Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year's Eve




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

Chesapeake Heritage



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

Looking for the Light



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

Thoughts on Christmas Eve



Cheerful Greetings,

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

Happy Holiday Greetings





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

Angels Around Us


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

Runaway Hearts to be on Radio for the Blind!




Hello Bloggers!

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

Chesapeake Legacy



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

How Do You Contact Santa?



Hello Bloggers,

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?

Terry

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Ornaments in Life



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

Honest Scrap Award



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.

Dyan Garrishttp://blog.voiceoftheangels.com

Gurutejhttp://www.theenergyguru.blogspot.com

Arline Chase http://www.writewordsinc.com

Donna Sundbladhttp://pymprompts.blogspot.com

Susan Wingatewww.susanwingate.blogspot.com

Joyce Anthonyhttp://joyceanthony.tripod.com/blog

CJ Scarlet http://cjscarlet.blogspot.com

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Holidays or Else!


Happy Holidays Bloggers,
Sometimes I wonder how Christmas got to be such an obligation. The image of Santa trying to carry a too-large bag of stuff seems to carry a message. We do too much to celebrate the holiday - but are we having a good time?
I retired a couple of years ago due to some health problems and find that Christmas doesn't mean so much now that the economy has hit us with a big double whammy. After all, some of us remember holidays when Santa had a hard time finding our place because he was on such a strict budget.
Our parents economized, but they did their best to give their kids a happy holiday. Sure, we got some much-needed clothing, but there was always a game or two -- and the best foods Mom could concoct for the holiday feast. I am not sure Santa was overloaded one little bit.
This year, I found Christmas items for sale long before Halloween. That was a bit confusing, but I survived, mostly because I can't afford to celebrate the way I once did. I pretty much shop all year long, finding just the right gift for each person on my list. I had everything wrapped a week or so ago, and it felt good to be ready for the holiday for a change.
The economy is surely giving people pause, so I can only hope everyone will stop and choose really appropriate gifts, and not buy because it is the season. We can weather this holiday just as we did those lean years when we were young.
Merry Christmas everyone. I hope it is joyful for you and that you get the gifts you really want. Terry

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mail Early or ?


Merry Christmas Bloggers,
The talk shows are saying today is the last day to mail your packages and cards for the 2008 holiday season. I am sure that is great advice, especially with all the wild weather in the western part of the country.
I don't send as many cards as I used to. I guess I just lost the taste for it as I struggled to make a living as an artist in a material world. I do, however use my email freely and keep track of friends and such through frequent exchanges there.
Last week I mailed a package to Arizona and the clerk asked if I wanted any one-cent stamps. Seems postage is going to go up again in the new year. I guess the powers that be decided the raise based on the towering gas prices we experience last summer. Now that gas costs have plummeted, I wonder if the managers of the postal service will look at the phenomena and decide the postal raise doesn't have to happen anyway.
A long time ago I visited an old woman who was supposed to be a psychic. Maybe she was. I know she gave me some wise advice. Included in the reading was the suggestion that I learn to use my own psychic powers to connect with those of people I love. Today, I think of someone and the phone rings. Maybe it is starting to work.
Keep on the sunny side.
Terry

Saturday, December 13, 2008

This Ain't no Sleigh Ride


Good Saturday Morning,

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.

Terry


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dislexia Anyone?


Good Thursday Morning,
My photo of the day is an image of a doll I made with a good friend. She sculpted the head, hands and feet, and I figured out what the rest of him looked like. Wierd little guy, eh?
For me, this odd little mannikin is the spitting image of what goes wrong in my brain when I say or write one thing and it comes out looking like something else entirely. This often happens when I am announcing a meeting date, which requires me to eat crow and send a lot more emails than is truly necessary.
So, here we are sneaking up on the Christmas holiday. In addition to mobilizing a gift drive for the clients at a local medical adult day care center, I also wrangle mature women for a monthly birthday celebration. Two or three times a year I manage to send out the wrong date and have to re-send the email a time or two more before I get it all straight and get everyone to the correct restaurant where we celebrate one or more of the members. Some of us live alone, so this is our big thing. Some months there is no birthday to celebrate, but we have a party anyway. It is one outing a month, and if one lives alone, it can mean a lot.
But that wierd little poppet is always sticking his sweet little nose in the mix. Right now, I have to get out of here. I managed to distribute the wrong date for the last time this year. If anyone wants the job, let me know. I am too busy keeping on the sunny side to check the date.
Happy Holidays, Terry

