
Why is it called Black Friday? I am not sure, but I think it is to remind us all of the stock market crash back in the 20s. Uh. Do we want to go there given America’s financial pickle? Better not.
I understand Congress has designated the day after Thanksgiving as Native American Day. I think that is interesting, but since I have a Native American heritage, not at all that flattering. Who wants to celebrate an earth-based holiday on the most commercial day of the year? Who thought up that big idea anyway?
Think about it. There wouldn’t even be a day of thanksgiving – or a country if it had not been for the Native Americans who helped their visitors from Europe how to survive in the forests and shores of what evolved to be the United States of America.
I am thankful for my ancestors, both the ones who sailed here to find a new way of life, and to the ones who met the boats. I don’t think my native ancestors would be all that tickled with the way things turned out. Somewhere along the line, the ideal of living without persecution and being able to worship as one pleased got turned around. My native ancestors were persecuted and massacred, scalped for bounties and pushed onto ever more worthless pieces of real estate. In some places, native people were even enslaved.
Where is the gratitude in that? My native ancestors taught my white ancestors how to build shelters and plant food. My white ancestors took their land, their freedom and their right to worship as they pleased. What, I ask, makes some people more entitled than any others? Can someone explain that to me?
The Native Americans were not the only individuals who suffered as this country evolved. Other ethnic minorities were used harshly and enslaved. Some of them celebrate their evolution with as long as a month of commemoration while the Native Americans get to share one day with a commercial spend-feast. Ugh!
Today’s image is a Dawn Tarr creation that she painted for the cover of my newest novel, Chesapeake Legacy, which will be in print by Write Words, Inc. this winter. The novel deals with prejudice, and tells the story of a woman who was not allowed to live among the European residents because she had native blood. She gets pushed around a lot. Life is like that. Sound familiar?
I hope all of you remember the role Native Americans played in the birth of this nation. They were there for us, and it would be nice if we could be there for them at last.
Have a blessed day,
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
When I was a kid, we lived in a house with no plumbing, and no central heat. I don’t remember being unhappy because it was what it was. I did wish to be warm a lot. Today, I have a beautiful home, but I can’t say as I am always warm. Fuel is still expensive, but I wear lots of layers and am pretty comfortable all the time. I wonder how warm the lean-tos and cabins the Pilgrims lived in were. No wonder the ladies wore those long skirts and shawls. Talk about tough. They must have had a big lot of faith to endure those times.
When I was a youngster, we walked. We walked to school. We walked to the store. We walked to church. When we were on vacation, we walked to and in the woods, and we walked to visit all the old ladies who lived on the surrounding farms. A car trip was an occasion. Today I have arthritis and can’t walk far. Maybe I should have been more thankful when I was a kid.
When I was a kid, I wore hand-me-downs from an aunt who worked. I was a big kid in high school and that arrangement worked, although I was sometimes less than grateful because I wanted the same sorts of skirts and blouses the other girls in my class wore. Today I happily shop at the local thrift shops, and couldn’t care less what the crowd is wearing so long as I am covered and warm.
We feasted on holidays when I was a kid, living on a farm provided all sorts of foods that seem like luxuries when one has to purchase them in today’s supermarkets. I guess I should have been more grateful back then, because preparing for a holiday is serious business for people on a fixed income.
When I was a child, I wrote my stories on a tablet of lined paper with a always diminishing yellow pencil. Today I use a computer that highlights my mistakes and sends the stories off to my publisher Write Words Inc. at the speed of light. Whodathunk it!
I am grateful and happy for what I have today. I wish that little girl in hand-me-downs could see all I have today. I bet she would be amazed at the harvest I have gathered in my life. I am grateful for the rich variety life has given me, and I am thankful for all of my happy harvest.
Keep on the sunny side,
PS: I forgot to say I have published more than a dozen books. I am very grateful that particular dream came true.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I just got back from a couple of days spent with a friend in Delaware. Had a great time, and got home to the same disorder I left. Hmmmm.... well, yes, the den was being painted, and it is still being painted, but is a little further along than it was when I left.
I will tell you something. I decided a while back not to let things get me down, so I laugh about the disorder and realize it is an opportunity to sort out things that are no longer useful in my life. Yes, I am a packrat. I keep everything, whether I need it or not, and whether it means anything to me today.
Don't get me wrong, I love and appreciate things people give me, but I have come to the realization that the things people give me are not the love they express. If I lost the whole house, God forbid!, I would still remember and love the people who enhanced my life.
Maxine has the right idea. Don't let stuff get you down.
On that note, I am going to stop hanging out here on the Internet and try to get up and get some of this stuff sorted out and decide what I really need to keep.
Thanks for stopping by. Terry
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I liked writing the news, it was both inspiring and educational to sit in city and county work meetings and to learn how government really works; but my real love was doing the 'good news' - features about the exceptional people who lived quietly and did remarkable things.
One of these remarkable people was Miss Nora Foxwell of Elliotts Island here in Maryland. In order to reach the island one must travel to the little town of Vienna (which missed being the state capital by a cat's whisker) and turn right for a 20-mile treck through the forests and marshlands of Dorchester County. Twenty miles is a right good way to travel to buy a quart of milk or loaf of bread, but Miss Nora kept those things and more at her little island store and the island's residents had the supplies they needed.
The photo today was taken when Miss Nora was 97 years old! The remarkable thing is that she was still keeping store when I made this portrait. We had a good long visit as I sat with my tape recorder running and my camera at the ready. Miss Nora talked about her youth, going to school on the island, her marriage, the changes she had seen, and the little store, which was the cornerstone of her life. When she began to declaim a poem learned years before for my enjoyment, her face lit up and I could see the same sort of bliss as often occurs on the face of a child with an all day sucker.
I was really lucky to capture this image because Miss Nora didn't live out the next winter. I was really glad I met her. She taught me something about enjoying life and being useful. I want to be just like her when I grow up!
Keep on the sunny side! Terry
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Today I will take time out to visit the Never on Tuesday bookstore here in Cambridge to launch my new novel, Chesapeake Harvest.
Chesapeake Harvest is about my 15th book, I am a bit like the old woman who lived in a shoe... by now I can hardly remember all their names after 40 years of writing. At any rate, Chesapeake Harvest is the first of a series set on the Eastern Shore of Maryland from the earliest colony times. The women in the series are survivors, women who wait for love, and take up the reins of life to make their survival a reality.
Mary Charles is the heroine of Chesapeake Harvest. She starts off gentry and slides down the social ladder to end up in a London jail. The next thing she knows, the universe steps in and she is on a ship bound for the New World. Undaunted, she faces up to her indenture and learns how to survive on the mosquito and disease ridden coast despite all obstacles in her way.
Mary's descendents follow the family in the following stories, Chesapeake Legacy and Chesapeake Destiny. If you like a series, I hope you will check my stories out at Amazon.com and www.ebooksonthe.net.
Many thanks go out to artist Dawn M. Tarr for the series covers! I love the pulp fiction look and the pensive characters who seem to know all the secrets of life and love. Find more of Dawn's work at www.dawntarr.com.
Oh yes, I am working with Nikki Leigh to promote her authors on tour blog at http://email@example.com. Check it out!
Keep on the sunny side, Terry