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Message to Santa

Good Morning Bloggers,

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

A Christmas Card


Good Morning Bloggers,

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

Maybe Smoke Signals?

Good Monday Morning,

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

An Early Gift



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

What's Up With Wreaths?



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

Bat Love



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

Unlikely Gifts




Good Wednesday!

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.

Terry

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Letter to Santa


Dear Santa,


I am writing to ask you for a very special gift. I would like to have peace on earth this year. The old folks used to say war is good for the economy, so why are so many people teetering on the verge of bankruptcy? It doesn't make sense to me, and I know it doesn't make sense to the families who have sons and daughters stationed at one of the hot spots in the world.


I would like to have peace on earth here in the homeland as well. It would be really nice if everyone would stop the frantic activity and step outside on a clear night to look up at the stars and take note that man did not create the sky, nor the stars, nor the moon and sun. Something greater than you or I made the heavens.


Dear Santa, it would also be nice if people could be kind to one another. I post another blog at Virtual Tours 101 where authors take the spotlight. Take a look at C.J. Scarlet, wo offers the Kindness Cure and asks her readers to perform an act of kindness each day. I can only imagine what life might be like if everyone read her book and tried to do that one act of kindness each day! What a wonderful world it would be ... to borrow a like from an old song.


I don't want a lot of gifts this year. There is no room in my house for anything new, so I think I will continue my quest to give the nice things away and throw out the not-so-nice things. Maybe that will make room for some joy!


Take care Santa and don't work too hard.


Terry

Monday, December 1, 2008


Good Monday Morning,
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

Holiday Frenzies


Hello there,

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

Open House and Help Around the House


OH! hello there!
I am having an open house today, which means I am struggling to get everything just so. HA!
Yesterday, a friend came over to help me with the den, which has been in the process of being painted over the last week or so. Bless his heart, he fixed a number of things that had been fretting me, and I thought that was better than a bouquet.
I have had some pretty smooth boyfriends in my time, but I have come to the conclusion that a man who knows his way around a lawn rake is a man to treasure. There was a time when I could do anything, and frequently did. I can't now, so it is a real treat to have a nice person to handle the honeydo list.
Well, I have to go find the paper cups and figure out what to do with the cat toys that surfaced during the painting upheaval. (The cat passed away last summer.) On that note, I will say goodbye for now. Have a blessed day. Terry
PS: If you can't make the open house, curl up with one of my novels.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday and Long Term Dreams

Good Morning Dear Hearts,

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,

Terry

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thoughts on Thanksgiving


Good Thanksgiving Eve,

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,

Terry

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Thanks for Then and Now


Good Almost Thanksgiving,


I know the economy is supposed to be in the pits, but what better time to give thanks for all we have. Gas has gone down under $2.00 per gallon, and if that isn’t a blessing, I am not sure what is. Let’s start there.

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,

Terry

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

Flying South - Or Not?


Good Monday Morning,
Today's photo comes from Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, a great place to spend a quiet afternoon watching Mother Nature at work. If you will notice, there are a couple of geese in the photo.
I would like to say they are flying South, but to tell the truth, the refuge is so well managed and so many crops are left standing that the darned birds just make Blackwater a stop on the Atlantic Flyway and never bother to leave.
I flew (read drove) South once, and I can't say I liked it all that well. I got real homesick and nothing worked out, no matter what I tried. The worst part was I almost lost my song. Now I am like one of those 'resident' geese that stop by for a late supper and never leave.
I will say the Delmarva Peninsula has been a good place for me. I have a great old house that needs perpetual work and a good network of friends. I even have the time and a place to write.
Cambridge is a great place. The people are wonderful; both the natives, who live close to the land, and the come-here's who arrive from a variety of places far grander than this little Eastern Shore town. But they stay, and in staying, make up a rich tapestry of souls who have a great deal to contribute to the community and to each other.
The neat thing about Cambridge and Dorchester County is that there is a party nearly every weekend of the year. Some are humble, like the firehouse breakfasts and dinners where you can have all you can eat of everything from pancakes to muskrats. Cambridge celebrates the tall ships with a Schooner Festival in late October and honors athletes with an Eagle Man qualifier triathlon in June. There is an amnesty day when you can put out your junk to be hauled away free by the city and neighborhood-wide yard sales. Cambridge celebrates the Bay culture, veterans, and senior citizens.
No wonder we never leave! That said, I hope you find a good place on this earth and stay on the sunny side. Terry

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Life's Harvest


Good Sunday Morning,
Winter is on the way, and it seems to be really early this year. I am not sure what that means -- except I will be really tired of sweaters by the time it is all over. The good part is that the year has provided a wonderful harvest.
This year's harvest has been especially good. In addition to having a lot of work done on my working class Victorian home, I wrote a three-book series. Each of the books is set on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, sometimes known as the Delmarva Peninsula. It is a different sort of place, surrounded by water, and host to some of the kindest people I have ever met on my long journey to find a home. How I came to write a series about colonial Maryland is a mystery - like most of my books.
I just woke up one morning and started writing; when the first book was done Arline Chase, publisher of www.ebooksonthe.net suggested I might do well to think about doing a series. Well, I said I couldn't. Then I thought, maybe. And then I did. In fact, I have started a fourth book in the series carrying the story of one family through the Civil War. Somehow the strong women who are the heroines in my books have managed to tell their stories through me, and I find the work both compelling and satisfying. In fact, I can't wait to find out what is going to happen next.
Yesterday I discussed the writing lessons Stephen King offers in his book On Writing. Mr. King echoes the great writers through time who knew without doubt that the book is in charge. I get it. Maybe that is why I am able to turn out all these wonderful tales of courage and determination. I am so glad they gave me windows into their world and that I was able to bring away their life stories for you to share.
When you think about it, it is a glorious harvest indeed.
Keep on the sunny side.
Terry

Saturday, November 22, 2008

On Writing a Novel




Good Saturday Morning,


I have been reading Stephen King's book On Writing. He gets into a lot of personal stuff, and I think it is revealing how candid such a well-known writer can be about his life and work.
One might suppose that a writer of Stephen King's stature might have had a pleasant life. Nothing could be further from the truth, in fact, I have an idea that Mr. King suffered more than a little during on his long and profitable journey. At least, his description of his childhood, the early years of his marriage, and his addictions help me to understand just where the scariness in his book come from.
I wish I could write half as well as Stephen King. I really do. I am trying. King's book On Writing offers a list of skills a writer needs to succeed in his or her craft. He makes it sound easy: Get a vocabulary, learn the rules and simplify.
Of course, simple is a lot more difficult than wordy. The temptation is there. I always want to write too much. Dense writing may be ok for textbooks, but people who buy novels want to sit back and be entertined. So, we have to tell good stories, and we have to tell them well.
When I get an idea, I sit down at the computer and start writing. I keep writing until the tale is told. I listen to the voice in my head. It is almost like taking dictation. Sometimes when I finish a book I am amazed by the story and wonder where it came from. Sometimes I never find out, but it doesn't matter. Something in the universe wants me to be a conduit for the story.
There are more good writers in the world than ever before, and I am glad to be one of them.
That said, I need to get to work. My new novel calls.
Keep on the sunny side,
Terry

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fresh Paint


Good Friday Morning!


Whew, it has been a week. I am glad the weekend is due so I can catch up with some of the things that are going on in my life. One of the biggies is fresh paint. Some of it is on the walls, some ain't!

If you look to the right, you will see an example of the art I am submitting to a gallery show at our local center for the arts. I know I mentioned the Wednesday Morning Artists, the authors of this show that opens on December 13. Well, after a year of spending time with these fantastic individuals, I find that I have been moved to do a little painting myself, but I didn't have much confidence, especially since I saw the beautiful things the other members were producing. I thought I would try.
You can't imagine the energy I experienced when one of the artists suggested I incorporate words in the art! Wow! What a nifty idea for a writer. I call the painting I pasted today Eagle's Legacy, but I am sure I could choose any number of other names and it would still be a pleasant watercolor with collage features spotlighted with ink. (It is my fate to always fall through the cracks in my chosen genre and I guess there is nothing new in that habit.)
So, my work is ready for the gallery show and I am trembling in my shoes. Will my work be accepted? (Physically - yes.) Will it sell? (Remains to be seen.) Am I an artist? (You bet!)
The rest of the story lies in the painting of my bedroom and the den that serves as workroom for my literary and crafting efforts. At any one point in time I am writing a book, crafting a poem, composing a song, sewing a doll or choosing beads for a stylish necklace - or maybe all of these at the same time. (Maybe I have ADD?) Having the room painted seemed like a nifty idea. Getting rid of a load of clutter is also a good idea. The only deal is that I invited a lot of people for an open house just days before the painting started.
I am coping with that. Don't you just love the smell of fresh paint?
Terry

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What Buffalo?


Good Morning Blogger!


This morning I am reminded of a wonderful road trip I made with my friend Melanie, who wanted to see some American bison, better known as buffalo, in the wild. We talked about it at a powwow here on the Eastern Shore and within a couple of weeks we were on the road for a 1600 mile trip that tested the limits of friendship and faith.


We brought along Melanie's two poodles: Cinder and Pebbles, who were the long and short of it to say the least. Cinder is a standard poodle, Pebbles a mini. They were good travelers, although Pebbles sometimes got nervous when Mom had to go to the facilities. I was pleasantly surprised we all got along so well. (Pebbles settled right down if I sang to her.)


Our destination was Rapid City in South Dakota, my brother lives there, and he was willing to put us up for a week while we explored the area. Guy was obviously not used to company, but he graciously allowed us the run of his house. The neighbors kept wolves, and the B1 bombers from the nearby air base boomed us out of bed each morning before even the dogs woke up, but it was a great base of operations while we explored Deadwood, Rushmore, Custer National Park and the various Indian reservations in the area.


The quest for buffalo did not go well. All of the buff at Custer had been put away for the winter, I spotted a few of what looked like cross-bred beefalo cattle outside Rapid, but the only other buffalo we found were in burgers and pasties - a hot-pocket sort of thing stuffed with a savory meat filling. They were both mouth-watering delicious, but not at all satisfying for a gal who wanted to see some of the beasts up close and personal.


As you can see from the photo I posted, we did finally find some buffalo when we turned around to come home and I spotted a big herd of buffalo somewhere near Sioux Falls just as we were leaving S.Dakota. By that time, we were both wondering if this was the land where the buffalo roam ... when the real question was where.


I enjoyed that trip, and I learned a lot. The badlands were bleak and troubling, the reservations heart-rending, the historical areas, over commercialized -- but the buffalo is still out there and the herds are being managed by educated farmers dedicated to preserving this magnificient species. We learned that when buffalo are harvested for the food industry, every part is used just as they were when they thrived from sea to shining sea. It did my heart good to know that the buffalo still roam and that if we search hard enough, they will be there for generations to come.
Keep on the sunny side,
Terry
PS: Melanie and I are still friends, and the dogs still like to hear me sing. "Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam . . . "

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Don't Let Your Stuff Get You Down

Hello Bloggers,

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

What About Frogs?


Good Sunday Morning Bloggers,

Well I got two frogs this morning when I attempted to post my art, so maybe there is a reason. I'm not going to fight with it!
So, what about frogs? I'll tell you.
A couple of years ago I did a CD recording of a dozen new gospel songs I had composed. I got the folks at church involved and did the CD as a concert recording with some of my friends singing harmony and the congregation in attendance. It was a pretty big project, and I realized I didn't have any art for the album cover. My friend Amy suggested frogs.
I, of course, said, "What about frogs?"
The acronym for frog is Fully Rely on God. Well, that was a no-brainer. I have always tried to fully rely on God. Trust isn't always easy, so there were times I decided to rely on God pretty late in the game, but I really need to remember God is with me all the time and things will go in good ways.
Not that I expect things to go my way all the time. I have an idea God sends some of the hard stuff to see if we are paying attention. The hard stuff makes us learn.
Thank God for frogs to see us through!
Terry

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Beautiful at 97!

Good Saturday Morning!


I am in the throes of having a couple of rooms painted and everything is in a jumble. The going is slow because I keep finding treasures among the many useful articles I have squirreled away in my home. In addition to thread, beads, yarn and piles of manuscript, I found a number of photographs. Some were of me performing at various venues, a few were photos I took when I was a reporter for a small town daily.

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

Calling All Angels


November 14, 2008


Good Friday Morning,
Angels have been on my mind lately, so I have posted a photo of the angel my friend Dawn Tarr painted for me last Christmas. I hung the canvas over my desk in my work room so that she can overlook my efforts as a writer, musician and craftsperson. I was a bit taken aback when I saw my sexy guardian, but she has become an inspiration and I have seen signs that she is a big influence on my life. I have lost a little weight! Thank God for angels in lingerie.
Dawn is a very talented painter, selling in the worldwide market on ebay and in Maryland galleries. She did the cover for my youth book Glinda's Crystal Garden and the covers for my Maryland Heritage series, novels set in colonial days. So, Dawn is one of the angels in my life.
My publisher Arline Chase of www.ebooksont.net and Cambridge Books has been my angel for years. She took me in when I was homeless and helped me find my first employment here on the Eastern Shore. She always has helpful advice and guidance when I run out of literary steam.
Dorothy Morford was an angel earlier in my life. Dorothy inherited her family's antique business and a carpenter gothic hall stuffed with vintage clothing. She employed me all through the years, including those difficult and exciting times while I earned degrees from Fulton-Montgomery Community College and Skidmore College. You can't imagine how much I learned while working for her!
Lately I have been car-less and Jeanne Pinault has been my angel to get me to meetings and places where the trolley doesn't run. She introduced me to the Wednesday Morning Artist where I have learned lots about art and the benefits of having a network of like-minded and creative individuals.
There have been dozens of angels in my life. The latest is Nikki Leigh, creator of Promo 101 Virtual Blog Tours. I contacted Nikki to ask if I could help with those tours as a stop for authors, and she asked me to post a daily blog, thus giving my work a lot more promotion than I ever dreamed of.
Today, whenever I start to feel down, I think of the angels who have blessed my life. Now, Dawn Tarr's angel overlooks my work and I know I can't fail.
Have a blessed day,
Terry

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tell Them Your Dream

Good Thursday Morning,
A few years ago a friend gave me the concept of Shameless Self Promotion. I didn't do much with promotion for years, but since I retired I feel challenged to do something with the dozen or more books I have written and published over the years. I made it a point to tell people about my dream.
I am a technophobe. I was scared of computers from the very beginning, but having typed my first novel eleven times, I was drawn to working on a computer simply because it was so easy to correct errors in my copy. It took a while, but eventually I learned word processing. Life, being what it is, immediately catapulted me into a spell as a newspaper reporter for a small town daily. Deadline was 9 a.m., so I had to rise early and be in the office at 6 a.m. to report all the big doin's the night before. I vaguely remember when the day's stories were sent by modem to the mother company - but wasn't doing the posting. I had no idea the Internet could rock my world!
Eventually, one friend got me online to use ebay and another set me up on a social network where I met people from all points on the globe. Naturally, I mentioned I am a writer and told them my dream, I even sent books to Australia, India, Japan and a number of other places I never dreamed I would visit. As a result of the encouragement this garnered, I grew shameless about publicizing my work.
Today I will ask anyone, anywhere to notice my work. Often, it works and people and busineses give me space for a blurb, a story, or an interview. Yesterday Delmarva Youth offered me space to post a synopsis and a cover photo for Chesapeake Harvest for their magazine. Yowzee! The computer makes it easy. Success makes it fun.
I told publicist Nikki Leigh about my work and the associated dream and she gave me the opportunity to post a daily blog at www.authorsontour.blogspot.com. Remind me to tell you some time about some of the other nifty things that happened in my world when I got brave enough to tell someone about my dream.
There are angels out there and miracles can happen when you tell them your dream!
Keep on the sunny side, Terry

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday Morning Artists


Good Wednesday Morning,


About a year ago my friend Jeanne invited me to join the Wednesday Morning Artists. As a writer, getting up to work on my newest book has become a habit since I retired a couple of years ago. I will tell you that I did protest the time it would take to go out and be social first thing in the morning, especially when I was not a painter - although I did a lot of artistic things including writing, composing, making jewelry and sculpting some pretty sexy mermaid dolls (among other things!). I was wrong.
The Wednesday Morning Artists rock. Yes, we do meet at 8 a.m., which is pretty early for me to get out and be social, but I find I am truly enjoying the experience.
What do the Wednesday Morning Artists do? A lot! Each December the members of the group hang a 'small works' show at the Dorchester Center for the Arts here in Cambridge. What fun it was to participate in hanging the show and attending the following reception.
In January, Cambridge had a devastating fire which destroyed nearly a city block of stores. The stores were in the historic district and the owner agreed to restore the facades for the re-build. The window areas were boarded up and huge props installed to shore up the stone and brick fronts of the damaged storefronts. Then the Wednesday Morning Artists came front under the leadership of mosaic artist Jen Wagner.
Jen proposed that we create a mosaic to camoflage the ugly chipboard masking at the front of the building. Her plan was to do the mosaic so that each chipboard panel was a stand-alone piece of art. She asked the Wednesday Morning Artists to come out and help. She also invited everyone in town and every passerby to glue a piece of crockery, glass, or mirror to the mosaic. She canvassed every business that sold tile, glass and mirrors for materials and begged for cash to buy the mastic and grout. What fun it was to go downtown on Saturdays to help stick glass on the evolving mural. (I brought beads!) Mothers brought their children and friends brought friends. (Check out the photo above.)
In the end, a great deal of effort went into the mosaic mural, and it generated an enormous amount of interest in the group - and about art in general. I went a step further and organized a variety show with live auction to raise funds for the group, adding another dimension of art to the mix.
Today Jen and a committee of fine artists are going through the permitting process to create a second mural in Cambridge. Several members of the group have studios downtown, and businesses are hanging art created by members of the group. We even collect gifts for the clients at Pleasant Day Medical Adult Day Care Center and created a wreath full of mini paintings to support Pleasant Day's Festival of Wreaths to support days of care for clients who have few resources.
Which brings us full circle, getting ready for December's Small Works show at the center for the arts. I love being part of such a creative and supportive group. With more and more of the Baby Boomers reaching retirement age, having things to do is a blessing. I know it helps keep me healthy.
So, what's going on in your town? Terry

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thanking Our Vets


Good Morning,
I took today's photo on the Pride of Baltimore, an 18th century schooner that is part of the tall ship preservation movement that reminds us of America's early days. If you note, the flag has only 13 stars representing the original 13 colonies. Those colonies fought a war to gain freedom from England - so patriotism and defending liberty is a big part of our heritage. I can trace the European portion of my ancestry clean back to 1632 when a man named Samuel Lincoln came to the New World as an indentured servant. I imagine Samuel would shake his head in disbelief if he could see where his great adventure has gone.
When I think about veterans, I don't have to look far afield. My father and grandfather both served in WW2; Dad in the North Atlantic flying over the frigid seas to photograph enemy submarines, and Gramp helped build the Burma Road. My brother was a sailor in the Vietnam era and he was wounded in Etheopia before entering the submarine service. Two sisters served in the military, one saw combat in Desert Storm. I think of their stories with pride. They fought and served for all of us and I believe we owe a debt of gratitude for all of the men and women who step out to defend the ideal of freedom.
In a sense, we are all veterans, for whenever there are soldiers, there are families at home that pray for their safe return. Today is a day for us to all pause and reflect on the service the American warriors have rendered to the cause of freedom. I know I am grateful for the effort that keeps free speech alive so that I can write what I wish and share my ideas with the world. You can't do that in every place in the world.
And so I say thank you vets, and God Bless America!
Terry

Monday, November 10, 2008

Snow Days




Good Morning Bloggers,

We are having some real pretty weather here on the Eastern Shore, but I called my brother Thursday and he said he is still digging out from the big storm that hit the Dakotas last week. Guy said he was snowed in for two days, but that he had made it out to the store before the storm hit. Good for him. Snow days are such fun when you have enough groceries and the television works.


The other day I was watching a show on television, and one of the characters called his girl 'a snow day.' I thought that was really sweet because when I was young a snow day meant freedom, lounging around in my pajamas all day and baking sweet treats in the kitchen. Snow days meant hours fooling around with my tablet writing poetry or trying to do a watercolor and finding out how many colors there are in a field of white snow. That freedom to experiment led to all sorts of other freedoms as I grew older. I always did appreciate a snow day.


We had a lot of snow one winter shortly after I moved to the Eastern Shore, although such storms are rare. That year we had several big storms and I found that the streets were neither plowed nor salted as they were in the northern mountains I had lived in all my life. The world was simply closed. I wondered how I could ever dig out my car until a local preacher came by and dug it out for me. My neighbors in the apartment building all trudged out to find bread, milk and sundries at stores miles away. There was laughter on the streets and soup on the stove.


It was days before the world started to move again and I came to realize that sometimes it is wise to appreciate a good thing - even if it means a delay in ones's plans. Personally, I think it is too bad we can't order a snow day when we really want one.


I guess that makes the point. Enjoy the moment all. Terry

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday Dinner and Belief


Greetings Bloggers,
I like Sunday, it was always a special day when I was a child and I have fond memories of both Sunday School and the happy Sunday dinners and picnics that followed. My father was big on parties and he could make an occasion out of barbequeing a can of government surplus meat or making candy out of hot syrup poured on a pan of snow.
Times were hard when I was growing up, but I know Dad believed in me because shortly before he died, he got me James Mitchner's book on writing. Back then I only had a couple of self-published chapbooks, but he showed them off to his cronies and bragged on his daughter the writer. He helped me believe and I know that wherever he is now in the great beyond there is a party and he is bragging about his daughter the writer.
My point is that we have to believe what we want will happen. Every one of the authors I write about on the new blog I write for Nikki Leigh had a dream and hung on until those dreams came true. (http://authorsontourblog@blogspot.com)
I once heard a speaker say, "I would hate to think I would give up five minutes before my dream came true." and that really made an impact on me. Being a writer is a very lonely business. You do all the work alone, and it is not until the book is in print that you go out and meet bookstore owners and readers. Then the work has to speak for itself.
So, if you are a writer with a dream, hang. Your miracle could be only five minutes away!
Keep on the sunny side, Terry

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Appreciating the Dream

Greetings from the Eastern Shore!

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://authorsontour@blogspot.com. Check it out!

Keep on the sunny side, Terry